In the past, “stable” has been a boring word to me. I’m such an action person. In fact, according to the Strength Finder’s assessment, two of my top strengths are “Activator” and “Achiever.” Can you see why “stable” feels like no progress at all? Stable is almost a bad as “maintenance.”
But when it comes to my kind of cancer, “stable” is a close runner-up to “remission.” “Cure” is a word I know I will never hear unless there is an incredible medical breakthrough. And I know there are plenty of negative words I have and could hear. So when the doctor said “stable” last week, it was a good thing.
I’m on my 9th round of chemo since last fall. Initially we knocked the cancer back, killing it faster than it was growing. But that’s tough on the body. Now I’m’m at a lower dose of chemo which basically holds it even — we’re killing it at the same rate it is growing. It still compromises my immune system so I have to be careful, but I can still get around.
So “stable” is a good thing. It means I can go on vacation with my family. It means I can make plans with the awareness that they might have to be changed. It means that I get to have lunch with friends and volunteer for projects within the ministry. It means what I dread is coming, but is still a ways away.
I know others who are not in exciting periods in their lives. Their marriage isn’t exciting right now, but stable. Their job isn’t highly motivational, but stable. When do we accept stablity as a good thing and hope (and trust) for things to get better over time? When is faithfulness in less than exciting circumstances what God wants? I’m glad my doctor has a good handle on when to just wait and enjoy life and when to take aggressive action, even it means pain. I pray the same in the lives of others that they will know.
So I’m excited about being “stable.” Right now, i’m rocking on the porch of a cabin in the mountains, listening to gentle drops of rain on tree leaves nearby. That’s something I wouldn’t be doing if I wasn’t stable. Roger and I had devotions together this morning. That’s something I wouldn’t be doing if I wasn’t stable. Kids and grandkids are coming to see us the next few days for fun and frolic, something I wouldn’t be doing if I wasn’t stable. I’m excited to be alive and have opportunity to share “life” with others.
Stable is exciting!