Last Thursday on day two of my treatment, I went in and was introduced to “my team.” I thought I had met “my team.” Twice. But I hadn’t and here they were.
In order to see this as the blessing it was, I first need to tell you about my first two experiences that week in the radiation treatment center. Monday’s simulation was not bad; it was just different. Uncomfortable different.
My team was nice enough. It just consisted of all 25-year-old men. They were helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. I learned of career ambitions, sweet fiancés and long commutes. Still. It felt odd. I was okay with that. I mean, a few minutes of weird each day to ward off cancer recurrence. Small price to pay, right?
I mean, the guys were likable and all. I found myself playing word games in my head the whole time they conversed with me so I could remember their names each day for six weeks. As I left, I waved and told them I’d see them tomorrow. They said I would not see them again. They were in charge of simulation only. Tomorrow I would have the real deal.
My tomorrow came and I was rushed back to the cold, sterile room. The new 25-year-old boy led me behind a wall (forget the curtain) and told me to take my shirt off. I stared. Ummmmm… where’s my gown?
The General entered. She was 25; however, not male. She efficiently informed me that I was going to be exposed anyway so I just might as well go on and take off my shirt. Just like that.
Now, I’m not the most modest gal in the locker room but that. That was just plain weird. I don’t walk around half-dressed in a medically strange environment very well. I felt I had lost all remaining dignity but I obediently removed my shirt and was led like a lamb to the slaughter for my first radiation session.
The General and her two cohorts radiated me, lowered the table and left me to dress only to call out fifteen seconds later to see if I was finished yet. I decided radiation would take some getting used to but I could certainly laugh at the humorous aspects and rise to the challenge of befriending The General and her army over the next six weeks. I’d have to if I wanted to survive it without tears. The first thing befriending her entailed was wearing clothes with no buttons, snaps, zippers or otherwise time-consuming accessories or gadgets.
I must also mention here that even though I was uncomfortable in The General's rad room, her army had Norah Jones blaring on the CD player for me. Norah's one of my very faves and that made me know once again, that God has not forgotten me. No matter how uncomfortable it gets, God has not forgotten. So as Norah sang, "Come away with me...," I prayed. I went away from that cold place with my sweet Jesus.
Then Thursday, glorious Thursday came. As my second treatment day arrived, I sat nervously in the waiting room and jumped up as a smiling new face called my name. I hurriedly rushed back throwing all my waiting-room-time-occupying junk into my purse because I wouldn’t want to keep The General waiting.
Miss Bette introduced herself, led me into the control room where Chuck and Leslie were waiting for me. They were all smiles and questions. They wanted to get to know me, couldn’t wait were their words. I feel I can even call them Miss Bette and Mr. Chuck because they’re not 25 and that is a plus to this pushing 40 mama. I call them my movie star team because there are TV shows starring Bette and Chuck. Haha Leslie is the young one of this crew and you can be sure she has movie star potential too. They make me laugh daily, tell me never to worry about running late and their first words to me each day are, “Go on behind the curtain and take your time changing. There’s a towel there to cover yourself.” Yep, that's my favorite thing about my team, they encourage modesty. And that blesses me.
I pray every day that they are blessed as much as they bless me. I don’t take their generosity and consideration for granted. Not for a second. We make a great team!
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25