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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Veteran

Something happened this week. All of my friends in the radiation waiting room graduated. Last Friday was a happy day. The whole time I was laying on the treatment table, I heard the bell ringing. (Once a patient is finished with radiation treatment, they get to ring a bell.)

I heard the bell ring for Longeno, Donna and Pat. I prayed with each note that their scans would come back clean next month. I prayed with each chime that their treatments worked and they would find freedom from cancer’s tentacles. I prayed that their lives would be lived out long and loud like the bell ringing that can be heard throughout the clinic.

And when each of them walked through the exit door, I became “the veteran.” Now when the newbies sit down with their shiny folders and nervous grins, I get to look them in they eyes and greet them introducing myself. I get to be the one nominated to ask each “what they are in for” and “how many sessions they have.” I’m the one they ask where the bathroom is, if the wait is usually long and where the good coffee is waiting.

Tomorrow I’m visiting patients that are currently in the hospital at MD Anderson. I’ve never been to the seventh floor and I’m somewhat nervous. I’m not sure what my emotions will do when I step foot into the waiting room or greet for the first time people I’ve only corresponded with via email but have my same diagnosis. It’s exciting and a little strange all at the same time.

Like I said earlier this week, I think I’m finally accepting this cancer thing and what it means for my life. My bout with the beast may be short but it’s impact on my life will last forever. When I prayed, “Lord, don’t let me waste this,” I meant all of it. The good and the bad and I know that means sharing my experience and my God with those who are currently fighting for their lives.

It’s new ground. It’s fertile ground. It’s strange to be here. I keep thinking of the verse that says God will give me every place I put my foot. (Deuteronomy 11:24) I get excited when I think about taking a cancer hospital from the enemy. Granted, it’s the most hope-filled, life-filled hospital I’ve ever had the privilege of visiting but it’s still a place much too acquainted with disease, death and suffering. It’s a place where people need Jesus. Jesus, please heal their bodies but please, please, please not without healing their hearts. Amen

“Pushed to the wall I called to God; from the wide open spaces He answered…Oh, I’ll guard with my life what You’ve revealed to me…And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces…Then I’ll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed.” Psalm 118:5-6 & Psalm 119:44-46


Bernie said...

I know the others will find great comfort from your visit and your words. Just about finished sweetie, always keeping you in my heart and prayers.....:-) Hugs

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I know that I don't write often, but I read your posts and pray for you. I'll add prayer for the others that I know that you will reach.

Loren said...

Oh Lisa...the bell. My brother's friend John rang his bell in the very hospital and while ringing the bell he held up daddy's picture. I have it on video and shared it on my blog a few months ago. IT.IS.PRECIOUS!

Praying for you my friend! I know you are going to bless all those you come in contact with. Because you have the Lords love in you, HIS heart and mind in you, HIS compassion is all over you....HE IS IN YOU and you shine brightly no matter what you are doing but especially bright when you are about HIS business!

Can't wait to hear all about it....praying HIS peace on you LIsa. NO FEAR... NO anxiety...GO and let Peace rule and reign!

Love you

Denise said...

You are going to inspire many dear sis, love you.

MommaMindy said...

I guess I hate cancer, but I don't regret getting it. The Lord has used it so mightily in my life. I have heard His voice so clearly and felt His presence so nearly that I cannot say I would give it back. I am so thankful you are feeling the blessings that are coming with the buffeting. Praying for your healing.

angie128 said...

You are amazing.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, Thank you for your post today! Today I am taking a hand bell that is engraved, HOPE and Be Still and know that I am God to my dear friend who is having the last of 24chemo treatments for Lobular Breast Cancer! It is a time to celebrate with her for this milestone. She will then have a 2 week break and then 5 weeks of radiation. Your words of wisdom and encouragement have helped me walk through this journey with her. Thank you for the gift you have shared, you truly are amazing and God will continue to use you:)
Natalie Osberg, MN

Christie said...


God has ordained this time for His will and His purposes. He has put you in those waiting rooms for His glory. I know, without a doubt, that you aren't wasting this time that He's given you!

Praying that His light would shine through you!


Melanie said...

I love you.

Gretchen said...

Lisa, you're rocking this cancer thing. Does that sound weird? You're living through it, loving God, and looking for others to bless through this crappy cancer. Rocking it.

prashant said...

You are going to inspire many
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