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.)
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
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