Everyone has that event or occasion in their life that they are so anxious for; counting down the number of days until it's finally time. Then, on the other hand when it arrives you aren't quite ready; thinking of all the things you still need to accomplish or prepare first. This makes me think of Christmas. There is so much hype getting in the spirit, shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating and you can't wait for the time with family and then suddenly you realize its time and the stress settles in because you still have a list of to do's and company is about to arrive. This was my Christmas this year anyway and it feels a bit the same when I think of my upcoming treatment.
Last week I realized the doctors weren't ready to begin treatment and I felt annoyed because I'm ready. I want it to be "time". I want to get started and see God's goodness through it all. I want to be on the other side of this celebrating life with my friends and family. Tuesday I went in again, thinking they'd tell me it is finally time, but instead they said probably Thursday. I was frustrated, asking myself why this is taking so long. I told the nurse I'd been wearing my "marks" and "tape" for 17 days and they said it would only take 14. She smiled, of course, and explained again what a process it is to plan radiation.
Today I had still heard nothing by 9:45 am so I called. They said they still aren't ready and maybe it would be Tuesday next week. The physics and dosimetry teams were building two plans on two different machines for the doctor to review. They wanted to make sure they could successfully treat the cancer and threatened areas and still safe as much healthy tissue and organs as possible. On one hand I was relieved because my list of to-do's was way too long to fit an appointment in, but on the other hand I was irritated and impatient. When I realize it has been 2 full months on Sunday since my first surgery it feels like they are being very slow about this. However, as my dad reminded me today, we have prayed that God would lead the doctors and that He would intercede on my behalf to get the very best treatment with the least possible short and long term side effects. I believe that my doctors are doing their job to ensure that this is the best scenario for me and so I come back full circle to peace and thankfulness.
Late this afternoon I received the call. My mind has mixed emotions; Whew, finally!...and...Oh my word, already?
I opened my little desk bible this afternoon and right away I saw this verse..."She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." (Prov 31:25) What a privilege to have a God that speaks directly to our hearts in a very personal way. As humbling as it may be to share these specifics, I will, because you and I both need to know that God knows our innermost hopes and fears and if we spend time with Him we'll hear Him. One of the biggest concerns about my specific radiation plan is that I don't get to be clothed and laying in a comfortable position during treatment. I will feel small, vulnerable; like a child with no voice. There is no part of this that feels dignified or funny. But you know what? God tells me that I won't be clothed in cotton or cashmere, but I will be clothed in strength and dignity. My life mission is that I can laugh at myself and find joy in all things. God tells me that I will laugh at the days to come. My joy will not be zapped by this hard season of life. I ask that you my friends and family will pray this verse for me on Tuesday, 1/11 at 9:45 when I have my first radiation appointment.
After this first appointment, I will have a standing appointment every week day at 3:45 pm for radiation. I will see the radiation doctor every Monday following my treatment. I should hear from the chemo doctor (Med-Onc) tomorrow to get that appointment scheduled for next week as well.
Thank you again for everyone's prayers, cards, e-mails, texts, facebook messages, blog messages, etc. It is more encouraging than you know to hear from you.