(Previously published January 7, 2011)
My final pre-radiation appointment went so well yesterday....I'll get to that in a minute....
Last night a couple of inches blanketed our area. There is something so beautiful and peaceful about waking up to snow covered surroundings. Surroundings yet untouched by the hand of man.
White, clean, pure, graceful, intricate beauty.
The hand of God. His beauty. His perfection laid out before us for our eyes and hands to behold.
The children quickly took to the hands part.
Not really enough snow to snow blow....so to the shovels they went....
shoveling the driveway....
stopping for a rest....
a little bit of fun.....
.....have I told you I love being a mother!
The kids are back in now. School underway. A quiet day lays before us....
I'm thankful for the quiet, even if but for a day.
Yesterday, God was indeed gracious and compassionate.
My same nurse greeted me in the radiation oncology waiting room with smiles, joking with me as she saw me in my wig (previously I've been in my winter hat - no wig), saying that I was trying to really confuse her this time.
We were off to a good start. A light hearted mood took over the somewhat restlessness going on within.
The now familiar path from the lockers to the cabinet holding the gowns, to the dressing room and then waiting room quickly fell into my steps. No sooner had I turned the corner to the waiting room, and she was there bringing me back to the treatment room.
Monica met me upon entrance. She too, was joking with me about the long blond hair that had adorned my head just moments earlier and how it had changed my looks.....now removed, the quickly growing peach fuzz told a different story. The story that I am living. I told her it was my "I really don't have cancer" wig with a smile.
A hat and a wig tell a much different story. Some days, I just don't want to be the "cancer patient" to the world and the wig gives me that option. There is much more behind that statement, as you can imagine.
The room was warm today. The chill that had occupied the room, now gone. Their touch was gentle, as both ladies helped me up to the treatment table, assisting me as my body was positioned just right. One on either side of me. As my head laid back into the body mold, they were attentive to my comfort, asking me if I was comfortable and how they could help. They grabbed for a folded sheet that they rested my head against, in the hopes that today, there would be no pain for the duration.
I felt like a person, not just a patient. Their words were kind. Their movements more relaxed.
My arms went overhead, my body grew still and once again, the headphones filtered praise music into my soul. My eyelids fell closed and peace washed over my body.
Ever so quietly, the nurse laid some towels over my arms, as previously, I had told them how cold I had become. Again, so attentive this time to my needs.
And as their job began, the filming, and imaging, as the lights went on and off and footsteps came and went....they did their best to keep me covered, under a thin sheet bringing warmth and shelter from the eyes that peered down.
I didn't feel exposed this time, I felt covered. Covered in God's love and grace. A blanket like no other.
The time passed more quickly. Pain, once again, began to permeate my arms, and this time my neck, as my head was held to the side. Tension would creep up through my body and at once I recognized it, I released it, allowing my body to relax in spite of the discomfort.
And I prayed. Asking God to bring me through. Thanking Him. Just sitting in His presence. Praying for a few sisters and friends that were that day in the midst of their own trials.
And it was at the foot of the cross that my current situation became insignificant and all that mattered was Him.
Worship and prayer have a way of doing just that. Putting our eyes and our hearts on what really matters most, Jesus Christ.
"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength." Isaiah 26:3,4
It is a favorite of mine. But in those words are strength, peace and power because in those words rests my Father. His heart and the very essence of who He is. Perfect peace and power.
The imaging session came to a close. The right side of my chest had been marked and marked some more during those two sessions. Black sharpie marks mapped my body.
The nurses came back in and once again, their words were coated with compassion. A few quick digital pictures had to be taken of the map they had drawn on me and then a few of those marks needed to become permanent....more tattoos....I think 5 or 6 of them this time. They wanted to put one up close to my neck, but I asked it there was an alternative....as that would forever be seen in the future for eyes other than my own. They agreed. For now, I get to wear this for the next 4 weeks. The dot is a painted on mark covered by a circular clear adhesive. We'll see how my skin does through treatment. If it gets irritated, a tattoo will be needed.
Tuesday will begin the next leg of my breast cancer journey, the next door's threshold ready to be crossed. 28 days will mark this part of the journey. Monday through Friday treatments ending February 17th, if all goes well. Please pray as God brings me to mind, that my skin will be able to withstand the daily radiation dose with minimal side effects. That my body will remain strong and that God would use the radiation to accomplish His purposes in me. Thank you. I am more grateful than words can express.
Just as the snow this morning blanketed God's creation, so too, He blanketed me yesterday. I am rejoicing in His goodness today and the beauty that surrounds me.....by His hand.