(Previously published January 4, 2011)
The appointments begin again.
Just as the calendar flips over to January and routine begins again....school, work, piano lessons, basketball practice....so too, do my cancer appointments creep back into my daily calendar activities.
Today, I was off to the 2nd radiation imaging appointment. The second appointment that maps out my body so to pinpoint the radiation to the exact spots.
The day didn't get off to a great start. I thought the appointment was at 10:30. Off I went traveling the 30 minutes to the hospital radiation oncology department. The appointment time had been changed in December, after there was a hiccup in my first appointment. As I waited in the waiting room for my name to be called, my nurse emerged questioning why I was there......her book said I was suppose to be there at 2:00.
Oops. Not sure what happened. But back I went retracing the steps that lead me there only minutes before, only to retrace them once again in the afternoon.
Back home to teach Jed math and reading. Answer Science questions and photocopy Latin grammar forms so drill work could be completed. Worked through questions on couplet poetry with Luke. Corrected a writing paper. Made some lunch. Answered some emails. Talked with my oncologist's billing department to work through some bookkeeping errors....which worked in our favor...thank you Lord!
A day in the life of me.
1:30 and off I went again to the radiation office.
How quickly the patient hat comes back on and there I was laying yet again on the imaging table. This time in the treatment room. A room much colder than the cat scan room. My body lay upon the mold, holding my head to the side and my arms crossed and laid overhead, headphones nestled in my ears ready to whisk me to the throne of my Jesus, as the nurses and technicians milled around, adjusting the equipment, positioning and marking my body, instructing me not to move.
And in the stillness, eyes closed, they worked and I worshipped Jesus as the lyrics permeated my heart, bringing peace to my Spirit and a posture of praise and thanksgiving within....reminding me once again of God's sovereignty and love.
The lights went on and off as they worked, coming and going from the treatment room, behind closed doors, only to quickly sweep back in making adjustments to the machine that hung staring at me from the side. More positioning, more pointing, more whispers about what needed to be done.
My eyes would open to take in what was happening, only to quickly close and be transported back to the feet of Jesus. The surrounding were too much for me. I felt like an experiment that laid upon a table as 8 eyes peered over me, exposed once again. Nothing sacred or off limits.
It was cold and sterile, while the music filtering my years brought warmth and comfort. I needed to stay in that place.
My head began hurting as the mold wasn't holding me quite right. The hard cast was hitting the back of my skull. An ache set in. My arms had gone from tingling numbness to pain as they stayed clasp overhead.
I laid stationary knowing that movement would only hinder the progress.
Many songs into the imaging and I couldn't take it anymore. I quietly asked if I could just lift my head for a minute to alleviate the pressure.
They agreed, but said we would have to start over, from the beginning.
Relief, but for a few moments. Songs continued counting the minutes that ticked by.
And then she came back in, standing alongside the treatment table, next to the machine hanging from the ceiling. I asked if she would take the headphone out of my ear for a minute.....and then asked if we were almost done.
She began talking, then stopped to introduce herself, realizing that all along she had been working without even an introduction. I was just another patient in a time slot whose body came upon her screen. She said that we had some technical issues and for today, the process was complete, but I would need to return later in the week and redo all that had been done today.
Disbelief? Really.....we have to do it again? Today was for nothing. All the back and forth, an hour and a half on the treatment table and on Thursday afternoon I have to come back to lay through it once again?
I saw compassion fill her eyes as her demeanor softened and she helped me down from the table. She assisted me as I dressed and walked me out of the room.
We'll meet again in two days. I'm not looking forward to it.
It isn't a place I enjoy being. So much different than the chemo lounge. A more isolated atmosphere. A more lonely leg of the journey.
And maybe that is where God needs me right now. Alone. Hearing from Him in the stillness. Being quiet, so as to hear His whispers gently bring me along. Teaching this restless heart.
Going deeper, still. Building upon the foundation. The seed of His Word being richly and deeply planted within.....may the soil of my heart receive what he has for me in this season of tilling and sowing.
"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the work of Your hands." Psalm 138:8
"....and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son in all the way that you went until you came to this place." Deuteronomy 1:31
I will not grow weary or despair.....I will press on, I will press in, I will look up. I will let Him carry me to the place I need to be....trusting Him along the way, knowing He is always with me. I will be still.