They say (whoever they are) that patience is a virtue. The Bible says, "But if we look forward to something we don't have, yet, we must wait with patience and confidence." Rom 8:24 . This is a challenge. Miss Holly maintains it's why our family was put on earth: to Learn Patience. This is particularly clear to me right now as the chemo is done and all the radiation, internal and external, is finished. Now, we wait. (It hit me like a moist dirt clod on my way home from the last procedure: "Crud, now I have to WAIT!" And with that thought came fear.) My next appointment is May 24th for an MRI* update. The next day is a round of doctor appointments to prepare me for the last surgery (maybe the following week) and give me a status report.
This month-long Rest is hard! Not because I have too much to do, which typifies my ordinary life, but because I have little I'm supposed to do and, therefore, all the time in the world to Imagine. While I have been planning fun stuff and making plans for trips and pleasant days with good friends I have, unfortunately, had ample time to "Imagine the Worst".
Doing is easier. I have trouble empathizing with folks who don't DO. Filling my day is REALLY easier. But not now when doing a load of clothes is a five step ordeal with multiple rest stops in between. Or when looking at the weeds in my flower beds is just an annoyance because bending over makes me dizzy. Or staying away from the storage room when the vacuum is calling my name (Don't worry, mama, I've taped its mouth shut).
I've got to say that this part of the process of healing and regaining strength to endure the final surgery calls for as much radical faith as the earlier portion when the hospital and extra unhappy sensations filled my days. Again, I'm left with too much opportunity to imagine. Oh. I get it. I can work on IMAGINING THE FINEST OUTCOME. I will immediately cover negativity with wonderful things and shut those "drunken monkeys on my shoulder" up with faithfully crafted pictures of the blessings of old age and good health and loving people and God's promise. This blog just helped me. Doing this blog helped fix and free my mind. Doing is still my friend.
So, if you can't reach me on the phone and wonder how I am, don't think I'm lonely or unwell or scared. Please, just imagine me reaching out to touch Jesus's hem or being lowered by people who love me through the roof just to be near His side or just imagine me claiming how strong and useful I am becoming as I grow to a ripe and scrappy old age knowing all the while that God is Taking Care of Me every every every day. Because that's what I'll be Doing. "You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but You Will restore me to life, again, and lift me up from the depths of the earth." Ps 71:20
*Note: If you ever have to have an MRI just lie there and pretend you are a stationery component in a video game. There are all kinds of grinding and popping and clicking sounds from the machine similar to a video game and they usually have you listen to music on headphones so just pick a bouncy music like you'd hear in an arcade and lie there and make like a motherboard and it will help. Additional note: If the MRI requires a full bladder, don't let them use any "relaxing" music with water sounds (rain, a babbling brook, a WATERFALL). This will make your experience particularly unpleasant. Believe me. The techs and I both learned something that day.