I arrived at the medical center before 8 am for my radiation practice run. Medical students shuffled across the parking lot from the student housing, sharply dressed sales people wheeled cases of samples through the doors, and the female valet parked cars. I couldn't help but think that I should be any one of them instead of myself, preparing for 6 weeks of another potentially harmful treatment that while it may help rid my body of cancer cells, is not without damage to other currently healthy organs. I wore a pink ribbon baseball hat over my short hair and was in the cancer institute, so there was no mistaking my affliction. Many people that passed me said hi, the others stared a beat too long. I knew they were all thinking the same thing, that poor girl, she's so young. For some reason, this doesn't bother me as much as it did while I was going through chemotherapy. Maybe it's because I know that I'm about to reemerge as a new person, a hopefully cancer free person, who once again, looks healthy to the naked eye.
I will spare the details of the radiation simulation because they are boring. It was a bunch of laying, exposed breast pointing at the ceiling, techs calling out numbers, and X-rays being taken. A red marker draws a rather large outline of the radiation field and I am on my way, and told to return tomorrow for treatment # 1.
I went upstairs and found myself following my nose towards the Starbucks, and my heart, towards the chapel. I spent a lot of time in that chapel last summer, on my knees begging for my dad to get well. I wrote my prayer requests in the book specific to that days needs-end the fever, regain kidney function, wean the ventilator. On this day, I read over the prayer requests and felt the pain of every person who put that pen to paper. This time, I added one for myself. Afterwards I entered the worship area and took to my knees in the familiar spot. I asked God to give me strength to get through this next part of the battle with as much ease as He's allowed me so far. I prayed that I would be cancer free for the rest of my life, or at least long enough to meet my grandchild and dance at Harper's wedding. I asked that I be used for a purpose.
I felt moved to open the book of Psalms laying in front of me and read the first thing my eyes focused on. What do you know? The Lord may not have given me any answers yet, but He proved that He was listening. I read:
Jesus answered and said to him "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."