At the beginning of January, when my husband turned 46, my stomach turned just a teensy-weensy bit anxious. I was going to turn 46 next, in August. We’d crested the hill of middle-age and were going down the slippery slope to 50.
It sounded so old. I was trying to convince myself that age doesn’t matter, and all that stuff, but the lines on my face, the little double chin that disappears only when I tilt my head a little too far back to look normal and the wrinkled hands have proved the adage, “I’m not gettin’ any younger.”
But, with the return of my cancer for the third time at the end of January, I suddenly found 50 lookin’ really good.
Now, I WANT to turn 50.
It’s all perspective.
Our spiritual perspective can be distorted at times, too.
With my diagnosis came a rush of peace and joy and presence of the Lord. I felt so uplifted, and I knew we would be able to endure yet another round.
Wednesday afternoon, circumstances found me alone in my home for four hours. I could clean, organize, write, cross things off my To DO List with a vengeance. I’ve discovered that cancer has brought out the nesting instinct just like pregnancy. Only now I come home from the hospital empty handed.
One of those items on the list was to call the hospital where I will be getting my treatment. During my initial surgery and hospitalization for RadioActive Iodine 1-131, I had some very, very bad experiences. They made several major mistakes. I just needed some affirmation that they were going to take care of me this time.
After talking to Molly for about 20 minutes, I was assured that things were different, there was a new room where I would be isolated for three days, I would have access to a DVD player, there were new drinks to choose from even with ice, and I could bring my computer. Whew.
Before I could even cross anything off my list, I got a phone call from the hospital. I was a bit surprised. I hadn’t given them my full name.
It wasn’t Molly, it was the scheduling department.
“Is this Melinda?”
“You have a body scan scheduled on Feburary 19th and we need to reschedule it.”
“The hospital isn’t open on the 15th, so you wouldn’t be able to do the full series of shots. We need to reschedule.”
“Why aren’t you open?”
“It’s President’s Day and the hospital is closed.”
In my mind I’m thinking, “How stupid can you be? You’ve known for MONTHS its President’s Day, how do you end up calling me two business days before my testing begins to tell me you’re not open?” I made my appointment the same day I was diagnosed and began the diet immediately.
Instead, I bit my tongue and said with honest politeness, “Do you know how horrible this is? I have to be on the low iodine diet for an extra week and now have to put off the testing for my cancer another week.”
No sympathy. No voice inflection. The monotone repeated, “We need to reschedule. Your body scan is now on the 25th.”
I didn’t want to let her off the hook. “Fine, I’ll reschedule for the 22nd to the 25th, but you have to know this is really affecting my life.”
I was also thinking about the three lumps that grew in three months. The new timetable put it at one full month from diagnosis to testing. We still have treatment after that. These little things are growing too quickly for my comfort.
No sympathy. No assurance. Just that same uncaring voice adding one more week to my sentence.
I hung up and for 30 seconds cried, but it took too much energy. The hospital, the one I was trying to gain confidence in, had failed again. I worried that if I couldn’t trust them for something as simple as scheduling appointments only on days the hospital was open, how could I entrust them with the actual treatment? I was upset. In fact, I surprised myself. I took cancer from the Lord, but I couldn’t take the calendar change from the Lord. I had survived the tornado and been blown over by a whisper.
For days I had been mentally preparing myself to take heed lest I stumble. Lack of faith frequently follows a spiritual victory. There is something about the Lord getting glory that satan just doesn’t like. I was trying to beware, we cautious, to guard my heart and my soul. My temporary lack of faith put me in good company with Elijah, Jonah and many others.
In my deepest disappointment, the Lord spoke to me. He reminded me I am to have NO confidence in man. I am to trust in Him alone. He is the one who is going to heal me, if it is His will. The medical staff will be instruments used for His purposes.
“And,” I added under my breath, as I heard His voice, ” if I’m healed, it will not be BECAUSE of the medical profession, but in SPITE of them.”
It’s all perspective.
Charlcie Steuble says
So sorry that your testing was delayed. The low-iodine diet is so frustrating and to have to extend it? Bleh. I had my original RAI treatment in September 2008 rescheduled for 10 days after the original date with no sympathy or apology either…how can this be? I guess we just have to focus on those great people we meet along the way on our cancer journey that strengthen us.My whole body scan is at 8:30 AM EST on the 25th as we've "discussed" via blog. 🙂 I'll be thinking of you and praying for you too.Charlcie
Jessie at Blog Schmog says
Your words are a huge comfort to me!*Lack of fait h frequently follows a spiritual victory. There is something about the Lord getting glory that satan just doesn't like*SO true and just the thing I needed to hear. It's easy to forget isn't it? But you are right, NO confidence in man.Praying and anticipating God doing a marvelous thing in spite of all of us. 🙂 Perspective has been my "word" lately that God has me working on.
I am terribly sorry to hear about the delay in your schedule and the awful diet that you must be on. However, I am thankful that God is the one in control and that He is helping you to have a positive attitude in the midst of this heavy trial that you are having to bear. I will be praying that this trial will not be too much for you to bear and that you will cast all your burdens on the Lord and that His grace Will be sufficient for you during this time. I wish that you did not have to go through trial, but God is being glorified through you during this trial. If I lived where you are I would be right there with you going through this with you. My husband has one of the members in the church going through lung cancer and he goes with her each time she has chemotherapy and sits there with her and her husband the entire time. Thank you for blogging. Your blogs are always so inspirational. You are in our prayers each time we have family worship.
Oh my goodness. I have an appointment on Monday. Hopefully Mayo doesn't close down. I haven't gotten a call yet! 🙂 Sorry for the delay for you. I'm learning quickly that anything with sickness requires a lot of patience. YOu know, I prayed in my teen years that God would teach me patience and He is determined keep at me till I learn it. Believe me, I haven't asked for it since. 🙂
Eddie Snipes says
I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but I am grateful for your faith in the Lord. I'm praying for you.
~ Tandis ~ says
I didn't know hospitals closed for President's Day. Wow. Hopefully they don't have the only trauma one center in the area. "NO MOVING KIDS! WE CAN'T GET HURT TODAY." Your perspective is amazing. God is working through you in such a way that you're able to be encouraged in His love through it all. Your love for the Lord encourages me so much. Praying for you!
Jaime Kubik says
I'm right there with you…when I have felt a spiritual victory, I am so disappointed when the victorious moments do not remain and then I lose faith. I wake up with fear in my stomach. Today, I have been reminding myself that my God loves me with a perfect love and perfect love drives out fear. (1 John 4:18) Just as you said, you will get through this because of God, not because of the medical profession. Psalm 4:7-8 You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O Lord make me dwell in safety.Still praying for you…
Your perspective is wonderful. I am sorry your tests are getting all messed up. Still praying.