Monday, May 07, 2012
I am still processing many things in mind as I write. Last Wed I went with my mom to Nashville for her SCRI visit. This is where she has been undergoing a clinical trial, since they adjusted her dose most of her terrible side effects have stopped I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m so glad I went. While I don’t know any patients by name, I felt strangely bonded and comforted, and saddened in knowing that they too were facing the very same fight, sure the type of cancer might be different as well as the story, but the journey is much the same as my mom’s. There is this silent understanding that I sensed as I observed this room full of cancer fighters and survivors. Each different ages, different classes, and personalities, nonetheless connected by a path they would have never willingly chosen I chuckled inside myself as a man battling cancer in his later years, instructed a woman with him, I assume she was his wife of many years, how to use her new high tech cell phone. The two of them were quite humorous, and exchanged dirty inside jokes about each other. I honestly didn’t know which one of them was fighting cancer, but was surprised by how at ease and familiar they seemed in their surroundings. Mom and I met a couple who was from AL, but the husband grew up in Chattanooga on Danby Drive. His liver cancer had reached a point where doctors even at SCRI told him they could no longer help him, and it was time to call in Hospice. They took him off all treatments, and told him the end was near. Shortly after that he began to feel better, so they did a scan and discovered that his cancer had reversed, God did a miracle in this man’s life. His cancer is now the size of a twinkle in his liver and He is now able to undergo a clinical trial at SCRI. There was another woman there from Chattanooga who took the Greyhound bus to get there. I was reminded how blessed mom and our family is to have so much support. I met a lady who offered me a soda while mom was in lab. She was older, and I loved that despite the fact that she has incurable kidney cancer, and cancer of the shoulder, she still took time to notice me. I asked her how long she had been coming, and she said a little over a year. She said if this trial did not work she was going home, by home she meant heaven. She started to cry a little, and I felt bad for asking. Almost as quickly as tears came, a peace came across her face, and she said “I know where I’m going” She said, the hardest thing would be leaving her family. She showed me pictures of her grandchildren, and I realized on some level she wanted to share her story. What she asked me next surprised me, she didn’t ask me about my wheelchair, which is what most people do, she asked me if I knew where I was going when I died, and if I had ever been baptized, to both questions I responded yes with a smile on my face, I don’t know if she asked about baptism, because she thinks baptism is needed to get to heaven, but I know I’ve prayed for her since our trip, and I hope I see her soon. There was also a man who has been through 47 cycles on the same trial and is doing well. I learned so much from this short trip. One, I learned how blessed I am. I learned there is always Hope. I know we as Christians are suppose to believe it, and I suppose I have on some level, but it’s deeper now. I discovered or rather was reminded that there are caring doctors. There was a peace in knowing God can do anything! Last, I remembered to cherish life in the moment, and not longing for more, but embracing the gift of a moment! As a side note, I love the Lifeway store in Nashville, and enjoyed the park with my mom after our time at SCRI. I discovered that some patients stay in Nashville for months at a time, and how thankful I am my mom can make the weekly trips, and I’ve not had to be away from her from for more than a few days at a time.
Tell me how your life is going? Thanks for all your prayers for mom and us!