Part of the spice of life is that some days are unique and stand by themselves as special markers in life. I am not referring to days that sneak up on you unexpectedly, like baby’s first steps or a lost tooth. I am referring to those days that are marked on the calendar well in advance. Sometimes they are circled in a different color or have some other embellishment that declares to all that that particular day is special.
We have 12 of those days. Since I have been off the blog lately 2 of them have already passed so, we have 10 ahead of us. Those days are Chemo days. While that might seem like an odd thing to have on your calendar as a special day, you have to be here, in this place to understand. I know a year ago, I wouldn’t have understood. Walking the cancer journey gives you a different perspective about a lot of things. For instance, your definition of a good day goes from something really great happening, like being in the neighborhood when Krispy Kreme is HOT NOW (once you have you know what I mean), to Beautiful managed to put together 5 continuous hours of sleep. It goes from, “did the kids get ‘A’s on their work” to “did they get their homework done and actually turned in.” Your focus goes from “did they have on a coordinated outfit” (Beautiful is the amazing at this – me, not so much) to “did I manage to get the baby dressed today.”
I think my first real wake up call was during Beautiful’s first chemo session. She had received a whole battery of drugs to “prepare” her for the cancer killing ninja drug, so we were there for a while and the nurse had come and gone. A little while later, she came back in a full surgery gown, complete with face shield. At first, I assumed she had been assisting in surgery some where because this is a Cancer Center after all. Once she hung the I.V. bag, I put it together. No, she was not just in surgery. The ninja had arrived. Complete with warning labels all over it about special care, and disposal precautions that were necessary for the safe handling of this particular drug. That is when it hit me. This is poison. It is so dangerous that you cannot get it on your skin, and they were about to put this right in my bride’s veins. Wow. That was a full brain freeze moment. Later I learned that for 48 hours after the ninja has done its work, body fluids like sweat are toxic. Yeah, your perspective about a lot of things is going to change at that point.
When you have time to process all of that, you start to put some other things together. Like the fact that somewhere, someone thought to do this and tried it on people. You know they got it wrong at least a few times and your heart goes out to the families of those people. There are those that had too much of the Cancer Ninja and suffered horrible side effects. Then are the other ones that didn’t get enough and lost the fight. I am grateful to our Lord, those doctors and those brave souls that endured those trials. My bride is benefiting from all of that learning, testing and suffering. So, here we are, celebrating the 12 weeks of chemo with 10 more Chemo days in front of us. Every Tuesday for the next 10 weeks will be a small victory party. Each will be one session closer to being done.
Yes, my definition of a good day has changed. The bar will probably drop lower still as the effects of the chemo build, but we will cross that bridge if we find ourselves in front of it. For now, we victor in the small things. To celebrate this particular 12 / 10 day, I will leave with you 2 Corinthians 12:10
“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Yes, my definition of a good day has changed. We are content in our weakness, hardship and calamity, for when we are weak, then we are strong! 10 more days of hardship to strength ahead of us!