Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gatekeeper Into An Unknown Land

Dearest One and I are silent as we glance at the arrow on the "Cancer Clinic ahead" sign. We drive past it like it's a gatekeeper into an unknown land. We swoop down a ramp that curves around until we are right at the clinic's front door. It looks like we've driven up to some fancy hotel with its carport like roof over head and the sliding glass doors that part as we draw near to them.

I check in at the reception desk and hand over my paperwork. She glances at it and says, "Oh, you're new." She turns to start transcribing it into the computer and asks me to take a seat.

I sit down and watch people. A man shuffles in in slippers and sweat pants. Another man cracks a joke with a nurse. Beyond another doorway I can see a huge sign that tells everyone it's the chemotherapy treatment room. There is both a stillness and a camaraderie present in the air.

A volunteer calls my name and I follow her to get weighed and measured. Down a little more weight since before surgery. Who knew my breast weighed that much?

Within minutes we are ushered into a room and our nurse starts asking questions and filling in yet more forms. Over her shoulder I notice a watercolour painting. I answer her questions while gazing at its gently rolling hills, watery blue sky and winding road. Symbolic of the journey I am now on. The one I didn't sign up for but the one presented to me.

I'm aware that I get to choose how I look at it. It doesn't divorce me from the whole range of human feelings, it's just that after I feel what I feel there comes a 'now what' point where I get to choose my focus. It's not a one time deal but a revolving door of feeling and choosing that will last the rest of my life. The rest of yours, too.

Forms are completed. The doctor comes in. We listen to her recommendations. She is wonderfully non biased and I appreciate that. She tells us to take some time to come to a conclusion.

I leave her office convinced which way I am leaning. My heart sinks as I listen to Dearest One come to a totally different conclusion.

In the middle of the night I lay in bed, fretting about which direction to take. Convinced that the decision I make is akin to deciding between life and death. As if it is all up to me. And in the stillness of the night comes a thought, you're forgetting God in this pictureA wry grin spreads over my face and I chuckle to myself. I had forgotten. That little nugget of grace comforts me so much that I fall back asleep.

In the morning I wake up unexpectedly joyful. That grin involuntarily springs up on my face every time I think about making a decision. I make phone calls about second opinions and get details about the chemotherapy regimen they are recommending. I scribble them down on the backside of an envelope.

It's only later when I turn the envelope over and see "Limited Time Offer" stamped in capital letters that a wry grin spreads over my face once more.


owen swain said...

If only this were a piece of clever flash-fiction. Prayers continuing.

tina hunt said...

I love your wry little grin...I love how God ever so carefully and quietly reminds us not to leave him out of the equation.

Rebekah Grace said...

These are the times when, even in the midst of life and weariness, He shows up and we keep going - knowing full well that we are not alone. LOVE this. Thank you for sharing!

Daisy said...

Thank you for taking us with you, Hope.


annie said...

If I could hug you, I would...