A month does not mean a month in the medical world. I learned this anomaly during radiation. When it is in your favor to have a full month, like during the break after chemo, a month can mean only two or three weeks. When it is not in your favor to have a full month, like when undergoing radiation treatments, then it means five or six weeks! Here is what happened.
It was my last day of radiation. I had already had a week of internal radiation, and was completing the month of external radiation. Final day! I was wearing my lucky Flash Gordon t-shirt with the lightning bolt, appropriate to wear during radiation. I had on my special Wonder Woman underwear and socks. I brought in chocolates for the radiation technicians and another box for the secretaries and nurse. My brother had on his Flash Gordon t-shirt too. We were ready to GO. It was a Friday. I was lying down on the radiation table, very still, doing everything I was supposed to do to get the show on the road. The radiation techs left the room. They hit the button, machines whirred, the red light came on, and it was over. I did it! My final radiation treatment was over! Woo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo!
The radiation technicians came back into the room. They were smiling. After seeing them every weekday for five weeks they had become my friends. “Ok, we’ll see you next week!” they said. “What? No, I am done. This was my last day.” “What?” they questioned. “You still have three more treatments.” “What?” I blurted out. “No I don’t. It has been a month.” A long month I thought to myself. Five weeks. Not four weeks like some people (me) might think is the length of a typical month. “We’ll check,” they said and left the room, then came back.
Three more treatments. The techs looked at each other. They looked sad. “Is that why you were wearing your lucky Flash Gordon t-shirt?” I nodded. “And your Wonder Woman underwear and socks?” I nodded again. “And is that why you brought us chocolates?” Yes. I felt like I might cry. They looked like they might cry with me. Then we all shuffled out of the radiation room.
My brother, Chris, knew that something was wrong right away. I told him the news as we walked to the car. We were both disappointed. I moped around all that weekend and felt like I didn’t care anymore. Three more treatments really weren’t that many, but after already going through five weeks with side-effects that seemed to hit me hard, it felt like another month. Again, God let me mope. He let me complain to him like a little kid that had her favorite toy taken away. Then kindly, gently, He nudged me out of it. Time to get back up, dust myself off, and get going again.
The disappointments come. We can count on them. They are a part of life, cancer or no cancer. They come and God does let us mope for a while. He lets us be the little child running into a father’s arms. Then He says it is time to become an adult again. It is time to let God mature us, to continue His work in us, for us to trust in His knowledge.
“But when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” I Corinthians 13:10-12.
God continues His work through our disappointments, and what we will become because of them, what we will be, we don’t know yet. But it is going to be glorious.
Today's post is an excerpt from The Bald Headed, Tattooed, Motorcycle Mama's Devotional Guide: For Women Battling Cancer & Those Who Love Them Copyright 2013 by Sara Nelson O'Brien.
All photos are courtesy of Pixabay.