The above statement is truly an understatement of how I am actually feeling.
As most of my readers are aware, I have been on a journey with my husband that I never expected to be on, nor did I particularly want to be on it for that matter.
The journey we have been on is called Non Hodkins Lymphoma, Cancer of the Lymph nodes. My husband has had many sick days over the last eight months, with many sleepless and restless nights as well.
We have spent countless hours driving to and from the Hospital as well as countless hours meeting with doctors, specialists, nurses, and interns.
My dear husband has had to endure having his dignity stripped from him as some of the tests have been quite embarrassing as well as very invasive, to all of these he simply went along with it, tried to smile and never said “No I refuse!”
He reminded me of Jesus in those moments, when the crowds and the Pharisees and the Sadducees mocked and ridiculed him, beat him and led him to his death on the cross, he did not utter a word against them, but lovingly went to the Cross for all of mankind.
My husband too was silent, enduring things that were by no means pleasant.
Along the way we met some amazing people, some of the people were the professionals, trained in the field of medicine to help us out, others were the cleaning staff, who quietly went about cleaning all day long where others messed, from toilets to passage ways, and then there were my personal favorites, the volunteers, the people who came daily into these wards and brought a smile and their beverage carts.
I remember when we went for our very first appointment and we were waiting to see the doctor, I was really thirsty and anxious about the news we were to receive from the doctor and I remember praying, “oh lord how I would love a cup of tea” not five minutes later this lovely older lady came down the passage way with her beverage cart that was laden with beautiful tea cups and saucers, cookies, coffee and tea and milk and cream, I nearly cried, it was such a gift to receive that tea at that moment.
Over the months I have seen the volunteers with the tea Carts move about the day care ward and every time I see them I remember how grateful I was to receive that first cup of tea.
I promise if it would have been appropriate I would have loved to hug each of them to say thank you so very much, they have no idea how a little smile and a cup of tea in the midst of fear, heart ache and turmoil can lighten up your day.
Another group of people that we got to interact with were the actual patients, the ones whose bodies had been ravaged by a unforgiving disease such as cancer, some of these precious people looked like the walking dead, their bodies ravaged by the cancer and the chemotherapy drugs, looking like skeletons that shuffled along.
Some were a little luckier and still had some meat on their bodies, but not many, and they all had one thing in common, they all wore hats, some colorful, some plain, some twisted and some tied, but it was their flag that they bore, the flag of cancer, of hair falling out in big clumps, of having to shave the rest off and then being cold because they had nothing to cover their heads any longer.
This is in my opinion by far the worst part of the cancer treatment process, because your hair is something that identifies you as a woman or a man, you spend time washing, combing and generally grooming it daily, it is a part of your image, defining you, making you look good and then when they experience the shock of it coming out is almost too much to bear.
The men and women who face these challenges are truly courageous as they know that they are in danger of dying without treatment, so they fiercely cling to life and smile while having the horrible drugs pumped into their systems.
I had not realized until recently the affect that all of these things were taking on my emotional state, until I found myself feeling lost and sad and tearful and wanting to sit on the side of the road and not move another inch.
Whom am I to have such feelings, I was just the observer, I did not have my body hooked up to machines, IV’s and the like, I did not have to take handfuls of medications in order to not feel like throwing up, I did not have my hair fall out and my body racked with pain; but I was there to be with my husband every step of the way, to drive him, care for him, comfort him and console him when he needed it the most.
Now I can stand back and realize that it is ok to have these wild feelings for a little while, but the trick I believe to surviving these feelings and not allowing them to overwhelm me, I need to bring them to Jesus, they are real, they keep sneaking up on me when I least expect it, but I know that Jesus cares for me, and he wants to carry the burdens of my heart and bring me comfort and peace and joy, so that is where I will take my fears, sadness and despair and I know that without a doubt I will find hope, life, peace and joy in the presence of the Lord.
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.