We’re Packing for a Trip, Just Don’t Know Where We’re Going

Tomorrow Jim begins chemotherapy. He had a port installed above his clavicle on Tuesday, had a “chemo education” briefing today, and I picked up anti-nausea drugs this afternoon. It’s almost as though we are going on a long trip, perhaps a nice boat trip where Jim might get seasick, except that Jim is embarking on a six-month treatment for colon cancer.  We’ve come down off the high of finding out that the cancer hadn’t spread to other internal organs, and are now facing a long winter’s slog through twelve treatments.  There has been an air of unreality to this all along, because Jim hasn’t actually been sick. The tumor is removed, and the doctor pronounced him “almost cancer free.” That’s a big “almost! ”  There is a palpable sense of friends and family saying goodbye as we leave on this journey. I say “we” because I now appreciate the impact a cancer diagnosis has on partners and families. An asteroid has crashed into our little planet, and we’re not quite sure where we are. Jim works in the evening at the library, and so tonight I prepared food for his supper tomorrow, though whether he will be horribly sick, a little bit sick, or fine, we don’t know. So I baked a small loaf of banana bread, and have made chicken baked with rosemary, rice cooked in broth, and assembled green salad ingredients. Provisions.

And I am thinking about something strange that has happened in the past month–as well as having some of the most horrible moments of our lives, we have had some of the most wonderful, because this is when you realize how much you love and are loved, and in many ways, I feel as happy as I  have ever been.

I usually cry during church, though I’m not totally sure why. Something about being in a merciful, human place . . . I made it through this Sunday’s service without a tear, but when our pastor talked about letting go of fear and trusting in God’s love, I began to cry. Can we do this?  Being freed from fear and moving to trust, may be the most difficult part of this journey.

2 thoughts on “We’re Packing for a Trip, Just Don’t Know Where We’re Going

  1. Our feelings are so complex, aren’t they? Especially when conflicting ones occupy the same space: The fear of cancer and the warmth of knowing you are loved, peace amidst terror, and so many others. Perhaps God made us able to feel opposite emotions at the same time to give us a hint of the diversity in all of creation. Or, maybe so that the one emotion moderates the other, giving us the opportunity to experience each without being overwhelmed by the other.

    Some – including me, many times – ask “Why would God allow horrors like (fill in the blank)?” I’ve come to think they are the “birthing pains” Jesus spoke of when talking to the disciples about difficult times to come. Individually, when we go through the pains, we are somehow born into a higher understanding, a fuller spirit. As a race, I believe the wars, greed, etc. will somehow be used through evolution (God’s creation tool) to move us toward birth into a new Heaven and Earth.

    Fran, you have such a wonderful spirit that I just know that you and Jim will be more than OK – you will be changed in a wonderful way! My prayers continue for you both.

    P.S. I cry in church, too!!! I think it’s just the love and divine truth that’s so palpable in a church. The Spirit fills the place and His people sing hallelujah! And cry!

    1. These are comforting words, Sherri, and I appreciate them greatly. I’ve come to realize that what is scariest is the prospect of us both changing. It’s human nature to want to cling on to what you are–leaving some of yourself behind is unsettling. I have wondered, too, about why bad things happen. We were happy to hear that Jim’s cancer hadn’t spread to any internal organs, but what about the other people we have seen at the oncologist’s office who obviously are terribly sick and haven’t gotten good news? I’m not sure I believe in a God who saves us from calamity, but as one who abides with us during. Fran

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s