Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Long and Transcendental Roller Coaster Ride of Faith, Pain, and Love

I'm tapped out. I can't make adult conversation anymore.

So many different things this week ...

We went to Clinic on Tuesday, to be admitted to the hospital for a 6 day chemo. While there, at the suggestion of several of youse guys, I presented our Nurse Practitioner with a letter detailing our experience in the Emergency Room.

Apparently, this letter was shared in a big meeting, because over here in the hospital, both the hospital nurse practioner and a TPN nurse indicated that they'd heard it. So, it apparently got attention. That's good, and y'all were right to urge me to do it.

Tuesday night, watched the debate. And forget my former suggestion. I think, instead, that candidates should have to play the drinking game during the debate. By the end of the debate, they'll either have learned not to use canned terms, or they'll be falling down drunk. Either way, we win.

I'd been feeling pretty discouraged about church and ministry and the financial meltdown certainly didn't help that, the idea of spending thousands of dollars for seminary ...

... and then I had Wednesday.

In a weird convergence of the universe, I wound up having two HUGE conversations that include a lot about religion, with strangers -- a nurse and an art therapist. With them asking numerous questions about UU. Normally, I could go a year without that happening. Two in one day.

Both are fascinating women, with interesting life experiences. I am left with an old familiar feeling, that excitement I get -- People are so cool! I like people, with their different stories and different experiences. I'm not sure what it means, but suddenly, I can't wait to sign up for classes in the spring.

And the rest of the week ... up, down, up, down. Walking the halls, I pass a mother who has come out of her child's room looking frantic. "Is the priest here yet?" she asks the nurse.

Yes. What you think that means is what it means.

The BFF-DRE visits, bringing lamb beanie babies from her church. The three of us walk around the floor, knocking on doors and asking if there's anyone inside who would like a little lamb. LW holds up the beanie so they know we're not offering a gyro. It fills my heart, seeing how much LW loves giving these away. Even though I live in this world, I find myself on the edge of tears several times, like when she gives a lamb to a cute little pre-teen, who then offers her a set of sparkly bracelets. It's wonderful, and healing.

Last night, I get an email. A Wilms' family that we're close to has received bad news. The cancer has come back. This is the third time to face the beast. The doctor doesn't know what to do next.

And selfishly ... she did the same regimen that LW is on right now.

Today, we go down to the playroom. There is a group there from GE, helping patients make sock puppets, and serving a BBQ lunch. I am so touched that these people, these corporate folks, are giving up their Saturday for this.

LW has a good time, but mad when we have to go back to our room for chemo. Helping her onto her bed, she suddenly explodes with hurt and fury. I try to make out why. "What hurts, what's wrong?" She pulls herself together long enough to blurt out, "Cancer isn't OVER!!!"

Oh, babe.

She naps on me. The cool nurse from the other day is back. Her parents live in Galveston and just lost everything. Everything. Right after the storm, when they let folks back in, she had gone to help them clean out their house. A car pulled up to their driveway and a young man, just graduated from a school in Illinois, gets out. Joshua Perkins. She laughed and said he looked like Jesus -- kinda straggly hair, beard. He saw the news about Ike and felt compelled to come help. He only had $150 dollars, he said, but he stopped by his church and they gave him $500 for his expenses.

He said he came looking to help. M said that he worked his butt off for two days. He made miracles, cleaning up their yard, cleaning out their garage. They offered him meals. He politely said, No, he had a sandwich in his car. M offered him $100. He declined. She told him to take it to his church. No, he said, they had plenty of money. He said that if she was bound and determined to give it away, to give it to her neighbors. She did, in his honor.

Tomorrow, we get to go home. Only one more time after this, of packing up and going home.

Knock wood. Please God. ThankyoooJeeezus.


ms. kitty said...

We never know when a miracle is going to come, do we? Maybe your next one is on its way. But whatever happens, it's all a miracle. Thanks for letting us know how its going. We love you and Little Warrior.

plaidshoes said...

What a week. I am knocking on all the wood I can find for LW and you!

jbgrinch said...

it is a hard time and I cant even begin to talk about all that is going on in the world and no one should go thru all of this like you have. my prayers are with you and I just wish I could do more

uuMomma said...

Ah, LE. It seems so pointless for me to say it, but I will: I'm holding you all in my thoughts. And your nurse and her family--and the embodiment of what I think is the spirit of Jesus, who showed up to help them.

P.S. Youngest daughter and I watched your latest video of LW handing out lambs. "Oh, she's so cute," said 10-year-old, who then handed me a Kleenex to wipe my eyes.