October 13, 2009
Now that Nate has 10 radiation treatments under his belt, we’ve gotten acquainted with the 11 a.m. crowd in the waiting room. Each of us has the same time slot five days a week. Some arrive in wheelchairs and others with canes or walkers. One elderly gentleman has a gleaming cane of clear Lucite with a thick, see-through handle. Gorgeous. Another man brings a white flannel blanket, wrapping himself in its comfort as he awaits his turn on the ice-cold table. A young mom, waiting for her husband to finish treatment, brings their 4-year-old daughter with her bag of crayons and coloring books.
Creative head gear abounds, keeping bald heads warm. We see everything from baseball caps to fancy scarves, knit hats and head wraps. The waiting room is freshly decorated in dusty green with cushy seating for 32. Making sure coffee, tea and hot chocolate are available for all of us, a receptionist keeps the pots fresh with new brew. A flat-screen TV tuned to CNN reports softly, but no one is paying attention.
Looking around the room, I wonder about everyone’s story. All are fighting a battle they might not win. The bottom line is that they want to beat the greatest enemy of their lives: death.
Several precious friends of ours are praying for Nate’s complete healing from his metastasized pancreatic cancer. Although I have no doubt about God’s ability to do that, he probably won’t. And if he doesn’t, I trust he has excellent reasons. We’ve already experienced some of them as our family has drawn together and shared unnumbered blessings from each other and countless others.
I’ve polled all the friends I know whose mates have died of cancer. Some of those spouses never accepted their own mortality, even on their death beds. Others believed they would die, based on the probabilities. Which is better? Continue reading