Got ready for this morning's treatment.
Somewhere between here and the oncologist's office, I hit an emotional speed bump and burst into tears in the car. I called a friend who reminded me that I have to leave room for these ups and downs, to allow myself to be fully human, and also suggested that I take Advil for my sore tongue. (Thanks, Karen.) Sent a few texts to another friend who promised to light candles, send ehugs, and reminded me to breathe deeply and pray for peace. (Thanks, Lisa.)
I arrived at the oncologist's office, donned my sunglasses, and went inside, hoping to hold it together long enough to sign in and get called to the back.
I listened in as a new patient signed all the paperwork and watched as she sat two chairs away from me. All I could think was: "Oh, boy. Another woman who will lose her hair and have to fight this kanswer battle. At least she's gonna see my doctor - and he's great."
She looked over at me and complimented me on my hat. I thanked her for her kind words.
She asked me if I am in treatment now; I said, "Yes."
I asked her if she is about to begin treatment.
**SHE SAID: NOPE, I'M THREE YEARS OUT FROM KANSWER, BRAIN KANSWER.
SHE ADDED: I'M NEW IN TOWN AND I'M HERE TO MEET THE BEST DOCTOR I'VE HEARD ABOUT.**
Oh my God in heaven! Oh my Sweet Momma Jesus! Oh my Holy Spirit of Wisdom!
I SOOOOOOOOOOO needed to hear that woman's words at just that moment.
If that beautiful, strong, energetic, kind woman is three years out from brain cancer,
then I can do this. I can do this. I mean, I knew I could do this.
But some days are so doggone hard that I forget that there will be an end to all of this.
Plus, I like my doctor. I think he's awesome.
This morning, I needed the perfect timing of her confirmation that I'm not the only one who thinks he is a great doctor.
Soon after she was called to see the doctor, Dorothy arrived. She is another African-American woman on this kanswer journey who also undergoes her treatments on Mondays. She said last week was a tough week for her also. She said her tongue is misbehaving also. But she laughed when I said I couldn't eat. She said she hasn't had any problems with eating; in fact, she said she wishes she couldn't eat as much as she is eating.
**THEN SHE SAID: IT'S SO GOOD TO KNOW THAT I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE FEELING THIS WAY.**
Between wiping my eyes and blowing my tender nose, I was writing all this down in my journal.
I sooooooooooo needed all this confirmation this morning.
Thanks be to God!
After waiting thirty minutes in the waiting room - I've never had to wait for an appointment before, but this morning, I needed every one of those extra minutes - one of the magnificent nurses came to get me and bring me back for treatment.
She apologized for the wait and asked how I was feeling.
I told the truth - not great.
She asked why and I told her - sore tongue, lost appetite.
Suggestions, advice, a new mouthwash, hugs, tenderness and kindness flowed in my direction.
Eat popsicles. Eat applesauce and rice and other bland stuff. Drink smoothies.
Stop eating my favorite things because of the tongue problems.
I may not go back to eating them later because of the bad associations with healing therapy.
They reminded me that I'm not used to feeling this way, so it's okay to let these days happen.
They said I need to take it easy on myself because I'm doing great.
I said, "You ladies sure know what you're talking about."
Two of them laughed and said, "Every now and then, we have a thought."
The best nurses in the world work at my oncologist's office.
As I left the office and made my way to Smoothie King for a tongue cooling, calorie-rich Island Impact smoothie, I recognized that my tears and sadness this morning were perfectly timed. In allowing myself to be fully human and unashamedly needy, I was given the help, support, and encouragement I so desperately needed.
Just before I started writing this post, I spent some time going through my email inbox. Read, discard. Read, respond. Read, discard. Somewhere between discarding emails and sipping my smoothie, a disturbing thought crossed my mind: I've got to think of something for dinner. Being that the last thing I want to do today is think about cooking, I was thrilled to come across an email reminder informing me that I had ordered food to be delivered for dinner tonight from a fabulous website called NourishCharlotte
. It will arrive sometime this afternoon.
Hallelujah!!! Glory be to the newborn king!!!
I'm basking in so many examples of perfect timing, divine timing today.
Thanks be to God!
but the community of love and support,
the convenience of making phone calls and sending out texts at desperate moments,
the knowledge that friends and family members are thinking of me, praying for me,
checking in with me and remembering me every step of the way,
the comfort and relief gained by pouring my heart out into my journal and here on the blog,
they all help make this horrendous journey a bit easier to take.
ADDENDUM: I was wrong about the food delivery. It will arrive tomorrow.
Tonight, my husband made a fantastic omelette with spinach, tomato, and parmesan cheese.
I wish I tasted more of its wonderful flavors, but I tasted enough to know it was a good one.