Friday, December 14, 2012

Reflections from the Cancer Clinic Waiting Room

As I walk towards the door, I wonder what lies in store. 

Some say this is a lucky one. On my two hour trip to the London cancer clinic today, I listened on CBC as the hosts interviewed some giddy couples who had determined that to be married on the 12th day of the 12th month in the year 2012 was a good sign. Lucky, some said. Exciting, said others. As I glanced at my watch as it neared 12 noon, I wondered myself if this would be a good day for me, too. After all, the numbers aligned on the calendar. Would they soon align on my medical chart and would I be declared 'good to go'?

...Not much has changed here since I last paid a visit in June. Same full reception area. Same complement of medical staff and anxious patients awaiting verdicts, chemotherapy, good news...

   Just as I start thinking about how far London is from Drayton and how none of the faces look familiar, lo and behold, I spot them. A couple of Draytonites. When you bump into someone at the cancer clinic the typical Canadian greeting, how are you? seems a little more invasive than when asking the same question at Timmies or in a retail store. I was sad to hear that prostate cancer was the reason I met my neighbour there.

     Such a lesson. I may live in a small town but that doesn't mean I know everything about everybody. I'm a little sad about that, because I would love to be able to 'help' encourage and offer hope to someone travelling a similar road. And there is a tiny measure of guilt that creeps in when I hear of someone else going through cancer. I am not sure what that is; perhaps a wicked force breathing in my ear quizzing me on why I should be a survivor and someone else not...I have spoken with other cancer survivors about that, and I know it is not uncommon. When this happens I try to give it over to something positive.

     Behind closed doors lurk problems and situations; concerns and heartbreak. I suppose we can't always be privy to everything. I know that I am far from being alone on my journey. We all have different baggage but, ultimately, we all journey the same life path. Thank goodness, with Jesus as the Gatekeeper and Divine Greeter, the path - although sometimes rocky and rough, always leads to an eternal Hope and a ceaseless raison d'être.

     So when I finally get into the examination room and endure the third degree by the wonderfully, professional primary nurse, I get into my less than glamorous gown and wait. I fill my time by writing - a therapeutic and perfect way to spend an interval. Soon my oncologist appears on the scene with a student in tow. We chat. We discuss my psychological health. We weave around all sorts of words; he tells me how good my hair looks (gray and straight - is he crazy?) and we laugh when he tells his attentive student how he has seen me through all the stages of hair! I bemoan the fact that I no longer have chemo curls.

     Finally the 'cancer talk.' He asks questions. I tell him about the 'other lumps.' He checks and charts them and says they seem to be nothing to worry about. I am a lumpy person. He examines more. Then he informs me that 'I am good to go.' He wants to see me again in June. Six month protocol. They leave. I breath a sigh of relief; utter a prayer of thankfulness and dress.

     Next Tuesday is Gilles' turn. I will take my journal and the knowledge that God is in control...

In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  Thessalonians 5:18



1 comment:

Violet N. said...

This is great news Glynis! I so appreciate my health having been on this journey with you!