One of the truly marvelous things about this journey called cancer is that God always seems to give me exactly what I need at the exact moment I need it. These little God gifts always arrive just on time – never too early, never too late – but just like Papa Bear’s porridge, it’s just right! This morning, what I needed most arrived in the form of a timely phone call from my youngest brother Michael.
A phone call is such a seemingly simple, normal part of everyday life and yet this morning, it was a life line – a touch, a contact, a connection. Just a phone call? This morning, the phone call was everything.
You see the truth is that as strange as it may sound, the drive to chemo is the hardest part of the journey for me. I know – I’m a total weenie. Nausea – no problem. Me and ginger root tea are best friends. Diarrhea – temporary and there’s always Imodium and cheese – lots of cheese! Fatigue – always loved taking a nap and I give my body permission to sleep when it needs it. The result is that today was my ninth chemo and the doctor says I’m doing amazingly (yes – AMAZINGLY) well. And, it’s true. I am doing really, really well and look like the poster child for breast cancer. When I tell you that I’m doing great, I mean that sincerely – I’m doing GREAT!
But, the drive to chemo, now, that’s the real challenge. It’s 40 miles from the house to the infusion lab. That gives me a lot of time alone. Sometimes, that’s a good thing. I pray, I center myself, I ready for the battle. Other days, not so much. Some days, I’m just simply lonely. As the oldest child of a herd (we’re cattle ranchers so I think we were a herd), I’m used to a puppy pile. Unfortunately, you can’t take the party with you to chemo. It can be a lonely time. Most days, it’s no problem. But, some days, the only thing I want to do when the alarm goes off is crawl back under the covers to the comfort and safety of Cotton’s arms and pretend that life is like it was before when there was no cancer, no chemo, no worries about insurance and payments, treatments, looming surgeries, radiation, and bad breast cancer genes. Today was one of those days and while I was doing what I always do, making a choice to fight and acting on it, I admit to being a bit blue on the drive in to the infusion lab.
So, I’m blue (probably because I haven’t had enough sleep or perhaps because the MS is flaring or perhaps I’m simply having a pity party). The reason doesn’t really matter, it was what it was. Stage right: enter Michael. The phone rings and I’m delivered a little God gift right on time – Michael. The Mikester (or Uncle Dude as the nieces and nephews call him) is the youngest of my brothers. He and I are a great deal alike in temperament and get alone great. The only thing wrong is that he lives in New Mexico and we don’t get to see each other very often. He was on his way in to an early morning meeting and just thought he’d check in and see how things were going.
Happenstance? Good luck? Great timing? Chance? Serendipity? The universe lining up the stars? A blessing. A little God gift. It doesn’t matter what name you give it, the result was the same. What I needed most in that moment was a connection to family, to life, to joy, to love. And, rush hour traffic or not, I received exactly what I needed in the form of a phone call from my baby brother. His call pushed the reset buttons on my emotion meter back to normal. Now, I was ready.
Today is Thursday. Today is chemo. I am a girl and girl’s fight dirty. I’m fighting – and winning. Phone call over. Emotion meter reset. Fight meter on full power. Full-kick-cancer-butt-mode-engaged. Choice made. Peace found. Smile (genuine) on my face. I love to win. I got on with the business of stomping the little green snakes (con mucho gusto!) that are cancer into oblivion and sending them back to hell where they belong. I’m the big sister and my brothers taught me not to pull punches and so I don’t. Like I said, girl’s fight dirty. I can play mean too. Next week, I’ll push the reset button sooner.
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:28-34
© 2013 Mary Kyle. All rights reserved.