Given the protectiveness of the slower rate, I watched the clock circle its own face hour after hour and saw other patients come and go in the CHAIRS next to me. By the end of the day’s events, I had been in the office for nearly 8 full hours and my body felt weaker than any other point in my life.
Along with the ‘patience problem’, I am definitely a creature of habit, and have established steady and predictable patterns as the skeleton of most of my days and the majority of the time I try to have the flexibility to let the meat of the day vary in the details, but suffice it to say I like routine, and the routine on that day in treatment had been altered in an uncontrollable way.
As a matter of fact, my life’s routine had been altered in an uncontrollable way, so when my nurse for the day was not Lisa (my angel) and her replacement wasn't able to get my Power Port to extract blood, I started to think about life and how different my life had become in the space of 3 months and I began to cry in a rather uncontrollable manner…to my embarrassment and frustration…I could not convince my tears to stop, much like I could not convince the cancer to just miraculously leave its host.
As the tears were rolling down my face, I was directed to try a different position in my CHAIR to get the blood to flow through the port, I was asked to turn my head to the right and cough while my CHAIR was completely extended backwards. Though the new position did not help the blood flow situation it did force me to not be so focused on my own CHAIR anymore. I realized in a new way that the room was full of CHAIRS!
This was an odd thought indeed as I had seen all of those CHAIRS for each of my treatments, but today was different; those CHAIRS became symbolic of all of the lives that they had held at one time or another. I was caught up in a series of thoughts about the stories held in those CHAIRS; the tears of joy and sorrow, love solidified or dissolved, life’s dreams extinguish or enlivened, relationships gained or rocked, and ultimately LIFE saved or lost!
Suddenly, my tears dried and I took a deep breath in realizing that no one consciously chose these CHAIRS and with that thought came peace (John 14:27). There is comfort and anxiety knowing that there are things that are OUT of our control, just as there is comfort and anxiety knowing that there are things that are IN our control.
My thoughts in regards to the CHAIRS we sit in did not stop with my session. The Monday that followed treatment, Denise and I went to Alpine Academy to speak with the girls who were pivotal in bringing about a successful evening for the Anything for a Friend event. These were the girls that many of you saw in the white shirts that descended on the Union Station and were found doing just about every task imaginable, from cooking and serving, to smiling and singing. They were incredible and we wanted to take a moment to share our sincere gratitude for their service.
I sat at the front of the room about to address the entire group when the idea of CHAIRS hit my mind again. I looked out on the group of my young sisters and realized that these CHAIRS also held in them stories of triumph and tragedy, love and loss, life healed or broken (Mosiah 23:21-22). And, again like the CHAIRS in the chemo room there were events in their control and things outside of their realm to change. I felt a great deal of compassion for these young girls, which lead me to talk with them about the power they do have…that we all have…the power to choose!
Pondering the concept of the power to choose, led my mind to the last group of CHAIRS that I would like to reflect on. These CHAIRS were found in an upper room at the Mount Ogden Golf Course on Saturday and were filled with some the bodies of those who made up the Organizing Committees for the Anything for a Friend event. We had pulled them together to tell them thank you and once again, I looked at the CHAIRS and reflected on the things I knew were going on in their lives, such as, crazy-busy schedules, disabled children, mental health issues, car accidents, failing marriages, and the death of loved ones.
I can truly say that I appreciate my CHAIR and the power of God because I have been able to truly appreciate the CHAIRS that others are sitting in. I hope will can all stand tall in the middle of the ‘uncontrollables’ in this life, so that we will have the courage to actively manage the things that are in our control. God bless you, whatever your current CHAIR may be and trust that Heavenly Father has a plan for you.
Love to you all,
“If we can get that witness for ourselves that we are his and that he loves us, then we can cope with and endure well whatever comes in the varied tactical situations of life. Another thing will happen: we will become much more aware of and alive to the many possibilities for doing good that are present in life’s daily situations.”
His grandma’s brought him by to see me after they were finished and I started to cry all over again as he brought a zinnia, a letter, and a cookie. He was so excited and proud and loved him so much.