It’s week six of my radiation treatment. Twenty five sessions complete with only 13 remaining. That 25 done is a milestone. And right after it was done, I realized – or is it remembered – something from several years ago. Both feel like a gift from God.
It was kind of a double-wow day.
More than two, really. But they came from two things. As the title shows, one was the milestone I reached. And the other was something I realized just after the treatment. Then, the remembrance happened after I got home.
Of course, those aren’t the big tbhings. The big thing is that they are a gift from God.
And as we’ll see, the gift giving started a number of years ago. It wasn’t good at the time. As often happens, we wonder why God does things/allows things to happen. Later, if we’re paying attention and listening, oftentimes we will find out why. And then come to understand that God can and does turn around bad events to be good for us.
Radiation treatment week 6 – A milestone
What was the milestone? Is there something magic about the 25th radiation treatment?
Well, it’s not the number 25. Rather, it’s a function of the treatment plan.
In an earlier segment of this series, I wrote about how I don’t like to know ahead of time what’s going to happen or all the various things that might go wrong or the side effects that might come up. As a Christian, I’ve come to appreciate the reality behind praying to God for something.
For instance, in this case, we pray for the doctors. That God will give them the wisdom to do the right things during the surgery and stuff like that. I always include the nurses and the rest of my care team.
After we do that, we should, emphasis on should turn those things over to God and trust Him.
Radiation treatment week 6 – A realization
After the treatment was over, I was talking to one of the nurses. She had taken one of her dogs to the vet over the weekend. We were talking about the medical care for dogs – X-rays, blood tests, medicine and all that.
I mentioned that one of our (me and my wife) dogs had cancer. The quality of life questions came up. Some people, to me and apparently to her as well, take things too far. In an attempt to keep pets alive, people may or may not take the quality of life of the dog into consideration.
Dewey, our “4-legged kid” with cancer totally enjoyed the vast majority of his 8 months with cancer. We had discussions with the vets about his quality of life. Eventually, the cancer went to his brain – and that was the end. There’s zero quality at that point.
But up till that point, he was so popular at both the vet’s offices we went to. He totally loved it. We’d drive for almost an hour, mostly on surface streets, so he could stand at the open car window and stick his head out to smell and feel the breeze. Then he’d get some treats while waiting to be called back. Dewey would go back for his low-dose chemo and not even look back.
I asked a few times, and was finally able to see what the big attraction was that he was so eager to get to. Dewey was on a table covered with plush warm towels. Three people were scratching him and giving tummy rubs. The fourth was holding the IV needle with the chemo. This usually went on for 30 to 45 minutes.
I get a warm blanket for my treatment. But no tummy rubs.
It’s important to enjoy the sessions
No tummy rubs. But they have to leave the room, so I guess that’s out. Seriously though, I wrote earlier about how much I enjoyed the time with the nurses during the first month. I’ve made the effort to try to talk to the people in the second group, here in April. Obviously, different people are different. It started off very quiet and subdued in April. But now, six days in, it’s noticeably different.
I was surprised, shocked even, at how much it affected me when there was so little conversation those first couple days in April. But now, once again, I look forward to going in to see them.
If you read the earlier segments, you know that I took the initiative to begin the conversations because of something said at the small group I’m in at church. You also know it’s not something I’m even a little comfortable doing.
Radiation treatment week 6 – Remembering
But I did. And I’m glad I did. And then, I remembered something about Dewey. Did you happen to read the inset box above? The one with the picture of Dewey? It said:
The little guy above has cancer. Came within a week or so of dying. Three weeks later, he was given an 80% chance of remission. And his attitude is one I hope I have – should something like that happen to me.
Well, it did happen to me. But, it wasn’t until I got home that I made a connection between the conversations and joking with the nurses and Dewey.
It’s been almost two years since we had to put Donnie to sleep, after a battle with kidney failure. He’s another one that totally enjoyed his almost celebrity status at the vet’s office. We’d walk in the door and the receptionist would call out to everyone in the back who could hear – “Donnie’s here!” I still haven’t been able to write about his passing. I still miss him so much.
But we do have Mikey. We love him completely as we have with all of them. Mikey’ like to polar opposite of what Donnie turned into. Both had tough beginnings. Donnie came to be with us because he bit someone in his first rescue home. Mikey took nine months to even get adopted because he bit everyone. My wife and I had to go through a 2-hour interview to prove we knew what we were getting into and could likely handle it.
Mikey’s a total couch potato and lap dog at home. Especially with me.
And that gets to my point. We had to very carefully reach out to Mikey, understanding his personality and fears as we went along.
Now, talking to nurses in the treatment room isn’t as dangerous as trying to get to know Mikey. At least, I don’t think they’d bite. But for some of us, who are afraid of people, it takes effort. And it takes trust.
But now, after looking back on so many things, I can see how, even something like 17 years ago, God brought Donnie into my life. And then after Donnie, brought Mikey into my life. And how both of them, not to mention the huge part played by my wife, got me ready to deal with my own cancer.
God does so many things for us. But do we even notice? And when we do, do we remember to give Him thanks?
I certainly think God for everything He did, and is still doing, to help me get through this.
Congratulations for reaching this milestone…you made it…and you will make it to the next milestone too..your will power and your faith has helped you so far..
I also agree with you that God has certain plans and will reveal them when one is ready. May be not all of the humankind notices the small things or how the small things play a big role in our role…but certainly some of the humankind like you notice them..and so God still has faith in humankind..
I would like to quote here Rumi.
“What you thought as the effect, is but the cause”.
Get well soon..sending my best wishes to you.