I arrived at the hospital in good time yesterday. It was my first visit to this particular hospital in Portsmouth where I will be receiving all the radiation treatments. It was impressive upon first sight. The staff are impressive too with their care and smiling faces that greet you whether passing in the corridor or seen to by them in the treatment room. I thanked Father for both the hospital and the medical staff.
When I stepped out of the elevator I looked for the sign that would point me to the Oncology Department. There seemed something ominous in that sign. I walked in and the large waiting room was filled with all ages of people. Some were talking quietly, some were staring at nothing, some looked sad, two ladies sat there with no hair. I tried not to stare at them but found it fascinating they hadn’t tried to cover their heads. I admired what must be two very positive ladies and prayed for continued courage and strength and joy to be with them throughout their individual ordeals. After checking in at the registration desk, I was very quickly taken back to a smaller waiting area already filled with another eight people. Everyone without exception was chatty, saying hello, asking all the introductory questions like, “Where do you live?” and “Is this your first time too?” We all discovered that it was the first time for all of us and soon realized we’ll be seeing lots of each other over the coming weeks as we’ll be going in one after the other for our radiation treatments. I have to say, I was extremely thankful for this group of people and their very unusual non-British behavior of actually talking freely to people they don’t know. (sorry, my dear British friends – you know I love you in all your reservedness:)..) I suppose in this instance there was an immediate camaraderie. I quickly discovered this was not a group of Breast Cancer only patients. In fact, I’m the only one in my group being treated for Breast Cancer. There was a man there for prostate cancer, a woman with throat cancer, another with pancreatic cancer and a woman directly opposite me with brain cancer. The woman with brain cancer told us she had been diagnosed in January and given six months to live. “Then they decided to operate even though the risk was high”, she laughed as she continued with, “I told them, with six months prognosis I couldn’t see much to lose but possibly something to gain.” She told us they were able to remove most, but not all of the tumor, and now she is having radiation treatments. “They said they can’t cure this. ” She spoke with a huge smile spread across her face. Her grey hair was shiny, her blue eyes nearly dancing as she said, “This has all just made me appreciate each day and the people in my world even more.” I thanked Father for her and her positive attitude and prayed blessings on her and the treatment to follow. As we all waited together I prayed in my heart for each one and for their families. I asked Father that through this they might discover Him and His love for them if they didn’t know that already.
When my name was called I was led into a room where I would receive a CT scan and “tattooed” to mark the place for the radiation treatments each day. The two technicians guiding me were friendly, smiling, and took care to fully explain all that was going to happen then and in the weeks to come. I find technology today in the medical field absolutely fascinating. Measurements to fit me were made, not only for the radiation beams, but also for the head and arm rests.
Once in position I was told they would leave the room but would be watching through the glass. I was to lay still for about fifteen minutes. Suddenly there was a click, click, whirrrrring sound as the table moved me into the tube of the scan. Red and green lights were flashing and gliding in a semi-circle above me. Further into the tube I went. click, click, whirrrrr. That was the moment I had to give myself a stern talking to as I firmly told myself, “The tube will not squeeze in on you; it’s all plastic and metal. You won’t suffocate, breathe normally, you won’t be trapped, breathe, breathe breathe.” To all of you, who over the years have told me what a brave and fearless woman I am, the secret is now out. I’m a bit claustrophobic, nervous of heights, and please, don’t even talk to me about my experiences of driving over bridges! :)
Needless to say, I did indeed survive the scan, didn’t come close to suffocating, and actually began to relax before it was all over. I’ve had a phone call this morning about the scan. The doctor said, “There are some places of concern in your liver. Will you come tomorrow for an ultra-sound?” So, the journey continues with another unknown something around the corner. One never knows what a day may bring forth……but Father knows and Father cares and Father always has our best interests in His own heart. That’s all we need to know as we face the unknowns in all of our days. I’ll let you know the results of the liver scan as soon as I know.
In the meantime my Mom is recovering well from the diverticulitis. She so appreciated knowing so many were praying for her. My family and I know you continue to pray for all of us. Thank you. As the lady with the brain tumor said, things like this, “makes me appreciate each day and the people in my world even more.” Thank you everyone for being “the people in my world” today. My family and I are so blessed to have you and your love and your prayers a part of our lives.