From my last post: “… But I want that chemo to kill more of the cancer … and I need to get in to see my oncologist before they will schedule me for more. I was feeling a bit frustrated that the long week-end delayed my regularly scheduled Tuesday chemo date, and now I’m chomping at the bit to get back on track! (… and desperately trying to not succumb to the control-freak part of my nature!)” Note: I was initially expecting to start my fourth cycle of chemo on February 18th, but I’m still waiting.
Here’s a question I’m pondering in the middle of the night here: Does lying awake in bed developing strategic plans for advocating for myself to get a chemo appointment *necessarily* define me as a control-freak?
I left multiple messages with the phone systems in both my oncologist’s office and chemotherapy booking on Monday, then again on Tuesday, and I’m feeling frustrated that no one has returned any of my calls. Not even a “Sorry you got the wrong number,” reply or, “We’re really busy but we’re working on it because we know this is important to you,” or, “We’ve got your messages, and if you’d please stop calling we’d have time to actually book you an appointment!” Nothing. So when I woke up with my mind racing, I eventually decided to come downstairs in the middle of the night and leave more messages. Sometimes action helps. If I don’t hear back by 9:30 am, I plan to go in person to the chemo scheduling office and see if I can talk to an actual person. If that doesn’t work, we plan to contact some of the people we know who can help us navigate the system.
Sometimes action helps, but my mind is still racing. Those of you who think I’m so full of faith, remember this moment! There’s a great verse in Philippians (4:6,7) which is much easier to memorize than to consistently live: Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. I was praying on Monday and I felt peace. I was praying on Tuesday and I felt peace. Here and now, in the middle of the night, my mind is racing and although I’m trying to pray, I’m not really feeling the peace!
Time for a new strategic planning session! Warm milk. A couple of Psalms. Asking God to help schedule the chemo (again), find things to be thankful for as I ask. I go to the cupboard for a mug, and the one right in front is a gift from a former student leader who was visiting town this summer. It reads, “Faith is not knowing what the future holds but knowing who holds the future”. (Insert thankful smilie emoticon here!) I’m now sipping from it – good plan! Now I’ve read Psalm 34 (one of my many favourites) I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. … I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. … good Psalm, good plan. As I read it, I could feel my fear and stress starting to melt and my world getting a bit bigger. There may possibly be more in the universe than my next chemo. I’m sorry for my narrow-minded control-freaking focus on that one thing. I thank God for many of the kindnesses of family, friends, acquaintances and strangers, and I thank Him for many of his good gifts to us. This is helping. This is helping me to remember what is true and real. “…though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the LORD holds us by the hand.” (Psalm 37:24) I thank God that I had peace and trust earlier that He
was is ultimately in charge of my chemo schedule and would will take care of me. I go back and edit that last sentence, thanking God again! I edit again to, “… and you are taking care of me.” Psalm 38:9 & 22 read, “O Lord, all my longing is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you. Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.” Psalm 40:17 says, “As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.” I keep reading, and so many verses jump off the pages at me. I should not be surprised that this happens: it has happened so many times before. I am thankful. Not fully filled with peace, but I think I’ll keep reading and praying and sipping … my “cup” doesn’t feel like it’s overflowing yet, but the peace is growing, my mind is slowing down, and I think it’s nearly time to brush my teeth and head back to bed …
… and if I don’t hear back by
9:30 9:00 am, I plan to go in person to the chemotherapy booking office at the hospital and try to talk with an actual person!