CT Scan

Tomorrow morning I have a CT Scan scheduled. I’ve started realizing this week that I’m a bit nervous about it. It’s not that I’m nervous about the procedure itself: I’ve been through it multiple times and it’s no big deal. It takes a few weeks to get the results, and I’m not really nervous about that either.

We’ve been changing up the dose of the chemotherapy drug I’m taking to try to get the most we can out of it with the fewest side effects. The normal dose is two pills per day, but that was really hard on my body so we decreased it back around September or October to 5 pills per week. In January we learned that this was not enough to effectively fight the cancer, so we increased to 7 pills each week, then to 9. I’m thankful that the side effects have not been too harsh. I’m noticing improvements in my health, so I expect the CT scan will show the same thing – not really nervous about that.

It’s strange what we find ourselves feeling nervous about: often uncertainty and the unknowns are the hardest. In this case, it’s probably not a big thing at all. I’m nervous about having an allergic reaction. They ask you to wait after a scan in case you react to whatever it is they insert into you for the scan. After my last CT scan, I noticed red bumps on my arm forming around where the needle had been inserted just as my “waiting period” was about to end. They were quite itchy, but the main problem was rather petty: it was well past my bedtime, I was tired and wanting to go home to my bed, but the nurse told me I would have to wait around an extra half hour or more in case the reaction got worse. It was also complicated because the doctor initially thought it might not be wise for me to drive myself home afterwards and it was late and I didn’t want to hassle anyone to come get me. I called Jono to update him, and then the man who had been sitting across from me kindly offered to drive me home. He was really lovely, telling me that his wife was also here and it would be no problem for them. Over and over I am blessed by the kindness of strangers! In the end, the bumps and itchiness faded and I was fine to drive home.

So tomorrow morning, I’m supposed to tell the nurse that I had an allergic reaction the previous time. They should inject something into my body to help it not react, and flush it out afterwards, and it should all be fine. But I find myself wondering if it will all go well, and that uncertainty has popped into my head a few too many times this week. I was starting to think about asking someone to come with me, because the right company can make a huge difference. But what I’ve seen from previous CT scans is that they don’t let friends/family go to the inner waiting room where you wait for most of the time, so I’m not sure what value that would serve anyway.

The past few weeks we’ve been praying for a friend who is having unusual symptoms and going through testing. The other day his wife mentioned that he’d have a CT scan on Friday. We’d been hoping to get together once the busyness of this season settled down, and I suddenly had a crazy thought, so I asked and – would you believe it – his scan is at the same place as mine, right after me! What a great scheduling gift! So if all goes well, I will get to see these dear people and have someone I know with me in the inner waiting room. God is good!

If you’re a praying person, please do pray for me tomorrow morning … and would you please also pray for these friends and their family who are bravely holding onto Jesus in this time of testing and uncertainty. Thank you!

No more time for procrastination


The day before yesterday, my closet collapsed. When we had our house renovated a decade ago, workers attached a thin piece of wood to the walls to support the bar and shelf in each closet. Obviously the way they connected the support wood to the closet walls (glue and the occasional thin nail) was woefully inadequate!

I’m not a handy person, and I don’t know how closets are meant to be built, but clearly something went wrong here and someone needs to fix it! In spite of my lack of ability, these kinds of jobs typically fall to me. It’s been a busy couple of days, and today it’s in my schedule to try to fix the closet.

So I decided to take a picture of the closet. And write a post on facebook. And update my blog. And when I was starting to run out of helpful procrastination ideas, the phone rang, and rang! The nurse came to check how I’m doing, and I seem to be doing well. We had a lovely chat. But now it’s afternoon and my closet still looks like it did the other day, with pants and sweaters stacked somewhat neatly on the floor, and everything else slumped over. Ugh.

So I think again about how to tackle the job, and the particular things I need to gather and do. I am thankful this didn’t happen last year, because I wouldn’t have been up to fixing it then. I’m not sure I’m up for fixing it now. I have such limited energy and strength.

What’s strange is how tired I am getting by thinking about little details like wondering how many screws I should put through the support wood into studs in the wall. And how long should they be? Oh yes, and I’ll have to take the battery out of the metronome so I can use it in the stud finder. Time for a cup of tea!

It occurs to me that today I’m exceptionally skilled at procrastinating. Now I think I should figure out why that is, and what my particular triggers are. I reflect on that a while. I’m tempted to sit here and reflect some more, and perhaps make up lists and draw diagrams.

But in the midst of all my fatigue and desire to sit (with my feet up to help reduce swelling) and sip my tea, there’s this growing thought within me – like the background music in a movie that suddenly catches my attention.

… and I want this job finished, and therefore I must start it! I’m feeling nervous though. What if I can’t do it? What if I do it wrong? What if I put all my energy into this and only get it partly done and then have no energy left for my kids tonight? What are we having for dinner?

There is one beautiful, inescapable thought that keeps growing in my heart and mind like Spring flowers.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time and ability this past year and a half or so. How much time do I have left? What quality of time will it be? How much can I accomplish during that time? How do I decide what to do? How do I know what I have energy / ability for? How do I set my priorities and boundaries and act accordingly? How do I live well?

These are not new questions for me, but now they are more urgent, more compelling. The glorious music swells until it drowns out almost all the other distractions.

I want to have my priorities straight. I want to know who I am, what I’m called to, and I want to live accordingly. My priorities are much more about relationships and much less about things, yet closets collapse and repairs must be attempted. Closets don’t matter much, but there is a time and a place for everything.

No more time for procrastination. Today.

There is one thing, dear reader, that I really want to say to you. The thought that has crystallized spectacularly when I’ve reflected on those compelling questions. The beautiful tune I keep hearing. The flowers in the Spring. The thing I really want you to know. The thing I will say today.

We are deeply loved. Whether we procrastinate or not, whether we accomplish great things or not, we are loved. Deeply. The one who made us knows us and loves us – yes, even with all of our imperfections.  When things work out as we hoped they would, when it all comes crashing down, we are loved. Deeply loved.

The Living God knows us and loves us so much more than we can ever imagine. There is nothing we can do to gain his love because he already loves us completely, unconditionally. Even when we were enemies, Jesus lived and died and rose to life again to restore our relationship with God.

This is the foundation for living a life of love and faithfulness upon which I attempt to build. I hope that all my attempts won’t come crashing down, but even if they do, the foundation of God’s deep, strong love remains. Nothing can shake that. Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God.

I hope for you – to know the deep, deep love of Jesus, to be in close relationship with him, to live your life well.

What is your foundation? Each one of us is created unique, special, with purpose. How are you called to live a life of faithfulness? What does that look like for you, with your own special set of gifts, talents, experiences, strengths, weaknesses? What’s holding you back?

Choose well! Go for it! Today.

Love as best as you can. Pray. Focus on what really matters. Don’t let fears or inadequacies hold you back. Ask for help. Even if it collapses and you don’t know how to fix it, don’t give up. Be encouraged. Receive love. Don’t put off telling people you love them. Don’t put off love. Don’t put off reconciliation. Do it now. Do what you can while you can. None of us knows how long we have. No more time for procrastination! Today!

Heart cry

Our 8yo prays some amazing prayers from the heart. Occasionally they are startlingly brilliant and theologically astute. This one was so sweet I had to write it down:

“Dear God,

     Please heal Mommy of the cancer

        and take it out of her body

           and send it to outer space

              so that no one else can catch it.

       [Long pause]

       Except maybe astronauts who probably won’t catch it because they’re in a suit.