As of last week, I have officially completed half of all my chemotherapy treatments! 45 outta 90! Which is awesome and crazy to think and man, God is good! and man, I have so much more to go still.
The marathon is half-way over. Must keep fueling, must keep meditiating even more on grace to sustain.
It is so encouraging to be around other survivors during treatment, especially those close to you in age. The encouragement came full-force these days.
Hanging out with Jasmine and her mama reminds me that I have many others who are running this marathan alongside me, feeling the same pains of the head, pains of the heart, the ache your body has as you run, running. Our medicine is synchronized, our drips are going at the same rate, and as we are running we are connected to the poles that hold for us hope. (Which are both sustaining us and draining us in this race at the same time, how can that even be?)
Jared visits me also, fellow brother-survivor, brother in Christ. And its sadly almost like a reunion as different doctors, different nurses come in and out of the room and reconnect with Jared. The 11th floor of Nationwide Children’s Hospital is indeed a family—one that you sometimes consistently see every 3 weeks for treatment to sometimes seeing every 3, 6 months for scans, tests. No matter what the time frame or consistency is, the 11th floor will always be a part of your life for the rest of your life, a permanent destination that you return to again and again. This 11th floor is indeed home and family.
While Jasmine reminds me of the current treatment life and is my partner there, Jared reminds me of the future, the post-treatment life. The what happens after the marathon is over (this marathon will one day be over?) and yet so strange, post-life has its own sets of questions, thoughts, doubts, fears, excitements too and a lull that seems to continuously bring you back mentally to the 11th floor, even when you don’t have to physically be there. And yet, he brings still the Hope of The After. I can’t help but smile and watch as he goes to school, continues to follow to the Lord, build new relationships, goes on interviews…this is life and we are able to discuss the trials that come with that too as well as the joys. His life comforts and encourages and refreshes my own life here as I receive chemo that wants to drain life from me. So wonderful how God uses each one of us to refresh us, bring life to one another. For the Spirit-rivers inside of us are rush, rushing outward, out to seek and renew one another in love—john 7.37-39
I pray he only has to return to the 11th floor to visit me, and that I will never have to come to visit him one day.
What does chemo brain feel like?
It feels like when you have an eye glasses prescription changed, and you put them on, and its strong, too strong. Everything in sight seems overly sharp. And then there is that silent headache, that buzz you feel that is slightly annoying but not too annoying or worrisome to make you go get an advil.
Oh yes, chemo brain changes your vision.
2 corinthians 4
6 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
My eyes want to fixate on the seen. As does my brain. Look and see.
My eyes see clearly around me the chemotherapy, the nurses, and I want to focus on only these temporary things. They do not seems as if they will vanish anytime soon (brain reminds me: yes, you still have 45 more.) I can see that I am outwardly wasting away so clearly (my skin is paler, my lips a lighter pink, the hair still falling) and the inward-heart-character is so hard to detect and notice. Is anything really happening, really changing there? I sometimes believe I am still in the same place, or am returning back to at times the same despair as before.
My brain is short-circuiting my vision so to try to disable, to not recognize the unseen.
It is harder to see the supernatural at work in this place, and yet I desire still somewhere in my heart to try to. The invisible moments of love, of goodness working in my favor despite not deserving, the invisible rays of grace and lines connecting me to others.
Help me to see the unseen, all the moments that You are making and shaping for my benefit. I know they are there: give me the blacklight and the invisible ink written out so I can see it please within your timing.