“Right now, take a breath and hold it.” Today was scan day. This afternoon I had a CT scan of my chest and an MRI of my abdomen and liver. “Official results” will be in early next week.
As I have walked this journey the past few years I have found “unofficial” markers that have given insight into how I am doing.
For example, the walk from church to our local coffee shop is uphill. When I struggle to get uphill I know things are not going well. Yesterday I walked uphill without stopping. Now, I walked very slowly, deliberately, but I did not need to stop to catch my breath. This is important because Monday was chemo treatment number nine. Nine treatments in, and I can walk up “my hill” without stopping. God is good!
Hold Your Breath
Scan days offer another chance to view one of my “unofficial” markers. During the MRI I am asked to hold my breath on multiple occasions. When first diagnosed I was unable to hold my breath the required amount of time. Each time I was asked to “hold my breath” and be still I would be forced to exhale and take a breath after only a few seconds.
As today’s test progressed it was clear I was doing better. Each time I heard, “Right now, take a breath and hold it” I was able to make it until I heard “Ok, now you can breathe.”
To be very, very, very clear. The real test results will come in a few days from now. What I am sharing with you now is purely anecdotal. Anecdotal…but encouraging.
During today’s tests God revealed something to me.
Nancy and I walked into the office and were greeted by Debbie. She knew me by name. “Hello, Rev. Nicewonger how are you doing? Good to see you again.”
A few minutes after the paperwork was completed Sue came to get me. Sue is one of the technicians who administers my tests. She knows me well by now. We talked about life and what is going on in each of our lives.
Moments after test one was completed Tom came to get me. He greeted me as a friend. Over the past few years we have come to develop a special relationship. In the few short moments we have together we share pieces of what is going on in our lives.
Once Tom has accessed my port he leads me down to the MRI machine. There was Stephanie, waiting to help complete my visit. Stephanie and I met for the first time today.
Over the past few years these people have grown to become important to me. When I see them, I am instantly at peace and know I am in good hands. They are valuable and important to me.
Their roles would be considered “support roles” when it comes to my care. The work they do supports and assists in the treatment plan Dr. Saroha and I have agreed upon.
It would be easy to focus solely on Dr. Saroha and not “see” those in support roles. I am most interested in Dr. Saroha’s interpretation of my scans. His insight and wisdom will tell me if this treatment is working.
Who do you see?
It would be easy to ignore or dismiss those in the support roles.
God’s gift to me over the past few years is that I have come to know those in the support roles as friends. They care for me. Their caring, and our time together has led us to a level of friendship most people do not have with those in such support roles.
Driving home today I could not help but wonder how many friendships I have missed because I “did not see” those who were in support roles?
The clerk at the grocery store. A custodian who moves quietly about their work each day. Your barista. A waiter or waitress who serves you a meal. The nurse who checks your blood pressure before the doctor comes in to see you. Housekeeping at your vacation hotel. A teller at your local bank.
Our list could go on forever. The world is filled with people who serve support roles. They move quietly about their business. Taking care of the job in front of them. Their efforts support our ability to move through life comfortably and with ease.
If we are not careful we can become blind to these support people. They move in and out of our day. Quietly taking care of business. The truth is they are most often noticed when something goes wrong. The waitress is slow. A mistake is made while we are checking out at the grocery store. Suddenly those who move quietly in the background become front and center in our lives.
This should not be our reality.
Moving like Jesus
Driving home I prayed for the eyes of Jesus. Help me see people as Jesus sees them. Abba Father, grant me the ears of Jesus, that I may hear people as Jesus would have.
I am hopeful my “official” test results are good.
As I move through each day, may I see, truly see and hear those who surround me.
May I learn to live more like Jesus.