Friday, December 28, 2007

Chemo, Cancer, and the Mystery of Time

When I heard cancer, time was one of the first things that occurred to me. I'm not young, and time did not lay like an endless expanse before me, but suddenly I realized just how limited time might be. I looked at things when my wife and I went on vacation, and asked myself, "will I ever see this again?" The one thing we never want to consider, running out of time, forced itself to the forefront. In my regular life, as with all of us, there never seems to be enough time to get done what needs doing. I press to get things done at work, I press to get things done at home, struggling with time. When I went for my first chemo treatment, however, I got an unexpected gift, time. There I was, IV in place, sitting in my recliner, with absolutely nowhere to go, with no pressing demand that I do anything, just sit there. All the time I had wanted to read, to study, to pray, there it was, placed in front of me like a Christmas package wrapped in a nice IV tube bow. Chemo can be a long, hard day. It can be tedious, it can be BORING, it can be nerve-wracking. Or, perhaps it's a chance to stop, escape from the world for a few hours and look for me. Maybe by looking for me, and at me, I can catch a glimpse of the One whose gift this time is.
St. Peregrine,
pray for us.
Deacon John
Feast of the Holy Innocents
Dec. 28, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Me and Poindexter

Just a few months ago, I noticed a lump growing on my sternum. It was small, unremarkable, and I thought that at my next Doctor's visit I should have her look at it. Then, this mysterious lump took on a life of its own, growing exponentially. So maybe it couldn't wait until the next visit. After a CT scan, an MRI, and a biopsy, my doctor called me in to inform me that I have cancer. It is amazing how quickly one's life can change. With that word, cancer, nothing could ever be the same again. Yet here I am, with my invitation to this exclusive club, an invitation that apparently cannot be refused. A choice has to be made. Give in to self-pity, or fight. As a person of faith, I choose to fight. Hence the name of this post and this blog, Me and Poindexter. No offence to anyone actually named Poindexter, but I had to give this disease, this tumor a face, something I could grasp, something I could shake as I struggle with it. Why did this challenge come to me? I can't know, at least not this side of heaven. I only know that in this struggle, in this journey through cancer to, hopefully, prayerfully, remission, I can record this journey as I attempt to find God in the struggle. No doubt, my faith was challenged, but my faith remains.