Yesterday was surreal.
We arrived at the hospital at 7:45am for Chemo Orientation where we spent an hour trying to hear and process the risks, side effects, and hopes about the chemicals that were about to be administered to my husband’s body. With questions still swirling and anxiety building, we walked into the chemo room (cue visions of season 4 of Parenthood)
The chemo room is a large room with 30 hospital versions of La-Z Boys (envision a dentist chair that reclines and retracts) each with their own IV machine and a visitor chair. Studies have shown that folks heal better in community, so the room is open. Everyone can see each other.
I’m sure I stared. I stared at the man to my left who was thin as a rail and aged by pain. I stared at the woman to my right whose skin was a hue that no human skin should be. But I wasn’t the only one staring. They stared at us, too. They stared at Adam’s full head of hair and lumberjack beard, they stared at how young we are, they stared as we cried when they administered the first bag of chemo. We all stared at each other. We talked a little, but it’s hard to make small talk when you know already the hardest thing about someone’s life just because you’re all in the same room together.
We spent the next 8 hours watching bags of clear liquids drip into Adam’s body slowly, methodically, almost rhythmically. His IV machine makes a whirring, ticking noise that almost lulled me to calm, until I remembered that very machine was administering poison into my husband’s body.
I spent the day staring at the poison they were infusing into his body with equal parts hatred and gratitude.
Day 1 was long, scary, and perhaps not quite as terrible as I envisioned it might be. Day 1 is in the books, we have started the journey.
For those who want to envision the journey:
Adam’s chemo will be administered in 3 week cycles.
Week 1: 40 hours a week of chemo (8 hours a day for 5 days)
Week 2: 1 morning a week of chemo
Week 3: 1 morning a week of chemo
Repeat 4 times.
We thought we might feel better after day 1 after knowing what to expect. But to be honest, we still don’t know what to expect. We don’t know how Adam will feel today or tomorrow or next week or the following week. We don’t know how his body will respond to chemo, and we don’t know how the cancer will respond to chemo.
And so we continue to wait.
And as we wait, we wait on the LORD, we continue to trust Him, we continue to believe that He can heal. I’ve been reflecting on this verse this morning, and praying it for Adam.
Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.”