Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Scan Bites the Dust

Mom's PET scan last week came back "clean." But instead of coming back in 6 months like Dr. S. said we would do 3 months ago, she wants Mom to get another one in December, 3 months away. I'm pretty sure she's just being cautious becuase of a few other health risks, but it's still a little disappointing.

I wonder what Dr. S.'s other patients in the waiting room think of us when we hang out. We're used to being the last name called because Mom doesn't have any sort of emergency situation going on. So I take my laptop, and we surf the Interwebs in search of humor. Here we are, surrounded by the sick and dying, people who can't walk and who have no hair, huddled in blankets because their bodies can't keep their own warmth. We can empathize as Mom has been wheeled into that office several times without the strength to walk in. We sit literally in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

And we're hooting it up. I guess we honestly fear no evil. I never realized that until I sat down to write this post.

God gives us mirth for so many reasons, but right now I'm most thankful for the comfort of it. Like laughing out loud in a dark alley to scare the bad spirits away, hearing Mom's laughter while we sit in such a dismal spot in life means so much. It lifts our spirits, and if somebody's sitting close to us, we'll turn the computer around to spread the smiles. Usually it starts a conversation, and here we sit, talking to complete strangers to whom we are deeply bonded by the lowest common demoninator of cancer.

Mom tried to do this last PET scan without an Ambien, Adavan, or any other "nerve pill," but it was really hard. She found herself apologizing to the nurse, saying, "I thought after a dozen of these, I would be used to them by now." The sweet nurse replied, "Oh honey, you never get used to this."

And it's true. The cancer road is one to which I thought I would become accustomed, like how you doze off on a long car ride. But after four years I'm still not used to it. I still get that bad thrill of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. I still get nervous and itchy. I still have sad days, grumpy days, and days where I don't want to get out of bed. And I'm just a lowly caregiver.

But God gives us strength in each other and in our laughter. We literally giggle in the face of death. It reminds me of Psalm 126:2: Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing, then said they among the heathen, the Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord HAS done great things for us: He has provided Mom with the best health care around. He has given us friends, family, connections, and support. He has given us each other for a little while longer.

And He has given us laughter.

Photo courtesy of icanhascheezburger.


L said...

We'll be praying for equally good results in December. I know your mom is thankful for your upbeat attitude. We're all given a purpose in life. You're definitely fulfilling an important, but not easy role right now. If I was in the waiting room, my day would surely be brightened by a fun redhead finding & sharing humor.


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