I tried to write this post between 11pm-12 am last night. It ended up being a whine-fest. We got sent home yesterday morning because they were not sure when a room would be available, which was great. I can't tell you how much better it was waiting at my best friend's house, versus the clinic.
The result though, was Sophia didn't get started on fluids until 7 pm, and it took till midnight to get her hydrated enough to start chemo. Which means we will be here through tonight and leave Thursday morning, probably around shift change at 7 am.
(Generally we leave 25 hrs after we start chemo, so being here an extra 6 is incredibly frustrating, when we both just want to GO HOME.)
This process is not for the easily daunted. The level of stress and frustration is enormous. You can have a glorious day, then come here and it is a whole different planet. And that is just the way it is - no getting used to it.
For a moment, I gave up.
It is easy to cry here in the middle of the night because (unlike during the day), hordes of people are not around. You may hear from your nurse, if you are lucky, within 30 minutes of having her paged. I'm not knocking nurses, it is just a function of the floor, when people get in, when meds start, etc.
I had had it. I felt like we'd been given the raw end of the stick again and mostly forgotten by God. My Savior seems extremely far away at midnight. This morning isn't that much better, especially after the side effects are hitting my sweet girl really hard.
What do you do when it gets hard? It is not the time for profound theology. It is a time to pour your heart out, putting every last bit of bitterness into your tears.
That is just what I did.
When I got out my laptop to look up a verse that could possibly encourage me (and I was truly doubtful I would find one), I did a search on "hard."
One of the verses that came up was Psalm 118:5. This is David recalling one of his many low points on the run, but from a safe distance now that he is King. It was, at first, annoying to be encouraged by someone who is no longer in the depth of the night, like I was.
But then I read some commentary. When David means he cried out in distress - it literally means he was in a strait - blocked in on all sides. We like to call that between a rock and a hard place. Then I remembered what Phillip Keller describes in his exposition on Psalm 23. You see, he was an actual shepherd of sheep, which gives a whole new meaning to that Psalm. He wrote that he would sometimes find the best place to feed, water and rest them was in a valley. And those valleys were the loneliest, scariest places to be because you could be set upon by predators or swept up in a flash flood in an instant.
After chewing on this, the second part of 118:5 makes a lot more sense to me now. The Lord is truly able to set us free, when we are hemmed in on all sides. Unfortunately, what can keep us from going towards His wide open spaces is our own baggage.
For me, that's stress. It is the expectations of how our day will go I cook up in my own mind. It is bitterness at others and the desire to pull away, not engage or just flat out be bitchy because I don't feel like dealing with people. I am certainly no saint because I have a suspicion that saints embrace where God sent them with open abandon. I am much more like Jonah at the moment, in Nineveh.
I have a hard time, still, accepting that we are here in Cancer Land - truly the last place I want to be.
I was able to sleep after Sophia finished her chemo, about 1:30 am. I continue to meditate on this idea, that The Lord is beckoning me, so I gotta give up what weighs me down to squeeze through.
Even after a rough morning following a rough night, I haven't completely acted - although I have said yes to putting this mess down. Just taking me awhile to pry my hands off the bags.
But I know, at least, that He is here - in the midst of our valley - rather than leaving me to my misery. That in itself is a comfort.