On Tuesday, Braden and I woke at 4:30am to make the hour drive into Denver for my three month MRI, CT and blood work. Prior to scans I usually find myself in a high anxiety state, but this time was different. We drove not saying much, but I felt a calm for the day ahead. Once we arrived, we navigated our way into the basement far away from our usual spot. We eventually came upon a dark and quiet waiting room that felt almost peaceful. Once checked in the receptionist quickly whisked me away to prep for scans. Again this was out of the norm from our typical long waits. In her groggy state she led me through the winding hallways into to the changing/waiting room. Without saying much, she laid out a pair of pants and two nightgowns for me and returned to her duties back out front. As the door clicked behind her I grabbed my outfit for the next few hours and made my way into the changing room. I slid my legs into the pants that could fit five of me, put one nightgown on as a cape and the other over the front to cover the goods. Once I placed my belongings into a locker I returned back to the waiting area. There I took in all the chairs that outlined the walls of the room. As well as the two lamps that attempted to fill the large space with light. Alone in the room, I immediately thought about flipping the light switch allowing the florescent bulbs to fill the dark crevices of the room. Accompanying that thought was to turn on the tv so the quietness wouldn't be so loud. But as I sat there for a moment, noticing that even the hallways seemed empty, I felt a sense of comfort. In such an isolated space, I felt like I wasn't alone and that I was safe. Before much more could cross my mind a nurse swept me away to get an IV placed. I quickly informed her that I was a hard stick and nurses often had to use an ultrasound to get the needle into my vein. Unfortunately my veins are tiny and roll - add in my low blood pressure and the fact that I am always running cold - I quickly become a pin cushion. With the smell of disinfectant still in the air she asked me to take a deep breath. Right away I heard her groan out of frustration and the search for the vein commenced. In typical fashion, I became a two nurse job. A familiar woman, by the name of Deb, accompanied the vein search party. After saying hello and letting her know she was my nurse last visit she began her attempts. Within five minutes she was able to switch arms and use the ultrasound to get an IV placed. As we waited together for the next nurse to shuffle me to my next room I got to know Deb a little more. She asked questions about why I was there and shared stories of her family. Before long the next woman arrived and was ready to show me to the CT scan. I said goodbye and thank you to Deb and without hesitation she reached out to gave me a hug. Now I am a hugger and so this action typically never throws me off. This time, however, the gesture lingered with me.
The rest of my time in the basement was smooth and in some ways relaxing. In fact, during my MRI I came close to falling asleep. Now if you know anything about MRI's, you know that is pretty impressive. With ear plugs in and what are essentially ear muffs the sound of the machine can still be heard. Plus the table you are laying on shakes and a cage is placed over your face before you are inserted into the machine. Despite all of this I found myself dozing off, but trying to stay awake out of fear of moving.
A few hours later, we were waiting for the doctor to hear the results. As my doctor walked in, without waiting, he let me know that I was boring. The only person I hope to say those words is my Oncologist. He proceed to let me know that there was no progression and everything looked very similar to last time. The treatment will continue as is and he will see me in another 3 months. There is always a weight that is lifted in those words, but if I am being completely honest it is never as much as I want it to be.
Looking back on the day and reflecting I have been able to see the work of God. How He was with me that day in the dark basement. How He was the light in the darkness - surrounding me with love like the hug of Deb and lulling me to sleep like a child being rocked in my MRI machine. He even kept me busy before and after my scans to prevent the anxiety from setting in. I think one of my favorite things will always be looking back and seeing how God did work in my life. This is one of the many reasons why I love journaling. It allows me to stop and think on things that I would normally not address. While I still carry a weight around with me daily, I know God is doing work there. One day I will no longer feel it. Not because it has been lifted off of me, for I will always have cancer, but because he has made me strong enough to not notice its weight. Thank you for all the continued prayers and know they are being heard!