Words on her wall

Jan 07

Words on her wall

Last night, just as I was ready to to go bed, a message from a stranger-friend popped into my inbox.  I opened it and read an endearing message from a long-time blog-reading stranger who was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and underwent many of the same procedures and treatments last year that I did in years prior.  Before, during, and now, she’s continued to read my blog.  In her email she told me about herself and how she feels we are connected. When I read her words I realized that we are connected although we’ve never met: we both live in God’s kingdom and there’s this whole other realm that we experience together. Here’s where I was bamboozled: as she went through her own challenges last year, her mom sent her notes and quotes weekly as a means of encouragement.  Among the notes and quotes were words from my writing.  (The images below are quotes pulled from my blog.)  She chose encouraging quotes from a variety of sources, but it brought me to tears that I was one of her sources and she put such value on what little old me had to say.  My new stranger friend even snapped pictures of the quotes that her mom chose from my blog, designed, and printed for her, to show me. Do you know what a gift this was for me to see last night?  I am so humbled to have touched someone in this way.  Knowing that God has used me to make a difference — no, a positive difference — in the life of a stranger is a remarkable swell for my heart on a day that it took a hit.  I like this girl who wrote to me last night.  I want to be her real-life friend, but I’ll settle for our spiritual intimacy. That’s what’s weird about this blogging thing: it’s so one-sided.  I don’t really get to “know” very many of you in the way you know me. Words have always been powerful for me: As an athlete my coach had us lead the team by choosing empowering quotes to motivate ourselves. As a graduating teacher-to-be my portfolio sections were divided and each had a themed quote of inspiration. I’ve always had...

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An image

Jan 06

There are two nurses that administer PET scans at the hospital where I go for my scans.  I’ve lost count at the number of scans I’ve had, but I love that there are only two nurses.  The nurse takes my blood sugar to confirm I’ve fasted, and then retrieves a radioactive isotope syringe which he carries around in a lead barrel.  (I’m pretty sure this is why there are only two nurses qualified for this particular scan; I can’t imagine how many professional hoops they jumped through in order to be accredited to handle and inject nuclear material into people.)  I’ve been in to this department every 3-6 months since I was first diagnosed in 2012, and the details these nurses remember are heart-warming.  They give me an extra warm blanket upon arrival.  They know I prefer to wait in an intake room in a recliner rather than in the waiting room with trashy morning television blaring.  Once I’ve been injected with the material from the lead barrel, the protocol is that I sit and wait for one hour while the radioactive material “marinates”, for lack of a better word.  Invariably, I use a lot of that time to pray and reflect.  As with every single day of my life, I consciously remind myself not to worry.  Worrying is not productive.  Attaching more worry to things does not serve any purpose other than to darken the present moment I’m experiencing.  Thus, I enjoy my hour wait–but it is a forced enjoyment; a chosen joy.  In a way, it makes the time sweeter: I fought for it. Once an hour has passed, I use the restroom and then head to the room where the big machines are.  The nurse is fairly quiet as he knows I don’t need the rote directions he usually utters, but it’s also not a small-talk kind of time and place.  On scan days I essentially wear my most comfortable clothes because if my outfit doesn’t have metal in it, I get to wear my own clothes and skip the hospital gown.  (A component of the machine is magnetic, so metal both interferes with the images and could whip around inside the machine.)  It is a total no brainer...

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