Sometime this past Thursday, I was awakened by my iPhone email notification going off. It was 8:30, but I was unclear if that was morning or evening. The phone said I had 58 unread emails, which seemed like a lot for overnight. One of them was from my backup service saying that my MacBook Pro has not been backed up in three days.
I immediately thought that the service had been down for three days and that I needed to call them. Then I looked more closely at the time. It was 8:30pm Thursday, and I had been asleep (Betsy did force some water down me a few times) for 3 days!
I vaguely remember back spasms that made me want to die. Dragging myself through the house looking for pain relievers is also a memory I have. With nothing working, I finally found my secret stash of Morphine.
It was expired, but just like in a war movie, 10 seconds after I took it, I was in my mother’s arms (well, that’s not really good imagery for me, so let’s just say I was gone to the world).
I did see my dead grandfather descend down a flight of stairs to me, so that was cool, but he faded away before he could speak to me. Bummer. Dead people need to speak. They need to say things. There is so much I want to know!
Going on 6 days of hardly anything but sleep, you would think I would be bounding out of bed, proclaiming chemo to be my new best friend. Instead, I am exhausted, barely able to put one foot in front of the other, and ready to get back into bed again.
I do get up now because Betsy insists on it. She likes it better when I throw up in the toilet rather than in the bed. Yes, gastrointestinal issues are the new order of the day.
So are you feeling any better at all, Ed? Actually, I feel worse. There’s the cancer and the chemo. The chemo is supposed to make me hurt less from the cancer. Instead, at this point in time, the chemo has not reduced my pain at all. It just makes me think that Jesus couldn’t come back to earth soon enough to get me out of here.
Tomorrow at 2:30pm, because the chemo has so crashed by blood counts, they want me to start 3x/week injections of Procrit – an artificial way of keeping my counts up. The side effects, let’s just say, will not enhance my quality of life.
Instead, I will be screaming and throwing things at my oncologist. We will meet in the parking lot to reduce property damage. I am seriously pissed. He has now fooled me twice with the siren song of chemo.
And what is this damned port doing in my chest? When did that happen – again?
How have you even survived this week, Ed?
Betsy wasn’t sure I was going to. Besides that, drugs, and a comment to my blog. When I woke up on Thursday, feeling weak, sick and miserable, I got an email that a new comment had been posted to my blog:
This is from a student I used to teach when she was in high school. Every time I would wake up, I would grab my phone, read this comment, and weep deeply as the truth of these words dug into my soul. They are true – more true than the week from hell I have just gone through. More true than any of our suffering.
This dear young woman was sent by God to sustain me. The student is now the teacher. This, too, made me weep.
Her heart, her reminder, her faithfulness made the air of my sickroom crackle with electricity over and over again. Suddenly, God was present to me there.
He came in the form of a former student with a tender heart who reminded me of good news of great joy. “This is important, Mr. Hague. Nothing is wasted.”
Suddenly, everything was okay again.
“And all shall be well. And all shall be well.
And all manner of things shall be exceeding well.”
― Julian of Norwich
P.S. Did Christmas just happen or was that the 4th of July? Did I get you a gift?