Today marked my last day of radiation. I was more emotional than I thought I would be, but then again, I have been through a lot in the last eight months. My body has endured quite a few obstacles, this being another one.
Yesterday, I met with my radiation oncologist and she took a look at my skin…she was very impressed by how well it held up. Then I asked, “So how do we know if the radiation worked?” And she simply responded with, “Well time will tell, there is no way to measure that.” That was hard to grasp. It is so easy for us humans to constantly want to measure things in life…we need tangible evidence, right? For me I was dumbfounded that after the physicist would perfectly plan lasers for my anatomy, after the radiation penetrated my skin and 28 treatments later there was absolutely no way to tangibly measure how well the therapy worked. (???)
My oncologist said that my goal was to get to the five year mark, then at that point I should be considered “cured”… well that would be May 24, 2022.
As I left the office, yesterday I couldn’t help thinking that this entire battle is a total crapshoot. I got cancer and was shuffled down this hall of Western Medicine experts and now being 3/5 of the way through I am told by one doctor that she won’t order routine scans to see if I have additional cancer anymore because they will give me cancer. Another doctor tells me that there is no way to measure how well the radiation therapy worked.
So really what I have is a bucket full of hope. This entire road is about hope. Hope that the cancer didnt’t spread, hope that the chemo works, hope that the cancer is removed, hope that radiation works, hope that the cancer doesn’t return… hope that God has a bigger plan for me here…just a bunch of hope.
Or is it “just a bunch of hope” or is it about faith? It is so easy to let the fear take over. It is so easy to get overwhelmed by all the information, the recommended treatment plan, by all the opinions, by the uncertainty. It can drive you crazy. It is just too much. I could feel it swallowing me up, and I was desperately reaching out to be saved. My faith is what saved me. Jesus and his incredible love, his bigger plan for me, his promise to carry me into paradise whenever that time draws near. This promise gave my soul peace.
I will continue to fill my bucket full of hope and faith, I will continue to do all that I can on earth, but I refuse to let it all overwhelm me or take away my joy.