Monday, November 17, 2008

God says, ha!

I'm in the commuter lounge at school, re-reading a field ed journal posting and looking at my instructor's feedback (just e-mailed to me). At the same time, I'm chatting on Facebook with a friend about melanoma, interferon, and research.

The field ed assignment was about how wounds and scars transform our ministry. I read my own writing: "I'm past my medical crisis." Flip windows to Facebook, where my friend has written: "The studies I've read... show a 10-15% decreased risk of re-occurrence in people who take interferon."

And I'm sitting here barely breathing. She's a kind person. She meant to be reassuring. But the numbers still freeze me.

Truly, I can never be as afraid again, as I was between April and mid-summer. I know rationally, I survived and I am surviving and I will survive. I have no control over whether the cancer comes back, despite the treatment. I was mortally afraid, and I made it through. I know that nothing can ever defeat me again. I am stronger than I ever had imagined. God and community have always been with me.

But can I still be blindsided by a number? Hell yes. I'm "past my medical crisis" in the sense that I survived the tumor, and am surviving the treatment. In some ways, I am more whole than I've ever been. But I am not healed, truly. I have more work to do.

In that flash of fear, though, I know I love this life.

To Paul: thank you for comments below.

To Margaret: If I only had pictures! I'll send you some of Dymphna when they arrive. Suffice it to say for now: my rector was Sister Heada Lettuce. :-)

1 comment:

Mimi said...

Those numbers never remove themselves from your head, I know.