Friday, February 27, 2009

Prayer, power, progress...

First, what was apparently my Ash Wednesday penance:

I did my monthly Kaiser run, for blood test and interferon. Blood draw was no big deal at all; it was an easy poke. (I seem to have better luck, if I warn them that I’m difficult.) But then I was stuck at the pharmacy for an hour. They had my meds—I could see them, from the waiting area—but the boxes were mislabeled, so they wouldn't release them to me. They had to wait for my oncologist to call them back.

They've been mislabeled for months. It's never been an issue. The last time anyone even mentioned it to me, it was to say, “You know what to do really, right?” I did.

I told them that I knew not to inject myself three times a day! (And if I did, I’d never get out of bed.) It’s three times a week; I’ve been doing this for seven months. I know the routine. Alas.

Met with my advisor yesterday; we checked off my cross-cultural requirement, and confirmed that I actually do get to graduate. (I’d come up in conversation in Wednesday’s faculty meeting. There was a question about a missing class, that she didn’t have a record of, and I’d forgotten I’d taken. The registrar found it.) I’d printed off my blog posts about New Orleans. I read snatches of them, and told her stories. She told me that she hopes I keep writing.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been feeling better for awhile. Physically, I still have the effects. Spiritually, I’m in a much lighter place. It’s hard to really describe—but I can carry the treatment more easily. I’m still achy and tired, but it’s much more bearable. I’m well past the halfway point; yesterday marked four months to the end of this.

That, and it’s spring, and the light’s coming back. For whatever reason, I’m feeling stronger.

There’s a core of about four faculty members, who have been in my back pocket since the day they found out I was diagnosed. (One, the day my doctor called me.) Two whom I was working with then, my advisor, and my field ed prof—who was on sabbatical last spring, but wrote me as soon as she heard. They made exceptions for me right and left, and told me they were there for me, and praying for me. They made sure I knew I could go to them.

I’m close to my advisor, and the field ed professor. Less so with the academic dean and Christian Ed professor—but they know me well, and they knew me before I had cancer. I’ve shared this journey with them, and I know that they are there. I know they support me, and they want the best for me. In that, I absolutely trust them.

I was talking with these two, after Eucharist and before dinner, confirming that I actually do get to graduate, and explaining what the mix-up was. I said, “Last spring was kind of a blur.” The academic dean rolled her eyes, answered, “Yeah. But you don’t seem blurred right now.”

I realized she was right. I was more clear-headed than I’d been since I was well.

“I’m not. Four months. I know I can do it.”

Neither had to say a word to me. Their eyes, spoke volumes.

I’m angry with the body of the faculty, for a decision they made that affects one of their colleagues, whom I dearly love. I shouldn’t say anything more about it. But when I talk to my friends about this, I’ll say, “These people (who support me) are these people (who made this choice).” I gesture with my hands, holding one on one side, one on the other. I’ll usually shrug and say, “I don’t get it.”

Last night, I had one of these exchanges. And I brought my hands together. Before my head realized it, my body was praying—for all of them.

That, also, is progress.


it's margaret said...

Amen! Damn you are good.

Kirstin said...

Thanks. I get lots of practice. And you know what you've done for me.

(As I said in my reply to Joel's e-mail about the fig leaves, you've been a "laughing, relentless pillar of fire.")