Of Ports & Pain

IMG_0360Tuesday, we once again entered the hallowed halls of the hospital. This time we were getting a port catheter put in. In the grand scheme of life this is a minor event but it’s amazing how the context of life brings about emotions and feelings you would normally not experience.
I have found in my soul there is a greater need for assurance and information. The events of the past few weeks have left me feeling weak,feeble and most of all helpless. My wife’s life is placed in the hands of doctors, nurses, medicines and even radioactive chemicals. As a pastor, I know the right answers. I understand that God has this thing tightly locked in His hands. I understand that He alone holds the keys to life and death. I even trust Him with the care for my wife’s and my eternity. However, those truths, which I hold tightly to, seem to fade to black as I am navigating the seas to recovery with my bride. There is deep pain in the realization that I have lost total control and the reality that I never had any control at all.  I now understand just how little power I have to stop any of the events from unfolding. No matter my desire or will, I can’t blink and make this all go away. I can’t click my heels and make the Wonderful Land of Oz drift away. No, I must walk this road. I must travel the path I didn’t choose.  This painful path, which has been paved already and its steps are rough and marred with the tears of my experiences. But,  I must keep walking.

So we arrived in same day surgery and the room was filled with people. Scanning the room for a place to sit, I realized there was no way we were going to sit alone. This irritates me. I’m not a fan of public places and I don’t like crowds. So on a day like today I don’t want to sit near someone who may asked the obligatory question of, “what brings you here?” However I planned my response well. I figured I would lean in and say,”We are here to get Scruffy,” and wait for the awkward looks.

The events of the past few weeks have left me feeling weak,feeble and most of all helpless.

No one talked to us. In fact, Andrea quickly disappeared into the hospital and I was left with my thoughts. I found myself wanting to chase her down, to sit with her through every step. I felt more protective and on guard than I ever have been. I knew she was in good hands but a part of me didn’t trust them. I wanted to observe every needle stick, every vital check….I wanted to monitor everything. The crazy thing is I have never been this way. I’ve always been calm and collected. I’ve always trusted the doctors, nurses and staff. But now….I just want to make sure she’s alright.

I tried to read….it didn’t work.

I tired to watch some videos….it didn’t work.

I found myself glancing around the waiting room and trying not to stare too much at the front desk. I felt like a stalker. I also felt a bit silly but I didn’t care…I just kept making creeper-like glances at the desk. Finally they called my name.700bb4509eeaf1d3c9686753e9870f90

As expected, Andrea was safe and sound. It wasn’t the statement that brought me peace but seeing her. We sat for awhile in the hospital room, waiting to be taken to radiology, and I found myself feeling better. There was something about being in her presence that made me calm. It soothed my soul like a sweet scented balm. Honestly, I just felt whole. Since fearing that I would lose her, since fearing our lives were on a clock, it has made the moments we spend together so precious. (There will be a blog post coming soon on this very topic…so stay tuned.)

Finally they led us away to Radiology. We sat in a room for quite awhile as everything was being prepped. The Doctor came in and showed us what the Cath looks like. The nurse came in and discussed the whole process from beginning to end and finally they led Andrea away. I was taken to a small nook of a room to sit and wait. The waiting period was filled with a lot of the same fidgeting but this time no one was in the room, so I felt a greater calm. However, the clock, that evil slow mistress, tip toed by at a terrible pace.

Andrea did great and the Cath is securely placed under her skin. She has had some pain from the surgery but that was to be expected. During the night she got slightly sick. Once again I felt helpless. There was nothing I could do to make her feel better. It took all of my strength to not check on her every 5 mins. I knew she needed to rest and I let her.  Now we march on to chemo.

I’m learning that it’s going to hurt me more than I imagined. I know the days ahead will be long. I know I will sit with my wife as her body struggles to get rid of Ole Scruffy. I know there will be more days of pain and sadness.  At first, I thought I could stand in the gap and fight with her but remained unscathed, however that is impossible. Regardless, I will walk this path gladly. I will hurt with her joyfully. This is what I signed up for when I said, “I do.” And besides, where else can I go. I have given my heart and soul to her. These pains are but a testing by fire and a testimony we will proclaim one day. For now, we wait on doctor’s orders and prepare ourselves for the path of chemotherapy, knowing that with each step it gets us closer to the day we can rejoice on the balcony of a ship.

And so we #looktowardsthesea

3 thoughts on “Of Ports & Pain

  1. Josh,

    I want you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Can you give me your address and Andrea’s phone number. I want to send simple notes of encouragement to you all!


    Sent from my iPhone


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