What I Never Knew About Chemo

Did the title intrigue you? It did for me as well.

Once school was out in May, I went straight down to Belleville, Illinois to visit friends. For those who don’t know, Belleville is right out side St. Louis and is where I lived for three years before I went to Providence. I arrived there on a Saturday and stayed at Melissa’s house. *Insert a huge thanks to her family for letting me stay there. * The next day at church one of the ladies (I shall call her Mrs. S.) told me in what seamed a jokingly manner, that I was going on a road trip with her and Mrs. C to OKC. When she told me they were going and visit Mrs. M who was having her last Chemo treatment. Since I didn’t have any other official plans I said yes. The next Tuesday, May 26 I was with these two lovely ladies.

I can’t remember knowing anyone while they had cancer. What I mean by that is since the time I really understood what cancer was, I have not known anyone personally who has had/has cancer. I have several family members who battled it before I knew them, or understood what cancer really was. So for me, there was a strange aspect of hoping in the car to drive about seven hours to spend the a day with someone I didn’t know go through their last Chemo treatment. I mean, what is Chemo anyways!? I had never even thought about it. I had a few thoughts though going around my head. First and maybe the most selfish of them all, I would get to spend three days with two ladies that have greatly influenced my life. Second, I would (ideally) be able to support and encourage another Christian. Because her family had attended the church I used to go to before I went there, I had already many good things about her family and I knew they were a wonderful family. Third, the experience. OK, so this may also be selfish but I am a firm believer in stepping out of comfort zones and taking advantage of situations that may benefit you future.

Though I could talk about the many funny things that happened on this little road trip, or the mercy God gave us in HIS safety during the intense rain storm on the way home, the most impactful part was my eyes being opened to Chemotherapy. In my mind, getting a Chemo treatment was like getting an X-Ray. In my mind they put this big machine in front of the body and blasted you with radiation. Though I latter learned through my own research that radiation is a part of most cancer treatment it is not the same as Chemo. The night before Mrs. M’s treatment we meet her family for dinner. You could never tell she was a cancer patient. She had all her hair; she was smiling, happy, hungry and joyful. I am sure inside she had different feelings at different times but that was what a complete stranger got at least. I didn’t talk with her too much at dinner; I was talking more with her children and adorable granddaughter. I did listen for to a good part as she talked about her battle. I don’t think I need to share her story, because it is not mine to tell. Though I could tell her journey was not an easy one. It was also very evident that all she had faced, she had a good spirit about it and was relying on God to get her though.

The next day started early at the hospital, and I had no idea what to expect so I just stayed in the background as much as I could. The first thing that shocked me was how long the processes would be. Then, it wasn’t till I was at the hospital that I realized that Chemo was not Radiotherapy. When we went back into the room, she started to explain all the different things she had to be given before they even gave her the actual drug. It took a good hour and a half before she even started. Once the actually medicine was started it was about four hours (if I remember right). There were other people visiting and coming and going as we were too. But watching how the treatment affected her was shocking. I know that everyone reacts differently to medicine and it wasn’t that she had a drastic change I just was trying to apply that to my life and think, would I have such a good spirit? Would I be so strong? Would I rely on God as she did, or seek pity from others? Watching what she went through with her opened my eyes to the victory that God had allowed her I know that God allows others to not beat caner. Many times God allows a person to pass from Cancer and that is something people cannot understand.

As I was walking down the hall, I tried to be respectful and not look into other peoples’ rooms but it was hard. As I looked around I saw a girl about my age, just sitting alone, reading a book, hooked up to her machine. The next room, I saw an older black man, who looked about 80 sitting with his wife, hooked up to his machine. Then next, a middle-aged man, who looked like a businessman, sitting alone on his tablet. It hit me, I could be next, would I know someone who is have cancer? Only God knows. Though it was a great thing to see her ring that bell and find out she was cancer free the next week I was sitting at a funeral of a women who had died from cancer just a few days after Mrs. M had her last treatment.

Just a week later I went up to Westville Indiana to visit Stepheny before meeting my sister in law for our road trip. She did not inform me that that night I would be going to a funeral of a family friend. I cannot remember her name but I did not know her, I had not ever even heard of her. Her battle with cancer was not the same as Mrs. M. She had a loving family that would not be able to spend time with her any more. For that being my second funeral ever, I was extra shocked to with how my life had lead that past week.

Cancer is real, but God is bigger than it. God is sovereign in all lives. He allows a person to have cancer or not. It is not your decision, it is not your decision how your body reacts to it or the treatments but, what is your decision is how you react to it. I know that I say that with never going through it but I have seen two families, that I have never meet celebrate the victory over cancer and a family celebrate the life of someone who given a different outcome.

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