(more of my story… beginning of radiation treatments)
As I slid back the curtain of the dressing room it was immediately apparent that I was the "odd-man-out." Everyone (okay 4 or so other patients) was sitting with their hospital gowns tied to open in the front. I had put the gown on backwards and now had to be paraded down the hallway feeling like a dope. Talk about insecurity in being the new patient who can't even get the first thing right.
My external radiation treatments were to be a daily appointment that would last 5 weeks. I couldn't even begin to fathom how my life would possibly accommodate trips to the hospital everyday. "Don't over think it. Just keep moving forward," I often chanted to myself.
This was my dress rehearsal. The technicians were to practice with the settings that had been mapped out on a previous scan. X-rays would be taken and final adjustments made.
I apologized for the backwards gown as I climbed up on to the table. Everyone was gracious and friendly about it. As I laid on the stone, cold, hard table I began thinking about my mom. She had been through all these same steps. Her initial appointment had not gone well. When she had first assumed the position on the table, tears welled up in her eyes Her doctor's uncaring response had been, "What's wrong? Haven't you accepted what is happening with you?" Someone should have let that doctor have it!
My own tears were now present as I not only reflected on my mom, but also as I dealt with my current sadness over my situation. This was not fun, but necessary, and would ultimately be for my good. Just as I was identifying with my mom, there was a realization that Jesus sympathizes with me. Hebrews 4:14-16 (msg) "Now that we know what we have – Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God – let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with or reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all – all but sin. So let's walk right up to Him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help."
Jesus is that incredible friend who understands suffering. He wants to hear all about it and offers grace and help. What a comforting thought. Not only is my Savior with me at all times, He can relate, on a personal level, with what I'm going through. He's been there. He gets it. He painfully died on a cross to bring a better outcome to those who believe in Him. My journey is small potatoes compared to that!
As my appointment was coming to an end, I had to walk back to the dressing room, again feeling foolish for my lack of proper gown etiquette. The technician began giving me final instructions on what to expect next week as the official treatment plan would begin. Her closing words to me were, "Oh. By the way, you won't need to change into a hospital gown. We can take you just as you are." All that insecurity and worry for nothing.
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