When I think back over all the different treatments I've had, I shudder the most at the thought of internal radiation. It was the one procedure that all four of my doctors agreed was necessary. My main referring doctor had described the procedure as "tolerable" – not the most encouraging word. To this day, the memory of having to drink the morphine makes me physically gag.
Part of my difficulty with it was a lack of connection with this well-known Stanford doctor who would be administering the treatment. He was brilliant, detailed and extremely technical- all things I wanted. However, there wasn't that personal touch I had grown accustomed to with other medical people in my life.
Each of the three treatments began the same way. Eddie and I would arrive and check in at the first waiting room. After some time, we would be led to another area where I headed for the locker room and Eddie made a bee-line to the puzzle table. I'm sure he was hoping I would take my time changing.
As I previously mentioned, there were opportunities during the treatment when Eddie was allowed to come in. We would have about an hour and a half to talk. Though the setting was completely uncomfortable for me, I have to admit we had some of our best conversation ever. It's amazing how honest one can be with a bit of morphine flowing through the system.
While I wouldn't say it was the most romantic "date" we've had, it definitely had an air of intimacy about it. Here we were, in the middle of chaos and turmoil, given (in an unexpected way) a forced time of relaxation. Ed, on the one hand, was doing jigsaw puzzles, a favorite past-time of his and spending quality time with me. I had to lie still and focus on communicating with my husband.
I'm learning to look for God in everything. He takes the pieces of our lives and fits them together even when we can't see the big picture. He's there in the middle of our pain and difficulties. One author put it this way, "The mountain is amazing, but the desert is equally full of God's presence to refresh our lives." As puzzling as it may seem, God did refresh us time and time again throughout this whole, intolerable ordeal. He was with us, with me… and that's a piece of my life I'll never forget.