A Practice in Patience
How exactly do you practice patience?
Is it considered practice when you have to really go to the bathroom but you don’t want to leave the event you are in and so you just wait and wait and hope that by some absurd miracle, your bladder will simply dry out – evaporate perhaps?
Is it when you have one amazing Miss Vickie’s Applewood Smoked BBQ chip and then just refrain yourself from eating another one?
Is it when you are waiting for; cupboards to be screwed into place, pieces to arrive from different locales, trims to be painted and pounded, doors to be fixed and the opportunity to move into your new home?
Or maybe it is when you have that piece of beef stuck between your hind teeth (that is very technical!) and your tongue wiggles and pushes and even tries to pull that beef out. But you are with a group of people and the thing you want to do most is to take your fingernail and jam it between your teeth and pry that bad boy out? BUT… you wait, patiently?
Or is it when you have no choice and your future is held in the palms of your doctors, your radiologist, and your Chemotherapy doctor? Is that when you have no choice but to practice patience? When you want to yell at your doctor to hurry up the tests, hurry up the 3D imaging and let’s get a move on? Is it when your child lies in a hospital bed and there are no answers and all you can do is wait? Is it when a loved one dies and the pain is so big and so grand and you know that they are experiencing joy beyond compare but you have to stay here… and wait?
Life tends to be a practice in patience. Some things are minor and small – like the guy driving 90 in a 100 km zone or the 20-year old who dawdles across the crosswalk while you wait with 20 other vehicles to get home. And some things are big and really hard. So how do we practice patience? Or can we? Or does the patience we need in those really hard times only come from one source – one source big enough to swallow up our need for control, our need to move faster, our desire for quick outcomes?
We each have our own way of dealing with life’s challenges. I choose to trust God. I choose to believe that He loves us, He cries with us, He yells with us and He waits with us.
My dad received news yesterday that was good considering what the other news might have been. His PET scan showed that the cancer has stayed within the esophagus – this is great news! So the good part is we can start planning for the next stage of this journey, the hard part is that the next stage could be very hard – AND, we still have to wait.
Dad will have a few more tests done just to really, really make sure that the cancer is contained. If the next test affirms this then in about three weeks, he will start a 5 ½ week journey of radiation and chemotherapy. 1 day of chemo and 5 days of radiation. Dad’s radiologist was fantastic and walked dad through all of it really well. Dad felt much better after this – there was a bit of a map laid out and it was something he could see and he could follow. After the 5 ½ weeks, he will have a few weeks to recover – this should put us into December sometime. Then, in January, if he continues to be a good candidate for it, he will have surgery to remove the tumour. This surgery has an amazing 50% cure rate which is fantastic amongst cancer statistics. However, it is a very, very hard surgery to recover from.
So, for now, we wait. Wait for more tests. Wait for more meetings. Wait for more results. Wait to begin treatment. Dad is fortunate that he is healthy, he is active and he has hobbies and jobs to keep him busy. It is a gift to be able to watch him still be able to do all these things. After his appointment yesterday, he was very excited because he still had time to get home and then go play golf with his buddies. My dad is going to take each day and he will practice patience. And his practice will include: working on our renos; going out at midnight with his granddaughter to take pictures of the stars; golfing with his buddies; eating the cupcakes that his other granddaughter made; visiting with his Bible study groups and other friends; taking time to get down with his grandson and play cars; going to the city for breakfast or for a shopping excursion with mom; singing in church. This is how my dad will practice patience. It is the way he always has and will be the way he always will.
I have much to learn from this man – much to learn.
Right now I simply need enough patience to get through the next few days as our kitchen gets put together (it was delayed from Wednesday to tomorrow). Then as we slowly start unloading our POD that sits on our driveway – this has me anxious in ways that even I don’t understand!
Once we are there – the AFTER pictures shall surface – yahoo!!
Thank you for all your support and your prayers.