Fear is a great many things. Like the song says, it’s mostly a liar. Driving to the hospital today, I had to deal with fear from the moment I left the house. How are the big kids going to do in school? Did I pick the right time to leave the house? What if I get there too early? That’s a lot of school traffic. Did I leave early enough? How’s Leo feeling? Am I doing a good job with him? Is the person behind me capable of doing her hair and stopping as suddenly as the traffic on this road stops?
The more I think about it, the more I realize that fear starts out a lot of really bad moments in time. Fear has inspired me to some of my worst follies. It has been seminal to my greatest errors. If I have sinned in anger, fear was there from the start.
I’m afraid a lot. We had the best anesthesiologist in the clinic today. He’s full of himself and obnoxious and rude. Yeah, I don’t know that I have met one that I actually have like yet. But this one at least didn’t make Leo afraid. So, there’s that.
When the meds go in that knock him out, his body goes limp. I feel him breathing, but I have to fight the panic in feeling his body so lifeless. Then I wait while they administer the chemo into his spine. I wait in a room listening to a dozen other families all experiencing cancer and its awful treatments. Then they wheel his procedure bed into the room with a vitals monitor that beeps.
And that’s when everything’s ok.
If his vitals do something goofy then it dings and beeps and dings and beeps. And the nurse writes on his charts and says nothing.
He asked me how I am doing when he walked in. I wish i could have a picture of my face when he asked. I’m pretty self aware, but I don’t know what my face was saying. What his reaction to my face said was that I told him to stop asking stupid questions, we’re in a friggin oncology clinic.
And I’m ok. I’m just scared a little more than normal and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because he’s bald like a chemo patient. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of the treatment and tired of how much of our lives it takes up. Maybe it’s a little exhaustion from self loathing for being so tired all the time. Maybe it’s just because we’re coming to the end of the regular treatments, standing on the cusp of monthly maintenance and then, at that point, the medicine has had all of its opportunities to cure him. We could still lose him. And that scares me.
I guess that’s where faith comes in to play. God didn’t ask us to believe when things are okie dokie and certain. He said that He is our God always, even when we don’t understand why in those moments of His sovereignty we suffer. Maybe it’s just something to do with the need for Him to have a plan and understanding and compassion. This whole thing has caused me to throw away old faith and adopt new and stronger faith.
Faith that is newer and stronger, though, asks questions without expecting answers, while desperately clinging to hope for results that don’t break our hearts. Faith believes that God is good regardless of my outcome. Faith needs Him to be good without good happening to me. It means that I don’t effect Him. I am powerless over God, which is comforting.
Leo is sleeping again. He’s been happy. Appetite going away, for the most part, but he’s eating Mac n cheese. I think his dreams are getting kind of goofy from the meds. He’s in bed with us most nights. He looks forward to end of school time so that he can scream welcome to his older siblings. He loves well. He lives.