Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Simple Worry Never Changes the World

My "minions" tell me that *some* of you who are not w/in driving distance are wringing your hands with worry, asking yourselves: “What can I do? I must do something!” or “How can I make this easier? I must be able to make this easier!”

First, know that we are feeling your love. The prayers and the ways you are holding us in the light is wonderful. And this love, more than anything, is the most important thing you can do for us right now. Just love us.

Second, know that those who are in town and able to do things for us are also loving us as well as frustrated that they can’t take this cup from us.

Third, Stop Worrying! Seriously.

The chemo room (w/22 chairs that are most always filled) is not a depressing place. It doesn’t smell like a hospital, and I know what that smell is having visited many a person there. The staff is busy but friendly and caring. The nurses spend their whole day hooking people up to pumps and drips and never seem to stop moving. They are nurse, hostess and friend to all who find themselves in this room (patients and caregivers). In this room from the ceiling hang origami paper cranes, folded by a school teacher who had cancer himself. Frank sits (and soon I’ll get the pics up) in a reclining chair and is able to get up (to let the saline out) and he can wheel the pump with him.

Frank has faith in his doctors and the treatments that he is being given. To be sure they are in fact poisoning him. No one has strong chemicals pumped into their body just for giggles. That being said, w/o this poison he wouldn’t survive. Period. So bring it on! God bless the Dr. and the patient who first boldly and bravely tried this treatment. My prayer today is: May other cancers soon find similar demises. The bottom line is that none of us: me, our family, our Doctors and care givers or you are prepared to let Frank go, so we sit by and wait for the poison to do its job so we can enjoy him for a life time.

Furthermore, about worry: My mom always tells me there are two things that you can worry about:

  1. The things that you can do something about
  2. The things that you can’t.

She finishes with a two fold answer:

  1. If you can do something, then do it.

She predates Nike’s “just do it!” campaign by years. You also need to know that her response has been to make a quilt for him, those of you who know her know that it will be beautiful and a bit crazy…we get to see it this afternoon. So one way of looking as this is to find what it is that you do well and do it. It may not be Frank that is the direct recipient of it either. If you can make good happen out of the bad you feel for us, then get on it because:

  1. If you can’t do anything about it you must let it go.

This is tantamount to the “let go and let God” philosophy. There are some things in life we just have to sit back and let happen. In other words sometimes neither flight nor fight will do. Just being is what is called for.

As for me, of all the responses we can have, this is by far the one that takes the most discipline. I’m not the most patient person in the world. Those of you who are laughing at this understatement, catch your breath, I’m not done yet. :-P

Frank, watching a movie during round one week one. Posted by Hello

Round one week one. He looks tired, doesn't he? Posted by Hello

It is hard. I am sitting next to him in the chemo room and I want to make the pump go faster so we can get out of here. 5 hours is a long time for me to sit in one place. (Even though today I’ve managed to make a trip back to the house to get the forgotten Sponge Bob box of “candy” and go grab carry out as he had a craving for Chinese food. When you are nauseated and you have craving, you go with it and eat as much as you can.)

Being in one place for along time is difficult and it is one reason I like my job. In one day of pastoring I can be in 5 different places doing 20 different things. Some of these things *might* invovle waiting with others, and that is not a problem for me. I usually have the luxury of being able to go home to try to let it “wash off me” until I get to start again the next day. Frank's chemo is not something that I’m able to “wash off” and leave in the living room overnight to pick back up in the morning. I’m having to find a different type of energy to have, to sustain me, finding a rhythm, a groove. I’ll get there.

As the last hour of chemo drips by today Frank is watching a DVD about Space Ship One (Dick Rutan's web site) and getting up to pee. (While grounded by the cancer from being pilot in command (PIC), his head will remain the in the clouds and we wait for the day he will be able to exercise PIC privleges again.) It has been an ok day. He felt about twice as bad this morning than he felt yesterday morning. Tomorrow should be even better! One day at a time.

Mom and my cousin Pam are set to come into town tonight. It will be good to see them. The dog will LOVE seeing them. I’m planning on a bubble bath with lavender in the now finished repainted bathroom.

So to sum up: Simple Worry Never Changes the World.

Was it Ghandi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”? Regardless of who said it, if you want to make this better for us, make the world a better place today, where you are.

  1. If you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket: make a donation to the charity of your choice.
  2. If you’ve got time: sign up to walk in a Race for the Cure. (TC is a highly curable MALE cancer, working to save FEMALE boobs is a good thing.)
  3. Some of you could design a building so it will accommodate those with special needs (Today’s need: aroma therapy of peppermint. It seems to be keeping the nausea down —in addition to the drugs they push in the IV…say, you could work on a way to administer aroma therapy in public places?)

Basically: What are you good at? Where does your passion lie? Find it and do that, that is how you can help us, instead of sitting there wringing your hands. And take a bubble bath, would ya?

Hump day is over, only two more days of poison this week!

The Rev.


Anonymous said...

JoAnna again. A good, free, easy way to help breast cancer is to go to this website: and click on the button to give free mammograms. It's seriously that easy!!! You can do it everyday and it makes you feel better. Now, the women who get the mammograms might not feel good at the time of the exam, but you know! :)

JDBob said...

Isn't it great where wonderful "sermons" can come from!!! (not a joke.....!!) Thanks for the inspiration from both of you!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bijoux here. Your minions are very very smart. Thanks so much for the photos of Vinny, they are reassuring. Funny thing about loving somebody who is sick: I have (and I think it's pretty common) a strong urge to just SEE the person for myself, to be with them and gauge how they really are. The blog plus photos is a big help, some of us Band minions are taking a deep breath now.
Two more things:
(one) I find that the only thing that cures my hiccups is to drink out of a glass backwards (lean over it and drink out of the far side) and feel so southern gothic to report that this advice originated from an old man on the street in New Orleans.
(two) How is shooting up? You getting used to it yet? Making jokes about your monkey? The ultra-thin, short needles are my favorite.
good luck with this week. Remember to peel it back into tasks/hours/days if weeks are to hard to think about.
xoxo, bij