Cancer is extremely inconvenient. I am sure it is like this for all patients. It is a wonder why the patients sounds a lot like patience. For those that do not know, I teach high school math. For all you teachers out there reading, you know how difficult it is for us to miss days. It is so much easier for me to be at school than for me to be out. The kids would probably tell you that as well. One of the greatest things about living in the town that you went to high school and college in (yes I really did that and currently live about 100 yards away from the high school), is that you get to interact with the teachers and professors that impacted you through the years. I remember a conversation from my 10th grade English teacher a while ago where we talked about missing school. She said to me that there are so many little things that we do during the day that no one else really knows to do in our classroom. I completely agree. No one knows my classroom like I do. No one knows that the AC/Heat only has two settings low and high and the medium is there to throw you off. No one knows how to tap the side of the projector just right to get the light to pop on. No one knows the perfect pathway to walk when passing out papers or how to not trip over the cords to my computer, overhead, and other such technology. The point is that it is extremely stressful to miss school. Cancer loves for me to miss school. Last week I had to miss a half day just to be told that my white counts were low. I rearranged the entire second half of the week just to help the students not get behind the goals I set out of them. This week I had to do the same thing. I am pretty sure I would be a fantastic travel, party, or convention planner. I am working on a masters of business right now so that might not be a lost dream. Lesson plans are rearranged and new lessons are thought up and its like a perfect puzzle to figure it out. Our snow day this week helped too as it pushed a quiz to today that made my absence much easier. God and the polar vortex helped out with that planning. Yet again, Cancer is inconvenient.
I talked with one of my favorite MC professors this week as well (again the benefits of going to college in your home town). Of course I also have to add that I have many favorite professors from MC. As we were talking about our lives he asked me what word I would use to describe my experience so far. That word was disruptive, which is what I have used before in my blog. He shared with me an experience of his and used the word inconvenient to describe it. I think that is a great word. Inconvenient. (You don't know this but I have misspelled inconvenient each time I have typed it in this blog post. I am a terible speler.) When you hear Inconvenient, you immediately have that inner groan of disappointment. And that's how I want to describe my cancer now. I remember the day I got the call from MEA with the news that my lymph nodes were enlarged. My doctor said this, "I saw lymph nodes." He didn't have to be specific. Remember my father went through all this, I knew what seeing lymph nodes means. I cried. It wasn't a cry because I was going to die. It was crying from the inconvenience. I knew there would be waiting and treatment and pain and waiting and treatment and so on. I wanted everything to go smoothly and without a hitch. That's not life though is it. That's not cancer. But how boring would that make life? It is the spur of the moment changes and ebb and flows that make life worth living.
Chemo III happened today. Not many patients in the waiting room either. Blood work came back amazing. My numbers were literally mountains compared to last week. I was prepped and got my heavy dose of number killers. And then came that last med. The DTIC, which is a drip that takes about an hour to take. Let me tell you guys, watching a drip is like watching water boil. It never seemed to go down and every time a nurse came in to check it, they always seemed disappointed with the progress. And of course I could hear the whistling from Andy Griffith in the main room. It was just taking forever and the Benadryl was working its magic pretty good. You can't help but look at a drip and think patience. I know other Cancer patients who have drips that take days to get out. Thats incredible. Talk about watching water boil. I am humbled by this information. The port intake drives me crazy for the few hours that it is in me. I can't imagine multiple days. Plus that machine beeps a lot and I am not a fan of beeping. I think it was from watching the drip and thinking about inconvenience and waiting that God spoke.
The Jewish people were watching the drip. They were waiting. Where was the Messiah? The prophet Isaiah spoke of His coming. And then it happened. He came. And you know what, it was inconvenient and it was disruptive. It was disruptive, because Christ was not what was expected. He was not some war driven king that took the nations by force, but a king who went to war for the hearts of people. He was inconvenient. He messed up schedules. He messed up expectations. He commanded that we do things like give up our desires and seek His kingdoms. How inconvenient. I have to remember that Christ allows me to go through inconveniences for His glory. I have very little patience, but I am learning to be a patient. I have so much that needs work and it takes something disruptive to make that happen. It takes Christ.
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart. - Charles Wesley
A few things that have come from me having to wait a week to get this chemo treatment:
1. I got to record my last show for TV Talk Parenthood until Feb. 27 with lots of energy with my new good friend and cohost Axel.
2. I got to spend an amazing weekend at Lake Bruin with my sister, brother, and wife playing cards, freezing on the dock, eating onion rings, and finally introducing Carly and Griffin to the 1980s Ronn Lucas TV special
3. I got to be at the Mu Alpha Theta induction ceremony and eat lots of cake.
4. I got to destroy another half rack of ribs from Sombra with my in-laws.
5. I got to have Polynesian sauce on the way to chemo two weeks in a row.
6. But the biggest thing of all is that because my schedule was so messed up, I got to rearrange a test that is supposed to be tomorrow. Instead I get the absolute privilege to teach my favorite lesson all year tomorrow. It is not really in the curriculum, but it combines two of my absolute favorite things: Disney and Math. Tomorrow I will give a lesson on how ratio and proportions are used in theme park design. You guess it. I am talking about forced perspective tomorrow. Minds will be blown. And because I am losing hair, I will have ears on.
Inconvenience. How are you interpreting it? Are you groaning or are you asking, "what do you have for me instead?"
(for the record, I continued to misspell inconvenience throughout the entire writing of this post)