A 2nd round of fog

"He can practice the discipline of unshakable faith as he dances in step to a melody that is currently out of earshot, or he can close his ears to the possibility of ever hearing the music." (Carol Kent, When I Lay My Isaac Down)

Twelve hours away from home. Exhaustion hovers over me like a loose shroud, the molecules of my mind pounding like surf one against another, in constant motion as if to escape the inevitable reality that must hit. This day brought back recollections of the Indian summer, beetle-buzzing afternoon nap I unexpectedly took. My late November gift from God. My dose of radioactive I-131 didn't come on the morning shipment and I received a phone call just before leaving my children: "Don't come for a few hours." So we fiddled around town with Grandma Debra until 4 p.m., treating ourselves to a few things at an unfamiliar store, hugging the baby. Holding hands with my girls as we meandered down aisles.

We can hug our hurts and make a shrine out of our sorrows or we can offer them to God as a sacrifice of praise. The choice is ours. (Richard Exley)

Back to the clinic. A dozen hugs, a few tears. After days of sobbing at bedtime, I was expecting drama from all sides when I left today. None. Just a prolonged, rather joyful goodbye. Processing done ahead of time in Mama's arms, I suspect. I walked through the doors, feeling as if doing so began a 15-minute metamorphosis from living human heart to petrified wood beating coarsely in my chest. Rocky. Wooden. Unresponsive. Frozen in time, waiting for reality to become unhinged or unsuspended, one of the two. Followed the nurse back. Spoke with the nuclear medicine doctor. Swallowed Alice's little blue pill once more. Fell back down a (more familiar, this time) rabbit hole.

The kind of faith God values seems to develop best when everything fuzzes over, when God stays silent, when the fog rolls in. (Philip Yancey)

Back in my car. No sense of taste, except a brief metallic burn. Two boils sprang up on the tip of my tongue within a half hour. At first I wondered if I was imagining things. Smell gone. Eyesight magically, and immediately, changed. The world is sterile again, like a desaturated photo. I never knew how much I smelled until most of my senses left me like chaff in the breeze. The end of a gray day: laughter with family, crude jokes, a meal with lots of nice textures (and no iodine).

Now the real waiting begins. What does Thursday hold? Distant spread of cancer? A little left, another treatment needed? Or those golden words: "clean scan" - a get-out-of-jail early token, and off I go, home by Sunday. Prayers, please!