We go to the Cancer Center at least two times a week where Marissa has a team of people who care for her. From the receptionist to the lab workers, they know her.
She makes them laugh. She’s spunky and she teases and they tease her back. I see her make the best of every visit. I see her engage others, ask about their day, encourage them. She brightens the room–they are glad to see her. The actual process of chemo is pretty painless now. Once the Benadryl hits, she sleeps until it is over. It’s part of our routine, and I think in some ways we will miss Thursdays when this is done.
I see people of almost every age coming in for treatment, but I haven’t seen anyone as young as she is. So she has a little bit of celebrity status. The older patients smile when they see her. They are already tired when they begin this battle, and they watch her, envious of her youth and energy, although not envious of her journey.
Yesterday we had a new nurse who kept saying, “She’s too young for all this.” And I feel that she’s right but I know that she’s wrong. Because this is exactly where she is supposed to be. This hard place is one of the chapters written just for her. This is her road, her path, and it is taking her to a safe place. I know the end of the story. No matter where this journey takes her, it ends with her safe in the arms of Jesus. Always safe. Always in His arms. Always loved.
She only has five weeks left of chemo. Twenty weeks seemed like forever, and now it is almost done. She is tolerating the Taxol so much better than the Adriamycin and Cytoxan. The side effects are easier. Not friendlier, exactly, but more do-able. I hope that it is fighting the cancer cells as well. We really won’t know until after surgery.
These are hard days and there are hard days ahead. But the streams of mercy never cease. There is never a moment when we are separated from His love. (Romans 8:35) We are not crushed; we are not despairing. (2 Corinthians 4:8)
We are never alone.
Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me and Your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:7-10)
You are a hiding place for me; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with shouts of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7)