Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Journey to Radiation... Where is God? (9/8/2013)

My Journey to Radiation…
September 8, 2013

For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you!!   Isaiah 41:13

It is another long day for me.  After work there is a smile on my face as I greet the bus driver on the M42 bus to go crosstown to First Avenue, where I change to the M15 bus that drops me off at the Radiation Building.  God rides with me!  In the Radiation Building all adults are scheduled for afternoons/evenings as the mornings are reserved for children.  We all gather in the main waiting area. Unless you’ve lost your hair due to chemo, you cannot tell who is here for radiation and who is here to support.  Across from me sits a big strapping construction worker with his heavy work boots; then a very tall, distinguished older gentleman in his Armani suit walks in talking on his I-phone; a middle-aged woman sits with her knitting needles and next to her is a very young lady who never stops texting.  

Kenny calls us out one by one… “Ms. Sandy, please get undressed!” I grab a robe and a key for the locker and head to the changing area.

In the inner waiting area our nakedness defines our battle.  The suits are gone, boots, needles… no more texting.  Under our robes I begin to recognize… those naked from the waist up are battling cancers of the upper body: breast, thyroid, brain. Those naked from the waist down are battling testicular, cervical, ovarian and other pelvic cancers.  Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me…

There isn’t much conversation, not much friendliness.  I guess everyone is concentrating on their own survival.  I talk anyway, and find out we are all recovering from a surgeon’s scalpel… we’ve all lost a summer.

I thank God for Kenny, Ava, Juan, Gerard, David, Jennifer, Mark and all the others who work there.  They greet me with a smile and a kind word every day.  Ava is like one of my girlfriends, we talk and laugh out loud.  The security guard in the Chemo Building greets everyone with a smile and God’s words flows from his lips every time I see him.  It blows my mind to think how many people they see every day, fighting a battle, wrapped up in the battle.  Where is God?  He’s right here!  thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me…

Your words and your prayers continue to uplift me.  Juan and David tell me I smile a lot.  It’s simply the God in me, for I wouldn’t have the strength to do this on my own.  Maya Angelou has said “…He has created the leaves and the trees, the birds and the insects and I am humbled that God loves me!

God loves me!  Amen!  Love you all.

Charmaine Yvette

P.S. Thank you Gilbert – I love you! I am always amazed by your creative use of ingredients… in addition to the cheddar and ketchup sandwich, the new menu item – stewed string beans and plantains… together!  I came home to a feast fit for the entire Brooklyn this week. Gilbert baked 10 lbs of fish, 20 lbs of potatoes, cooked 2 lbs of rice, peas, spinach and stewed string beans and plantains. J It’s a very welcome sight as I get home close to 9:00pm each day and it will last all of September!

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