Friday, February 13, 2009

I wonder what they think

I had to run an errand today, got caught in traffic, and a song reminded me of one of my doctors. I think of them often. I pray for them often. I wonder why they became doctors. I wonder if they are happy being a doctor. I wonder if being a doctor is what they imagined it would be, and if not, is it better or worse than they'd hoped? I wonder if they are married and have kids. I wonder what their hobbies are, what their friends are like, and what they like to eat. They are people after all.
It is hard for me to see them as normal people because I have so much riding on them. To me they are a lifeline. My world rises and falls depending on what they tell me. They are warriors in this crazy battle. I am the Prisoner Of War, just doing what I am told....and waiting to be saved.
It is hard for me to think about them as normal people. People who have good days and bad days. People who get tired and cranky. People who get frustrated and exasperated. People who get excited...about getting home in time to see their favorite TV show or about a patient getting well or a football game or a perfectly built sandwich. Thinking of them as "normal people" keeps me from being selfish when i pray. I am so tempted to just pray that they will figure out how to make this all go away. I am so tempted to just pray that they will fix this so that I can go on with my life. I am so tempted to just pray that God will just give Dr Schweinfurth and Dr Pitman and the other doctors and residents helping them with my situation a Divine revelation about exactly what to do to heal me. (Just as it is so tempting to beg God to heal me rather than to beg Him to use me.) These may be the things I truly do honestly NEED, but that still small voice keeps asking me "but Kris, what do your DOCTORS need?" So, I try to think of them as regular people and pray for them, not just as my doctors, but as people. People who hurt, get tired, get headaches, have arguments with family, catch colds, have allergies, get hungry, and have a history complete with childhood, elementary school, Jr High, High School and all the baggage that goes with living life. They are people who have lives outside the hospital, places to go, movies to watch, books to read, bills to pay, laundry to do, dishes to wash, families to care for, friends to support....or who are without families to care for and friends to support. Which brings me full circle, back to "I wonder...."

I wonder how often Dr Schweinfurth has to deliver bad news. I wonder if he has gotten used to it. I wonder how many times people come to him and have cancer. I wonder if it is hard to treat a case like mine, where nothing seems to follow a predictable pattern. I wonder if cancer ever follows a predictable pattern. I wonder if it frustrates him that this has not been what he expected or if it is exciting because it is different. Hmmm...I wonder if it really is that different. I wonder if he feels a sense of satisfaction in that he is the one who caught it. I wonder if he wishes I'd come to him sooner. I wonder if, the times he has had to tell me that things are worse than we'd hoped, he paused at the door dreading to go in, or if he took charge of his residents and said "this is how you tell a patient that she has and learn." I wonder if he is prideful. I don't think so. He seems to be very nice and he seems to care about what happens to me. He responds to my e-mails (so I try to keep them to a minimum), answers my questions, and soothes my nerves...and bans me from internet research. I wonder if he sees us as people or as "cases". I wonder what he REALLY thinks the outcome of my "case" will be. I wonder if he realizes why God sent me to him. I wonder if he has even considered that God has had a hand in all of this.
I cannot imagine how Dr Pitman faces patient after patient, every one having cancer. I wonder if she gets discouraged. I wonder if she gets depressed. I wonder if she ever feels helpless or hopeless. I guess she must feel like the pediatric nurse that has to give immunizations. Even though her patients do not want to hear what she has to say, it has to be said and the sooner we get started, the sooner we can get on with it. In the case of treatment, even though she must see the fear and anxiety on our faces, SHE knows that the good of the treatment outweighs the bad of the side effects. Still, I cannot imagine what she must feel as she sits in front of a patient. We have to talk about the cancer, the possible complications of the surgeries, the possibility of chemo and or radiation. I wonder what she thinks as we sit there, eyes glazed over, barely able to breathe as we try to listen to and comprehend what she is telling us. She must know how frightening it is to us. I wonder how she keeps from getting attached to her patients. I wonder how she keeps from taking it home with her. I wonder what she feels when biopsy results come in. Does she do a "happy dance" when they are good? Does her heart break when there is nothing left to do? Does she hold herself responsible, even though she surely knows that she has done everything right? I also wonder what she thinks about my "case". I wonder if she knows that God is doing something big. I wonder if she can feel His presence.
So I pray for Dr Schweinfurth, Dr Pitman, Dr Grimm, and the others that are working on finding a cure for my Cancer. Not just that they will heal me, but they will be touched by the hand of God Himself as we go through this together. I pray that they will have peace of mind; that they will be encouraged; that they will be healthy; that they will have enough money to pay the bills and have a little left over go out to eat with good friends; that they will make peace with their past, enjoy their present and look forward to their future; that they will sleep soundly, love deeply, and laugh loudly; and that they will find satisfaction in their career...and their life. I pray daily that they will know how wonderful they are and how deeply they have touched my life and the lives of those that know me. I pray that they will feel the prayers of the amazing number of people that are lifting them up daily.
I still believe that God will heal me through Dr Schweinfurth, and now Dr Pitman. I still believe that God Himself led me to Dr Schweinfurth. I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for all of this and that His plan is bigger than me having and being cured of cancer.
Lord, please give me peace as we travel this road. I am finding it harder and harder to not be afraid of what lies ahead. Please help me to always keep my eyes on you. Please allow me to be used by You so that the people I meet will catch a small glimpse of their Savior in me. Most of all, and I really do mean most of all...above my desire for anything, including being healed of this cancer...if there is anyone You have put in my path that does not know You; that does not know how much You love them; that does not know that You came to earth, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the grave defeating death once and for all so that they could spend eternity with You in heaven..........Oh Lord, please allow them to see You in me and draw them to yourself. Please allow me a small part in the story of their salvation.

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