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In which there are opinions

May 25, 2011

I met with my oncologist today. It was unsettling, looking for certainty in her responses, certainty that I will be ok, and not finding it.

It’s ridiculous to expect certainty in this case. There are too many unknowns, and I’m still in the middle of treatment. But it would be so nice if there could be certainty, if my doctor could look at her computer, assess my statistics, and nod reassuringly, say that I’ll be fine.

The good news: my white blood cell count is good, has been good pretty much the whole time. My blood pressure is good, my vital signs in general are good.

After that, it’s up in the air. Next week, I start chemo again, a slightly different mix this time, to lessen the side effects.

Today, my mother took me to a place called the Healing Room. Located in a modest building in a modest neighborhood, it’s staffed by volunteers from a nearby church, and their services are free. Upon entering, I was greeted by warm, sincere people who invited me to sit on a comfortable floral-patterned sofa, and listen to music in what they called the “soaking room,” to soak in the spirituality, I guess.

I filled out a little form with a little bit of information about myself and what I wished prayer for (cancer, my mother driving me crazy, etc.) and then I soaked in the soaking room while kindly volunteers collected my form, anointed my forehead with oil, said quiet prayers over me. It is not an experience I am accustomed to, but it was peaceful and there was quiet music playing, and above a cross mounted on the wall, a large oil painting of a pair of lion’s eyes gazing out into the room. I looked at the painting and thought about my concept of God as the talking lion Aslan, and thought that the Healing Room might not be such a bad place to spend an afternoon.

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6 comments

  1. Well, if Aslan was present, it can’t be all bad. At least they didn’t poke you with needles, huh?


    • No needles, no poking! Just the soaking. And Aslan, of course. It was very relaxing.


  2. Sounds as if it was a peaceful experience to “soak” in. Good! And I think the lion’s eyes were a sign. A good one. xoxo


    • I like to think so!


  3. It frustrates me to no end how some cancer patients are treated so callously. I don’t have cable right now, just bunny ears, so I get about 2.5 clear English language channels. On one of them, every commercial break features an ad by Cancer Centers of America, featuring survivors. Their stories hurt to listen to … until they went to the CCA. I’ve heard similar stories from friends and co-workers here in Houston about MD Anderson. It makes a huge difference to have a medical team that includes compassion and therapy in the overall treatment plan … because it is a PLAN, not a one-time event!!


    • I’ve seen those commercials, DK — it really does seem like a cancer patient has to go to extraordinary lengths to get proper treatment. I’m going to look into those treatment centers. I have to do something!



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