Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs (Part 2)

(Part 1)

I laughed through my tears and explained that one night, in the midst of one of the few times that I actually let the tears freely flow...the night before we knew that the salvage chemo had not worked...the night before we knew that a second transplant was definitely in our future...the night before I was knocked to my knees once again...that night when I prayed, I felt like someone, specifically God, was telling me that Steven would be healed.  This is not a normal occurrence for me.

I "heard" a "voice" saying, "he will be healed".

First off, this startled me.  And the voice repeated itself.  Again. And then again.

So, I wondered if this voice was just my subconscious wanting the results of the biopsy to reveal that the chemo had worked, that a second transplant would not be needed and that Steven would be healed. But the "voices" in my head generally aren't positive.

As I laid there in bed I tried some mental thought scrambling trying to block out anything but thoughts that were intentional...or thoughts I felt God really meant me to hear.

All I determined is that it is really easy to get lost inside my head.  I decided that distraction was my best option so I turned to Pinterest.  (I know, right?)  I can't honestly say what exactly I typed into my phone but I believe it was something along the lines of "religious inspirational quotes".  What it immediately brought up on my screen, on Pinterest, was "How to Know if God is Speaking to You".

Yes.

Could have been a coincidence. Possibly was. 

But the five bullet points that it outlined that needed to be met...had been. Every. Single. One.

But, in my mind, I could easily say that it was subjective and that the criteria could easily be manipulated to meet my own desires. And maybe it could.  And maybe it had.

Because, seriously, this theory of God speaking to me had ALL sorts of flaws.  First off, I wasn't sure that God would actually "talk" to ME.  I mean, ME?  Really?

I remember praying, "God, if (and that was -and still is- a HUGE if) you are speaking to me, I need a sign.  And God, you know me, even if it is a billboard that says, "Kim, it's me, God, and I am speaking to you", I would still find a way to doubt.  I'm crazy!  You made me.  You know this!  I am scared.  I am worried.  You could wrap peace up in a neat package and I would probably give it back.  Still...I am asking for a sign, even though I probably won't believe it."

*****

When I talk about voices, I think it is important to point out that I don't actually hear anything.  It's more of an imprint.  I imagine we all have these imprints.  It's the same dialogue we have we have when we rerun conversations in our heads.  Or think.  We don't hear thoughts, and we don't see them, yet somehow we are able to process them. 

So when a thought seems foreign, and not of your own mind, it becomes your job to figure out where it came from.  Who put it there?  Our subconscious?  God?  I don't really talk much about the devil, but it's just as possible that he is guiding our thoughts too.

These are the voices, the "imprints", that make up who we are, what we do, and the decisions we make.

What voices are you listening to?

*****

The next day we received the call from the nurse in St. Louis regarding the biopsy taken on Steven's bone marrow.  The first biopsy they had taken after the salvage chemo he received post transplant had been of poor quality and they had asked us to repeat it.  The results of the second one was in.  We had been told that if the chemo had put Steven back into remission, that there was a 30-40% chance that the chemo, along with the boost of donor cells, would keep him in remission, and another transplant would not be needed.  This news was what our family had hoped and prayed for, and just what we needed.

However, when the nurse began to speak, the sickness in my stomach began to overtake me.  Even though my husband, sitting in front of me at 113.6 lbs, had endured harsh chemo, the cancer had survived and was still in his marrow. 

We would be returning for another transplant.

I couldn't imagine how Steven's body would be able to physically endure going through the process again.  He was skin over a skeleton and he couldn't afford to lose more weight.  I again looked at him and what this disease had done to his body.

I couldn't imagine how I could survive another transplant.  I knew what the last one did to me mentally, and what the separation from my kids, and the sights and sound of the hospital had done to my soul.  I was irreversibly changed, and in my mind, weakened...how would I ever survive repeating the process?

It seemed that in a logical way of thinking, how could I NOT see this as a sign?  Things were not going well. That much was obvious.  Steven was NOT doing well.  How foolish of me to think that God, the same God that created the Heaven and Earth, would speak to me, as I prayed while I laid in my bed (yeah...of all times not to be on my knees) and tell me that my husband would be healed.  It was almost laughable. 

God, the same God that rose from the dead, healed the blind man, and the same God that watched as crowds that had days before celebrated his entrance into the city had turned on him and demanded his execution, would turn his eyes on me and whisper into my clouded and anxious mind that my husband would be healed...

A mind that didn't even know if it was Him that was whispering.

As I looked at my husband and my kids, and in the mirror at my tear streaked face, all I knew is what a sad state our house was in.  A sad and pitiful state.  My kids had neither their mother or father...at least, not the ones they had known prior to Steven's cancer.  Those were gone.  In their places were shells. 

One a physical shell and the other a mental.

(To be continued.)

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