Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stay With the Boat

"I'm a good candidate for cancer and treatment," I keep telling myself and others.
A history of abuse taught me that being victim doesn't work. Paddling from the Arctic to Cape Horn taught me that quitting is not an option. Foster and adoptive parenting required transparency and team work. Ordination mandated dissection with the Board of Ordained Ministry, personal reflection and prayer.
Life experience can become a road block. When I am looking for what I already know, expecting and seeking the familiar, I get stuck. Ground Hog Day can not be operative.
The book titled "Follow Me," explores relationship with God in drawings and few words. A character is fishing in a boat. He hears the voice. "Follow me." He ignores the voice and continues fishing. "Follow me," says the voice. He ignores. The boat springs a leak. He plugs the leak with his toe. "Follow me." He continues to disregard the voice. The boat pops another leak. He plugs the second leak with his other foot. "Follow me." He gets angry. The boat sinks. "Get out of the boat," says the voice. Eventually, the man gets out of the boat and walks on water. The line drawings in the book lead the reader through the many expressions of the man leading to surrender. His figure is tip toeing in glee over a humped wave squiggle line across the end page. Both arms are out stretched as if he is tight roping.
When I received my diagnosis, I launched from my life and got out of the boat. April 26, I got back in a boat, paddling on Shilshore Bay and aiming the bow toward the Olympic Mountains instead of following shore. The day was holy. No doubt. Puget Sound glass calm. Chris Cunningham offered transportation, boat, paddle and companion. My clinic schedule cleared for a free morning. This was the only window of time available before my Hickman (central line) is put in tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. which makes the possibility of getting dunked not an option. On the water, I closed my eyes. Gulls stream over head. My kayak rides the inhale and exhale of God felt through gentle swells of salt water. The cradle rocks.
I was late for my blood draw appointment at 12:45 p.m. "Don't access my port" (takes too long, just poke). The tech tried the right arm. No draw. He started fishing. "Take it out," I instructed. Tried the other arm. No draw. Started fishing. No draw. I want someone else to help," I said. Paddling gave me the confidence to make the call with no apology. A woman came in and tapped life flow the first poke. I got out of the blood draw chair helped myself to juice -- I know where they stash the juice by now. I made the data conference, signed consent, went on for a lumbar puncture with chemo inject and capped the clinic afternoon in mammogram press.
Tonight I followed instructions and scrubbed in preparation for the Hickman tunnel to the heart. Meds down the hatch. "Stay with the boat." Before I could sleep, I distinctly heard the call. Every kayak instruction class I have ever been in says that when capsized, stay with the boat. A kayak paddle is going to the hospital with me.

No comments:

Post a Comment