Tenth Time of “The Sender” Similarities

The second page of the fortieth chapter describes cancer-treatment fatigue well. “Charlie felt pretty good, considering the short walk down the hall tired him a bit.” “The hall” was a dreaded term for me on the hospital cancer floor. Continuous daily suggestions to get out of bed & walk down the hall were not times I wanted to partake in, feeling so weak & lousy from all the nasty strong drugs pumped into me.

Often a goal from my nurse or my Mom would be for me to get out of my hospital bed & walk – accompanied by my constant companion the IV machine & somebody to help my broken body stay upright to take steps of course – down 3 doors, & a little more each day just to get my body moving until I could make an entire EXHAUSTING lap around the floor. I hated that! Not to mention the tangled mess of IV tubes all around me; 1 slip = potentially yanking out an IV line. Nothing was better after that than collapsing back into bed.

You’re more likely to get cancer again if you’ve already had the disease once, so sunshine is strictly limited since no one’s looking for skin cancer or any other ailments. Charlie spent “a few minutes” in sunshine, “only what was allowed,” so reading the latter quoted phrase sparked the memory.

One lesson in a letter from “The Sender” is that you can either live in “Vision” or in “Circumstance.” My spectacular Mom chose to live in vision, informing doctors while I was deathly ill in Intensive Care that I would go to college one day; the doctors, she told me later, would sadly shake their heads at the impossible thought she envisioned for me. Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with a God.” God gave me an incredibly special hardworking & encouraging Mom who never let me dwell on my sick circumstances but rather, had me always look towards a bright future. I love you so much, Mom, THANKS!!!!!

   

Did a ton of bricks just hit me? No, it was page 207 of “The Sender.” Although Charlie was experiencing the physical negative effects of cancer in many ways, ways like his weakness which was easily noticed by others, those close to him knew he was “stronger in so many ways. Ways that mattered. . . What he’d gained was immeasurably more valuable. What he’d gained was a heart and spirit that money can’t buy.” Same For Me. EXACTLY THE SAME.

However, even with the above paragraph in mind, it’s impossible for me to say “I wouldn’t change what I’ve learned from 8 years fighting cancer for anything” because of the hell on earth that I went through to get where I am. I mean, even if I never had cancer, I’d still be the smart person I was before I got sick. The side effects I live with now make life enormously difficult; I’d go with never having had cancer in the first place if I had my druthers, but this is where I need to trust All-Knowing God with my life’s plan because He Knows Best.

 

 

#8 Entry in “The Sender” Similarities

 

My sickest years were my teenage years

In Chapter 31 on page 167, Charlie, looking at his little friend Max in very poor condition in the pediatric cancer ward, “remembered that for so long he’d been in exactly the same place. Tired, hazy, hurting, confused.”

Three memories of mine (relevant here despite some previously mentioned in posts long ago): 

1 – Although I was too sick to either open my eyes or respond, this two-word command sticks in my mind: “Breathe, Amy,” my family members, mostly my amazing Mom who never left my side, repeated over & over during 1 of my many stays during my teens in Intensive Care, trying to help me normalize my heart rate. . . 2 – Another time in ICU I managed to mumble that there was a school library book in my backpack that was due back at the library. Several days later, when I was much more alert & able to talk, I told my Mom there was a book in my backpack that needed to be returned, but she informed me I had already told her about it (when she then told my Dad who found the book right where I, in my hazy frail state, muttered it was, & he returned it). I was way too sick to remember that. (Years later I heard that my Mom had said, “Why won’t she stop thinking all the time & just rest?”)

3 – My Mom & older sister Sarah each gave me 1 of their hands to squeeze while I got a painful shot. Wow, did it sting A LOT! I was so sick I couldn’t even speak, though. Then I hear Sarah say, “I don’t think it was that bad. She didn’t squeeze my hand hard at all.” And I remember thinking, “Well of course I didn’t squeeze it hard, because I’m so weak!” But again, I was too ill to speak so my extremely kind albeit misinformed sister continued believing all was well.