I was lucky enough to lector at Mass today, and one of the readings was 1 Kings 19:4-8. In preparation, I read the passage several times during the prior days.
Essentially, Elijah is DONE. He wants to simply die in his sleep and be done with it all. But an angel wakes him and tells him to get up and eat. Elijah eats but then goes back to sleep.
So the angel wakes him again and tells him to eat more, because otherwise the journey will be too long.
First of all, I love that the angel prods until he or she gets heard. I’m hoping that means I will get several chances to hear any important messages. And second, telling Elijah that he has a long journey ahead feels optimistic, implying that he still has a lot to do.
But the giving up – I can relate. During my chemo days, I’m just done. I lay in bed and often I feel that if I died in my sleep, things would be so much easier.
But then chemo ends, and I get up. Sometimes I need and appreciate a little extra prodding. Most often, I shower and eat and drink, and when I do, it helps me to keep going. Well, that and a bit of social interaction. The social interaction really feeds me. I try to take one day at a time and, often, the following days are pretty darn good.
I am incredibly grateful to still be here. This morning in church, I also read the names of two people in our parish who died this past week. One name stayed with me and soon after, I learned that she was about to be a senior in high school and died of cancer. No matter how many times and ways I hear news like that, it is sobering.
Hopefully my journey is long, though I don’t want it to feel long in a horrible way. I want it to be long in a good way. But it will be whatever it will be. As long as I am here, I guess my job is not done.
Next stop on the trail: I have a CT scan tomorrow. I typically don’t have a lot of anxiety around my scans, but I do have anxiety around getting poked. They “access” the port in my chest, which means they stick a needle in it so they can do an IV contrast. This is infinitely better than getting stuck in my arm or hand. Actually, I have only one good vein left, and it is in my left hand, so I am endlessly grateful for this port.
Still, I hate getting stuck and this week, I will get stuck on Monday for the scan, and again on Tuesday for the blood draws and infusion. I am taking lots of deep breaths.
Thank you for being along on this journey. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts. And thank you for staying nourished, so we can all walk together and even socialize along the way. May your journey be long. And fun! Thank you for including me.