It's that time again; time for the latest followup P.E.T. scan & the next in a series of most-important-of-my-life Dr. appointments. The scan is Wednesday, and the appointment is Thursday morning. My typical sequence is to have the scan one day & get the results the next. The purpose of the scan is to determine whether my cancer has come back. (I've had seven clear scans in a row, praise God!) Thus, I thought I'd pull back the curtain & reveal what goes on in my mind & soul every time I come out here for a scan.
To do so, I'm going to rewind the tape & re-post something I wrote for an earlier scan. As I type this, it's the night before the scan. I wrote the entry that follows after the scan & before getting the results. Thus, it's real, true, & perhaps raw.
Important note: Dr. Bedekian said last time that if this scan is clear, I can drop back to once every four months, which would be great progress, after coming every three months for five years now. The reason is that I just passed the two-year anniversary of my last melanoma surgery. Prayers are most welcome, by the way.
(original entry starts)
What goes through one's mind the morning after a P.E.T. scan & before getting the results? The critical results?
Here are some thoughts I have two hours before that appointment.
Not fear per se, but definitely anxiety that mounts as the clock moves. A blend of "What will he say this time?" and "How will I react to whatever he says?"
Not to contradict the previous, but there's an amazing calm that comes along with the anxiety. Of course, I attribute this to the overwhelming grace & presence of God, and to His graciously answering the prayers of many friends who are praying even as I write. My favorite name of God in Scripture is Jehovah Shammah as I've mentioned here before. Basically it means "the personal God Who is present."
Of the distant past, friends, family, places, etc. And of the recent past: surgery, hospital rooms, etc. Mostly, these fall under the category of things that bring great comfort (even the MDA ones!). Strangely, I smile a lot as memories come. And rest assured, I let them come, and even chase them now & then.
Not all of the memories are wonderful though. Mercifully, these are quickly re-channeled into a wonderful appreciation of grace in the Gospel. "Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (etc.)
I'm a bit of a dreamer anyway, and this morning in particular brings up quite a number of hopes for the future. Stay tuned. Be scared. *smile* The future in general gets collapsed into 2 phases: between now & the appointment, which is crystal clear, and afterward, which (mercifully, I think) sort of goes into a fog that I cannot see into very clearly.
My family is never far from my thoughts, but especially out here. And especially on Father's Day weekend. I'm struck this morning with the overpowering awareness that--as a writer once said--I am the narrow funnel where history & heritage meet legacy. My inherited heritage is so deep & rich that I can hardly take it all in. I pray often that 100 years from now my descendants will be making much of Jesus because of what God did in & through Mike Madaris' life. Aside: I often teter over into the arrogance of thinking "Boy, I hope they make much of me!" But as one of my favorite pastors, Crawford Loritts, says, I'm just a clap between two vast eternities; He is the One of Whom much needs to be made.
Always...ALWAYS!...worship seems to just bubble up. PLEASE don't be impressed with Mike's spirituality here! I don't create this worship, nor grit my teeth to do it; it's called forth from me almost involutarily, which is just a marvelous experience. Yesterday, about 5 minutes before boarding the shuttle to MDA for my scan, I was overwhelmed by a couple of hymns that came from my soul. ("At the Cross", especially the verse "Amazing mercy, grace unknown, and love beyond degree!" and "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" of which I prefer the version by Selah.) So, yeah, that was me doing the subtle macho guy tear wipe that we disguise as scratching our face or fixing our hair or something.
There's a brief glimpse into what the long space in between a scan & getting the results of that scan looks like for me.
In about 2.5 months, I'll go back out there & do this all again.
Rejoicing in Jehovah Shammah,