The chemo room was like a turntable that morning. When it was my turn to sit down, two sweet ladies we’re already sitting comfortable, receiving their morning drip. Flo was 83 years old. She was there because her first chemo treatment had just about knocked her off her feet, literally. She told the nurse that she had felt like she was dying. The other lady, Bonnie, a beautiful black lady, was in for her weekly drip, treating her over-multiplying white blood count. Flo talked, but I don’t think Bonnie said anything except “Mmmm” when we talked about how God was the one who helped us through our sickness. Bonnie had this quiet dignity and gentle smile that spoke for her.
In a short while, both Bonnie and Flo left replaced by Sandra and Summer. I met Sandra several weeks earlier. She was in for her fourth bout with chemo. With a shrug of her shoulders, she told me that she was about to lose her hair for the fourth time, laughing that each time it came in, it was different. She has been fighting this ghastly disease for several years. Sandra, however, wasn’t a victim—she was an overcomer. She and her daughter had collected insulated bags from a local hospital, filled them with snacks and distributed them among the chemo rooms in several clinics. She explained that sometimes you just get hungry during treatments, especially if a person is there for the day.
While Sandra was talking to me, Summer sat down, curled her feet under her and turned her head away as the nurse stuck the needle in her port. Summer was a beautiful young woman, about the age of my youngest daughter. Her head was covered with the cutest grey cap, which she said her mother had made for her. Her story broke my heart. She found out she had cervical cancer five years ago when she was pregnant with her little girl. Choosing life for her baby, she put off her treatments until she was born. By that time, the aggressive cancer had spread. Summer has been in treatment for the last five years, only recently having her bladder removed. But, she is a fighter! Her precious little girl and handsome husband came into the room with us to check on her. After they left, she told us that she would be in treatment for the rest of her life.
Yesterday, my husband and I attended church with my daughter. The scripture was Isaiah 53. The minister asked this question, “How has your suffering been redeemed?” All of these ladies are suffering in their own way. But, none of them blame God or feel sorry for themselves. They are there to fight this hideous disease, knowing that God is fighting the fight for them. They are strong and brave, holding on to God with all their might. Yes, Jesus had already fought the fight, “He bore the punishment that made us whole; by his wounds we are healed.” We have been redeemed.