Friday, May 16, 2008

On the side-lines

The sudden onset of summer weather has coincided this week with another hiatus from interferon, which might seem like good luck. So much the better for getting chores done in the garden, and for long walks with Abby—right? Both meteorologically and medically, however, this week may be too much of a good thing. I’m ambivalent about hot, sunny days, given the trouble they’ve caused in my life. I’ve appreciated the cool, damp weather we’ve had this spring. I’m all for being “sun-safe” these days. This also has been a tougher week than expected in terms of energy level. I thought I’d rebound like I did the last time I took a week off, but I haven’t. This is all the more reason why I’m desperate to get the fourth and final week of my interferon infusions behind me. Lord willing, that starts on Monday.

It’s now been 11+ weeks since my lymph node dissection, which demarcates my life into two halves. Perhaps the worst part of where I am at present are not the physical side-effects, as awful as they’ve been, but the sense of being side-lined in life. There are lots of people in the world who deal with chronic pain far worse than the weird stuff I’ve had to put up with. The bigger issue is that at age 54, I wonder what else I’m supposed to be doing in this world. “Getting better” is the short answer, but that’s merely incidental to staying alive. If I live long enough, I will get better. I need something more. I’m now far enough into this process that I’m starting to ask the existential questions. If all the therapy I’m going through ends up serving its purposes, what then? And in the meanwhile, how do I find meaning in this process?

As I’ve noted in a previous post, this has not been a time of spiritual growth for me. I’ve been drawing down my spiritual account, which I guess is what you’re allowed to do in times of need. The prayers that I know many others have been making on my behalf are all the more precious under these circumstances. I don’t know what God is up to in all of this, but I do know that he wants me to draw near and to acknowledge his presence. That much I can do. Whatever else he has in store for me will have to wait until the time is right.

3 comments:

Wags said...

Peter,
You are facing some of the deep questions in life. God doesn't expect drawn-out prayers or long stints reading the Bible when you're struggling to even stay upright. He knows your heart, so don't get discouraged that the spiritual life you were accustomed to is temporarily difficult to sustain. It'll come back as your health and energy permit. The rest of us will uphold you in prayer during this time. Hope you wrap up the interferon next week and get stronger soon.
Take care,
Steve

bigmike said...

Peter,
You have been and continue to be
an inspiration to me and my family;
indeed to all who know you. We
send our prayers,love,hugs and
if we we able, we would send
energy. Know that you have a HUGE
cheering section in the arena we
call life.
Your brother in the Lord,
Mike

Philip said...

Peter - I ran the Chester/UK half marathon yesterday, and to motivate me, I caught up with your blog before the race. The result: I beat last year's time by 8 minutes, getting over the finishing line in 1 hr 55 min! For the last couple of miles, I thought about all that you've been going through, and that certainly helped. Keep fighting! Philip