Today there were a lot of firsts. First day for my dad to go back to work (half day), first day of radiation and first day of chemotherapy. Appointment after appointment, Providence Hospital knows us well. Whenever we walk into the medical department I just can’t help but laugh. Whether it’s the doctor’s office, the hospital, the cancer center; they know that the Carters have arrived. And I’m not saying that in a bragging way like “Oh yes, we are ‘THE CARTERS’.” No not at all! To be honest… I was actually embarrassed at first. Why? Well… 1. We are LOUD, 2. We Always come in a big pack 3. We are out of the ORDINARY.
Here is a little story to give a summary of what I mean… when my dad was getting rolled out of his room to head into surgery, what does the Carter clan do?… make a tunnel for him to wheel through and cheer him on while he is getting rolled away. I mean that was kind of a no brainer. We don’t ask permission to be loud and obnoxious in the hallways of the critical care center, I guess it just comes naturally. Even the guy in charge of rolling his bed said “This is a first”. And that was just the beginning of many firsts. After that, we made our new home in the waiting room. Two by Two like Noah’s ark, we piled into the surgery floor. Not 10, not 20, not 30, but about 40 PEOPLE were there waiting for the outcome of my dad’s surgery. When more people would arrive at the information desk, the receptionist would say,”Let me guess the Carters?… they’re over there.” Instead of being quiet, sitting there waiting, we decided to show them how the Carters wait. What does that officially mean? The Carters way of waiting for 3 hours… Well, we order pizza, bring out board games, laugh, talk about life and most importantly PRAY. Long story short we ended up being kicked out of the waiting room because someone was complaining, and now in my dad’s hospital file it says BIG, LOUD, FAMILY! In our defense, we weren’t being rude, or inconsiderate, we were just being…well… US. Found out later that we actually set a record for having the most people in a waiting room. That’s how we do it… “Go big or Go home.”
Today when my dad went into radiation, joyfully walking over while snapping his fingers (might I add SO LOUDLY), he greeted the receptionist in his loud, cheerful voice, with a friendly, “Hello.” I could tell she was so confused and almost started to chuckle. Usually patients aren’t so THRILLED about having radiation. When he was getting fitted for his mask, he was joking with the doctors asking if they could spray paint it purple and gold. I just thought, of course he would…(Go Dawgs!) Then the way that he smiled and laughed when he came out with lines all over his face from that tight mask would bring JOY to anybody that saw him.
Looking at each day as a new Glorious adventure is what the Lord DESIRES. He doesn’t want you to be comfortable. He doesn’t want you to be stagnant. He doesn’t want your life to be a cycle. I’ve realized, he wants you to have new experiences so you can witness to different people. I know the people in Providence Hospital have been impacted by my dad. It just takes one simple look to see that he isn’t a NORMAL cancer patient. He is different, because the holy spirit dwells in him.
We are called to be comfortable in the uncomfortable because Christ is the one who stays CONSTANT. (Hebrews 13:8) For my family, this journey has been very uncomfortable, new, and frightening. But, when I start to get emotional, when I’m about to have a breakdown where I just want to scream and cry, the only thing that I can count on to settle my heart is knowing that…Even though life is changing, my God is still GOD.
Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”