Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life Interrupted: The Cancer Center

If you are new to Vicky's story, you may want to begin here.

Life Interrupted
The Journey of Jehovah Rapha's Daughter
by Victoria Overholt

West Michigan Cancer Center in Kalamazoo, I didn't even know this place existed. This particular morning I had to get up before daylight to go to their Breast Clinic.  This meant seeing everyone of the doctors that would involved in my treatment plan.

This is really real now. 

There is a treatment plan. 

This morning was one of the most emotional I've had in awhile. There were mornings I've had to pray myself out of bed. Speaking Your word out of my mouth, Lord. I know the plans you have for me Lord, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 ...and singing songs of praise to You... 

But there was no singing in bed that morning, no verses, only sobbing. My body felt very heavy. I couldn't even move. All I could do was cry. I was trying to keep my disappointment from You. I realized that was ridiculous. You already know my thoughts. So I cried and cried to You, telling You how disappointed I was but letting You now this didn't mean that I'd stopped trusting You. I just knew that You could have taken this lump away and I wouldn't have to go to this place and listen to their plan of chemo and hair loss, surgery and radiation and all the changes this would mean to my body. 

As I was pouring out my heart to You, my Ronnie came in the room and he prayed for me. He prayed me out of bed that morning. Then he called Clarice and told her I was having a rough time. She sent me texts of verses like she usually does. God is not a man that he should lie nor a son of man that he should change his mind, does he speak and not act, does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19
I went to my 'room' amd put on some worship music and started to sing. As I was there for awhile singing, I heard You say to me.."Just Praise Me". So that was my answer from You, Lord. No matter what path You choose for me to walk through, I'm still to just praise You. So I did, and I wiped my tears and got ready to go to this strange new place.

My Ronnie, Clarice and Betty sat with me in the exam room as each doctor came in to talk to us. There was so much information and Clarice took notes. Everyone was very nice and caring. I was overwhelmed at the many patients that were there from all different age groups and backgrounds. One thing that was really shocking to me was a comment made by the oncologist's assistant when we were talking about setting up days for chemotherapy. She said most of the college students will come in for treatment on Thursday so they can have the weekend to recover and be back to class on Monday. You know my mouth dropped open. College students?! I had no idea!

I wanted to know what these loved ones of mine thought about all of this. Ronnie said it was sad that there is a need for a place like this.  Betty was really impressed with the Cancer Center. She said, "With a cancer diagnosis consuming ones mind it seems they have made it easy for you there so you don't have to try to figure out what to do or where to go. Just having the snack lady and puzzles made one relax. I thought it almost felt like being part of a family with the others in the waiting area. The professionals you saw seemed to really care and willing to take time and answer questions."

So Lord, positive things were seen that day by those who care about me... and You knew....
Unless You had been my help, I would soon have dwelt in (the land where there is) silence. When I said, my foot is slipping, Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, held me up. In the multitude of my (anxious) thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!  Psalm 94:17-19

Clarice had positive things to say, here are her impressions----

"After getting slightly lost, finally arriving at the WMCC was very, let's say, comforting...we had had finally made it to the next step on this journey...we were in the place where all the specialty training was put to work...not just medical school but a specialization. 

The doctors/nurses/office staff that have dedicated themselves to the care and healing of the many diverse faces that walk through the doors, daily were there to greet us. 

The first person to say hello was a lady on a scooter wheelchair who was wearing a volunteer vest, covered in many patches....and her scooter was as colorfully adorned with one sticker that I can remember in said, "Cancer Sucks". Yes, I do agree, but I felt like we were in the right place to give mom the tools to "fight like a girl" and kick this cancer's behind. 

The day at the Breast Cancer Clinic was a lot to take in, to say the least and I was even taking each Doctor or WMCC staff member came through the exam room door. Before that even, though, was experiencing the waiting areas of WMCC...Large rooms with lots of comfy seating, shelves and shelves of literature, puzzles and puzzle tables, everywhere,TV's....and other "normal" waiting room things...but some things that are unique to WMCC that I have to believe are specifically there to promote "healing" one is the piano on the first floor...and the second thing that I noticed was a section on the second floor waiting room that was set up for painting...what a great therapy for some. 

There are baskets of hats and scarves that have been donated to the Center which are free for the taking for the many patients that pass by. There is a fitness center on the lower level available to not only the patient but the care-giver, as well. All the postings at WMCC for the different opportunities that are available, such as free chair massages, are available again to the patient and the care-giver(s). They seem to really understand that "care" and companionship is really an essential piece to healing.
Not only are there volunteer greeters but, "cart people" as well... what is a cart person? Well it's someone who pushes around a snack cart with beverages and goodies to give out to whomever they come in contact with...whether you are in a waiting area or a treatment room, they will find you. It is such a caring and nice treat.
The staff is wonderful, caring, informative, patient, and just down-right good and kind people.
Comprehensive Care...that's just what mom needed and that's just what she's getting. To have the Center's head facilitator be open and talk to you about prayer...and praying for the patients and their needs...I know that we're in the right place and that God is going to use not only the people there to touch mom's life...but, her to touch others, as well...

If you'd like to follow Vicky's journey, be sure to subscribe in the top right corner.

I invite you to comment below or email your words of encouragement for Vicky.

No comments: