Friday, May 19, 2006

I admit it, I'm a doubting Thomas


I had a 4000 yd swim this morning. That's twelve twelves. At least that is how I break it down. Life is more doable in neat little packages like that. I love to swim laps. For the most part it's simple now. Stroke, breathe, stroke, breathe etc etc turn stroke breathe etc. I swam next to a polar bear this morning, or at least that is what the mass of white beer belly looked like with each breath towards the west wall (I really need to learn to not laugh underwater, but the guy had big paw like hands and he swam just like a polar bear). Water has a way of distorting my vision, yet when I swim things can become so clear. I've been in an odd funk these last several weeks, which for you explains the sporadic posting. But, my mind has been preoccupied.

About four weeks ago we received a disconcerting email, "please remember to pray for Henry, he's been passing blood." With periodic medical updates, that message progressed to "please remember to pray for Henry, he has colon cancer"
Cancer?
Henry?
Henry can't have colon cancer, that means he might die. People die from colon cancer. Good people die from colon cancer. and Henry is one of the truly good people that I know. He would blush, and he would deny that, and he would say the only good inside him is what the good Lord put there. And that is exactly what makes him such a rock, a plesant stream in a life of fiery troubles, because he is just full of the kind of things that the good Lord puts there. If my faith is my foundation, and Trihubby is my constant fortress, then Henry and his lovely wife (my good friend) are the gatekeepers of the wall that surrounds my soul. They are the cheerleaders, and the encouragers, they are wise and they are kind and most importantly, they have just "been there". For years. The idea of Henry not "being there" sent my mind into tilt.

By God's good grace, "Henry has cancer" progressed to "Henry's cancer hasn't perforated the colon wall" to "the surgery went just fine, able to remove the whole mass laproscopically" to "the 40 some biopsies taken were all clear" to "you're doing well, Henry, you can go home now--cancer free"

For some reason my mind got stuck on "Henry has cancer" and that means he might die. Even though he has been home from the hospital for almost two weeks. I didn't really expect it to be so, but my faith was shaken, and it just hadn't had time to catch up with reality. My vision was distorted.

So I swam this morning. The greatest thing about my swim this morning is that Henry's doctor had cleared him to aqua jog, so he came with me. Each time I would pause at the wall, I'd look over and see Henry running along in the other lane. Just like he does outdoors, I'm sure he was meditating and praying. Lap after lap passed, and every so often I would catch a glimpse of legs running through the water and it occured to me that it was finally ok to believe Henry was ok. I didn't have to doubt anymore.



And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go run for two hours, and cry. Because Henry is going to be ok.

11 comments:

Shelley said...

My mother had colon cancer...just like Henry, that was 20 years ago...Henry will be fine...:-)

Fe-lady said...

A teacher I work with went through treatment for colon cancer and is now back at work full time with her fifth grade class. Modern medicine (and prayer) work well together.
Hope you had a good cry and run!
(a joyful one)

Anonymous said...

A teacher I work with went through treatment for colon cancer and is now back at work full tim�νσταιν ο Άινσταιν

TriSaraTops said...

I am so happy for Henry and you. God bless him and this is such a great miracle to hear today--today I found out that a friend and co-worker's cancer is back after she fought so hard last year, so I needed to hear that it's possible for good things to happen in these situations. Thank you...

nancytoby said...

You go Henry!! :-)

Um... I don't understand how 12 twelves gets you 4000 yards. I can't do the math.

Comm's said...

Blessed Be.

Iron Pol said...

Nancytoby's stuck on the math. I get caught up in the "stroke, breathe" thing. It always seems to be "stroke, stroke, breathe, dang, that's water" or "stroke, breathe, try to get moving again."

Good job on 4000 yards. That's a long, long swim.

abbey said...

Aw, Kari. That's such a sweet thing to write about my dad. I cried all the way through, and it was a good thing.

Plus, you're totally kicking my butt to get back out there and swim - I miss it SO badly!

Bridget said...

Ah, this was such a sweet post. It brought tears to me eyes. Thank God Henry is okay. You are lucky to have such a support group.

Robbie said...

Dear Kari (and I must use the salutation, even in email, for you are): Your love and prayers carried us into the heavenlies as Henry and I waited for results of tests and surgery. Thank you for chronicling this time in your own inimitable way. God has incredibly blessed me through your loyal friendship and sisterly love. We will, please God, have many more "just being there"s together. Love you, Robbie

the poet said...

To my most beloved friend Kari, I want to thank you for your very personal reflections on my cancer situation. But more important, your profound and truly divine view of the nature of real friends. As Robbie shared, we both felt your prayers and support in the overwhelming awareness of God's grace through this all. I am left in the wonderful and tingling place where friends are true and God in His sovereignty has given me a broader span of time to see Him more clearly. As I begin to resurface into normal life, I seem to see things a bit clearer. And one of those things is how beloved true friends are. Treasures to be valued. Thanks for being there. Henry