Monday, July 28, 2008

A Change in Plans

I had planned to post Reflections on the Abundant Life part 2, today, but instead, I'm going to talk about what happened today, which itself illustrates what seems to be the Concept of the Week... Month... Year? that God is drilling into my thinking. That concept is that my plans are not really all that important and can easily be demolished by all sorts of things outside my control. Thus it's better not to make too many plans or assume too much. It's likely things will turn out differently.

Today, for example. Today I went with my mother for her second chemotherapy treatment. The first time, as I mentioned, they told us it would take six hours and to bring our lunches, and things to do. Instead, it took only took two hours and we went back to her house to eat our lunches. That's because she had no reaction to the medication and everything went smoothly.

That experience under our belts, we assumed today (never assume!) that things would go likewise and didn't bring lunch. (Though I did bring two dark chocolate energy bars, of which I ate one; my mother held out for her potato salad, waiting at home.) This time she did have a reaction to one of the chemo drugs.

About five minutes after they started it (by intravenous infusion), she told me she was starting to have trouble breathing, one of the things we were told to be alert to. I immediately went around the corner of the section wall to the nurse's station, a trip of about ten feet, who threw down her pen when I told her, and hurried back to my mother to turn off the drip. In that short time it took me to go and come back, my mother had turned completely red in the face and neck, her breathing trouble was worse and she said she felt intense prickling in her face and head and was developing a painful cramp in her back.

The nurse gave her a shot of Benadryl right into the IV feed and it had almost immediate effect, easing the breathing first, then the flush and prickle and finally the back cramp. Within ten minutes she was almost back to normal. They gave her half an hour, though, to get really settled, then administered more Benadryl, some steroid and started the chemo drip again, very slowly. Everything went well after that, if slowly, but it was quite intense while it was happening. The nurse was very good.

But the point of this post is that instead of two hours it took five this time. You never know what a day will bring, and while I wouldn't say it's bad to plan, more and more I'm seeing the importance of being ready to change. To be flexible. The important thing isn't seeing your plans accomplished, or getting things done, it's to see the Lord in all that happens and adapt with grace and contentment. Enjoy the parts you can. Mostly we had a good time, and I was very happy I was there with my mother today, because it would have hard for her to summon help on her own. It's very difficult to call for help when you can't breathe... and there wasn't anyone else around in our little section. Plus the speed at which the reaction occurred was just mind boggling.

I also read through the remaining chapters of The Enclave and am pleased to report that I've finished the read through. Now I have to start the real work. But not today!

Tomorrow I'll go back to my reflections. Maybe. ;-)