What a word. It foretells a story. The premonition… The label… Shorten it to “chemo” and it becomes even worse. At least the “therapy” has a palatable tone to it.
And I know… I know that it’s a much more precise treatment than it used to be. Anti nausea drugs, ports, rooms that are supposed to make you feel “at home”, and music. You can wear headphones, read, or bide your time in a host of ways.
But it’s still…chemotherapy. Who hasn’t already thought of a dear friend, or a mother, or a father that has endured chemo?
It’s really a gift. It can be a cure for a demon that has invaded our bodies. Chemo can push back an evil villain. It can force a retreat. It can restore health.
To be sure… To be sure, you’ll probably never find the gift of chemo in a finely wrapped package under the Christmas tree. Chemo would never be one of those fiftieth birthday gag gifts. Nobody ever wished for chemo instead of a new bike when they were kids. Nobody ever opened a box with chemo in it, held it close to their heart, and said “It’s perfect. It’s the best gift ever. It’s just what I wanted’” But, it is a gift.
Today, my sister Pat starts her first round of chemo. Three days before Christmas, Pat starts chemo. And who would ever think of getting chemo at Christmas was the “best gift ever”? But cancer takes no holidays and some battles have no truces. You cannot negotiate with cancer. There are no “peace talks”.
It should come with a bow. That bag of chemo should have a bow on it while it hangs there. Maybe when they push the button on the infusion machine, it will play a Christmas song. Just maybe. But certainly…nothing less than a bow.
And the gift…isn’t just for Pat. The gift is ours. We get to receive it as well. Pat gets the gift of chemo, but we get the gift of Pat.
And as you all know…my sister Pat has provided more than one story for these pages.
So Pat…three days before Christmas…we hold you close to our hearts and say “Thank you. It’s the best gift ever.”
Somebody had better hang a bow on that bag. And…send me a pic.
I’m off to the doghouse now…and I’ll be praying.