Bullet Trains & Recents Stops

What does this all feel like?  I have not been asked that question in that manner, but I think it is in the background.  And it’s a fair question, since this is not something that most people have to go through.  Thankfully.  Though plenty have and will.  The most reached for analogy to describe any sort of emotionally, spiritually, and physically tumultuous time is a roller coaster.  The ups and downs.  The quick turns.  Maybe even one of those loops.  As apt as that analogy is, it is not the first or most prominent picture in the mind.  I keep coming back to one and expanding upon it in my mind.

What does this all feel like?  It feels like being a passenger on a bullet train.  Like the kind that they have in Japan that can reach speeds up to 200 mph (according to Wikipedia, so I’m sure it’s true).   Now, I’ve never been on a bullet train, let alone to Japan, but this is still the image has been most on my mind.  Fast.  Everything going so fast.  To some unknown destination.  A month ago, I was feeling just fine and only moderately concerned about one of the symptoms of the colon cancer.  And certainly not thinking cancer.  Honestly, my biggest fear was that I had developed some sort of food allergy and would have to change my diet.  So much for that (on the positive side, I can still eat whatever I want – no food allergies here).  So, here we are on this bullet train, going at speeds unfathomable, and unable to find the emergency stop button.  Or that line you can pull on a bus that lets the driver know you want off.  I keep searching in my mind for that line and that button, but I can’t find either.  I want off, but I am not in control of this journey.

But we do get off sometimes.  Or more like ejected.  Whether we want off the train at that particular moment or not.  Ejected for a Dr’s appointment, for an unwanted phone call, for surgery, for more Dr’s appointments.  And then you’re back on the train – cruising at warp speed.  Until the next sudden stop – even when we know they’re coming, it still can feel sudden.

We had one of those yesterday.  Another new Doctor.  As an aside, I was content just having one Doctor, who I would go to see from time to time when I got a sinus infection.  Now I have several and more stops along the way.  We met with one of my two oncologists for the first time and got the plan for chemotherapy.  I will have a round of chemo every two weeks.  During the on weeks I will have to go three different days (approximately 3-4 hours the first day, 2 hours the next, and a quick visit on the third).  The following week will be an off week.  I’ll do this for 6 months.  That’s about 5 months longer than I was hoping for, but I tend to be overly and unrealistically optimistic at times.  Glad I haven’t become cynical yet.  Tomorrow (Wednesday), I’ll meet with the radiation oncologist, though radiation will not be done until after the chemotherapy is complete.  More stops next week: PET scan on Wednesday and the installation of a Port Catheter on Thursday.

So, I don’t like be out of control of the speed of this cancer train and not being able to get off when and how I want.  But here is the one thing that is keeping me sane.  I know the train conductor.  The Lord is the one who has designed (to use the word from John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Cancer, which I reread last night) this trip and directs its starting and stopping.  Though we feel and are out of control, which we don’t like, we know that the Lord is in control.  And He is a wise and good conductor.  This we know.  And this grants us hope and faith for the journey.

Not only do we know the conductor, but He has invited friends to join us for small parts of our journey.  And they (you!) have been so faithful and kind to us.  Family, friends, and even brand new friends riding with us for a bit.  No, they can’t be on for every bit, but their presence gives and grants grace to us when and where we need it.  We know we are not alone.  And our so thankful for that – it remains impossible to adequately express the gratitude that we feel for so many joining us on this journey.  And so, we go where our Lord takes us, trusting in both His wisdom and the multitude of His provision along the way.  At warp speed.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sarah Fary on March 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    As I was reading this, Be Still My Soul came on my Pandora shuffle. I pray that despite the speed of the train, you may be still and know that he is God and be comforted in that fact.


  2. Posted by zellner on March 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    such a helpful and apt description of your emotions. I appreciate the analogy. The idea of losing control of our journey is a frightening one to me and yet i am wrongly living as if I am in control even in my good health. Praying for your eyes to always focus on the conductor. much love from the zellners


  3. Posted by Pastor Ken on March 27, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Adam, thanks for this insight into what your world feels like right now. I love that first comment from Sarah Fary. How interesting to have those two realities together: peace at warp speed.


  4. Posted by Diane on March 28, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    We have been thinking about you, Pastor. Jordan likes to pray for you at dinner and we really miss seeing you at the preschool. We are sending you lots of virtual hugs for you and your family.


  5. […] out my predominant thought and it follows, in some ways, my previous thoughts about being on a bullet train to an unknown destination.  I am not primarily fearful, though it can’t be said that I am serene.  I am not primarily […]


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