Wednesday, October 10, 2012

velveteen Terry

Only when forced by some big-eyed child will I read "The Velveteen Rabbit." My heart has never been able to stand it, and I'm not too certain why. Maybe there's too much truth in the story, maybe there's not enough?

But lately Terry reminds me of that tired, beloved object. Don't get me wrong, Terry is looking good these days - 2 months post treatment. He is stronger, he has regained some weight, his radiation burns are gone, his color is much better. There have been moments lately when I've seen a return to pre-May 10th Terry. His hair still looks a bit pin-feather-ish and he just has that well-loved look about him...if you didn't know the story of his last 6 months.

If you know to really LOOK, you see the ravages of cancer and cancer treatment. It's hard to stand it. And I am not too certain why. The body of the  beloved so, well, used. Abused. Burned. Hurt. Healed. Saved. 

Yesterday, almost 6 months to the day when there was a diagnosis Terry's oncologist read his first post-treatment CT results aloud to us. He said things like "this is as good as it gets" and "this is a very positive result" and "I believe after the PET in December you will see all will be well." It took our breath away.

Just two of the tumors are still visible and they appear to be shrinking still. I watched through my fingers as the doctor did a scope exam of his throat.  Compared to the photos from May, even to my eyes, this throat was beautifully clear and free from the angry cancer growth. Doctors don't use words like 'healed' and 'cancer free' for years after diagnosis and treatment. We are encouraged and hopeful and stunned and blessed. And other things we haven't figured out yet. 

Terry has a raging thrush infection, not unusual when your salivary glands aren't working and the chemistry in your mouth is messed up. He still has a mostly liquid diet. He has some pain and nausea and weird side effects and experiences lots of exhausted hours every day. There is still a road of healing - spirit, soul and body - to be walked.

But, oh, my goodness. 

God is good and faithful.