The Brighter Side of Cancer
by Hugh Houchin
No matter the prognosis, when the word cancer fell out of my doctor’s mouth he had my attention. But, after 20 radiation treatments, he’s confident the cancer is gone. Therefore, I’m able to reflect on the experience in the past tense rather than an ongoing conquest.
When I do, I’m able to perceive how the hand of God is active in the treatment center.
I believe God uses cancer as a way for His glory to shine on a fallen world. How? One of the ways is the front line of those involved in radiation treatments.
The front line includes the doctors, nurses, radiology technicians, and receptionists.
These specialists have daily contact with cancer patients and, whether they realize it or not, are a special class of God’s servants.
Fear of the unknown boosted my anxiety level the first day of my scheduled treatments. Nevertheless, the anxiety fled when I walked into the waiting room of the radiation treatment center. The soft and soothing glow of fluorescent lights illumined the spotless and organized atmosphere. Nothing was out of place.
With a sparkling smile, the receptionist greeted me and suggested I have a seat. In order not to wake up this fairyland, I tiptoed to a chair.
On the way, I passed a tripod that balanced an oversized tablet of paper. Written in green magic marker was the phrase, “Attack this day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”
Each day, a new positive thought appeared on the tripod; a light for those in a dark world.
I greeted the other patients in the room. We were all there for the same purpose, and our eyes whispered to each other, “Ya, me too.”
One day a gentleman told me this was his fiftieth treatment.
After a short wait, one of God’s smiling servants, dressed in a soothing soft pastel uniform, asked me to follow her into the inner cavern of the treatment center.
We entered a large room where a doctor, nurse, and technicians waited. One of the technicians asked me to lie down on a gurney-like table. The table sprouted from this huge radiation machine that grew from the ceiling in the room. In a semi-circle, the table moved from one position to another until it found the correct angle prescribed for my particular treatment. Technicians programmed that position’s code into the radiology machine.
Like the waiting room, everything in the cavern was in prescribed order.
Twenty work days later, they entered my code for the last time. After the treatment, a nurse handed me my diploma. It read that I “Faithfully Completed a Prescribed Course of Radiation Therapy with Courage, Determination and Praiseworthy Good Nature.” The diploma bore the signatures of the staff and, as a graduation gift, I received a $5.00 gift certificate. I’ll save it all for the memory.
As God’s special servants for cancer patients, the frontline understands.
They understand their patients don’t relish the fact they have cancer. Nevertheless, as God’s special servants, they keep smiling and serving to help lessen the gravity of the situation.
Thank you Father, the experience was worth the diagnosis.
Hugh Houchin is retired, but enjoys fulltime freelance writing. His publishing credits include articles and columns in western Nebraska newspapers and numerous websites. You may read more of Houchin’s articles at: