This ole house is a lesson in endurance

It seems like a long, long time!

Actually, the original diagnosis of cancer was less than a year ago. Things moved rapidly from hearing the word “biopsy” through surgery and then radiation. At that point I very mistakenly thought I had paid my dues and was out of the woods.

I know I traveled a much easier path than most cancer patients. For that I am grateful. But then, reality set in. Maybe it first slapped me in the face when I kept my next doctor’s appointment. It was to be, after all, just a routine doctor’s appointment. That’s when I discovered once you hit the cancer spectrum, you cannot use the words “routine” and “doctor’s appointment” in the same sentence. There is no such thing.

Well, one of my myriad doctors said I will live another five years. That time is dwindling, and I’m down to about four years and five months, if I’m to believe his time line. But it seems like this old body is just determined to throw me curve balls.

I mentioned to my oncology medical doctor I was losing range of motion in my shoulder. I got the almost automatic response, “Get an X-ray.” Though I argued that an X-ray wasn’t needed because I KNEW it wasn’t broken, I got the X-ray.

“Make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor.” I did, and the prosthesis needs to be repaired or, maybe, replaced. A surgery date was set. Then pain in my leg sent me to my family doctor. “Get an X-ray.” I didn’t even bother to argue. Why waste his time and mine? The result from that was, “Make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor.” Does that sound familiar?

The end result is the scheduling of a second surgery. And I did make him aware of my need to be in one piece, with good mobility, by November for a second mission trip to Costa Rica. They are expecting me there!

All of this business of my body seeming to just fall apart reminded me of the song from the ’50s era, “This Ole House,” made popular by Rosemary Clooney and others. The lyrics declare what this ole house saw and did in its younger days; then, in the second verse, says, “This ole house is a-gettin’ shaky, This ole house is a-gettin’ old.”

Additional lyrics grieve those younger days while stating the changes brought on by the aging process and then, in the chorus, say, “Ain’t a-gonna need this house no longer/Ain’t a-gonna need this house no more/Ain’t got time to fix the shingles/Ain’t got time to fix the floor/Ain’t got time to oil the hinges/Nor to mend the windowpane/Ain’t a-gonna need this house no longer, I’m a-gettin’ ready to meet the saints.”

The lyrics do a pretty good job of describing how our bodies deteriorate in the aging process – like it or not – but as the last line of the chorus says, we can each one be ready to meet the saints. Who are the saints? Those people who have gone before us and found their eternal home in heaven because they trusted Jesus in this lifetime.

Won’t you trust Him, too?

This ole house is a lesson in endurance