Wednesday, October 8, 2008

And so it begins

The weirdness struck me an hour or so into the appointment, when I was told, "We've called Ariad. They are randomizing you right now." I considered praying, but it felt false. I hoped instead. A number was generated, and the hospital staff pulled the appropriate package from the pharmacy. One contained medicine, the other sugar. We wrestled the tiny pills out of their foil, I took four, and we waited an hour while I was kept under observation. Then it was home. I sat on the sofa, exhausted and a bit bewildered by what had just occurred.


Anonymous said...

It does occur to me that there's no way you could be more randomized than you already are.

Everything I can cross is crossed for you.

Anonymous said...

Dear God! There's something deeply twisted about this process. I can say no more on that score except i'm electing to believe that you got the "good stuff." Also, without wanting to go off all day on it, cause, well, you know me, I totally could...(damn such exquisite typing prowess...) I wanted to address the issue of prayer. I'm not sure if you know where i stand with the whole faith thing, I'm Catholic (I know you know that much), which makes me suspect (I'm sure), but Catholics don't tend to be fundamentalists--we're a bit too disengaged from scripture to be so dogmatic. Clearly, the Church--the human developed aspect of it--has a long way to go before it approaches being truly Christ Like (we'd be way more into hanging out with the riff-raff). Ok, so there's a little disclosure. Most of my friends don't want to talk about my "Catholic" part because 1) it creeps them out 2) it ruins my image as any sort of free-willed, free-thinking intellectual (I'm not an intellectual, but i've played one in fancy restaurants over cognac and expensive cigars). Ok, so now, perhaps, if we are all lucky, a point shall ensue: if a person is in a plane, and they believe that the plane is going to crash (say), and they start mutering any prayer they've ever heard, I personally, don't think that it's "false" or insincere in the least. In fact, it is the most powerful. I "get" the whole idea of, well, I've never prayed much if ever before, and i'm not sure what i believe and now it seems cliche or otherwise absurd to begin praying--but that's not really how it works. I don't pretend prayers are magical. They are not. But I do believe they are powerful. And, the power of prayers to bring comfort, to change attitudes, to feel less isolated in this f-^%^& world is available to anyone, at any time. In the new testament (Oh comes Biblical Quotation--capital B, capital Q), (ok, it's so much more like Biblical Paraphrasing and probably not all that accurate), Jesus talks of these two guys--one was some sort of Pharisee the other a tax collector (or other degenerate). The Pharisee, assured of his favor with God, laundrylisted his devotions and such. The tax guy--or whatever he was--fell to his knees and basically said, um..i suck. I didn't believe, I didn't care, I didn't live according to the law, but I'm here now, deeply humbled--do what you will with me. So gets who goes to heaven--or recieves God's favor or blessing? There are several such stories in the gospels--basically the message being is don't expect God to be fair on human terms. He's not. There is no knowing or judging the mind of God--or the universal power, or whatever you choose to call the divine intelligence that runs the show with seeming randomness.But there are clues, that to this reader of history and religion, which suggest that no prayer for mercy or help ever goes unheeded--the response might not be what the prayer thinks it should be--but that doesn't mean it doesn't produce value--immediate and long term. Think about calling 911. You may live your entire life and never call it--but if you think someone's broken into your house while you are upstairs sleeping, you call it--even if it turns out that it was just a squirrel that got in. Now, I'm not sure if I've made a point. I'm not here to proselytize or otherwise tell you what to do or what to believe.(I hope you know i'm not like that--my evangelical skills are nil). However, all of this is simply to suggest that if you feel the instinct to pray, try not to judge it--you might as well go for it. Darling, there's a reason they call it a Hail Mary Pass in football. Prayer gets received. Thanks for tolerating my Godspeak--mld