Last week I bought a calendar. A 2008 calendar. Now, this may not be a big deal for most of us (other than the fact that I was so organized that I bought my calendar in September!), but for me, it required an act of faith.
An act of faith that I’ll be here in 2008.
An act of faith that the chemo will work, and that the tumor will shrink, or at least hold steady, and not spread too fast over the coming months. That the new chemotherapy treatment (that I start next month) will work and not, gulp, kill me instead.
An act of faith that I won’t be hit by a bus, or a tornado, or an act of terrorism between now and then.
I thought it was a huge step for me.
But then I realized that we all take these steps and act on faith every day.
We buy calendars. We buy more food than we’ll eat today. We buy new clothes, trusting that we’ll get more than one wear out of them.
We have children.
And what is a bigger leap of faith — a long-term commitment — than having a child?
Having a baby is perhaps the biggest act of faith that we’ll ever take. For the world is uncertain and scary, and yet we trust that we will be able to guide our little ones through it and come out the other side. We trust that we can help them grow into good people, kind people, people that we would like to be with as they get older — or people that we would have liked to be.
We trust their teachers to teach them well, and their school bus drivers to bring them home safely, and the rest of humanity to treat them kindly and with care.
We have to trust. We have no other choice.
And so tomorrow, for my children, I will walk into the chemotherapy infusion unit, smile at the nurses, and offer my arm. They will smile back, ask how I’m feeling, insert an IV drip into my arm, and pump poisionous chemicals into my body. Chemicals that will kill the cancer and, hopefully, not kill me too much first.
I will spend the next week trying to recover, quietly, here at home. The first days will be hell. Then, slowly, but surely, I will feel better and be back to something approximating my normal self. I believe. I believe that it will work.
I don’t know.
But it’s an act of faith.