Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hands

In addition to musical experiences I will be blogging about my life--present and past--and my beliefs. This morning I am thinking about my hands and how raw they are getting from washing and washing and washing.............with soap or disinfectant. The "joys" of keeping swine flu away!!
At age 14 one of my sons was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease; he fought this for about 1 1/2 years. He was initially treated with chemo followed by radiation and the cancer was thought to be gone. It came back and this time the chemo treatments were longer and stronger. The cancer did not always respond, and when it did it only some of the cancer cells were destroyed. The doctors finally decided to use MOPP--one round. That seemed to do it! The cancer appeared to be gone--or at least gone enough for a stem cell transplant using his own cells which had been collected and frozen some months before. The transplant followed and my son has not had any more cancer...his condition is stable. This June/ July will be 4 years since the transplant and hopefully his tests will still show no cancer.
My purpose in writing about this is to give some background about hands. During treatments my son's hands were in awful shape. They became very dry and would crack and bleed. He was not diligent about treating them! My hands were also getting raw from cleaning them often because my son was more susceptible to illness when he was undergoing treatments. I found myself using handcream often, something I have never been diligent about (my mother tried!). Before the stem cell transplant our family was educated in the necessity of keeping his hospital room and our home free of germs; his immunity would be zero following the transplant, and it would grow back slowly. It was a long haul of cleaning hands and wiping/spraying surfaces with disinfectant. My hands also began to crack and bleed (off the subject-----100% shea butter is great for this!!). My son handled the transplant very well and did not contract any illness; he was released from the hospital about a month later to continue care at home.
When the swine flu precautions began I thought "go into cancer mode....clean the hot spots...". Maybe it is overkill, but better safe than sorry! So once again my hands are getting in bad shape and my family is complaining about the smell of disinfectant spray.
Washing and washing..........washing and washing...........wouldn't it be wonderful if all we had to do when we make a mistake is wash it off?? So simple. Just wash. Everyday---every time we goof up. Pontius Pilate tried it--over and over. And it didn't work.
I have been pondering the atonement of Christ and it's role in cleaning our hands spiritually. A line of Psalms 24 has been on my mind this morning so I looked up the rest of it....here is part......."Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation." Doctrine and Covenants 88: 74 is another good scripture about clean hands.
When my son was sick I did not know how I would be able to cope with all the trips to the childrens' hospital--the red tape, the waiting, the treatments and all I had to learn, my son's reaction, etc. It was overwhelming and depressing. There was a long hall/bridge that went to the Hot Unit where he often stayed in the early weeks. One day, while walking down the hall, I had a spiritual impression that the children were carefully watched over from the other side of the veil, and in that place there were no mistakes and red tape. From that moment I began to feel comfort. Things were difficult at times, but that experience comforted and reassured me. In fact, when I thought of that experience the Hot Unit became almost holy. It might seem crazy to some, but for me that was very real at times. Every doctor and nurse, every care person had a role in that imperfect, but holy place. My son was cared for from both sides of the veil, and I believe he agrees. I imagine that many clean and pure hands cared for him across the veil as we washed and washed and washed on this side.
Many other thoughts are going through my head, such as how important our covenants with God are and that holy place, the temple. Later.............

1 comment:

  1. beautiful. The scripture that comes to my mind about hands is when Christ will someday come "and show the nail prints in his hands that were made in the house of his friends." I did a bad paraphrase of that but I realize how important it is that we never do things or say things that will scar those we love.

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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.