On our way to the National Cancer Institute

Last night we settled into our hotel after quite a full day of packing, last minute errands, flying, meals with new friends, and a long drive to Rockville, MD. We are staying at a hotel just a few METRO stops down from the National Cancer Institute. We'll head downstairs in a few minutes to grab some breakfast and then take a shuttle over to the METRO to give us plenty of time to make sure we are there right on time for our 8:30 morning appointment.

I've been up since 5AM today, but that's a good thing, I think. I'm not really feeling too anxious about what the day holds. We are excited to hear what NCI has to offer and hopeful that we will feel peace through the whole process and get all of our questions answered.
The flight up here yesterday was quite possibly one of the most beautiful gifts God has given me in a while. We could see the ground the whole time (small planes fly lower than commercial aircraft) and we had these headphones to wear because it gets really really loud inside the plane. The headphones did an amazing job of noise cancelling and piped satellite radio music into them. On our way up we were serenaded by James Taylor and John Denver (I did get a tad bit nervous when John Denver came on, but decided to not be superstitious).

Also, I couldn't really talk to Kevin at all, and so even though we were sitting next to each other, we both just silently enjoyed each other's presence and the flight. It was very very good for me to have that silence imposed on me. It was a 2.5 hour flight and I spent a good deal of it just being quiet and still. I didn't really pray a lot exactly, but just felt still in His presence, which is definitely what I needed I think.

 

At the last minute we decided to stay in a hotel, and I'm very glad because our friend Dane and Joni's house was quite a drive from NCI. The hotel is just a few metro stops down, so it should be relatively easy to get there this morning. NCI had a stupid crazy low preferred patient rate here (like more than half off), and it was only a little more than it was going to cost us to get a rental car (which we would have had to have done, since they lived so far). Apparently traffic here is epic as well, so another reason to be only making the drive once.

But Joni still picked us up from the regional airport near where they live in Fredericksburg (the pilot is an old friend of hers) and then we went out to dinner with her and her family. It was a sweet and special time.
Joni is not someone I knew personally, but is a close friend of my sister's from college. Interestingly, she'd been involved in advocacy for women's cancers for several years and then was diagnosed with breast cancer herself last fall at right around the same time as Kevin. This was shortly after she and her husband and their little girl Windsor had moved away from all of their family and support system. I cannot even imagine. She underwent surgery, six months of chemotherapy, and then radiation. She finished radiation about a month ago and is about to go in for scans that will hopefully continue to show an all clear.

We were able to chat openly with her a good bit about the other sides of cancer that aren't talked about a whole lot, and it was very affirming for all of us. She has a good prognosis and the scans are expected to come back clear, but even so please be in prayer that they will be clear and that she and NED (No Evidence of Disease) will be friends for the next five years until she can make friends with REMISSION!

Alright, it's about time to pack up and head downstairs for breakfast and the next leg of our adventure. I'm trying really hard to take lot's and lot's of pictures this time, even if they're not really great technically or artistically. The pro photographer in me trips myself up at times and then I end up not taking pics that are more snapshot worthy and less portrait worthy. In the end, a crappy photo is ALWAYS better than no photo, so I'm working really hard on this trip to do better.

Love to you all and keep sending prayers of peace our way!

-Shalom, Kevin and Rachel

 

 

3 thoughts on “On our way to the National Cancer Institute

  1. So glad that you got the time of being still imposed on you… even if it’s hard to sit in silence that long, it’s good for the heart, soul, and mind! I’ve missed our 6am morning walks, but I’m happy for the reason that they’ve been missed! Thinking about you guys along this crazy journey, and I’m praying for more moments of peaceful quiet and glimpses of God among the craziness for you!

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