As a nurse, I’ve taken care of many cancer patients and realize the time of quietness in the hospital environment is limited. I would enter their rooms to care for their needs in many ways: doing physical assessments, drawing lab work, hanging medications and chemotherapy. Sometimes, I’d walk into their rooms and they’d be sleeping or staring at the television. Perhaps they had too much quiet (no visitors at their bedside) or maybe they craved more. Many of them were feeling the grief involved with the cancer journey. I would often times try and engage them in conversation. Or, I’d try my best to be quiet if that seemed appropriate at the time. Their lives were at a standstill compared to what they lived outside of the hospital and part of their journey involved being still compared to what their life had been. A positive energy exists in the act of being still (energy in a different form) that can help us process and heal thoughts and emotions.
When I was going through cancer treatment, there was so much time I had to be still. I was on disability, unable to work. Many of my hours were spent sleeping, lying on the couch with no energy, lying on the couch fighting the nausea monster, or feeling so weak I could barely get off the couch. Back then, I looked at it as wasteful time, “I just want to get back to normal life.” But, it was necessary. The stillness allowed my body to heal and allowed my mind to go into neutral, perhaps a requirement in dealing with the heaviness involved with the cancer journey. This other world, though uncomfortable, was setting new thoughts and a new pace that I probably would not have realized living the Richter scale speed I was living prior to cancer. I believe those times of stillness were powerful growth times with God. It’s easier to hear when we are still and life is quiet.