So mrangelmeg and I went to Louisville last night to spend a wonderful Jazz Filled evening with friends of mine from Gradual School. We all met up at the Jazz Factory for an amazingly fun evening with Harry Pickens. Even mrangelmeg, who isn't much of a Jazz fan had fun, with this concert at which Harry wove great tunes into a creative story that involved Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, and Snoopy, The Grinch and the Girl from Ipanema. We laughed, we cried, it moved us all.
Part of the tears were because we were there with Deacon John and his wife Claudette. John had his first round of Chemotherapy that day to battle Poindexter (the name he has given to the tumor on his sternum). Hence the title of this post. John and Claudette gave us all St. Peregrine medals which in Claudette's words "John did his Deacon thing over," by blessing for us, so that we can wear or carry them (as we choose). I put mine on right then and there, on the necklace that also has my Madonna and child pendant which I never take off. We are now in the anti-Poindexter forces -- prayer warriors against the growth on John's chest.
We were all offering him pledges of support last night, for anything he might need, any time, day or night. We are all in this to win this. As John said about his reason for naming it Poindexter, "If I can't beat a thing called Poindexter. . ." With our help, Poindexter doesn't have a chance. We are all looking out for him in our own way. One of our friends has a PhD and is doing all of the Internet research on therapies and new treatments and making sure that they understand exactly what the Dr. is telling them. One of our friends is offering to be personal assistant; shopping, cooking anything they might need.
I, being the person that I am, offered to be the comic relief. I gave John the complete Ernest collection on DVD. Because I know the healing power of laughter. I also told him that whenever he needed something to laugh about all he had to do was call me, because heaven knows my life is pretty comical to just about everyone.
He will be losing his hair in the next few weeks. When I asked if Claudette could send me some he laughed and said only if it didn't become a first class relic. We both feel the same about saints relics (ick). I just love his hair and wanted a reminder about how beautiful it was. Maybe not. I think he will make a very striking bald man.
He promises that he will be starting a Chemo-related blog to go with his Speakin' Deacon blog. I hope he does, because I know that his thoughts on the spirituality of this journey will help a whole lot of people -- those who have cancer or some other illness, and those who are just struggling to find God in the tangle of their every day lives.
I will keep you updated, if you all promise to keep praying for my friend as he continues his fight. As another of our friends said last night, it has nothing to do with statistics, I am just being selfish, I haven't known him near long enough to have something as stupid as Poindexter take him away from me. I will do everything within my power, which is ask everyone I know to pray for him, and storm heaven myself to prove to God that John is still very much needed down here.