It is over 5 weeks since I had a chemo treatment. My hair is beginning to grow back. I still await the beginning of the radiation treatments – hopefully next week.

I was measured and fitted for the radiation treatments on Monday. I will have 20 treatments – five days a week for four weeks. Normally radiation would take about 15 minutes a day. Because I will have at least eight lesions treated, it will take two hours. For this reason, there is difficulty scheduling me.  As my doctor said, it is like trying to fit in eight patients.

I am in more pain as these lesions grow in both number and size. I have started to take pain medication. This is helping some. I will be glad to get started in order to get some relief, if for no other reason. I am told that I should be able to drive myself to the treatments every day, and that there should not be major side effects other than skin burning similar to a sunburn, and increasing tiredness. I am ready!

I am trying to gain the grace of patience as I wait – a good grace for this Advent season! A friend reminded me of a question that Marion Woodman, a Jungian Analyst and author, would ask “what is the Christ that will be birthed in you this year?” This will be a different Christmas, but I have no doubt that Christ will be birthed in me. I yearn for this. I wait.

Six years ago this time I attended the Climate Change Conference in Montreal. While I was there, the minority Liberal government fell and I learned that Jim Loney, a member of the Catholic Worker community in Toronto and Christian Peacemaker, was taken hostage in Iraq. I remember being called to have hope for Jim, as well as for some meaningful action addressing climate change. Jim was released, after 118 days of captivity. The length of time at least tested my ability to have hope. He has written a book on his experience, Captivity. Happily President Obama welcomed home the last remaining US troops in Iraq this week. The end of a senseless, unneeded and expensive war based on a lie. Yes, Christ has been birthed in our midst. This week, after a similar Climate Change Conference in Durban South Africa, the Canadian government withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol. My ability to live with hope is being tested once again. I am embarrassed and saddened by our government. I continue to yearn for the Christ birthing in yet another way. And I wait.