Green cactus; Red rock

Green cactus; Red rock
photo by Linda Hoffman Kimball

Friday, November 6, 2009

ICHP & Isaiah

IPHC & Isaiah
(Intra-Perioneal Hyperthermic Chemotherapy)

"Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hands, which he had taken with tongs from off the altar..." Isaiah 6:6

by Linda Hoffman Kimball

Cancer clamped
crusty and gelatinous
in my husband’s gut
- his vitals and bowels.
With slow, relentless onslaught
(a dozen years of dumb, deadly work)
it filled every vacant space;
gripped every surface;
gooey sludge
crushing, stressing,
suffocating him
from the inside out.

A scan,
looking for something mundane,
Spotted the scourge.
Quick as we could say
We were
Down the dark hall,
Into the no,
No, no, no,

Our/His only hope:
Stretched in cruciform,
Deliberately split, slit
Sternum to stem,
Scooped, scraped,
Redundant entrails
And the shimmering
in steel bowls.

Then Isaiah’s hot coal:
Swathed, sloshed, scoured
into the raw vacuum,
“Lo, this hath touched thee;
and thine iniquity is taken away,
and thy sin purged.”

And will we yet have this second,
Greater cure?

And I cried with you, and we said,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts:
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

I spent several hours this morning in the LDS temple whispering in white, calling down the powers of Heaven to cleanse and prepare women for the bounty God has eternally in store for them. It made me recall the stark surgery my husband endured
in May of 2007 to rid him of a rare abdominal cancer (PMP). Doctors called my husband’s case “ultimate” in complexity and severity. The surgery involved removing every trace of cancer from his gut, removing all damaged or strangled organs, then bathing his raw interior with heated poison (chemo) to kill any outlier cancer cells too small to detect. The surgery and heated chemo treatment took 17 hours total.

We’re at 2 ½ years post surgery and he continues to be cancer free. In my reveries at the temple with its holy susurrations I felt reminded of what I need - a kind of cleansing by the deepest Healer, a cleansing even more thorough and ultimate than Chris endured.

1 comment:

  1. This poem is gripping, searing, and so well written that it sits heavy in my gut now hours after first starting to digest it.

    The "making of" section is like a poem in itself, and brings such an added layer of inspiration and connection with mortality and immortality that the combination reads like scripture. Like a modern day psalm and lament in one.