Music in the Radiation Room
At first the radiation treatment room was cold and intrusive. A huge machine lingers in the background like a weapon awaiting its next victim. An emotionless creation of mankind shooting high-powered X-rays through anything in its path. Hailey completed the radiation simulation where the technicians placed tattoo marks along her spine to ensure each treatment would be aligned to the most precise measurements. A two-piece mask was molded around her head to ensure she would not move while the radiation beam was emitting. They created a body mold she would lay into for additional stability and alignment. Pam and I watched as the technicians pushed the buttons on the remote control to move the alignment table back and forth. With the lights turned down, the technicians carefully adjusted the table until the lasers shining up and down Hailey's body were perfectly aligned with the marks along her spine and head. As we walked out of the room the 10 inch thick metal door slowly closed behind us. We watched on the monitor as our baby girl was lying face down with her head clamped in the blue mask. The technicians began inputting the radiation dosage into the computer program. As the radiation machine was turned on a loud buzz sounded and a red flashing sign above the shielded door read, "Beam In-Use." Pam and I bowed our heads as the sound of the radiation machine penetrated our souls. We prayed that God would send His mighty angels to shield and protect the healthy tissue from the radiation and at the same time hunt down each and every cancerous cell and bring it to a quick death. We prayed that God's favor would be upon the treatment and begin a healing process that would amaze even the doctors.
As with most of our experiences during this process the medical personnel were keenly aware of what would help the children endure the treatments. A visit to the treasure box after a long or difficult treatment, a microphone for Mom and Dad to speak to the child while alone in the treatment room and a stereo in the room so they can bring their favorite CD to filter out the sounds of the machine and the fear of the emptiness in the room. For the first several treatments we used a Hillary Duff CD we borrowed from the Children's Hospital. While leaving our house to drive to treatment I decided to grab a new CD, our family's favorite Christian artist Justin Unger. Many nights after saying prayers with Hailey she would ask me to turn on her CD player so she could fall asleep to the music. When it was Justin Unger's CD in the player she would always ask me to turn it to the song, "The Light of Hope." This song talks of a man who shares his faith in Jesus Christ with those who are filled with loneliness and despair. They respond with hope in their eyes saying, "Could this be true, did it happen to you? Does God know my name? You say I won't be the same? I want to know Jesus more!"
Somehow this day at radiation was different. The technicians put the Justin Unger CD in and turned it on, I watched them begin the alignment process on Hailey. Instead of the usual feeling of danger and fear surrounding the room I listened as the words to "The Light of Hope" began playing. The words of hope permeated the room. This time as the heavy door closed behind us I felt as if these words were a message from Hailey to the technicians telling them that Jesus was with her and He would protect her and His hand was upon her.
I decided to leave the Justin Unger CD in the radiation room so I would not need to bring it back each day. Besides, I have several of these CDs and if for some reason it ended up walking away it would bless the new owner as they listened to the inspirational music. As Pam and I were walking towards the treatment room, pushing Hailey in her wheelchair, we heard the words of Justin's songs echoing down the hallway. Before we had arrived the music of hope and inspiration was already filling the room. The technicians were hearing the hope of Jesus Christ. Pam and I looked at one another, smiled and whispered a prayer, "Thank you Lord. Even in the radiation room You bring hope to those in need of healing. Reach those who walk in and out of that room, bring those who enter both physical and spiritual healing."
It is just like God to take a situation filled with fear and replace it with hope, a situation surrounded by danger and use it to heal and restore. He restores broken relationships, He restores weary souls back to life, He restores the lost back to Himself and He restores bodies filled with disease back to perfect health. God is in the restoration business.
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children."