Went to see the radiation oncologist this morning and no decision has been yet made. He is reviewing my case further to see if he would recommend a short course (as little as 1 and as many as 10 daily treatments) of radiation right now or not. He's balancing out the risk of near-term fracture with the longer-term risk of fracture. He's also balancing out my current pain levels with the fact that, once an area is radiated, you are extremely limited as to the number of times you can radiate that spot again. I should get his recommendation by the end of next week. If I do need to get radiation, it can be completed before the kids are out of school for the year and that is a great thing.
Many of you have asked for specific prayer requests. In addition to my big request that my body becomes free of cancer forever...here are some specific requests:
1. Pray that my body responds to the Tamoxifen (60-70% of people respond to it) and the side effects are minimal.
2. Pray that the delightful "fast-tracked" menopause isn't brutal on me!
3. Pray that the kids will respond well when we tell them tonight.
4. Pray that the decision to radiate or not is clear.
One last little thing to share...
As I have walked into Roswell over the past 5 years for various check-ups, I always have to gear up to go into that place. As much as I am grateful for its existence, I - at the same time - find myself despising it; everyone there is some how and in some way affected by cancer and it can be a tough place to be as you look around at people whose bodies have been bombarded by this dreaded disease and the treatments they are receiving to battle it. I often say to myself, "I hate this place."
Today was no different when we first arrived.
However before we left, as I was waiting for the elevator to go down to the lobby, I looked up and I met the glance of a sweet-looking older woman. Her face broke into a soft smile. I didn't get it at first. Why is she smiling at me? It took me a second to realize that her smile came as a response to the smile that was on my face. And, as surprising at it sounds, that changed something within me.
In that instant, I realized that this place I say that I hate has become a new place that God has sent me. It's a new mission field. One that I don't want. One that I never asked for. One that I hope against all hope that I won't be stationed in for a long period of time because I won't need it any more. But I realized that I am placed here for "such a time as this." As much as I hate Roswell for what it represents, in that instant, I learned to see it from God's perspective. It's a place - just like any other place - where the hope of Christ needs to be shared. What that means specifically, I have no idea. I don't anticipate getting out a box and standing on it and preaching a sermon! Who wants that?!? But I got a clear glimpse that this isn't an opportunity to be wasted. It isn't a place to go in and do everything you can to avoid really looking around because the images of sick people are hard to see. It isn't the time to pretend that you're not like the "sick people" you see. As hard as it is to go there, God reminded me today that He is present in that place. And when God is present, hope comes. Now that's something worth sharing.
I probably won't be writing for a while. Just know that I covet your prayers...