Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Update 2 Million and 65!

Have you ever wished for a window? 
My dad worked at Kodak for 30 years.  Because of the need for total dark conditions for many of Kodak's manufacturing processes, he had a few jobs that were located in windowless rooms and buildings.  I remember being probably 10 or 11 and feeling really bad for him that, in the winter months, he'd spend most weekdays without seeing daylight; he'd go in before the sun came up and come home after it had gone down.  Although he never complained, it just didn't seem right to this little girl that anyone had to live anywhere that didn't have windows.
In some respects, today was a windowless day for me.
One would think that MRIs, CT scans, bone scans, blood work/tumor markers, pain symptoms (or lack thereof)... would be clear windows that reveal what's going inside my body.   So far - today included - this has not held true for me.  This time, the MRI I had last week didn't show anything surprising (it wasn't clear, but didn't show anything vastly different than my other scans), but my tumor markers were above normal for the first time since June.   
So that's bad, right?  Tumor markers are no longer normal...that's got to be  bad, right?
It could be.
It could not be.
Apparently it's not uncommon that when a patient starts a new treatment (as I did this past month), tumor markers can go up temporarily. So although it could be a sign that my cancer isn't responding to anti-estrogen based therapies, it's not always the case and my doctor tends to think that I am responding to the treatment.  She said to me, "I'm not all that concerned, Kristie.  They didn't tick up much.  We need to just wait and see until next month."
Wait.  And see.  Next month.
Five words that, quite honestly, I'm getting tired of hearing.
Five words that make my head and heart be tempted to swirl with fear, worry and frustration.
Five words that make everything in me look frantically for a window.
Where is that window that tells me - unequivocally - what's going on inside my body?  
I've asked Roswell this question.  I've asked my friends in the medical world this question.  Heck, I may have even asked YOU this question in a moment of frustration!  And don't think that I haven't asked the Lord this question as well.  I've asked Him a million and one times, "What is going on in my body, Lord? Where is that window, Lord?  Show it to me."
Do you know what stinkin' answer I get every time - whether I want this answer or not...whether I'm looking for this answer or not...whether I cry when I hear it or not...whether it satisfies me at that moment or not?
Kristie,  I am all that you need to see.
But, Lord, I want to see - with my own eyes - what my bones are doing, what this disease may or may not be doing to my body.
Kristie, I am all that you need to see.
But, Lord, why is this so confusing? Why can't I see for sure which medical route to take, which nutritional route to take, how this will go?
Kristie, I am all that you need to see.
Laura and John and the kids came to our house on Sunday.  The boys went to the Bills' game (and I use the word "game" loosely). The little girls played American Girl dolls while  Laura and I talked. And talked.  And...guess what...talked.  Although we talked about way more things than what I can mention here, we talked about this old hymn that both of us used to think was a bunch of old "church-y" words that didn't mean much to us.  Boy, has that changed.
The hymn is "Be Thou My Vision."  Although it's not generally my "style" of music and although it uses some old, old words that are hard to immediately understand, I have fallen in love with this hymn.  (Click here to listen/watch if you'd like
The lyrics speak of wanting to see only one thing: God - the fullness of God, everything that He is and nothing that He isn't.  About Him being my best thought. About His presence being my light no matter the dark circumstances surrounding me. About Him being my wisdom, my great Father, the inheritance I long for more than any riches that I will receive from my earthly dad.  This hymn invites God to be first in my heart, to be my true treasure, my victory won.  And it ends with a simple, yet unbelievably challenging, line to say with an honest heart before Him: 
Whatever befall, still be my vision.
Whatever befall.  Can you say that honestly - with no reservation? Nothing held back?  I'm not sure that I can at all times.  But what I am beginning to realize is that I want to be able to do that at a moment's notice, with a pure heart.  I want to be able to stand honestly before My Father and say to Him that You are all that I need. That Your face is all that I need to see. That I trust You with my life and with my death - whenever and however that will be.  I want to say to Him that, if I am kept without a clear window to my physical condition from now until next month or the month after that or the year after that, that I will be satisfied with knowing that  You are all I need to see.  
Lord, this my vision.  All that I see.
So, what do I do for the next 28 days until my return to Roswell?  
I wait. 
And I sing that song.  
And I keep my eyes fixed on Christ.
And I trust in the One who created me, the One who loves me, dreams over me, the One who sees me.
Oh, and I get to go one a fun little trip to Aspen with my darling husband in a few weeks. (No skiing for me this year, but other adventures await, I'm sure)  :)
Good night, my friends...


  1. Hi Kristie, Thank you for that most wonderful encouragement this morning. You are so right that when all the dross is stripped away from this life, the only thing that remains, is Christ. And He is all we need. The Lord is at work in you, and what a testimony to His faithfulness and goodness. I was reminded of Ps. 73 as I read your blog: (v25-26): "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." I continue to pray for you and your family. You are a blessing. Love in Christ, Catrin

  2. Believing is seeing. - Polar Express
    OK, so maybe not from the BIble but I think it's biblical, nonetheless. You believe and so you see. In fact, because of your faith you have better, clearer vision than someone else with very weak faith. There are so many in this world who would love to see as you do. You are a witness.
    Praying always for you,