Wednesday, January 26, 2011

And the Verdict Is...

Still uncertain.
(You would think that I am getting used to hearing that, right? Hmmm...not so much.)
So the scoop is that my tumor markers are still elevated; in fact, a bit higher even from last month.  However, my oncologist and I talked through her logic as to why I shouldn't yet be alarmed by this.  Her exact quote was, "You shouldn't lose sleep over this, Kristie."   And, after hearing her logic, I am comfortable with the approach she has laid out. 
In a nutshell, I will return to Roswell in 5 weeks to be re-scanned and do more blood work.  If the markers are again elevated and/or the scans are worse than the ones in December, then I will change my treatment from an anti-estrogen based therapy to a traditional chemotherapy (yes, that's correct, that means baldness).  If they are virtually unchanged or even better then I will continue with the anti-estrogen therapy.
So I get a break from going to see my breast oncologist for 5 weeks; although I love her to pieces, I'm thrilled about not having to return for scans until 2/28!. 
The only other thing to share with you - for today, that is (and you're so lucky to only have to read a short email from me!) - is that my surgery to remove my ovaries has been moved up.  I will have my laparoscopic surgery on 2/14.  Is that going to be a rockin' Valentine's Day or what?!? My childhood friend, Kathy, is having her mastectomy that day as well.  Do we Webster High School girls know how to put a twist on the way most celebrate this holiday, or what?!?
Thanks for your prayers today. 
We're doing well.
Off to school to have lunch with my kiddos.  
P.S.  Chad and I had an excellent trip to Colorado.  He skied Breckenridge and Aspen.  I shopped Breckenridge and Aspen.  He drove a 2 wheel, rear-wheel drive car through a blinding snowstorm.  I commented on how dumb it was for me to save $300 by not renting a 4-wheel drive SUV.  He ate buffalo tartare (yes, he didn't know it was raw meat either when he ordered it).  I ate brie.  We both went dog sledding and almost went off the trail and down a black diamond ski slope being pulled by 10 dogs; literally, we were up on one rail, 3" away from going over the edge.  Can you imagine?!?! My bones would not have liked that! :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tomorrow (Wednesday)

Hi all...
I have to go back to "that place" again tomorrow.  At 8:45 AM I meet with my breast oncologist to discuss both the results of my blood work (to see if my tumor markers have returned to normal levels) and the impact, if any, of the suspicious spot on my ovary on my overall treatment plan.
I won't tell you that I have no worries; I do.  My bible study girls would attest to that fact as they witnessed the tears on my face today.  But I was reminded by some wonderful women that I have a trustworthy God who went to the ends of the earth and beyond for me, for you.  He is present and working and loving.  Always. No matter what. 
As soon as I know what the "scoop" is, I'll let you know. 
Until then, I would appreciate your prayers.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Update #21

I chose wrong.
Yesterday I made the choice to start off my day without spending time with God.  On most mornings, you can find me at our kitchen table with Bible open on the table and - as of 4 months ago, my puppy on my lap.  I love that time of day; I get up early for that time of the day.  I usually delay getting started on my "to-do" list until after God and I first meet in the mornings.  It has been both a habit and a joy for me for the past several years.
Not yesterday...there was just too much to do - important stuff, stuff that had to get done.  Stuff that, if it hadn't gotten done, other lives would have been negatively impacted.  So, I began my very full day without being freshly reminded of the God who loves me, who walks with me and before me, the God who never fails me.
Big mistake.
Because what I thought would be a routine visit to the Gynecology clinic at Roswell turned into a...
"You have a suspicious spot on your left ovary that may or may not be cancerous - breast or ovarian."
"You need to have your ovaries removed."
"The surgery doesn't have to be today, but you should have it in February sometime."
What's the proper typed word for "sigh."  Can you almost hear my exhale of breath?  Can you imagine my eyes turned toward heaven filling with tears?  Can you imagine my stomach tighten?  Can you envision my brain swirling and swirling and swirling?
How could I have even thought about walking into Roswell not prepared by a time of intentional conversation with and study of Christ?  What was I thinking?  Did I think that I knew what was awaiting me that day?  Did I think I was tough enough, studied-up enough, smart enough, strong enough, in control fill in the blank? 
Do you?  
Do you start your day thinking that you know what's going to happen and that you're prepared for it?  Do you live as though today and tomorrow and the day after that are known? That they'll be things you can handle? That you'll be able to live by your calendar, your Blackberry, the schedule you've followed most days?
What - dare I ask it - happens when the events of your day don't at all match your expectations? 
Do you wish for a "do-over?"  Do you wish you could look behind you and see days and days of different decisions, different priorities, different choices that would have been more of a solid foundation for the earthquake that may be happening to you at this moment?
While I don't long for a total do-over, I do wish that I could rewind the clock and, when I left my bedroom in the dark of yesterday's morning, that I didn't head to my office, but I headed to my "church" - a simple kitchen table, with a precious Bible, a Holy God and me - an imperfect, fallible, wholly loved little girl in the eyes of my Heavenly Father. 
Had I chosen differently, here's what perfectly-timed word from God through my daily devotional I would have read: 
TRUST ME by relinquishing control into My hands. Let go, and recognize that I am God.
This is My world; I made it and I control it.  Yours is a responsive part in the litany of love.
I search among my children for receptivity to Me.
Guard well this gift that I have planted in your heart. Nurture it with the light of My presence. 
When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before Me.
Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart.
Then thank Me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern the results....
*From an awesome devotional called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.
Oh how I wished I had read this and thought about this and thanked God for this in advance of my doctor's appointment yesterday.  To have that truth in the forefront of my mind, my heart, my spirit would have made all the difference.  Yet how thankful I am that God is a God who gives us a clean slate, who welcomes us with open arms and has new mercies for us each morning.  How thankful that I can choose differently today.  And tomorrow. And the days after that until I have the pleasure of meeting The King of kings and Lord of lords face-to-face. 
With love,
P.S.  The details:  Surgery is scheduled for 2/28.  It is laparoscopic so the recovery will only be about a week laying low at home.  I'm good with the timing of it - can still do the planned vacations and be feeling good when the kiddos have their February break. 
P.P.S.  The prayer requests...if you're looking for specific prayer requests, here they are:
  • That my eyes stayed fixed on Christ - nothing or no one else.  That I believe Him in full for all that He has promised me.
  • That Chad continues to be strengthened and encouraged; believe it or not, he is bearing the brunt of this burden...He is my prayer warrior, my tangible reminder of the love of the Lord, and the guy who makes this sometimes worried and sad girl smile and giggle.
  • That my tumor markers return to normal levels and that this suspicious spot would be nothing dangerous. For my body to continue to feel better (I do feel better...less achy)
  • That we will have the right words to tell Emilie and Daniel about this surgery.  We will probably not tell them until after my pre-op appointment on 2/15.