Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Update #25

Quick update now...more later...
Hard news today:  cancer appears to be progressing.  The places where I feel (a little) pain are places that show on the scans as having cancer.
Have a choice:  weekly chemo (taxol/avastin) or a 3rd-line anti-estrogen treatment.
After extensive conversation, have chosen the 3rd line anti-estrogen.
I'll be rescanned in May. If there's any progression at all, chemo will be the next step.
The anti-estrogen treatment is delivered by injection.  Today I was the lucky recipient of 2 shots.  In two weeks I get two more and then I'll get two more on a monthly basis after that.   And, oh, did I mention the shots go into my butt?  (Thankfully, the few extra pounds I've gained these past months helped to absorb the pain!)
I'll write more later, but that's the scoop for now.  Off to put a heating pad on my cheeks.  You know...those cheeks, not the ones above my neck! :)
Love to you all and thanks for your prayers.  Despite the swirling waters, there was a deep sense of calmness and peace.  God does that. 
P.S.  Almost forgot...the bright spot of today's medical news is that they've changed their assumption about the two small spots in my lungs; they're now thinking that they are NOT cancer as they haven't changed a bit since my first scans in May.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Prayer Request

Headed to Roswell tomorrow (Wed) for an 8:30 meeting with my doctor to hear her "final analysis" of what's going on inside my body.  Won't lie.  Not totally calm about it.  Have minor aches in my back and pelvis that make the mind wonder.
But I also won't lie and tell you that I'm a wreck; I'm not.   And it's because, today, I heard afresh some really cool things that I needed to hear and place at the forefront of my mind. Things about... 
The infinite trustworthiness of Christ - that He is faithful and good. No matter what.
The truth that I am wrapped completely in his arms and hidden in His protective wings.
The fact that God provides so much more than even my (excellent!) dad can. 
So as I type this my heart and mind are soothed by these truths - how thankful I am for that.   No knot in my stomach.   I pray that continues tomorrow morning.  If you have a moment, I would appreciate prayers for Chad and me as we meet with the doctor tomorrow.  
As always, thanks so very much and I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Update #24

Seriously, this is getting ridiculous.  I would say that I'm laughing about it, but there's just too much at stake to find this funny.  
The short answer is that we still aren't sure what's going on. 
(I know that you must think that I have crappy medical care, but I assure you that I don't...I'm a complicated case, apparently).  
Did you ever write those poems in elementary school where you tell a story by starting each line, alternately, with "Fortunately" and "Unfortunately"?  I feel like that's the theme of today as it relates to the news I heard from the doctor:
Fortunately,  my tumor markers went down.
Unfortunately, they only went down minimally.
Fortunately, there was no cancer in my ovary and no follow-up is needed.
Unfortunately, my bone scan and CT scans showed additional activity.
Fortunately, it still might be due to healing.
Unfortunately, I have to have an MRI of my spine to see if this sheds that "last piece" of information that will clarify my bone situation. 
Fortunately, the spots in my lungs haven't changed.
Unfortunately, there are too many "fortunately's" and "unfortunately's" to know even medically what the deal is until I meet with doctor againafter she's had the tumor board at the hospital review my case!'
Don't get me wrong: hearing all this is way better than hearing only "unfortunatelys"; I saw several patients today who looked as if they've heard - and have been hearing - lots of bad news lately. 
But if I didn't tell you that it's not what I wanted to hear, I would be lying.  And, as you know, I made a commitment to you to be as brutally honest with you all as I can be.  This journey isn't meant to win anyone awards.  I'm not up for an Academy Award for Best Actress.  There are enough actresses in the world, and there are enough people (me included) who spend way too much time making it seem like everything's good, everything's fine, that faith is clean and simple and straightforward when it's anything but that.
What I wanted to hear was: "Oh my goodness Kristie.  We can't find a trace of cancer in your body.  We're totally perplexed and you are totally healthy."  I don't honestly think that any amount of additional faith will ever change this desire. 
I really don't. 
And I will sing songs of praise, do a funky dance, embarrass my kids, and tell the stinkin' world what has been done the moment I that I do hear those words.  (I will.  Just you wait.  Be ready to look at me as if I'm a crazy lady.  I'm cool with that.  J)
But, unfortunately, today isn't that day.  Or at least it doesn't appear to be that day. 
After spending a little time crying and worrying as I left Roswell and had to make some hard phone calls to people I love, I have been reminded that I will always be living with some degree of uncertainty.  And, guess what?  So are you - whether we both realize it or not, both like it or not, both want it to be that way or not, both do everything in our power at times to try to pretend that this isn't true. 
So...hmmm...I've thought all afternoon about this and here's my response to living in's what I'm going to do about this:
I'm going to live.
And not just be alive.
But live.
Thanks to Christ, that means that I have the privilege and the right to live abundantly, live joyfully, live peacefully, live contentedly, live hopefully, live humbly, and live expectantly, live without worry or fear or anger or despair. 
I think I'll take it.  I hope you do too.
Thanks for your prayers.  (Really. I need to come up with a new way to say "thanks."  You all are out-doing yourselves in loving me and my's fabulous!)