Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Update #53

Just a quick one now…perhaps I'll write more later…

Based on scans and slightly increased tumor markers, I will be changing treatment to an endocrine based therapy.  This therapy is a newly approved therapy for Breast Cancer and one that has side effects that are substantially easier than traditional chemotherapy.   I will start taking these daily pills in the next couple of days.   One of the listed side effects is "a change in personality."  I openly laughed out loud at that one.  That's funny.  How in the world do they measure that?  (Let's hope I don't have to come back in a few weeks and tell you that I know why that's listed as a side effect. Thank goodness I'm not naturally wired to be a hypochondriac…can you imagine!?! :)

So, although I'm not starting a hard chemo regiment (for which I am beyond-words grateful), I do have a few prayer requests that'd I'd love for you to be praying….

(1) There MAY be cancer now in my lung. If so, it's small (and no symptoms that I can tell).

(2) I MAY need to have radiation done to my left femur as it's been causing me some pain.  I will consult with a Radiation Oncologist in the coming days.

(3) I MAY need to have surgery to put a rod in my femur to stabilize it. I will be meeting with a orthopedic who specializes in bone-based cancer in the coming days.

(4) Although there are several not-so-nice side effects of this new endocrine therapy, a more common one – and one that could preclude me from continuing with this therapy – is debilitating mouth sores.  I don't want those.  Nor really do I want ANY negative side effects!! :)

(5) I would really like for this treatment to work wonderfully.

(6) I would really, really, really like for cancer to be fully, forever and ever gone from my healthy body.  Now, that's a risky, bold prayer.  Anyone signing up for that one? :)  I know that I have been, and will continue to,asking for that and have been/will continue to do my best to trust His answer and His timing. 

Thanks, friends.

You know, not every time I've gone into Roswell, have I walked in and out emotionally in a good place. Today – despite the seemingly difficulty of the news that I heard – I did.  I'm super thankful for that. 

I hope no matter what lies before you, no matter what your feet are walking thru, no matter what your eyes see as they glance around you, no matter what your ears can't help but hear…in the midst of all that, I hope you have a deep sense of His hands holding you.   It's not always an easy place, but it's a good one. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Update #52 - With a Twist

It's been three years since my re-diagnosis. 
And it's been three years of you having to read update after update after update as to what's going on in my life. 

In honor of your tremendous commitment, I've decided to give you a break from reading yet another typical update and have determined that you all must now have the opportunity to experience my fantabulous poetry skills. In fact, I'm sure that, once you read this poem, you will decide that Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss have nothing on me. 

Roswell tomorrow.
Oh how fun.

Roswell tomorrow.
Hmm…what has this cancer done?

Roswell tomorrow.
For scans, scans, scans.

Roswell tomorrow
I may need ya, but I ain't one of your fans. 

Any applause? 
What's that, you say? 
Perhaps I should stick to just plain 'ole writing?


Be back in touch next week Wednesday after I hear the results. 
Until then, please know that I will be forever thankful that you have walked these years with my family and me.   You have loved us well.

Love to you,

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Update #51

Super late in posting...sorry...this was sent out on May 1, 2013

[Oops. I almost forgot to lead with the punch line from today’s visit at Roswell: scans scheduled for 5/22 with a follow-up appointment on 5/29 to hear the results.  Also heard that there may be another non-chemo based option that is available to me if a change in treatment is needed based on the scan results. All in all, much easier news than what I could have heard and there’s a relief in that for me.  But rather than talk more about that, what I really wanted you to hear was this…]

Two nights ago, I popped into Daniel’s room for the still popular (thank goodness!) “tuck-me-into-bed” time.  I found him like I often do: snuggled under his covers with a stuffed animal held tightly in his hand. However, on this night, his head was buried in his pillow and he was crying.  

“What’s wrong, buddy?”
Sniffle, sniffle, cry, cry. “I don’t like being a kid.”
“Why’s that, D?”
“Because I don’t have any control.”

After a little cajoling, I found out that Daniel’s tears were due to his daddy saying “No” to his request to have a treat before bed.

You see, Daniel wanted a treat. Bad.
He knew what treat he wanted.
He knew where it was located.
He could imagine how great it would taste, how it would make his belly feel.
How good it would be to have.

He also knew how easy it would be for his dad to say yes to his request and he didn’t really understand…he certainly wasn’t okay with…why his dad was saying no.

Begging and pleading didn’t work to change his dad’s mind.
Arguments and logic didn’t make a dent.
Even the tears that fell from his eyes didn’t have the effect that he wanted them to have.
His dad held firm to his answer, “Not now.”

And when Daniel came to the end of his ability to bargain, his ability to try to persuade…his little 10-year old self got frustrated.  And, for one night two days ago, he determined that the only solution must be to stop being the kid.  To trade his position for the position of his parent.  It had to be better than just being the kid, right?  He’d do it better, right?

Oh Daniel.
How I know how you feel.
I’m sometimes that kid too.  

I’m that kid who has asked and has asked and has asked again and again her Dad in Heaven if she could have something. If He’d open the pantry door and allow her to get that sweet treat of easy, easy news. News that she sometimes thinks would just make everything all better.

I’m that kid who has cried in her pillow as she’s struggled with not understanding this. Not understanding His “not yet” answer.  Who doesn’t like it.  Who wants to know why.  

I’m that kid who wants her tears, her bargaining, her honest heart-gushings to change His “not yet” to a “Yes!” response.  

And, I’m also that kid who, when she doesn’t get the answer she wants, is tempted to believe that life would be so much better if she were in control. If she made those decisions. If she had unhindered access to the pantry of treats and could grab what she wants when she wants it.

Oh yes, Daniel, how I understand.
The seeming-withholding of a sweet blessing is difficult whether you’re 10 or 40.

And as I spoke words of truth to Daniel that night - truths about the great and many benefits of being the child of his father - Daniel’s sobs subsided. The tears stopped falling.  His crumpled, distraught face calmed. And soon a smile began to appear on his face.

Was it the exact words I spoke that made the difference?
Oh, I’m sure they had an impact.

But my guess is that the exact words weren’t really the game-changer for him.
I think the real game changer was that Daniel was reminded that his dad loves him.

I learned afresh these past 24 hours that it's the game-changer for me too. When my heart is hurting and I’m frustrated, all the truth contained in His word doesn’t soothe, doesn't mend, doesn't infuse joy unless I hear and trust that those words are spoken by the One who loves me.    Knowing that the One who hears and responds to my deepest needs and my most desperate pleas...knowing that He loves me...puts my list of worries, complaints, and frustrations in a surrendered, restful position.  

And that's a far better place to be.
Just ask Daniel.  

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement today. I will say it again and all rock.