The Wait

Today I am waiting for a phone call from the doctor I saw on Friday in urgent care. I had been having back pain that had gotten increasingly worse over 10 days or so, to the point of requiring narcotics for pain relief…figured I might want to get it checked out.

I first emailed my oncologist and gave them details of my current signs and symptoms. I love my oncology team at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Within a couple of hours I had a response that wanted me to get my most immediate symptoms checked locally and if I was comfortable with them starting an evaluation on my back pain, they were ok with that or I could choose to move my next appointment to a sooner date.  I asked how they would start an evaluation and was given guidance.

I went to the urgent care provider and he gave me a once over and sent me for x-rays (as Mayo had suggested to me). He was also sending me for a CBC (Complete Blood Count) to check for any abnormalities in my white cell counts which would indicate infection. I also asked for a hepatic panel (liver function test) as there is a history of slight elevation of some of my enzymes.

The imagining is to look for lesions on my spine…a common site of  recurrence from breast cancer.

Yes, I was freaking out, panicking about what a recurrence would mean.

I stressed most of the day waiting for the results. When I called the office at 4:00pm to see if the images had been read by the radiologist yet, I was informed that the regular radiologist was not in and the replacement had left at 3:00pm.

WHAT?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? I NEED TO KNOW.

Then I prayed.

Knowing at 5pm on Friday or noon on Monday was only going to rob me of the weekend with my boys. I picked them up from camp on Saturday and we spent the rest of the weekend hanging out. I was able to spend the weekend comfortable with not knowing.

Yesterday I finally figured out a few things.

First…it is what it is. Whether I have lesions on my spine or not, it doesn’t change who I am or what I have to do every day. I still have to wake up, get my kids to school, go to work, and live my life.

Here is what the difference would look like:

No Lesions:

  • Wake up
  • Get kids to school
  • Go to work
  • Pick up kids from school
  • Do homework
  • Make supper
  • Evening activities/sports
  • Bedtime

Lesions:

  • Wake up Get kids to school
  • Go to Work
  • Pick up kids from school
  • Do Homework
  • Make supper
  • Evening activities/sports
  • Bedtime

See, the very basic parts of my day won’t change. The only difference would be a few extra trips to the doctor, and restart chemo that would then continue for the rest of my life. I rocked the crap out of chemo last time…I’m ready to do it again if I have to.

My initial reaction to the possibility of having lesions was dramatic and sad and angry. Then I prayed…

No…I am not one to ask why me. I am very confident that whatever the outcome, it is all part of God’s PERFECT PLAN. How can I be upset with that.

If I have lesions then apparently all of God’s work was not complete the first time around and there is still work that He needs to accomplish through me having cancer…I’m game. I’d rather have cancer again than for somebody else to get an initial diagnosis…if only it worked like that.

I’m not a martyr, I’m not brave…I’m deathly terrified of dying before my children are adults. I am not afraid to fight this fight, I’m not afraid to be the face of cancer. I’m definitely not afraid to exclaim glory to God through it all.

I think what scares me the most, is how other people would react to it. It would suck finding out your loved one has metastatic cancer…there are no two ways about it. It would just suck. I do not want anybody to be sad…I want to see rejoicing in the opportunity to display God’s work and love in such a public way…not much more public than a fearless, loud bald woman coaching youth hockey, teaching Sunday School, and being upfront and center with life.

I don’t want people to be sorry…I want them to be excited…I want them to travel this journey WITH me. I want US to glorify God. I want to make everybody CRAVE to grow closer to God so they can live their lives to the fullest.

I want people to know that God is good ALL.THE.TIME.

As we stretch forward and learn today what I did not know Friday…pray. Pray to God asking for peace and understanding through whatever challenges we face.

Dear God,

I’m not going to ask for a cancer free phone call…I know that Your plan is already solidly in place and will play out according to what is good and what is right.

I ask that you prepare those around me for the next page of our story, the next chapter. Either working full time or part time with treatment…continue to surround me with Your awesome army of great doctors, nurses, caregivers, friends, loved ones, family…just as You have up until now.

Let us bring glory to You and we spread the word of Your good works in every aspect of our lives.

Give me the strength to continue being the fighter You designed. Teach me to be the light in the darkness…always light.

Let me be clear…I am scared silly…because society has beat it in to our heads from day one to fear cancer, to fear death. I combat this fear by constantly reminding myself that it’s all okay…I’m ok, my kids will be fine, this will only be a blip on our eternity with God…and we are all ok.

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