Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas to Me #2

Today I had my brain MRI follow up with my nuerosurgeon, Dr. Duma.  He gave me a clean bill of health!!!!!!!!!! Then said I don't need to come back for 4 months but changed his mind just to play it safe.  So, I go back in 3.'s been a good week.  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No Monday Blues this Week

Mondays are not my favorite day of the week.  Typically I think that Monday mornings are pure evil better left for over achieving morning people.  This week, not so much.

Last week I went in for a PET/CT scan and a brain MRI.  This morning I received the results of the PET/CT scan with a smile, a Merry Christmas, and LOTS of hugs and kisses. No, I am NOT cancer free but the results were nothing short of amazing. Nothing short of miraculous.

As I type this up, I find myself getting pretty emotional - and I’ve had two days to process the news.  It’s as if I’m afraid to allow the greatness to really sink in.  Too many years of bad news, I guess. But what the scan results revealed was “marked” improvement in EVERY area...bones, liver, lung, breast, everywhere.  My wound is even completely closed now.  The first time in over 2 years.

Dr. Link is so thrilled with the results that he is planning on writing an article all about me and having it published in some medical journal!! 

All of this healing comes, in part, from a chemo pill that is not FDA approved for breast cancer.  But really it’s mostly from lots, and lots, and lots of consistent prayer. This is becoming very apparent and not just to me and Reed - but to those who’ve watched and medically understand what I’ve been going through far better than I do. 

During my appointment, I was overjoyed to be part of a beautiful conversation.  It’s a private story but I will tell you there were a good amount of happy tears and clapping because of the realization of how truly powerful prayer is and that it is “at least 50% responsible” for the healing I’m experiencing.  Of course I said I agreed but thought the percentage was a lot higher!! 

I desperately needed some good news during the month of November...THIS November.  Even though this news didn’t come in the “right” month, it is the results of the healing that occurred in November.  It was exactly what I needed to hear in order to feel alive again and to see that God IS keeping His promise.

I have been incredibly numb for a good while now.  Unable to feel emotions of any kind.  Other than a little bit of anger, a smidgen of compassion, and a decent amount of sadness when two out of three of my favorite nurses baled on me (kidding - good reasons behind both). Ok, ok, so I’ve had a few emotions but truly I’ve lived in Numbville for a long time and it really isn’t fun. 

God created us with feelings for a VERY good reason.  It’s hard to think rationally if you cannot feel. I developed an “I don’t care attitude” about virtually everything but was able to “fake it” well enough to appear as if I did care.  Mostly because I hoped one day I would not be numb and at that point, I would care. I didn’t want regrets. Or maybe I believed that I could fake it until it became real.  Who knows?

Today, I’m not numb but I also know that I am incredibly vulnerable and could slide back there at any point. 

In Mark 5:34 Jesus says...”Daughter, you took a risk of faith and now you’re healed and whole.  Live well, live blessed, be healed of your plague.”  As many of you know, God has spoken these words to my heart over and over and over again as His promise to me that, someday, I will be rid of this cancer for good.  I will admit that there have been times when I got to a point of serious doubt. Had I heard God incorrectly ALL those times?  No.

This scripture has been my life line for 5 1/2 years.  The woman in the verse had her ailment for 12 years before God healed her.  November marked the 12 year “anniversary” of my original diagnosis.  The woman spent all her money and used up all her medical options.  We’ve spent lots of money and are virtually at the end of the same 12-year time frame.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

Four years ago November, God again spoke to me in an unusually loud and gut wrenching way telling me twice that I was on the right road and that I had only 4 more miles to go.  I couldn’t figure out what He meant but I knew that I had heard Him loud and clear.  Did He mean 4 minutes? 4 hours? 4 days? 4 months? 4 years?  WHAT???!!!  I was hoping for 4 seconds dreading the thought of dealing with this for 4 more years.  After months went by and then the 1 year anniversary of my “experience” came and went, dread took over and I realized He was likely saying 4 years.

About a year-plus-ish ago maybe two years (some things are a blur), several ladies from church spent an evening with me to pray for my emotional and physical health.  During their prayers, a mention was made of the woman in the Bible and the fact that she was ill for 12 years.  A “ding, ding, ding” went off in my head and I realized that my 12 year “anniversary” and the “you only have 4 more miles to go” time frame landed on the same November.

To those who haven’t walked in my tiny shoes, this easily sounds like religious mumbo jumbo and strange mysticism.  Because I’m living it, I know it’s neither of these.  It’s all very real. 

I was anxious the entire month of November wondering if what I hoped was going to happen, would actually take place.  To be honest, I believed/hoped God would bring healing in a more spectacular way.  I begged and begged until I just couldn’t beg anymore.  But God is choosing to heal me in His way and I just have to be ok with that.

Am I out of the woods yet?  For sure no.  Could the chemo stop working? Um...of course.  Do I think it’s going to keep working?  I really do. So for now, I continue with my current regimen.  This means I begin the chemo pills this Friday and take them for 5 consecutive days.  And, we continue the prayer regimen, which never ends.


God is continuously telling me this too...

You will not die, but live to declare the works of the LORD. Psalm 118:17-18 (KJV)

P.S. #2

I have hair growing on my head!!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Eli's Honesty

“I can’t wait until you’re healed because then you’ll be a regular mom again.” Nothing stabs or encourages like the honesty of a child.  Eli said this to me a couple of days ago and my immediate reaction was a knife to the gut.  Before I allowed tears to drip down my face, I calmly (sort of) asked him what he meant.  He said, “Well, you know, now you have to sleep a lot and when you’re healed you won’t.  Then you’ll be able to do stuff like regular moms do.”

Oh how I hated hearing this.  Eli meant no harm and I am THRILLED that he truly believes this cancer will be gone some day.  I really should focus on this but, as I’ve said many times, I love being a mom.  I’ve never had any regrets about choosing to stay home and raise my brood.  It makes me sad that for 2 1/2 of Eli’s 8 years, I have been on chemo.  I doubt he even remembers what it was like to have a “regular” mom. 

To be honest, I don’t exactly remember what my days were like pre-chemo.   What I do remember is super high productivity even late into the night.  I was high-productivity obsessed and it wasn’t healthy.  But it made me feel good.  Feel successful.  Everything was spit shined and organized before I turned in for the night.  And there was almost never dirty laundry because I was washing it almost daily.  At one time, a long, long time ago, I actually ironed all our shirts.  Plus, I was cooking regularly, taking part in a Bible study, and homeschooled with field trips.  I expected a lot of myself and was discouraged if I didn’t meet my own expectations. 

Contrast that to’s literally a 180.  I look at that list now and think “how in the heck did I do it all?”  No wonder Eli doesn’t see me as a “regular mom”.  But I also know he compares current day me to what he sees other moms doing with their kids.  Baking, cooking dinner, going on fun adventures...interacting more.  Not sleeping away a day, or doing school from mama’s bed, and he almost never sees me at the stove.

I have dealt with massive guilt about not “being there” for my boys in the way I think I should.  That’s why the comment stung so much but I can’t change what’s happened and I have no desire to be the intense person I once was. I’ve seen growth in other areas of the boys’ lives that wouldn’t have happened had we not all gone through this journey together.  I’m hoping once all this cancer is gone, I can be about a 90 (instead of 180).  That to me will be success and my new “regular mom” norm.