Sunday, March 5, 2017

Step 2: Facing the Future

Journal entries:

Friday, March 18, 2016

I am not telling my family yet. My kids just lost their father, to cancer, less than two months ago. How can I now tell them their mother has it too? Too soon, too much for me emotionally. Lord help me with this, show me how to tell them. I am going to wait until we know more, possibly next Wednesday, after we have seen the surgeon. They have to realize I am different than their dad, different health, different cancer. But I have to spare them, help them. Lord, increase my love and my compassion.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Nervous about Monday's testing. And new surgeon on Wednesday. Hysterectomy soon. Beach trip with the church the end of this month will probably not happen, I was told by the doctor. We will give our spot away, hoping the church can send someone in our place. Feels good to think someone may benefit. But Lord, please give me strength for the coming days.

Moving forward...

Diagnosis received. Plans made. Preparing for and scheduling the attack on this disease. And wondering, all the time wondering, what will this be like? How will I feel? Am I going to be a brave and good patient, or will I wither up and become the proverbial crybaby? Lots of emotions, fears, and wondering.

My CT went well. I am claustrophobic, so had a bit of trepidation at first, but the two techs were both wonderful, and new how to calm me. One ran the machine, one held my hand. I did fine. But while talking to me he asked me when I was getting my port-a-cath. I must have looked like a deer in the headlights! He backed up a moment and I guess I was speechless, because all of a sudden he was apologizing, saying he had just assumed...

I had never even thought about it. Never even crossed my mind that I might need a catheter placed to receive chemotherapy. The thought shocked me. I mean, I hadn't even seen the oncology surgeon yet to even really discuss the surgery itself, let alone what was coming after! When I looked at the tech's face, I felt so bad for him! Bless his heart, he had just made a mistake. So I told him, no I had not even seen the surgeon, so I did not know any of the possibilities, the needs, the options, at that point. We kinda laughed it off, and he really did help me through the testing. All was well. Well, except that now chemotherapy was on my mind. And two days yet before I would see the surgeon and get some answers.

And get some answers I did. My husband accompanied me to my visit with the oncology surgeon. I immediately liked her. She is German, and has a delightful accent. But what I really liked was her forthrightness, her openness, her total honesty. I didn't need candy-coated responses, or speeches about the success of the fight against cancer, or anything else. I needed her to tell me what I had, what she could do about it, and what my prognosis was. I needed to know how my life would be altered, changed, something different than I have always known. And she told me, she told us. She asked for questions, and we asked them. Since I work in the medical field, I knew many questions to ask, but my husband was the one. He asked questions I never even thought about, and I could tell the doctor was impressed too!

By the time we left there, we were satisfied that this was a fight we could win. Even though we both knew that there are definite unknowns with all cancer, the doctor was well prepared for us. While she set us at ease immediately, she also explained that while uterine cancer, with surgery and post-treatment, has a very high rate of success, the type I had was 'poorly differentiated'. I have seen this wording in medical reports often, but did not really understand what that meant. It means the cells are sneaky, and like to blend in with other cells, sometimes making it hard to target and destroy them. My tumor was large, and very close to the back of the lining of my uterus. So there was a bit of concern that some cells may be able to escape into the pelvic cavity. She explained the need for a little bit of radiation. She did not sense a need for chemo and she felt I had an excellent prognosis.

When the visit was over, she took us to the nurse who scheduled the surgery right then and there. My doctor stayed until we were done, and when the date was decided, congratulated us. Yes, she did! Why? Because due to scheduling issues and preparations they would have to make, the date of the surgery would be after our beach trip! And she told me, 'You need to go and have fun!'. The surgery was scheduled for April 5th, 2016, a Tuesday, three days after we would return from the beach!

My husband immediately made a call to our connections pastor, who said we still had our reservation. God is indeed a very good God!

"For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation."  
-- Psalm 100:5


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