Okay, here's the deal. Most of what was thought to be cancer in the last scan is in fact either dead tissue or calcification from the procedures. A spot or two remain, but might be scavenging cells or healing tissue instead of cancer. So, for two months we will do the light chemo just in case and then do another scan to check to see if the remaining spots are malignant or benign. God is good and I am very relieved. Whooh!
Tuesday, April 2
Steve has his PET scan early tomorrow morning. This usually means we eat comfort food (including ice cream) tonight. To prep for this test, however, Steve cannot have any form of sugar for 24 hours. He's done well today with boiled eggs for breakfast and meat/veggies for lunch, but I guess pasta and dessert is out for dinner. With my "drug of choice" taken away, I guess I'll just have to rely on God for my comfort. This is exactly what I should always be doing anyway, of course. So the scan is in the morning and we get the results on Friday morning. This scan could show no cancer or it could show more cancer. Nothing to worry about though, huh? (a touch of sarcasm) My humanity is seeping through the cracks of my spiritual self today. This isn't a bad thing, but it's also not very comfortable in this particular situation. Prayers appreciated. Encouragement required. Thank you.
Posted by JZ at 5:57 PM
Thursday, March 28
While we were in California we had a missed call from our oncology office. I called today and just now got off the phone with a nurse.
A few days after our appointment, Dr. Ghosh had gone and looked at the CT scans with the radiologist, as he always likes to do. What he saw made him reconsider what he saw on the computer scans. Seems that the masses, which were thought to be live, growing tumors may actually be dying tissue. Since we're used to the strangest case scenarios, this isn't terribly surprising, but it is hope-filled and (dare I say it?) good news.
Instead of starting chemo next Friday, Steve will have a PET scan next week to see what is active tissue (cancer) and what is dead tissue. Dr. Ghosh doesn't take PET scans lightly due to the high radiation exposure, but this is the the test needed to find out the status of the tissue.
So...is this a fluke? Is this a case of just getting a closer look at the scans? Could this be an answer to prayer? A miracle? I can answer that. It's a miracle. Not because of the scan, not because of the results, not because of anything physical, but because of what happened to us spiritually, emotionally and mentally.
When we got the results and decided to get on the plane anyway, something shifted in us. We decided that no matter what, nothing was going to hold us back. As some of you long-term readers know, we have a history of canceling vacations due to health issues. While some are unavoidable, some really were due to backing up and not doing what we wanted to do because of the cancer. No more.
Steve said, while we were on our trip, that the moral to all this is: Go do it anyway, don't let anything hold you back.
We went on the trip anyway. We had fun anyway. We came back and made plans anyway. Steve is going back to work anyway. I am applying for volunteer position anyway. We refuse to have our life center around cancer and yet we know enough not to deny it's there, to do treatment, to seek answers.
I want encourage all of you reading this to also "Live Life Anyway". No matter what seems to cast a shadow on your life, don't stand in the shade...step out into the sun and live. Trouble is part of life and we can focus on it to the exclusion of everything else or we can deal with it as a part of life, focusing instead on the things and people we love.
It's about choice and guess what? YOU have the power to choose. Choose life. (smile)
Posted by JZ at 4:57 PM
Wednesday, March 27
We could really use prayers today...but I guess we could all say that all the time though, right? Our time away was good and proved to be a well-timed distraction. Now, back to reality and it's not easy. So much disappointment after so much work and (sadly) suffering. The cancer is back...not sure it ever went, which is hard to understand. Steve is to return to work on Monday and that can bring anxieties of its own. He could take more time off to do chemo, but feels that going back to work is the right thing for both the company and himself. He'll do chemo every Friday afternoon starting next week. It's bitter when hope caves into disappointment. We aren't really sure what happened, why it happened or what this all means, we just know the next step...and old step, a familiar step, an unwelcome, but doable step. We haven't lost our faith. We still trust God, but aren't shy to say that we don't understand. I am not one to believe that everything happens for a reason...sometimes things just happen. What I do believe is that God can use ALL things to move us toward good. That's what we're counting on. Right now, we need support. A lot of it. I'm not talking money (fortunately, we've been blessed in this regard)...we need encouragement. We need prayer. We need people to stand by us. I know it's been a long road. I know that you may be tired of reading about another setback, but we truly need you. We're sad. Cry with us. Encourage us. Give us hope and friendship and love. That's what we need. That's what I'm asking for, unashamedly. Thank you.
Posted by JZ at 11:41 AM