Monday, November 21, 2011

An Unexpected Turn

Not more than two hours after I posted my last journal entry my phone rang with the familiar OU Cancer Institute 405 number.  I answered quickly and heard my Gyn-Onc say that my last pap test came back showing abnormal glandular cells.  What?  I couldn't believe she was telling me this because my letter in the mail the week before said everything came back fine.  I asked her to clarify and cell phone died!  My mind whirling, I ran to find my charger and Billy and I stood and watched the slow moving bar creep across the screen to reboot my phone.  By the time it came up I had two voice mails from the doctor and I couldn't call her back  because the office was closed.

Her voicemail said that because of my history and the fact that I had a glandular cancer I needed to come in and have a culposcopy.  This really knocked Billy and I off our feat that night and thankfully we were surrounded by an amazing community group that did a great job listening and encouraging us to face the next step of this journey.  I did not want to tell anyone, but especially my family.  I was so worried it would knock them off their feet as well, but they were really positive too!

I faced my next Scan on Nov 15th as planned and thanks to lots of prayer the blood draw and the I.V went in the very first time.Although my kidney function was a little low they were able to perform both scans.  I came out of my scans to find my husband, parents, sister and nephew holding beautiful purple signs with words like "faith" and "endurance" written on them.  Next we met my brother and they treated me to breakfast out. My family never ceases to amaze me; they can make me feel special always!  I'll share what else they did for me on the 15th soon as well.  AMAZING!

Yesterday was my culposcopy date.  While getting ready at the hotel a song came to mind as usual, but it wasn't the song I wanted.  A few days ago the song, "One day at a time Sweet Jesus" was in my mind, but this day an encouraging song wouldn't come.  I kept singing the song "When I die Young, lay me in the river".   I knew this was Satan; Satan would know God always gives me a good song so I know he's there.  As I checked in at the OU Hospital to have my culposcopy I was not wanting to do yet another procedure. Everyone was so kind and tried very hard to keep me comfortable and Billy thought it was way too routine for our age.  My IV took a couple tries and really hurt, but I kept thinking "My suffering is so much less than your Jesus".

 The doctor did the procedure and got biopsies where the cancer was before, inside and outside of the cervix and scraped the inside of the uterus. Initial reads on last week's scan were good.  The "hot" spots around where my ovaries where were less "hot" indicating that it was not cancer, but most likely just inflammation remaining from treatment.  The doctor will give me her thoughts on the scan when she calls with the biopsy results next week.  I'm looking forward to this call so we can move forward with our life.

I am feeling pretty good today and I'm so thankful as I really didn't want to backslide too much with another surgery.  I'm happily at my sister's house in Texas for Thanksgiving and will update you when I know more next week! 

Thank you so much for everyone's prayers and good wishes! Our week took an unexpected turn, but we are grateful for good doctors and great friends and family!   We have much to be thankful for!

Friday, November 11, 2011

God does have a sense of humor!

Last night my son and I worked on a school project for his 4th grade class.  He was to do a timeline of his life from 2001 through 2011.  He wrote out when he was born (2002) and when his cousin was born (Breck, 2003), when his sister was born, when he began preschool and when our house burned down! (all 2006)  He went to kindergarten (2007), his cousin fell out of he 2nd story bedroom window on the concrete (2008), his sister split her head open (2009) and that his mom was diagnosed with cancer (2011) and he got to begin tackle football. 

All this printed out like it was no big deal!!!  I sure hope that he keeps this "child-like" faith throughout his life.  What a lot of crazy things for a 9 year old to see as big symbols of his life so far.  The most humorous part was that we needed pictures drawn or glued on to identify each of these historical events.  He had to draw something for all of the tragic events until he got to my cancer diagnosis.  He wanted to choose a picture of me from my facebook cancer folder. 

I ask him if he wanted this one taken after my sister fixed me all up for Alyssa's birthday party. I thought it would be a good one to post on a school project. 

He said, no way.  You look all pretty and healthy there.  I want this one instead.  It looks more like a cancer picture.  I wish he didn't know that. 

I'll go visit this place again this next Tuesday.  As crazy as it seems, the doctor called today and asked to move my appointment to Tuesday morning.  I think God has a sense of humor because as I've been dreading Tuesday as an emotional day, he is now going to have me go have a scan done to PROVE the cancer is gone on the exact day the doctor told me I HAD cancer last year.  Okay God, I know you are in control!  I'm counting on adding a line in Isaiah's timeline next year that says "Mom found out she was cancer free!"  I wonder what picture he'll choose to represent that?!? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9th: They Day It All Began

Today is November 9th.  A day like most others.  It falls on a Wednesday this year, so it began like most other days.  My first awake moments were spent trying to sleep for 9 more minutes between snooze on my bedside alarm. Before opening my eyes I easily found my robe and slippers and made my way to the kids bedrooms to wake them and ready them for school. I was ready and the kids were off to school so I spent a few moments talking with Billy before I rushed out the door to the office.  The day began so quickly that it took me a few moments to remember the date.  I'm not sure why as I've been thinking about it and the playing it over in my mind for the last few weeks.  I'm sure you've had those dates, when something happened that you'll never forget.  I have several in the month of November actually.  November 1st is a great day, where I've celebrated my husbands birthday with him for 16 years. November 4th we awoke to a house fire in the middle of the night.  I found out I was pregnant with our first child Nov 12th.  I've had multiple surgeries in November and my Nephew was sheltered by a mere screen when falling two stories from a window onto a concrete driveway. So many dates, but for this purpose I'm focused on November 

One year ago Billy and I walked into the hospital to have a quick procedure done.  My trusted doctor of many years was going to remove a vaginal lesion in hopes it would make me more comfortable and fix some minor symptoms.  My doctor was not concerned and didn't believe Billy and I should be either. for those of you that know my husband, Billy is constantly "concerned" when it comes to illness or medical procedures! I remember laying on the pre-surgery bed in my fashionable gown with and IV taped to my arm and Billy looking at my as if I were the most adorable thing on earth.  He was worried about me and being the stubborn woman I am, I chose to make light of the situation and hold his hand as I made jokes and relished in laughing with him in our private room of white curtains.  I actually remember it as a sweet time knowing we'd been through several surgeries together already, all mine of course.  Everything always turned out fine and I had no reason to think this one would not.

Little did we know our life was quickly going to turn a corner that would be both beautiful and extremely ugly at the same time.  I would be barely recovered from my surgery to be called to my doctor's office for a personal review of the pathology results.  November 9th cancer was partially removed from my body and so the journey of hope would begin.

In light of it all, God was so in charge.  He was already miles ahead of me preparing the way so that I would see Him in all my days ahead.

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God.  Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to shom we are accountable."   Hebrews 4:13

"You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." Psalms 139:16

As the first anniversary of this journey is here, I've told my stubborn mind to focus only on the constant provisions that were in place for myself and for my family. The provisions that are still in place as we fight to get back to a sense of normal, while still dealing with appointments and symptoms that constantly remind us life is not the same. 

Please continue to pray as this month brings up many emotions and remembrances for me.  All at the time when my remaining and unseen symptoms sometimes want to overwhelm me.  Pray as I will have new scans next Monday and we pray that the activity seen in June is now gone and that there is nothing else to be seen.

"Let them all praise the name of the Lord.  For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven!  He has made his people strong, honoring his faithful ones - " Ps 148:13-14

Lord, may I be faithful....