I woke up this morning, pleasantly surprised to be awake!
Last night was a very rough night. It seemed as though I was having the worst seizures ever, at least as far as the sick feeling goes. There was no accompanying deja-vu feeling or funny smell, as was always the case with past seizures, so I'm not sure what exactly this was. But I had a series of waves of feeling really sick, as though I would lose consciousness. I considered going to the emergency room, but since my original ER experience last November, I have little faith in the competence of the care I would receive there. Back then, the ER doctor insisted that I was not having seizures, and because my C-T scan was clear, "it's not like you have a brain tumor or anything..." Had it not been for my brother (a dermatology resident) who could recognize a textbook seizure, and who insisted that I needed to press for an EEG, I'd be dead by now. Because within a couple of days I was seeing a neurologist, who ordered an EEG and MRI, and voila - seizures caused by a deadly, aggressive tumor. Left untreated, glioblastoma multiforme can kill in a matter of months. So anyway, I'm not likely to revisit that emergency room ever again.
For some reason last night, it got to the point where I wondered if this was IT for me. It's interesting, the thoughts that go through your mind when you think death is imminent. I remembered having scolded Jacob that day, and wished I hadn't. I thought about the things I still wanted to finish. I wondered if Jared would know my preferences for the funeral details. I was really glad that I said "I love you" lots of times to my family. And then, there was a sense of, "hey - this isn't such a big deal." That was an interesting reaction to the situation. I knew that even if this WERE it, there was much to look forward to after this life is over. That was a comforting feeling. However, I still reached for my inner beagle and refused to go anywhere. I wasn't ready to go. I want to live and be with my family. So I got feisty and told myself that I wasn't going anywhere - hopefully it was just the healing process making me feel lousy right now. (Remember Lance Armstrong: "The ironic thing was, the worse I felt, the better I got.") And so when I woke up this morning I was very happy to find myself alive and well.
Throughout the evening, as I pondered what might have happened, I remembered that some of my friends thought I was done and cured, because the latest MRI was clear. And I wondered if maybe some of those friends figured their prayers had been answered, and so maybe fewer prayers were going out. (Each one really counts!!!) As I was told by a dear friend and cancer survivor, you're never "done" with cancer until you're dead. Until then, it's a cycle of treating the tumor, hoping it works, and then checking and waiting for the next tumor to pop up. Remission periods are great, and I guess the longer they last between recurrences, the better the prognosis. So anyway, I'm good for now, but I'm unfortunately (or fortunately) not done. There will be another MRI at the end of July, and hopefully it will be clear once again. There will continue to be chemo each month and whatever else needs to be done. I'm good for now because of the power of prayer, and I hope that those prayers will continue on my behalf, so that I can continue to benefit from them. Got a (hopefully) long journey ahead, because - surprise! - I woke up this morning!