Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Drumroll, please...

Yes, it's that time again. MRI Eve. I can't help but remember that I am nearly 8 months past diagnosis, and I once read an article that mentioned the prevalence of fatal tumor recurrences that happen within the first nine months.

I keep reminding myself that I am functioning well and I don't have any apparent signs of any new neurological problems. (100...93...86...79...72...65...58...51...44...37...30...23...16...9...2)

I keep reminding myself that EVEN IF something new is there, it might open doorways to new and better treatments. For example, immunotherapy is not an option for me right now, because they can't make a tumor vaccine from the original tumor site. It is considered "contaminated" by the chemotherapy wafer they inserted during surgery. So one good thing about a new recurrence is that it might be a source for a tumor vaccine (IF it's in an operable location and IF I have willing insurance and/or other resources to pay for experimental treatments and IF I can enroll in a study group, and so on...). There may be other treatments that are easier to qualify for, once I fall into the category of "progression after initial treatment". (NOT that I'm hoping for this!) But all is not lost, just because of a recurrence. My oncologist has reminded me that she has many tricks up her sleeve.

And finally, EVEN IF something shows up in a non-treatable and life-threatening location (shudder)...well, I am reminded of a couple verses from a popular hymn that the LDS pioneers repeated during their exodus to Utah to escape religious persecution:

Why should we mourn, or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins, fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake.
And soon we'll have this tale to tell;
All is well! All is well!
And should we die before our journey's through,
Happy day; all is well.
We, then, are free from toil and sorrow, too.
With the just we shall dwell.
But if our lives are spared again, to see the saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell:
All is well! All is well!

I keep reminding myself to ignore what I read about the bleakness of glioblastoma, to quit trusting in the "arm of flesh", and to trust in the Lord instead. I know that this is out of my hands. I've done my part to be healthy, I'm using prayer and faith, and the rest is in the hands of the One who loves me and who has a great plan for me, and who watches carefully over this process. No matter what, all is well...

...Even so, it's a nervous time, waiting to hear the outcome of the MRI results. Sometimes even bad news (NOT that I want it!) is easier to handle than uncertainty (especially when someone has a lively imagination). As much as I trust in the goodness of whatever the outcome is, it's hard to be in limbo, not knowing what the battle will look like. This is a time when I really tap into the many prayers being offered on my behalf. They have kept me doing so well so far, and they really do carry me and comfort me through the anxious moments. There is great power in prayer. For those of you who pray, THANK YOU--and please send another one my way.


Cindy Trotman said...

First off.. congrats on Jacob's first day! Hannah starts tomorrow... ack! I will be at home all alone for the first time since their adoption. Hmm.. maybe that isn't bad after all! :O)

I wanted to wish you luck w/ your MRI tomorrow. I will get the results of mine tomorrow, so I am right there with ya! I'm also trying to not worry too much... I'm too busy counting my blessings. A year ago the docs thought I wouldn't see Hannah's first day at Kindergarten and I love that I am proving them wrong!

Call me sometime, ok? Sending you lots of hugs and prayers!

WendyLou said...

King George read this in his Christmas address in 1939 during the dark days of WWII. It has always had great meaning in my life. When you go into the MRI, put yourself into the hands of God, who will never fail you.

"I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.'"

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and waiting to hear some really great news!

Kristine said...

You're in my thoughts and prayers today!