Monday, November 12, 2007


Twenty-three months of living strong -- and long -- compared to what I was told to expect. Twenty-three months of disregarding statistics and learning to expect miracles.

(Speaking of miracles, my dad's surgery went very well, and we are once again grateful for all that works together for our good.)

On Saturday we went to Six Flags for my husband's annual company picnic. I looked wistfully at the rollercoasters that are now off-limits to me, and then I shook it off, realizing that a few minutes of screaming fun on the Titan or Mr. Freeze would hardly be worth risking a brain hemhorrage. (Life lesson: live in the moment, but don't let momentary thrills rob long-term goals.)

I also remembered that the Six Flags picnic in November 2005 was the day before I had my first known seizure. We don't know how long I had glioblastoma before becoming symptomatic, but we know I have been living with it for at least two years. "Living" being the key word.

The nurse called with my lab results on Friday. "You can eat raw fruits and veggies and run down the street with scissors" was the message. It's her funny way of letting me know that my white blood cells and platelets are still at good levels, and I'm tolerating my chemotherapy. (Hopefully any tumor cells are not so lucky.)

There were other reassuring signs of life this weekend. I got an email the from a friend, congratulating me for appearing in this fall's issue of BYU's alumni magazine. This weekend I also learned how to spell "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis" (a kind of "black lung" disease, relating to the inhalation of fine silica dust found in volcanoes; and more importantly, it's the longest known word to appear in an English language dictionary and something my 26-year-old brother can spell easily). I noticed and corrected my own spelling of the word "isthmus" in my Ode to Thy Roid. (Blog reader neuro test: did you catch it when it was misspelled i-t-h-s-m-u-s?) My son and I reviewed the material from last week's karate lesson, and I remembered all that we learned about Pinion #3, the new form we need to master for blue belt level.

But I still had to search for my shoes as we were leaving for church yesterday. I remain the walking miracle with a question mark on my head. (Figuratively speaking, but also literally, as the surgical scar on my scalp is question mark-shaped.)

We'll soon have a better idea of how things are going. This Wednesday is picture day -- the first MRI after going on maintenance treatment, so I feel like I have one training wheel off. It's a nervous time, for sure. If things don't go well, this will be our third holiday season with "special perspective." But if this week's outcome is good, it may be my last scan until January, and I can look forward to finishing out 2007 with happier things on my mind.


Anonymous said...

Good luck on Wednesday- I just tried spelling out that word while reading it and messed up 3 times. You have accomplished many things my whole brain has troubles with. Smile for your picture Wed.
Prayers, Bailey

Anonymous said...

Hey, hey - great news and enjoy those veggies! I'll be praying that your pictures will turn out lovely. :o)

Many, many (((HUGS)))!!!