And it happened. May is now officially over and June has just begun. Crazy to think!
So I thought I would just recap from where I left off…Wednesday evening:
I don’t know what kind of results tomorrow will show or what I will be doing in this next month or the rest of the year, but as I gather my list of inefficiencies, I remember that when I can’t…He can.
I wake Thursday morning around my typical time, 6:10 a.m. This typical morning time started about a month ago…steroids can cause change in sleeping patterns. Lucky me, I get morning shifts where I see the sun come up and drink fresh cups of coffee at breakfast.
Thursday was no exception except our coffee was on the go, because we had to get down to Cincinnati for my doctor appointments. The day turned out to be relatively fast appointments and we even made it home before 4:30 p.m. which is a record breaker!
I came prepared with my list of questions and observations of things over the past three months. The doctors said I am doing well for the condition that my body is living. And considering the results of my MRI, that prior sentence is an answer to many prayers daily on my behalf.
The MRI of the spine showed stable, which is not what I was expecting, because it usually has more liquid in the tumor at the base of the neck growing in the spine. I asked if there was more fluid in this tumor, but the measurements did not show so.
The MRI of the brain is what surprised me. It showed tumor growth in the meninges areas, including the 5th nerve, etc. I asked out of curiosity if my doctor had a count of how many tumors were growing. He did not know, but estimated about 80% of the tumors in this meninges area were growing; a few as much as 3-5mm and that is the most growth I have had yet. The tumor on the left acoustic nerve has also grown. When I mentioned that I had more ringing and my hearing test results from last week, it made more sense of why my hearing has decreased in that ear rapidly over the past two months.
Because I have had a lot of new side effects, I asked if the tumors from the brain are the ones effecting the rest of my body. It seemed strange to me that this could be probable. I guess I don’t know enough about the brain. Anyway, my doctor said that between the tumors in the brain, the one in my neck and all the ones in the spine down lower at the abdomen–it is extremely difficult to decipher which tumors are causing the problems.
My initial thought was that they would increase my steroids, but because I have been experiencing certain side effects, they are keeping me on the same dosage I had been taking already. The steroids are just to help keep the pressure from the tumors down, but don’t have any control on the tumors as I also have thought this whole time.
Right now, I do have a chemo treatment option. It is also the last option at the moment that I have as far as studied/approved treatments. It is an oral treatment, so I would take it by pill. We went over the possible side effects again. They seem tolerable if I would get any but most effects deal with the blood cell counts and high cholesterol. I could also get a rash, swelling in the face, sores in the mouth (things like this.)
Thursday morning, my reading in Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest talked about complete trust in Jesus: “Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says.” I didn’t make my decision on this chemo treatment on Thursday. In fact, I still have to pray more about it and make sure that this is what God wants me to do. But one thing is for certain–I feel God had prepared me for that day, the news, the treatment possibility. I had a peace that I normally don’t feel at doctor appointments.
I can’t say that over the weekend the peace remained as strong as what I felt on Thursday. There were times of doubt, fear of the unknown, hard questions to ask myself. But when the time comes for my decision, I want to know the fullness of His peace like I felt on Thursday. The peace that passes all understanding and say, “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well! It is well with my soul!'” (Horacio G. Spafford, It is Well with My Soul. 1873.)