HEALTH UPDATE: Rambling health update alert. Triple slicer scan completed Monday 11/16/20 on the one year anniversary of the scan at Meriter hospital that started it all. With tensions high with anticipation of discussing the results with my oncologist today, I was surprised to see my results delivered to me on Monday afternoon! Look? Don’t look? I clicked it faster than the speed of sound. Scan scan scan….scan the scan report…mumbling whispering words. There. There it is. SHIT. STABLE. Not smaller. No more shrinkage. Not bigger! That’s good. But not smaller. Sigh. Crap! Why the he$& is there a paragraph of findings under the liver section??!! Oh here we go. The liver Blah blah (google) and blah blah blah (google, Google, Google!) blah blah….oh I don’t know what this means. I’m not a radiologist or oncologist. I can figure out they see “something”. I’m on the ledge. Tom immediately pulls me back off the ledge and sister Melanie, after reviewing the report, pulls me to safety away from the ledge. I snap out of it and my internal negotiations commence. If it’s bad I lasted longer than I thought I would. If it’s bad I can still fight! I wonder what we can try next. I knew something was wrong. I knew it! Well just ignore this because I could be completely wrong like I usually am with my self diagnosing skills.
Today is the day! I’ve decided the lab results are going to dictate how this day will go. I’m greeted by the most lovely nurse Rachel. She makes getting a needle stabbed into my chest almost enjoyable!! Next is the meeting with my oncologist. As I wait, I see my lab reports coming through to “mychart”. First batch looks amazing. They aren’t the results I’m looking for though. I need to see liver function, lipase, Ldh. My. Palms. Are. Sweating. Here they are. Good. Good. Good!!!! I’m called back to my room. I hear the clicks of her shoes. But she’s not wearing shoes! Boots! Beautiful boots! I’ve been coming here long enough to see the full circle of seasonal footwear! She looks beautiful. I’m excited to hear what she thinks. She’s disappointed…..that SHE didn’t get to tell me the good news and that I saw it on mychart!!! Ummm, what? Stable is good. Stable is good. Stable. Is. Good.
If I’m lucky enough to remain stable or better we will revisit our game plan upon two years of completion of immunotherapy. That date will be 3/13/2022. The liver business appears to be a shadow of this or that. It could be contrast perhaps because of the triple slicer scan. My doctor is not concerned. I trust this assessment. Mostly because I’m naturally trusting with good news. Also because my blood work reflects completely normal liver function. Thank you Lord for more gifts that I can’t possibly imagine why I’m so worthy of receiving.
This life!!! It’s soooo good! I’m biased. I just got good news. Of course this life is good. I’m thankful beyond measure. When I saw that scan report I cancelled thanksgiving in my mind. Today, I’m ready to peel potatoes with a paring knife. I can’t wait! It doesn’t take long for me to feel humble as I’m sitting here in the chemo treatment room with curtain walls. I’m in the “no TVs” wing. It’s easy to hear everyone’s conversations. A man is coughing. Dry mouth. He asks for every kind of juice they have. So dry. Sounds are now coming from a different direction. A nurse offers her patient a high does of anti nausea medication as they discuss how she gets sick during every infusion of poison. Next door to me a shaking older voice is making a call to his clinic on speaker phone. He’s returning a call. He couldn’t catch the call because he’s here. Getting chemo. He’s connected with his caller. The voice on the other end tells the man there is a new mass. They won’t know what it is until it is removed and sent in for biopsy. It could be benign says the voice but there is just no way to know. The man with the dry mouth is better. He is talking loudly about his side effects. They are not good and they remind me of the side effects I had when I was on chemo. He says his daughter was brushing his hair. She tells him, “dad…your hair is falling out”. He tells her, “it’s just hair”. Damn straight. It is just hair. He is on the phone now telling his story. He has a mass on his liver. They don’t know where it came from. He sounds really strong but overall physically weak from the toxins. He orders beef tips and noodles for lunch. He says he will eat anything but liver.
This life. As I write this, I’ve gone from shouting happiness to the world and Willow skipping the rest of school when I get home to…:I don’t even know. It’s a heavy sadness. My body feels heavy. My heart feels heavy. Hot tears are starting to well up in my eyes. How did I get here?! This life. With all its happiness and all its sadness. This life is certainly amazing. Without this experience I’m positive I would die not knowing how truly blessed I am. I am praying for the sick and dying. I’m praying for all the loved ones too. Caregivers, doctors, nurses. Bless you all. This life is so hard…but it is so good.
Happy thanksgiving ! It will be a thanksgiving like no other in so many ways!