Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'm thankful for every day

Yesterday was a busy day.  I had some errands to get caught up.  So Hope and I were out getting things done.  My plan was to have an easy going evening with the family.  As I was at the gas station getting ready to get gas my cell phone rang.  I almost didn't answer it, but it said "Unknown Number".  That is either my mom or something medical.  I answered it and it was Dr. V calling.  Here's what she said.
"Sorry for the late notice, but I called Dr. Fan and we went over your PET scan results.  We're seeing some things that are concerning us and we want to take a closer look.  It looks like some cancer may have spread to your bone in your shoulder (where I've been having pain), and also there may be some cancer cells in your sinus cavity / base of your skull.  We don't like seeing cancer that close to your brain, so I need you to come down right away for an MRI.  
   We will also want to schedule another surgery to have a lymph node removed so we can see if the cancer is transforming (even thought my cancer is indolent / slow growing it can change to a more aggressive cancer at any time) , and then we will also want to schedule a spinal tap next week."

This is hard to hear, as you can imagine.  So, I thought, "OK, I'll deal with this" and I thought I was OK.  But I noticed as I pumped the gas my hand would not quit shaking.  Next I called some friends and arranged for my kids to be taken care of  (HUGE thanks for Alissa, Chrissy and Sue).

Larry came home and picked me up for the MRI.  I asked him for a blessing.  Every time I have a blessing I always feel a little calmer, and I was able to stop shaking.

We went to the hospital and they got me set up for my MRI.  I was really nervous about it since I know an MRI is where you go ALL THE WAY inside a tube.  And then test is 1 hour long.  And remember how I got claustrophobic in the PET scan which was a lot bigger opening, and I didn't stay in the tube the whole time??  Well, I lucked out because I had a very understanding nurse.  She gave me some med's that made me a little calmer / sleepy.  And then they put numbing medicine on my port so they could use it for contrast instead of giving me and IV.
    I then went in and laid on the table for the MRI.  The nurse put head phones on and asked if there were CD's or any type of music I would like to listen to.  I told her to put in on 104.3 with the Gal Pals (thanks so much for the beautiful flowers Chelsi, Annie & Roxi).  Then she put a cover over my eyes and left the room.
  At that point I started to go back into the tunnel.  I started to panic as I felt the tube rub against my shoulders and I could tell how small a space it was going to be.  I didn't want to look though because I knew I would freak out.  So I just laid there with my eyes covered listened to Annie & Roxi.  It was nice to have some familiar voices to listen to.
  The test is really loud (it sort of sounds like jack hammers) and there's a lot of shaking.  But I just made myself not think about it and just keep listening to the head phones.
   Some time after I'd been in there, the nurse brought me out and had a radiology nurse come in to put contrast in through my port.  Even though I had the numbing cream on,  I'm not going to lie, it still hurts.  It's a little bigger needle than an IV needle, and it still has to go through my skin to get into the port.  (The port is not there so it doesn't hurt to get poked, it's there to save your veins from all the stuff that get puts into you).
It wasn't horrible pain though.  I'm very glad I have the port  (and I'm glad it's a purple heart:)
   So then, I went back in to the tunnel for a little while.  The nurse could talk to me through the headphones and every once in a while she'd say "your doing great".  Finally she said, OK, we're all done.  So at that point before she pulled me out, I decided to look and see without my eyes covered.  The tunnel was almost a couple of inches from each of my shoulders, and about 6 inches from my face.  I'm so glad I did not know that!  When I came out, the nurse said I had been in there for TWO HOURS.
   I had called the nurse at Dr. V's office and asked if I would have to wait until Monday for the results, and she said no.  But I didn't hear from anyone last night (although it was after 6 by the time I was done).  I will give them a few hours this morning, and then I'm calling the doctor on call.
  When I got home, I found all my kids to be taken care of and fed dinner .  Lauren was taken to every place she needed to go.  Then dinner was brought over for Larry and I.   I always knew I had wonderful friends, but I will never, never, never be able to tell them how much it means to me that they're are there for me right now.  I wish I could.

It breaks my heart to have to call my family and friends out of state with news like this.  I know they want so badly to be here with me right now.  They are a HUGE support to me, and just talking to them makes me feel better.  I've got a wonderful family!

It's 7 am I'm sitting in my office looking out the window.  The sky to the east is bright orange as the sun is making it's way up.  The sun is coming up.  It's another day.  I'm thankful for every day.  I'm going through one of those things you think "that would never happen to me, it always happen to someone else".   But the truth is, it does happen to me, and it does happen to someone else.  Maybe not this exact thing, but we all go through something.  I know through our trials we gain strength and personal insight.  We have to brought to our lowest, so we may be brought to our highest.   We gain so much more too.  If I had to list all the things I've gained from this experience, it would take 2 more pages.
  You know I admire my friend Diane so much and she recently told me in the scriptures it never does say
"and it came to stay".
    I lean so much on my Heavenly Father.  I've explained to Him that I will do what I have to do.  I will have the tests, the treatment, whatever I need to do.  But I have a lot still to get done around here (and I don't just mean laundry).  I know He hears my prayers, and He hears all of yours on my behalf.  And I sincerely thank you all from the bottom on my heart.  (my real one, not my purple one) :)


  1. It all sounds so surreal. But then there's you "keepin' it real."

  2. I wish I could just walk over and give you a hug!!!!

  3. Why do we always learn the most from difficult experiences? Not that I'm really questioning that we do, but wouldn't it be just so much better to get to learn stuff and have easy experiences? Of course it would. In each of our own ways, I guess we all learn from trials. I just want you to know something. You have taught me a lot about how one should be when learning from hard things. I hope I can become more like that.