Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Beauty and terror"

"Let everything happen to you 
Beauty and terror 
Just keep going 
No feeling is final" 
 Rainer Maria Rilke






My body betrays me over and over again.  123/83.  My blood pressure is not its normal, and it matches my rapid heartbeat.  My feet tap, tap, tap, the floor as my mind wildly chases thoughts stumbling over each other, "What if?  How much?  How come?  What if...?"  Lorazepam is no match for my trembling knees, and fidgeting hands.  Its called scanxiety, or scan anxiety and I have it bad as I sit waiting for Dr. Panwalkar yesterday morning.


He mentions my higher than normal blood pressure and smiles when I tell him I am nervous.  My labs are within in the normal range with the exception of my white blood count, but that is to be expected.  He thumps down my spine waiting for me to tell him if I feel any pain.  He makes it all the way down my back without me stopping him or flinching at all.  My breaths are deep and clear.  I have no dizziness, no blurred vision.  I am eating and sleeping well.  He tells me he will call me during my infusion the next day and give me the report of my CT scan.  He then smiles and says "you're okay."  "I think you are okay."  


I arrive in the afternoon for my CT scan.  I drink the contrast solution in the liter bottle over the course of the next two hours.  With a few swallows left to go, they call my name.  They insert an iv in my vein and walk me to the scanner.  I pass by the open door the MRI scanner and shiver as I quickly scoot past the door to the next room.  The CT Scanner is wide and open at both ends.  I lay on the table and they take some measurements.  A voice then commands me to hold my breath.  The table slides in and out.  They insert the dye in my iv and I feel a stinging sensation as warmth radiates through my arm, down my body and into my legs.  I slide in and out a few more times and suddenly they announce I am done.  As I stand up from the table, I breathe deeply for the first time that day.  


This time Lorazepam kicks in nicely and I sleep deeply all night long.







I awake this morning with more resolve and am less nervous.  Its infusion day.  I have questionnaires to fill out for the study.  I also have to fill out a new consent form as the verbiage has changed some.  Another 10 tubes of blood need to be taken today and the nurse sets to work getting the right label matched to the right tube.  


Kathy, my research nurse comes in.  She closes the door and comes to sit by me.  She has the results of my CT scan.  She is serious looking and I notice I am holding my breath.  She gets right down to business.  


"There were three "spots" on your liver.  Two of those spots are no longer detectable.  The third one has gone unchanged and therefor they are concluding its a cyst.  Your liver is clear."


"The spot in your spine was 18 mm and is now 13mm."


"The mass in your breast has shown a slight decline of .2 cm."  


"No new lesions or masses were seen on the scan."


I realize I am searching her face to discern if this means what I think it means...  She smiles as I realize it does...the treatment is working.  TDM1, the "super herceptin", or the miracle drug... is working miracles in me so far.  At any time, it may stop working, or the tumor can build up a resistance to it.  But for today, its working.  


A few moments later Dr. Panwalkar calls me as promised.  He carefully repeats each bit, line by line as I let it sink in further.  When he gets to the part about the mass in my breast he says with confidence in his voice, "well that, we'll just cut out if it continues to stay there.  That is not a big concern to me."  Then he repeats his parting words to me of yesterday, "You're okay, he says, "you're okay."  


I hang up from talking with him as sweet tears of relief slide down my cheek.  I am cautiously believing him.  I know I still have a long road to travel, but for today, I rest in the knowledge I am okay.  


"Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle."
— Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
























41 comments:

  1. AWESOME!! That's great news Vicky :) You're more than okay -- you're going to be the supreme victor in this battle!!

    Love you.

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  2. Fantastic news!!!!!!!Praise the Lord!!!

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  3. wonderful to hear.....just WONDERFUL!! :)

    Be well.

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  4. How courageous you are!!! Thank you for sharing this great news Vicky. You're okay ... and SO much more. (((hug)))

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  5. This is the BEST news I have heard in a very long time! I am sooo happy for you and just relishing in your news. I too had streams of tears as I read that you are okay...yes you are okay and will just keep getting better!
    Hugs to you my dear friend!

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  6. I have never thought for one second that you aren't going to beat this. Thanks for proving me right. You have too much spunk, love, and warmth to give. You GO girl! xoxo

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  7. and now tears of joy slip down my face ... so grateful for you!

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  8. I am so incredibly happy for you!! You are a miracle! That must have been the most incredible feeling to be told all of that, especially when you were so scared! Hearing stories like these seriously make my whole day, my week, my month, my year. So very happy for you!

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  9. Wonderful news, PTL!!!
    I will share with prayer partners.

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  10. EUCHARISTEO my beautiful beautiful girl. EUCHARISTEO!!!!

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  11. Oh my goodness...thank you Jesus. For mercy and healing and good reports...all is well.
    xo

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  12. Thank God. Praising Him for this sweet report!

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  13. Great news, what a roller coaster ride you are on. You inspire. Happy thoughts your way.

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  14. I will tell you Vicky, like you,I was holding my breath as I read this blog entry.....now I'm breathing!!!!!! So good to hear, one step, one scan at a time, you will be okay!!!!!!!

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  15. Dear Vicky,

    You don't know me but I came here via Robynn and I've been coming back regularly. Thank you for honest, vulnerable sharing of your hard eucharisteo.
    I have been readiing Ann's book, that I discovered here, and it has put words to my heart thoughts. What great fantastic news for you today!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. You are on my heart often and in my prayers. Your testimony of story gives life to many, it's obvious.

    Thank you, Vicky, thank you.
    Teresa

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  16. oh wow. what great words!!! amazing how words strung together make the heart sing that, by themselves, wouldn't be all that meaningful.

    so EXCITED for you for this news. thanking GOD too.

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  17. I came here via Robin, too. I am crying happy tears right now. So thankful for your great report. God is so wonderful and I know He has control of everything. Vicky, I am so happy to be one of the army of folks praying for you. Your news has truly made my day!

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  18. Praise God for your good news. I'M Okay, You're Okay. I am okay after my battle with cancer 12 years ago. Twelve years from now you will be saying, "I'M Okay." To God be the glory!
    Francis C. Moore

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  19. I got chills ready this Vicky - such praise worthy news!!!

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  20. i find myself raising my fist in the air and saying "yes!!!" when i read the good news! I am cheering for you from NYC! XO

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  21. Your news is so wonderful Vicky. I had to re-read your post to make sure I was reading correctly.

    I give you permission to do a "happy dance."!!!!!

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  22. I am so, so, so incredibly happy for you!!!! I can not imagine the torture of waiting for esults. Except that I accompanied my cousin to every appt., chemo session and radiation session when he battled lung cancer so I do know how hard it can be.My prayers continue. You are SO brave, keep up the FIGHT!!!!!! XO, Pinky

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  23. Vicky this is wonderful news, you are a real fighter, and your so okay. praying for you dear one. You must be on pins and needles some days, wondering,,,,you are okay, the best of news. hugs to you.

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  24. Great news, Vicky!!!.. it's a beautiful thing. Keep fighting the fight, girl.. you are winning!....

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  25. What more is there to say...Praise The Lord! Will keep praying as you fight the fight. Know you are loved!

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  26. I am soo happy to hear this Vicky!!
    You are truly fighting like a girl !!!
    Good for you!!
    Keep up the good work.
    You are in my thoughts daily and in my prayers.
    Hugs.

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  27. This is so awesome!!!!! I had been away from my computer and blackberry for 2 days so Kimmy had to call and fill me in! I am so happy for you!

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  28. Yippee!! Yippee!! PRAISE THE LORD!! I am so happy for you! ps. I tagged you on my blog today.

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  29. Oh bless your heart, I am so happy for you, Vicky..Please know I think & pray for you everyday. You ARE OKAY. ((((Vicky)))). God Bless.

    Jean
    Edmond, OK

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  30. Vicky, so excited to hear your news. You are a fighter and you have so many people fighting with you down your long road. Praying for you!

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  31. Praise praise for good news . We will celebrate with you even across the country!!!

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  32. Oh Vicky, this is just THE best news. I want to encourage you. My hubby's classmate has gone through a similar cancer scare and is also showing progress. She's a bit ahead of you and right now is showing to be cancer free after one long year of a lot of tests, surgeries, etc. There is HOPE!!!! When you are even again, let me know, okay? XXOO!!!

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  33. those millions of prayers, from friends and family all over the world, are working......and we're going to just keep sending them your way, if thats okay with you.

    i am beyond thrilled to hear of your AMAZING news....you are a fighter !!!

    oxxoo

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  34. So thankful! This is just the beginning. I believe there are many more "good days" ahead!

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  35. Wonderfull news!

    XXX
    Hugs from Germany
    Mimi

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  36. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/06/11/burzynski-the-movie.aspx

    This is interesting "antineoplastins"

    Does your doctor know anything about this?

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  37. Beauty, beauty, beauty!

    YOU are working. Your spirit, your energy, your goodness are combing with the chemicals. It's working, oh, wow!

    Great news Vicky!

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  38. May I very eloquently say, "YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm facing a hard day today for very different reasons and I should be getting ready RIGHT NOW. But something told me to come here and read RIGHT NOW. Oh, Vicky! Tears of joy!!! I read and re-read each line of that report with awe-filled wonder at God, at you, at meds that are working, at the bodies miraculous ability to respond, at support, at love, at prayers, at eating well, and at a mind that knows how to find every good thing and celebrate it. I LOVE YOU!!!! I'll keep praying!

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  39. Just found your blog through Book Blurb Friday...Praying for you and wishing you all the best!

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  40. Congratulations Vicky! I am glad you are making progress :-) Keep the faith and keep going :-)

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