Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Unexpected surprise...

“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.” 
 Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life


I sat filling in my 1,000 gifts journal.  Its been the best therapy for me when I am at Roger Maris for cancer treatment.  I still my mind and reflect over the gifts I can offer up.  I never mind waiting, and am always amused when they apologize for having kept me too long.  Little do they know, it only lengthens my gratitude. 


The kids are getting out of school as I am called back to an exam room.  The center is so busy due to the holiday, that they put me at the end of the long corridor in a room that isn't Dr. P's.  They page him so he can find me.  Everything about this day has been so out of the ordinary that I keep thinking "What next?"  


I giggle as Dr. P walks right past me, and seconds later turns around and comes from the other direction.  He literally bursts into a big smile when he sees me and then enthusiastically says "nice wig, very attractive on you."  I tell him how everything feels different this day.  Rick is working, my appointments have always been early mornings, and its my first time to see Dr. P by myself.   


He asks how I am doing and goes through his list of questions.  He tells me my bloodwork is good and I can do chemo.  I tell him about my hot flashes and assume the chemo is shutting off my estrogen and putting me into a sort of fake menopause.  And this triggers something in him.


He starts to read through my history.  He tells me my tumor markers have been stable a long time now, and stable cancer is always good.  Then he flashes a smile at me and says "How would you feel about taking a break from chemo for awhile?"  


It takes awhile for me to completely grasp what he is saying.  I will always have to do Herceptin, so I will have to go in every three weeks for infusion.  But instead of Halaven I would take a daily pill called Tamoxifen.  Its a step below chemo, and acts against the effects of estrogen in breast tissue. But it won't wreak havoc on my blood counts.  My body can detoxify and rebuild. At some point the cancer will probably progress or show up in a new place.  But since we know I have responded to chemo in the past, I will likely respond again.


He says my hair will start to grow back.  And he says I won't need to seem him for 2 months!  


I sit there beaming...  hardly able to really take in what he is saying.  But what I know is its a gift.  And to affirm that he says, "Go enjoy your summer."  


I'm so literally swept up in the moment I ask if I can hug him.  Now he is always very formal and respectful, rather soft-spoken.  But he lights up instantly and enthusiastically says "Sure you can!"  So I do... and low and behold, he hugs me just as hard right back...


I tell him how much I truly appreciate everything he does for me...  and he says... "well lets just keep working on keeping you here as long as we can."    


I cry the entire drive home.  I cry for the reprieve I feel.  I had no idea how much I've been holding my breath... but once I exhale I cry for the sweet release it brings me.  


When things get out of the ordinary- maybe we're just supposed to go all in.  Instead of trying to fight our way back to ordinary- same- comfortable.  Just keep going... unwrap the unexpected gifts- on the other side just maybe is "God's belly laugh."  





43 comments:

  1. Tears in my eyes ... I´m thinking about you and wish you a wonderfull summer. Full of love, joy, hope and trust!!!

    All my love and many Bussals
    Mimi

    PS: You know ... we WILL stay on the top of german mountains!!!

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  2. Praise God! I am so happy for you!

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  3. Praise God! I am so happy for you!

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  4. Gasping sobs of the unexpected. Oh sweet girl...so thankful.

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  5. Just thinking off & on all a.m. how nothing can take away our joy because God IS our joy. rejoicing that cancer cannot take away your joy Vicki! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

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  6. HOW WONDERFUL!!! I am so happy for you, VickY!

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  7. oh vicky - if you could see the teary mess i am (at work no less)!

    jumping for joy for you!!

    enjoy your summer INDEED!

    I love this last paragraph - love it! things for me have been out of the ordinary a bit and I have doing just that "going all in" and you know what? That is where I am finding my peace! Its where I am finding myself again!

    Can't wait to talk to you!

    xoTiffany

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  8. Go and enjoy your summer!
    It has begun!!
    I am so happy that you will be on Tamoxifen as your body rebuilds and you recharge.
    You go girl. I'm sooo happy to read this wonderful news.
    Love,
    Jackie

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  9. I'm so happy for you! What a gift it will be to be able to enjoy the summer without the weekly feeling of sheer exhaustion.
    I'm hoping we can enjoy another day (or two!) at the lakes this summer, and enjoy this crazy we are all on called life. :)

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  10. I'm halfway through reading Cold Tangerines at the moment...such a great read! I am so happy and excited for you! Maybe you can join the boys and I on some of our adventures : )

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  11. Oh, Vicki, tears of joy for you right now! What a welcome break I know this will be. And I didn't comment yesterday, but your wig does look beautiful on you!

    I took tamoxifen for a couple of years and responded well to it, with few side effects, I hope the same goes for you.

    Thanking God with you and praying that you will have a wonderful summer with your family!

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  12. ALLELUIA!! I'm so happy for you. This is wonderful news!!!!! Enjoy your summer with your handsome husband and boys :) I will keep praying for more and more blessings to come your way, my friend.

    And by the way, my son Joseph was in awe about the Zach Parise ride in the golf cart.

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  13. Omg. I am sitting in s conference room waiting for my next meeting. Just happened to check to see if you had posted anything today. Thinking I wouldn't see anything since you posted yesterday ...what a great surprise!! I am so happy for you and your news! Good things happen to good people. You are and it did. Thanks so so much for sharing!!

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  14. Omg. I am sitting in s conference room waiting for my next meeting. Just happened to check to see if you had posted anything today. Thinking I wouldn't see anything since you posted yesterday ...what a great surprise!! I am so happy for you and your news! Good things happen to good people. You are and it did. Thanks so so much for sharing!!

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  15. I forgot to sign my comment...
    Cherri Ziarnik

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  16. I'm just crying big old gushy tears here, Vicky! I know all about that moment. I know that drive home. I know how I couldn't see through the tears as I tried to drive. I'd love to see that page in your book of gratitudes! I will be thanking the Father with you today. This is such good news, isn't it???

    Amazing that we can say with such confidence "Since we know I have responded to chemo in the past, I will likely respond again! There it was, at the end of a paragraph, stated so matter-of-factly. Do you realize all that was there in that statement?? All these months, all you went through to build up a faith, a strength, a confidence that is ready to fight anything. . . again! I love it. You are a true warrior, Vicky, and example for all of us! I thank God for you, I truly do!

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  17. Wonderful news - rejoicing with you.

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  18. oooh wow, that's just awesomeness... that's just really a little miracle there, isn't it. Enjoy your summer indeed....

    :-) !!!!!

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  19. Sweet! Timely! Wonder-full!

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  20. Glitz must be dancing with JOY! I am sooooo happy for you:-)

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  21. What a gift for the summer months ahead. That's worth a great big "Praise the LORD!!!!" :-)

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  22. Tears here too. I'm so happy for you!!! Go enjoy your summer :)

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  23. Crying tears of joy and love for you dear one. Oh and I'm saying a prayer for blessing on that doctor of yours...
    'enjoy your summer' indeed.
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  24. This will be your best summer yet! Jumping with joy for you. Now GO!!

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  25. Praises and blessings to a wonderful summer!! Tears of joy!!

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  26. Go God ... and Go Vicky, have a great summer! Breath. Love.

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  27. How wonderful! Enjoy summer with your family!! What great news!

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  28. My dad has leukemia and he is doing the infusions but no chemo, at first he was too sick to do the chemo, now they are just choosing to not do it. He is stable for now.
    glad your diagnosis is holding good. God be with you.

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  29. So...Happy...SO...HAPPY! Yay, SUMMER BABY!

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  30. Oh gosh I am so happy for you in a cautious way.
    Long time not to see a doctor.
    but good for you to gain strength and relax with the kids

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  31. Loving the sweet release of words and tears.

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  32. Exhale Vicki, really let it go. Wow, just wow.

    Now I want to hear all about your adventures this Summer. It is just the most wonderful news for you and those boys in your life. As for your doctor, I could hug him myself. What a lovely man he sounds.

    And you are so wise, do you know that? Your take on this time in your life is just so damn wise. I agree, we just have to ride the waves and see where it takes us. Nothing has to stay the same as there is always something new and wonderful around the corner. More miracles are on the way, believe it!

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  33. Happy, happy tears for you this morning. I know how good a break feels. Enjoy every single second.

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  34. Oh sweet Vicky I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU! I'm beaming and just want to jump for joy! :)

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  35. My heart is smiling for your great news and tears of joy are streaming down my cheeks from the words you so eloquently write! Enjoy your summer Vicky!

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  36. It was fun to actually, physically meet you last night at baseball! I had not read your latest blog post until this morning! I had been surprised to see you at the game since it was suppose to be chemo day for you!! This is such blessed news; enjoy your summer! See you at the next baseball game!!

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  37. As I pulled up your blog today I first noticed the new design and thought "I've got to leave a quick comment about how very pretty it is."
    But, as I read (I always read but usually sit on the sidelines and don't comment) I just sit here shaking my head at how good God is to us. He is forever faithful! Oh Vicky - how wonderful for you! The gift of the summer without chemo. I pray you and your family will have a summer full of memory making family times with loads of fun, laughter and love. Bless you sweet (yet strong) one!
    Debbie G.

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  38. I am so happy I read this post!!!!!!!
    cancer definitely must give a person perspective.....
    you better follow your drs orders ...and go enjoy your summer!!!

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  39. Reading this in the middle of the night weeping with JOY for you! How wonderful!
    I also love the comments so full of genuine happiness for you. Such a sweet relief to see others offer true expressions of only the best for you. Drink deeply. It is meant to be part of the wind beneath your wings this summer. Enjoy this sweet surprise. So very very happy for you!

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  40. Vicky, not in the same way, but I have experienced that kind of exhilarating exhale, and it is blessed. I'm so happy for you!!! Indeed, enjoy summer. :) :)

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  41. with tears in my eyes.....YES, enjoy your summer !!!
    what a great gift dr. p gave you....he truly sounds amazing !

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  42. You and your news are my latest entry in my gratitude journal.

    So much goodness here, Vicky. It's all the goodness you deserve. So happy for you and your family.

    Peace and love and good thoughts to you!

    Go Enjoy Your Summer!

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  43. Bringing up the rear here!! (It's so big that I end up late!) I AM SO THRILLED FOR YOU!!!!!! We pray and then we hear answers and STILL we are shocked and surprised!! Thank you, Father God!!!! Thank you for progress and reprieves and joy and breaks and doctors who care and medicine that works and nutrition that is healing and for every other bit that has gone into making this day, this news!

    I love you and am so excited for a summer break for you and your family. Go have fun and don't look back. We, who love you, HAVE your back and will be keep on praying!

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