Thursday, February 7, 2013

just keep swimming











It's late Sunday night when I go to change the dressing over my wound.  I'm pleasantly surprised to see some small scabs forming in the center of the wound.  I get a fresh piece of mesh to lay over the top of it, and start to smooth the edges of the Mepilex onto my skin.  Except, in the corner, its not smooth.  

What the heck?  Did I turn the edge of the bandage under by accident.  I'm not even watching with my eyes, my fingers accustomed to the landscape of my misshaped chest. 

I look now, running my fingers over the corner again and notice the bandage is smooth.

But my skin is not.

Directly above the corner of my bandage... is a lump.

My fingers frantically fly across the contour of it, over and over again.  

Is this just "scare" tissue?  You know, the remnants of a scar that "scare" you when you first encounter it?  Or is this a cyst perhaps?  Some swelling?

I call for Superman to check.  Without much in the way of navigation from me, his thick fingers deftly go right to the same spot.  He feels it too.  

There isn't much more to be said.  I assure him I will notify the nurse at infusion.

Its late. 

Grandpa Jim has put clean sheets on our bed and I am thankful for that kindness as I sink into my own bed.  

I've always known that old mastectomy site that refuses to completely heal, must serve some greater purpose that I am unaware of.

Tonight it seems, its caused me to find a lump.

Its Tuesday, at infusion when I address the lump with my nurse.  She too finds the lump instantly.  Its almost a relief that I'm not just making it up in my head.  She makes note of it for Dr. Panwalkar.

Later, Dr. P's nurse, Andrea calls.

They would like to see me.  The earliest Dr. Panwalkar can see me is in two weeks.  But I can see his PA, Erin, the next day.

I busy myself.  I'm not really here, nor there.  


Erin gets down to business right away and thoroughly examines me.  As she feels for the lump, I ask, "do you think it could be a swollen lymph node?"  No, I really don't think it could be in this area, she says.  I ask what the next steps may be.  Ultrasound, she says, maybe with biopsy or mammogram.  Or CT scan perhaps?  She doesn't really know. But she'll need Dr. Panwalkar's assessment first.

In mere seconds he is popping his head through the door.  There is no big greeting, no handshake.  But concern crowds his voice and corners his eyes when he talks.  He is soft spoken and sparse with his words. "This is new?  All of a sudden?" 

Yes. I reply.

He quickly finds the spot and probes all the way around it.  I decide to ask if he thinks it might be a lymph node.  His eye brows shoot up a bit, and he looks at me again and says "yes, I do think it could be a lymph node."

Has your new insurance kicked in?  Yes I reply- a little surprised he remembers that tidbit.  

PET, he says, We'll scan.

I don't remember his quick exit.

I am left sitting and pondering his choice.  It slowly occurs to me.  Its not the lump he is most concerned with right now.  He wants a broader view, to see what else might be amiss.

Erin concludes the visit.

We are awaiting insurance approval to schedule the PET scan. 





Dory:"Hey Mr. Grumpy Gills... When life gets you down do you wanna know what you gotta do?" Marlin:"I don't wanna know what you gotta do." Dory:"Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim." Marlin:"Dory, no singing." Dory:"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ho. I love to swim. When you want to swim you want to swim." Marlin:"See I'm gonna get stuck now with that song... Now it's in my head!" Dory:"Sorry."




I'll keep swimmimg... will you keep swimming with me too?

97 comments:

  1. I'll just "keep praying, praying, praying, praying". Just keep praying and swimming.

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    1. Thank you friend- swimming and praying is exactly what I am doing too~

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  2. Swimming in front and behind, creating a current open up the path and a tailwind to give you lift. Praying you all the way through it, my sweet, sweet and cherished friend.

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    1. Sweet girl~ I'm feeling your love and prayers from every direction~thank you for covering me so~ xoxo

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  3. you bet I will keep swimming with you - as long as necessary!!

    and I will be praying - hoping - trusting - encouraging you to embrace all the love and support

    love you sweet friend!

    xoxo

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    1. Tiffany~ thank you for the encouragement and prayers~ I often imagine myself sitting next to you in your beach photos~ now I'll think of you swimming with me too~ love you~

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  4. Oh nuts!!!

    Well, we'll keep praying it's nothing.
    Thats a long time for the wound not to heal.

    Oh Vicky!

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    1. I know~ nuts is right~ thanks for the prayers~

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  5. Praying, swimming, diving in the deep end with you.
    Hugs.

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    1. Kass~ I love having you here~ thank you for diving in with me~ deep~ yes, we are head first into the deep end for sure~

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  6. You've got a school, Vicky.. all around you...

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    1. I love the image of that~ thank you for being part of my school~

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  7. Oh, I just knew when I saw the title this wasn't going to be good and it explains why you've been on my heart this week. Praying for all kinds of peace and comfort as you wait for the scan.

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    1. My phone has beeped all night long and I can't tell you the amount of peace that continues to grow~ I sat for days not wanting to write it either~ but we all just face it at some point~

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  8. I'm swimming with you sweet one. And I know Jesus is too. Praying.Praying Praying...

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    1. Robin~ just seeing your sweet face here makes me tear up~ thank you sweetie~for just being you xxoo

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  9. I'm joining the other swimmers and everyone praying too!

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    1. Thank you Jan~ I so appreciate the support and prayers~

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  10. I'm always swimming with you, Vicky. And my thoughts and prayers are always with you too.

    Warm, loving hugs my friend!

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    1. Hugging you right back Eileen and thankful for your special friendship~

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  11. Following quietly along your journey. Felt compelled to offer my swimming prayers too! You shine through your gift of writing. God is writing a very special story. Praying for rest and courage and healing.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to stop in Margi~ I always love hearing from the ones who are "quiet." I sense the energy and feel those prayers~ I'm honored you're following~

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  12. i am SO swimming with you and every now and then just for fun, i'm splashing water at you just to keep you laughing !!!

    prayers too, vicky....prayers......xo

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    1. Beth~ ahhhh~ and you know I'm splashing right back at you as I laugh and play along~ thanks for bringing the fun factor~

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  13. Praying with you...I'm not a very good swimmer!

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    1. Kay~ just being here in spirit~ lifts mine like nothing else~ thank you

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  14. Loving you and praying for you as you await your PET scan.
    ...And I send a quiet thank you to Grandpa Jim. It's the little things in life that keep us afloat...as we continue to swim.
    Love you, my sweet friend.
    Jackie

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    1. Jackie~so true~ I'm continually thankful for the tiniest bits of grace I count every day~ love you sweet one~

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  15. My heart skipped a beat as I read this. Okay Vicky, I can't swim for crap (not kidding) BUT I will be doggie paddling right along side of you. Yes I know it was a metaphor, but I had to add a little humor!

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    1. I know~ not the news I wanted to have to share~ how about if we just go someplace warm and tropical with lots of floaties, fruity drinks and sunshine galore~ that would work to~

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  16. Oh my friend, I am praying for you, swimming along with you!

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  17. You know I will keep swimming with you today tomorrow and everyday! Lots of hugs. Wish I could come hang out with you when you have your PET Scan! Until the scan just keep breathing and hugging your littles ;)
    XO,
    Michelle

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    1. Michelle~ you've been on mind and in my heart and prayers as I know you've just been through this~waiting for answers for you. Thank you for supporting me despite all the swimming you have to do as well~know I'm right alongside of you too~ hugs sweet one

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  18. Oh Vicky, I can swim in circles and more circles until we find out what the PET scan reveals....stay strong for ALL of us.

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    1. Lisa~ I have the perfect visual of you doing just that and it gives me strength~ thank you

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  19. You have been on my mind for some reason even in the middle of the night, the Lord woke me up with your name and blog name. praying for you.

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    1. Oh my goodness~ that makes me shiver~ so grateful to have your middle of the night prayers~ thank you

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  20. I can't swim. Someone once said if I fell in I would be up a creek with out a paddle. Wait I do have a paddle, God allows me to pray, pray, pray. Encircling you with prayers! Tho we don't know the outcome. God does! May we rest in his assurance never to leave our side in this journey! Hugs, and prayers to you my dear!

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    1. I love your paddle metaphor~its perfect Verna. And thank you for the translation~ I read it earlier this morning and its a very lovely piece~thanks for all the prayers

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  21. No words beyond all the other beautiful and uplifting comments, just a post so you know you are heard and cared about.

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    1. Thank you Arie~ I so appreciate that~ I am feeling very uplifted by all of you showing up here~

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  22. Praying with you Vickie from Central New York.

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    1. Thank you Barb~ i'm feeling those prayers all the way from New York~wow~so honored

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  23. Replies
    1. Thank you~ so good to see you show up here~

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  24. I'm swimming along with you and all these others that have jumped right in next to you. We hold you up in prayer. We pray for strength and endurance when you feel like you can't swim another stroke. We pray for times of peace so you can float for a bit and rest. We pray for calm waters as you navigate these new yet familiar waters.

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    1. Thank you Debbie~ I feel your prayers and support~ they truly lift me and buoy me and I am so grateful to have them

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  25. You are always in my thoughts and prayers Vicky! Praying for calm waters ahead.

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    1. Elizabeth~ thank you so much~ I appreciate the prayers and thoughts~

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  26. I will keep swimming with you! You don't know me, but you touch my life in countless ways. I will pray for you and your family.

    Cindy

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    1. I'm so honored Cindy-thank you for taking the time to leave me encouragement~

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  27. So sorry to hear you found a lump. I'm sending up many prayers for you today and always!! I was a once lifeguard so I am swimming right along with you trying to keep you afloat with my prayers!!

    Luv and Hugs,
    Kristin

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    1. Hi Kristin~ your comment came through my email fine~ just oddly, not here so I just copied it~

      Thank you for the prayers and am so glad to have a skilled and strong lifeguard swimming along with me~ love and hugs to you Kristin

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  28. Hi Vicky,

    From Singapore! I asked God in the morning, what will you like to share with Vicky ! "He who follows me will not walk in darkness but have the light of life. "

    I can't swim but I ll bring my floats along , :) and cheer Vicky on. Go go, surely the waters will keep Vicky up

    Evangeline

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    1. Evangeline~ thank you for showing up here and leaving me such a heartfelt message~ I'm honored. Thanks for the reminder of the triumph of light over dark when we walk with Him~ xxoo

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  29. Finally isolated my lock-out problem. It exists in Chrome and can't be fixed by me. Hannah was the genius who told me to use Internet Explorer and bypass it.

    So glad to be able to join your school of fish again, Vicky, but not happy for the reason and that you have worries and waiting. I'm hoping it's just your body saying, "I'M TIRED OF THIS SPOT NOT HEALING!" and it mounted some little defense there that caused a lump. Until we know for sure, praying for good results and peace in the midst of this moment. Love to you, Robynn

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    1. Robynn~ my heart leapt to see you back in business again~ thank Hannah for her genius insight~ yes, it could be a reaction to my wound- but ultimately I don't mind looking to see if or what else might be going on... am hopeful my tumor markers are accurate and its one more way we will have a piece of the puzzle figured out... love to you

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  30. Im Orlando from Los Angeles, Im very touched and I just want to let you know Im praying for you and will be sendng positive vibes and blessings!

    -Orlando

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    1. So honored to have you here Orlando~ thank you for the blessings, vibes, prayers, etc., it all helps me more than I can possibly express~

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  31. Swimming and praying, swimming and praying.

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  32. Whispering your name to the One who already knows. Love.

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    1. Oh Kelly, thank you- whispering gratitude for you- right back~ love~

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  33. Dear Vicky, just keep swimming, and don't forget to look up. If you didn't see my sky column yet, you need to read it. Go here, and note that one of the photos was taken with you nearby. That one's for you. Hugs, my Carmelite companion. Don't forget the nuns and their angelic songs that speak of quiet, love, peace, joy, even in a dark world.

    http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/389302/group/shesays/

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    1. Roxane, I loved your sky article! I totally go back to our Carmel pictures and marvel at it all- had an idea about that in fact- but will talk to you sometime about it. Thank you for the photo, and better yet, the whole experience which I continue to cherish. xxoo

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  34. Hi Vicky, I am so sorry you have found a lump. You have love surrounding you, I can't swim much but oh I can float like no other, so I am there to hold your hand. Your strength is so inspiring to so many. I wish I could just come over and give you a hug, know I send prayers and love your way. Keep swimming, we are a great big school of fish right in your corner.

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    1. How great to see you here Cinner~ thank you so much for all the encouragement and I would gladly accept that hug and hug you right back~

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  35. You were on my mind and thought I'd check in...now I know why...to lift you once again to our dear Father and trust that He will tuck you in the shadow of His wing. Love to you my brave friend.

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    1. So good to see and hear from you Deb! Thank you for checking and praying always~ love to you

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  36. Praying for you, Vicky. You are so brave, inspiring and such an amazing mother, wife, and writer! Thank you for your blog...swimming and praying!

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    1. Kristy~ thank you for such kind words~ and for swimming and praying with me~ I'm honored~Love to you

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  37. Hi Vicky, we have only just met... my thoughts are so with you. I know you can carry this and I know you are surrounded with much love and help from the dear people around you. You will get through this, even though so painful. Thanks for being so open. Much love!

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    1. So glad to get to meet you Maddy and will enjoy following your journey :)

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  38. Found your blog through This Old House Too -- you write beautifully and courageously about your current life Vicky.

    Am following your blog now as I find I am wanting to know more about you.

    Big hugs from Nebraska. xo

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    1. Nancy- so honored to have you show up here and follow along! Thank you for your gracious words- will look to see if I can follow you back :) Hugs to you!

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  39. You are tucked into prayer; God IS able!

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    1. Thank you so much- Yes- He is able!

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    1. Thank you Diane- I so appreciate the good thoughts!

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  41. Swimming, swimming, swimming with you sweet Vicky!
    Sending lots of love and hugs!

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    1. Thank you honey- sending love and hugs to you :)

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  42. I found you through This Old House 2. I want you to know I am praying for you. Each time I pray, I'm asking God for protection over you. I don't know how to swim, so I'm puttin on floaties and am right there with you, swimming and praying. ♥

    ~ Lisa ~

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    1. Thank you so much Lisa- I'm so honored to have this outpouring of love and support- and floaties work perfectly!!

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  43. Keep swimming, dear Vicky. And every once in a while, take a deep breath and just float...and blissful, peaceful float.

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  44. My prayers that the results of PET scan aren't scary. Stay strong. God doesn't give us anything He thinks we can't handle. It's will be ok. Don't worry

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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