Friday, May 17, 2013

Sideways...



We're tiny minutes late, going to see Dr. Foster.  I'm ready and I'm not.  In a "who knows why?" last minute flurry I change my necklace.  Instead of my vertical cross, I choose the sideways one.  Mine has become tarnished from wear.  But, it feels right.  


Especially when it feels all wrong. 


 Dr. Foster is pleasant, but brisk.  He smiles and answers when I ask how his hockey season was and then he inquires about the boys, but quickly its back to business.  

I tell him we can "forgo" the gown if he'd like, but no, he says he'll consult his notes while I change clothes.  So I'm waiting again as I quickly change into a gown.

He returns.  Examines me thoroughly, in much the same way Dr. Panwalkar does.  He finds nothing.

He says, "Go ahead and get your street clothes on, and then we'll discuss treatment."

And then I know.  

I run my fingers over my cross.  The sideways cross, reminding me of the one He carried.  Reminding me, that He plus me, will carry whatever is to come.

Long minutes later Dr. Foster returns.  

"Well, this isn't what I wanted to say."  

The room starts to fade from my sight, as everything slows, again.  I've been here before.  

Hearing what he doesn't want to say, what I don't want to hear, what I don't want to tell you.

The cross reminds me, He has been here before too. With me.  



"A new spot has appeared on your brain, 8 mm, a distance from the old spot, but deeper in your brain."




And then we go over all the things that don't add up.  I feel fine.  I look good.  I have already had a response to the Xeloda.  Its been 14 months since we treated my last spot in my head and typically more spots would have appeared by now.

So, I gather I'm not typical.  

"Biologically, your cancer is behaving in its own way, in it's own time."

I tiny smile to myself as I recall Dr. Panwalkar's words about my PET scan as "not terrible."  

Now I can add, "not typical."  

I chose the sideways cross, perhaps, sensing my news was a little sideways too. 

I have 3 options.  

Watch and wait, re-scan in a couple of months. 

Have a new "Jason" (Think Friday the 13th movies) mask made.  Screw my head onto the table.  And shoot a one-time targeted shot of radiation at my brain. Again. 

Or, radiate my whole brain.  

I ask for some time.  To think.   And talk to Dr. P.




In the meantimes, you will probably find me near the laundry room floor, on my knees.  



Emptying... to fill again.  






78 comments:

  1. Oh, I know it's not the news you wanted. It's not the news I wanted to read for you. I don't have the right words to convey how my heart hurts for you and how we're praying for wisdom as you make choices.

    And I know that "not typical" phrase. It's actually not a bad place to be for either of us considering the alternative, but I also know that settling (you gave me that word) isn't our heart's desire. Prayers, friend.

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  2. Thanks friend- exactly what I needed to "hear."

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  3. Oh Sweetie,

    what should I write?

    If it would change every thing I would beat the cancer with all my power in the side and ask him "Whats all this fuss about????" ... grrrrrr I am really peeved.

    You are so strong and so positive. You will come to your decision and it will be good.

    Bussals
    Mimi

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    1. Sweet friend- I believe your every word- thank you Mimi- just thank you. Bussals~

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  4. i'm without words that i can write this morning, but my prayers are full and all for you.......xo

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    1. I know- my words are buried and lost along with yours today- but the feeling is there, right? Thank you- xxoo

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  5. Vicky, your words speak to me on so many levels. My faith is stirred by your sideways cross...a message from the Father to you... "He plus me will carry whatever is to come" - powerful ...profound.
    Like your other friends here, I dropped to my knees and prayed for God to show you the next right thing to do sweet one. He's so close to you, I've no doubt He'll lead you and Superman in the right way.
    How I wish I could physically join you on the laundry room floor on our knees in prayer...just know, I'm joining you and loving you big and wide from here my precious friend.
    R

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    1. Robin- my heart is open to whatever God lays upon it- I'm just waiting- trusting in His plan. I feel you with me sweetie- I feel those prayers on bended knee- big and wide- always loving you-big and wide.

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  6. Praying right along with you, Vicky. God's hand is holding yours and He will guide you.

    "The wings of hope carry us, soaring high above the driving winds of life." ~Ana Jacob

    Love and hugs, Eileen

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    1. Eileen- the best quotes always- I will carry that with me- what a beautiful visual that gives me-thank you. Love and hugs to you~

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  7. Oh, Vicky ... kneeling with you.

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    1. Thank you Susan- I feel you- just thank you

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  8. Adding my prayers. I don't know what to say other than that. Except to add that I am praying for wisdom to make the right decision, and praying for a keen sense of his closeness, his amazing love for you that is beyond comprehension. Praying for strength for each member of your family.

    Stretching out a hand right now - I bless you in Jesus' Name.

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    1. Thank you Susan- I feel it all- I do. blessings and love to you~

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  9. Dear Vicky,
    I am kneeling also and praying God will give you clear direction and praying continued strength and healing.
    {{{hugs}}} from me~
    Kris

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    1. Hugging you right back Kristin- thank you- your prayers have sustained me for so long now- blessings to you.

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  10. vicky, i prayed for you when you had your MRI that you would know peace beyond what the sedation could provide, and these words today are either bursting with faith and peace or they are words of will and choice in the midst of other feelings. probably some of both, huh.

    i know that the only reason you can face these uncertain days is because you know that Jesus' life didn't end at the cross. underneath ARE the Everlasting Arms--don't you ever forget it! (deut. 33:27)

    i believe He will give you comfort and wisdom for the decision making. i'll be praying...

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    1. Jenn- so grateful for the scripture always- I know others will read and gain insight from your blessed offerings here too. Thank you for that reminder- so needed and appreciated today. blessings and love to you today~

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  11. Lifting you up in prayer sweet Vicky.

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    1. Thank you sweet friend~ blessings to you today~

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  12. I am wrapping you in a big hug; right there with you on my knees. No words at this momonet only deep breaths to bring peace to you.

    It seems nothing about life is "typical" anymore and in that I lean in MORE to trust, to trust He knows and that He is already there.

    Love you Vicky!
    xoxo

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    1. So true Tiffany- you nailed it- life is anything but typical and that certainly gives us reason to lean in a little more. Love you sweet Tiffany~

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  13. As I read this, I found myself touching my own cross around my neck.

    I'm praying God will give you a perfect peace, that you will know for certain which road to take, and for your healing.

    Such a rich post, Vicky. So full of Him.

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    1. Made richer by you and all of our friends, showing up, here, today. Thankful for that blessing and so much more. Love to you Julie~

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  14. I am continuously praying for you and the decision he'll help you to make. I have no other real words but I will say and hopefully it comes out right but every time I read here I am reminded that God is bigger, God is greater, God is first, God is there. That's beautiful as are your words time and again.

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    1. Gille- thank you for your gracious words- they've truly touched me- and when you string all of those together, its a pretty awesome statement. Thank you~

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  15. hmmm I guess nothing to do but shoot it before it gets bigger.
    What about the first one? Is it still there?
    Might mean the xeloda is not right for you. You might need something else
    to stop recurrences in the brain.So hard for both doctors and patients.
    Is it possible to get info on other patients in your area to see what they have? Maybe its the same and environmental???( Grappling for straws here.)
    Are you around any chemicals from your husbands photography job you might be sensitive to or a company putting something into the air or water near by?
    The change of scenery seems to have helped you a lot so maybe its something local that is affecting your treatment?????
    In a situation such as this you have to look at everything.
    In the meantime Vicky, keep your strength up.
    You can probably beat it if you hang in there. So.... lots of vitamins and greens.Wish I could give you a hug.xoxoxox

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    1. Hey Vic- the first one is still there- showing no signs of growing or anything else. With a stage iv diagnosis, looking for the cause is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Stage iv just implies the cancer cells have figured out how to travel throughout the body and will keep popping up at intervals. We just keep hoping we can knock them back as long as our bodies can withstand the treatment. That is why a cure is what is desperately needed. Stage 1-3, a combo of chemo and radiation cures breast cancer. At stage iv, its no longer considered "curable," just treatable.

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  16. Will be praying for much wisdom and peace as you face the days ahead.

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  17. It's me again. (I just commented above)As I sit here praying, I think of your One Word. I start praying for you to "embrace" what is ahead. Ummm. No. That's seems wrong. I stop and think. Praying now that you rest in His embrace. That you will be embraced by the love, comfort, and peace of God. That you will embrace the love, thoughts, prayers and encouragement that you're given by those who love you. Bless you Vicky.

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    1. Debbie~ wow~ I had much the same thoughts earlier~ that me choosing embrace was perhaps not just about what I would wrap my arms around~ but yes~ maybe that He and all of you would be "embracing" me. So grateful you shared that with me. I truly appreciate your earnest prayers- I feel them. Blessings to you Debbie~

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  18. So sorry to read this news, Vicky. I know you will make the right decision for you. Sending you a warm embrace and strength across the miles ...
    xox

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    1. Thank you Bonnie~ embracing you right back~

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  19. Aw Vicky, I am so so sorry. I will keep praying for you and your family.

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  20. Rest assured He's got this Vicky. So glad you are consulting with Dr. P. Im sorry. Pray. Love.

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    1. Thank you Kelly~ yes, I believe He does have this~

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  21. On my last-chemo high today, I felt so incredibly guilty as I walked out past the treatment rooms with my flowers and gift bags and circle of girlfriends who all surprised me. The waiting area and ringing of the bell were just as much of a mixed bag of emotions, that I get to celebrate the end of this phase while you and so many others just endure more. If I could take a treatment for you and make it all equal and cured, I would in a minute. Debbie caught my feelings perfectly - embrace the One and the ones you lean on, and let them hold you through the decisions and treatment.

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    1. I am so relieved to read your refreshing and exciting words~ celebrate the "end" for all its worth- you so deserve it. And ring the bell for us, because of us- because you can- its all gift and I couldn't be more happy for you. I pray one day, everyone, will get to ring the bell- or that we won't even need a bell-but in the meantime- ring away- hugs to you

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  22. Glad they are giving you a few options. God will help yu make the correct decisions for treatment! Prayers continue to be lifted for you and your family!
    Love you to the moon and back!
    Hugs!

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    1. Verna- hugs to you- all the way to the moon and back-

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  23. I have been thinking about getting a cross to wear around my neck; I never have worn one, but I want to...for several reasons.
    Among them are to touch it and think of you and the peaks you smile from and the valleys you rest in. I want to be able to touch a symbol of our Savior and know that my Sister in Christ, Vicky is wearing the same symbol...is on her face praying for others as much as she prays for herself, and is lifting up her readers each time she shares a part of her life with us.
    Continued strength and fortitude for you, dear friend.
    Love,
    Jackie

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    1. Jackie- how sweet your words are tonight and I hope you find a beautiful cross to wear and that it gives you peace like it does myself. I love the image of you having one to wear~ love you dear one~

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  24. I don't know you personally. But as a sister in Christ I want you to know that I will be on my knees every time I am in my laundry room, in prayer for you. For strength, trust, courage, peace and anything else that only the one who holds you knows.

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    1. Nancy~ my "screen" friends are dear to me in every way and I am honored to have you amongst them. thank you for the prayers and for your bent knees~

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  25. Vicky... every time I am here it makes me want to jump in the car and see you. Bring some love, bring some hope, be God's gentle voice to you. If only I would be near your State...

    X, MaddyChristine

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    1. Ohhh MaddyChristine~ that is soooo sweet~ having you here in this space is the next best thing~ I hope you are well~ xxoo

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    2. I am. Really enjoying life. I have never been able to answer that 'question' that quickly and easily!! :-))

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  26. Dear Vicky~

    I did not expect this news. I assumed that since the Xeloda was working, you wouldn't have any new spots in your brain. My heart is heavy for you, yet your words of faith always manage to change my perscective and look at things in a different way. I will pray, as I always do, that your faith and the prayers of all who know and love you will sustain you, and that your docs will find a successful treatment.

    Love, hugs, and prayers, dear sista!

    Steph

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    1. Steph- Xeloda is not known to cross the blood brain barrier- only Tykerb from what I understand- we will see what Dr. P thinks on Tuesday. I am extremely honored and overwhelmed with this outpouring of prayers and love that I feel- so blessed by you all- thanks siesta- much love to you

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  27. I'll be praying for you! love your blog.....Margene

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    1. Thank you so much Margene- so nice to see you here- blessings to you

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  28. Not what I was hoping to hear and I know you weren't either. Asking blessings of strength and, as always, more thoughts and prayers.

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    1. Thank you so much for your continued love and prayers- they truly see me through

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  29. Praying! Asking God for wisdom and peace for your heart.

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    1. Barbie, I appreciate that so much- thank you for those prayers

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  30. Your courage, your faith, your strength -

    Not typical.

    Not typical at all.

    Prayers and love and goodness to you, Dear Vicky.

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    1. Thank you so much Marion, so sweet of you, I honestly feel I am merely doing what I need to do- what anyone would do in my situation - so thank you for seeing it in such an honorable light- love to you

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  31. I will add my prayers to those of the others, for wisdom and guidance and peace in this storm.

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    1. Thank you so much Sue- I feel them and they make such a difference in me- blessings to you

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  32. Sending my love, thoughts and prayers... xo

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  33. After reading your post tonight, I realized you are the strongest person I know. You are always in my thoughts and prayers Vicky.

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    1. Lisa- wow, such a high compliment from you, thank you. But I don't feel strong- just doing the next thing set out before me and with the help of all of you and your prayers and love guiding me along

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  34. Vicky,
    You are SURROUNDED by LOVE, PRAYERS and SUPPORT! There are people
    praying for you all over the country. I gave your name to our prayer
    group at church. We are praying unceasingly! Know that He holds you
    in the palm of His Almighty hand and we are holding you too.

    God Bless,
    Linda in Spokane

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    1. Linda- wow- I am so honored to have prayers from your prayer group in Washington- that is a tremendous blessing to me- thank you- blessings and love to you

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  36. Vicky, I love what Marion said above a couple comments, about how many things are not typical about this situation, including your faith and how you lean in, love and live, even when it's hard to do. Dear God, bless Vicky as she makes all the decisions before her right now. Let her know of your great love for her. Give her hope. XOXO, Roxane

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  37. Hi Vicky,,, I came to check on you as I so often do, as you are continuously in my heart and prayers. Sorry that you must face this new hurdle,,,,, is it okay that my heart hurts for you? For what I think you may be feeling, thinking? Prayers going up for peace of mind and heart and the wisdom to make the right decision. Bless you,,,,

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  39. And now I take a deep breath and pause...I have no words. I just want you to know that I care. You are so strong. I pray that you have God's strength.

    Your friend from Virginia Beach,
    Teresa Rieke

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  40. Hi Vicky, I buried my head in my hands and cried out to God for you after I read your post. There is one thing I know, that God is faithful. I will knee with you...

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  41. We serve a God who is not typical, who loves lavishly and who hears us when we cry out to Him. Many of us are crying out to Him on your behalf. Praying for clarity on treatment and overwhelming peace and joy to be your ever present companions. Love and hugs to you.

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  42. My grandma was not typical and neither was her cancer. 40 she was when the doctors gave up on her and 94 was when God called for her. As tough as it gets grit your teeth and know that nothing about life is typical. Nothing about you is typical or ordinary or average. God has you in his hands and I pray along with everyone else that you glide over this latest hurdle. You are gracious, so gracious. I have mega respect and am in constant awe of how classy you are. And Rick and your boys are in my prayers too. Much love to you all. Xx

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  43. Oh Vicky....then I read this and all I was going to say about Hannah graduating college and busyness and blah blah blah fades away and I am so sorry I am just now reading this news you've been sitting with for two weeks. One thing I CAN say about you is that you're anything but typical and that has been evident in every post you've ever posted, but especially through all the posts since you were diagnosed. I must read your other posts immediately and find out what direction you decided to go but whatever it is, I know you will be encouraging US every step of the way and I will continue to pray that whatever "typical" is, it stays away from you because it doesn't have a fighting chance. I love you.

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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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