"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Matthew 21:22
I was breathless with anticipation when I arrived at Roger Maris early Monday morning.
I am calm, and totally freaking out all at once.
Its at the reception desk I am greeted with the gift of the pink bag. I am told its a gift from a survivor who wanted to offer some hope and encouragement.
I'm struck by kindness, and also so nervous about my appointment with Dr. Foster, that I can't even stop to look inside just yet.
But its then that I see my friend Heather, the Radiation Charge Nurse, nearing my side. "I have a meeting the same time as your appointment so I wanted to give this to you right away." She is handing me a card with my name on it. Its her hug that steels me. I feel the love and allow it to propel me forward into a waiting room chair.
Just then my pager goes off and its already time to see Dr. Foster.
My heart rate is steady and slow, belying the anxiety that courses through my being. Lopressor is doing it's job.
Its not long and Dr. Foster arrives. He spends some time catching up with me and then steps out so I can put a gown on and prepare for an exam.
We talk about my wound, about the proposed surgery and my upcoming appointment with Dr. Antoniuk. He is in agreement that something should be done to help heal the wound.
He steps out briefly as I dress, and returns to talk about my scans.
But he catches me off guard a bit- bringing up my lung scans from January, first. He hones in on the three new lesions appearing in differing places in my lungs. One is near my heart, and the other two are nearing my chest wall. He is wondering what the course of treatment is planned for these metastases?
I stammer a bit, trying to go back in my mind to what Dr. Panwalkar and I discussed in January. Its then that I remember being told about the mets on my ovaries and recall I was so stuck on that topic, I didn't ask about too much else.
I simply recall Dr. Panwalkar being very encouraging about the Arimidex I was taking, working, and either those lung tumors would shrink or be held stable.
So Dr. Foster listens, and then suggests that targeted radiation to those lung mets might be a good course of action again. It worked on my lungs this fall, and I haven't developed any lung disease, so zapping those spots might be the best course of treatment. It would be a full week of 1 1/2 hours a day. An aggressive treatment this time.
I think he has a very valid viewpoint. I just needed to be sure that surgery was factored into that plan as well.
So he suggests waiting to scan in two months, and then we can determine the best course of treatment for my lungs after the proposed surgery.
Its finally time to address my brain. He brings up the images and shows me the treated spots look stable, which is good. I am definitely smiling at this news.
He then goes on to say that the radiologist has mentioned something else, three teeny-tiny spots- "punctuates," he calls them- the size of small dot made by the tip of a pen.
So Dr. Foster went ahead and looked for comparison on the scan I had 6 months ago, and low and behold, those dots were there then too- just appearing in a bit of a different view point.
I asked him, if that first radiologist had made any mention of those spots? He had not.
So...Dr. Foster thinks my brain is stable. Who knows what those spots are? We'll watch and see, but I won't need another scan of my brain for 6 months. I exhale for the first time- completely emptying- readying- to fill again.
Its later that day that I look inside the bag. It was gifted by a woman named Teresa who is a 15 year survivor of melanoma. She had been given a 1 percent chance of making it past 6 months and through the power of prayer and belief, she says "Anything is possible."
Amen, Teresa. So thankful for special people like you, who pay it forward in this way. It truly touched me! The beautiful card had the Matthew bible verse in it as well. All of the goodies are perfect for someone going through infusions and chemo.
And then I read the card from my sweet friend Heather and the last of my composure was gone. Thank you friend- so honored. Amongst her beautiful words, is money to purchase flowers for the front of my house!
I am so emotionally spent- I slept the rest of the afternoon away.
On Tuesday I arrived for infusion. As I sat waiting for my nurse to arrive, I watched the feed play across the computer screen in my infusion room.
And look who popped up? Dr. Panwalkar. And then my clearly functioning brain-happened to quickly notice his first name is misspelled- there is no "r" in it. But there he goes- making me laugh like always. And I can his hearty laugh each time I see it.
Still, just as his picture starts to fade...
Look who next appears? Dr. Foster.
It was like a tailer-made- feed, just for me. What are the chances both of your amazing cancer doctors are portrayed together, on the very day you have infusion?
Someone is clearly watching over me.
Thank you for your patience in letting me process everything and write!
I have something pretty special to share with you all next week…