Friday, September 2, 2016

Somehow





I'm cleaning.  It's the thing I always turn to when I try to restore order in my world.  So I'm sorting, cleansing, throwing.  On my knees, then reaching far above my head.  Scrubbing, harder and harder.  If I use all my might?  All my tough girl fight?  Will I scrub all this cancer away?  I barely sit down.  I work until my back aches, and my arm swells, and my breathing is jagged and sharp.  Till I have no more.  Tears creep down my cheeks, as Crosby leans in to lick them away.  Somehow I'll clean it all away.  

Dr. Panwalkar was all business when he walked in the door of exam room 7 on Tuesday.  He smiled and shook my hand firmly, then sat down right away to begin looking at scans.  He still seemed to be in the midst of deciding what to do.

As he talked his way through the scan, pointing out where in my body "progression," had occurred, he kept saying,  "I'm not sure I agree."  I just kept sitting, waiting for the verdict.  

He finally turned the screen, and it wasn't the splashes of yellow, glowing from the screen that unsettled me.  It was the words, oh those awful words.   The report from the radiologist, was so hard to stomach, all I could do was avert my eyes, I simply didn't want to see, didn't need to know.  Yellow splashes, in my lungs, down through my abdominal cavity kept jumping out at me.

But Dr. Panwalkar is still shaking his head, not in agreement with the words.  Based on what he sees in the scans?  Those aren't the words he would choose. Its in these "hard" moments I need his sturdiness and his knowing,  the most.   Somehow he always "sees" me in these moments.  

So he reveals his plan... one I couldn't have seen coming... as sometimes happens.  He changes his mind in the moment- flashes of brilliance or thoughts of another way that suddenly occur to him.   His demeanor changes and he simply says, "How would you feel about trying TDM1 again?"  

I start to see where he is going with this.  I've had TDM1 before and it cleared out my liver mets, and kept me stable for almost a year.  Its been 4 years since I've had it.  

"I know nausea was a problem, but we'll give you something to help with that," he says.

"We'll scan again in 9 weeks, and then go back to aggressive chemo, if it hasn't worked.  Weekly Taxotere again. What do you think?"

I nod my head up and down.  

He fills out the new consent form and tells me to take it to the infusion center.  

Somehow he makes me able to stay in this moment with him.   We even talk about his family trip, and he smiles so big when he says his 6 year old walked all over the city they had visited, and its good to see pride in a son, beaming forth from a Dad.   Its always a brief moment that he steps out of "doctor" mode, and it feels good to sit side by side with him. 

He walks me to infusion and says I may have to wait awhile for infusion, as they seek insurance approval for the TDM1.  "See you in 3 weeks!"  He saunters off.

So I've barely sat down and I look up to see Annie coming.  She hugs me big and says, "Getting ready for Taxotere?"  I smile as I tell her he's already changed his mind and tell her about the TDM1. Somehow, she knows when I'll be at the clinic and then comes to find me at some point.  She is compassion and warmth, and whispers she'll say a prayer that approval comes quickly.

And let me tell you- I barely sit down- and they tell me I'm approved and my room is ready.  How's that for answered prayer?  Insurance approval is huge, and that Roger Maris has the drug available is equally as huge. 




It was just the week prior that I happened to run into Alesha, one of the infusion nurses, and she took the time to stop and ask how I was doing.  I hadn't seen her in awhile.  But we said maybe sometime soon I'd see her again?

So I settle into my chair and look up to see, who was assigned to me this Tuesday?  It's Alesha!  We're both surprised.   Its crazy how blessed I feel, in the midst of the mess of it all.  When I pray for "strength" to get though all of this, somehow He provides for me.  Sending me all the right people to see me through.  

Infusion lasts 3 hours for the loading dose.  I use my time to journal my gratitude which fills page after page in my book.   I'm done in time to meet with my stage iv, Fourward support group.  It's very humbling to be surrounded by woman, who are so likely going to say, "me too," whenever we share about our latest news.  I'm humbled and honored all at once to call them friends.

Its a lonnngggg day.  As I wait for a ride home, I'm surprised to see it's Nolan who drives up to get me. The tears still lie just below the surface, and I keep them in check so my son doesn't have to see.  Somehow, its simply enough that at 16, he drives to Roger Maris to pick his mom up from her chemo.  


The rest of the week I'm nauseous.  Achy.  Emotionally wrung out.  Summer is slipping through my fingers as I clean through my desk top photos.  Glorious sun shining in so many.  Plus nights out with several friends.  And a sprinkling of some good books.  Somehow the light always finds a way to shine through the dark and hard.  Somehow...













27 comments:

  1. I hear and feel your every tear.... I'm sorry and prayed for your strength last night at a healing mass I attended. Too far ahead looks overwhelming but right here right now we will get through the chemo yuck and look forward to finding and feeling our normals. I know you know but just keep soaking up your honey and big littles and love the fresh air they bring into our good days! Hugs to you and praying for you to have fun days on your good days!!! ;) xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sweetie. I needed these words, right here, right now. So grateful I have you walking with me and able to say just the right stuff, always. Love to you and your not so littles, too.

      Delete
  2. Dear Vicky, once again I was holding my breath while reading your update. You've been on my mind, and I am grateful for this post. Grateful for your wonderful doctor,and that you have a son old enough to drive you home. You paint a picture of the goodness of God in the midst of hard things.

    Praying for daily strength and peace, for you and your whole family xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for being so patient as I try to figure my way through the ton of info coming at me and how best to relay it. Too quickly shared, and I may be more emotional. But with time, perspective becomes more clear and I can see more objectively how to say it. Feeling your faithful prayers and adding them to my list of gratitude, Susan.

      Delete
    2. You're a wonderful blogger and update-er! I could stand to learn a LOT about patience!! I love how you tell the difficult information with a layer, a filter of faith. Hugs!!!

      Delete
  3. Vicky,
    praying without ceasing. i can't help but share in your tears as your sweet Nolan picks you up and the courage to hold it all together. stay strong my friend and throw your net out trusting Jesus will meet you right there. Love and prayers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sound advice, Kathy- love that- throwing the net and trusting- Amen. Love and prayers to you, friend!

      Delete
  4. i can see why it took a few days for you to be able to share this. it is a blow to absorb and reckon with. wish i could be of more tangible support. wore my hockey laces bracelet today and i keep it in view always. i'm not even going to try to advise because i have no idea how i'd respond. i was heartened to read of the ways you saw God providing for you so promptly and specifically. that gratitude journal is such a wise investment of time. love and prayers from GA.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I started the day being weepy (Is this a word?) over my granddaughter's adjustment or lack of to kindergarten. After reading your entry, I am berating myself for being so silly. I am filled up with sobs and concerns for you and your family. I thank God that He answered prayers so soon. I pray that today is a good day for you and that tomorrow will be even better.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear Vicky,
    I am so sorry to read this.
    I send you best wishes and have you in my prayers all days.
    Big hugs and kisses
    Barbara

    ReplyDelete
  7. What can I possibly say to add to your exquisite words? So many times while I read this, I felt it with you. Your writing is an emotional, rich, deep experience.

    Each time, when you praised and re-centered yourself on Him, you drew me closer to Him. Oh, and the light--the glorious light in your pictures.

    You write and live with all your heart.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my dear sweet friend,
    Somehow...honey...all shall be well. Tears are coming down my face as I read your words. I feel in my heart how hard this visit was and the pain of seeing those scans. I wish I could have been there to hold your hand, make some tea, take a breath together and clean right along with you. I know so well that need to clean and organize those things in front of us...so wanting to control something in our lives. I so wish there was a cleanser to get rid of this cancer.

    What I know for sure in times that are this hard... is that God is there in the midst, in the tears, in the fear. What I know for sure is that I so trust Dr. P to be on top of what do we do next. He is not giving up this fight, my dear soul sis, and neither are we. What I know for sure in this hard moment is that all of us who love you so will be praying 24/7 that this new approach works like it did before.

    I am on this old truck with you, sweet Vicky, through every twist and turn. NO MATTER WHAT!!
    Love you to the moon and back!!
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Vicky Thank you for sharing your heart and life so beautifully. Lifting you in prayer. Stay encouraged . . .

    ReplyDelete
  10. Vicky, I have such an amazing, exciting feeling right now, ok, the scans suck and I should be completely depressed, yet I have not had this much hope and God-healing feelings in a long time about anyone....You are going to be ok, you are going to make it. It will suck for a while but we need you here and God knows it OK?? Things are slowing down at the course so use me, need me, it makes me feel so alive...Which, by the way is what you are going to be for a long long time...ALIVE!!! I love you

    ReplyDelete
  11. Vicky, thank you for this post; you have been in my prayers and writings in my journal as I hold you in love and healing light. Shared tears as you wrote about your sweet son and finding that place of strength as you rode home with him. May the blessings continue as the work goes on to get the upper hand in the healing process. Always, you are held so close to me.
    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are completely surrounded with the the best. Your Nolan picking you up after your infusion.....God bless him always. Always.
    Your doctor is the best! Your nurses and friends are amazing. And I've saved the best for last: The Holy Spirit.... He speaks to you and through you.
    Lyrics in a song come to my mind: "You are not alone. And right now in the good times and bad..... You are not alone. "
    Love you,
    Jackie

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh my dear, Vicky, How I wish I could reach out and give you a warm hug. You are never far from my thoughts and prayers. When you haven't posted in awhile, I worry. When you do, I thank God. Reading your words tonight, I felt touched by how strong and blessed you are. You have fought so hard these past 5 years and continue to do so. You are blessed by a sincere and caring doctor and a family that loves you unconditionally. I know these next 9 weeks will be rough but you are surrounded with friends who are lifting you up to God and family who are by your side holding you in love. The Lord will give you just what you need when you need it.

    Love you sweet friend,
    Eileen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd take that hug from you, Eileen- the warmth always comes through your words. We've been working this summer on rearranging our rooms so that I can move my computer and writing desk to Colton's now empty bed room (he moved downstairs.) The quiet would perhaps help me focus more easily and I could be a bit more punctual with posting- I especially do not want to leave you all worrying about anything. Amen to your beautiful faith filled words. Love you right back dear friend!

      Delete
  14. Hi Beautiful, I usually don't read what has been written but just post..tonight I choose to read...and I smile at every word. Every life touched by YOU. Every fervent heart....that reaches out...to beautiful you. I can only imagine what it is like to face every hurdle. what it is like to know that to fight, you will feel nausea and sick. That "your new normal" was far from what normal is. But I can tell you this. Your New normal makes us all embrace life more. Makes us all reach higher, makes us all look inward to what is important and real. You teach us... 'HOW TO BE' in our moments..just as we are. Fear not! God has got this! You are needed right here. In that shinning example...that makes us all wish we could be 'more like'. That gift is a constant an amazing thing that is so needed. Your Journey teaches us how to live all our obstacles and find the good and be at peace in our now's. Your journey of 'living with' is so needed. because you do it with such honesty, reality, grace, humility,...and yet...such victory! All shall be well! I just so wish, I could take all the sick feelings and side affects and fatigue away...I so wish....! and so I will keep praying for you, the boys your superman and all who love you. Oh and that would be me to... for I love you dearly! Hang on...you are were your suppose to be...right here!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey girlie- loved how you said this- this part really speaks to me "be at peace in our nows." And I'm so touched that you would think to take away my side effects- it gets to be hard to keep being in surrender some days, but with the help of your encouragement and love- how can I not? Am so glad that YOU are right here with me!

      Delete
  15. Sorry to read this, but still so amazed and impressed by your strength. Prayers continue, each and every night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for coming to here and encouraging always- we need an update on how YOU are doing :) Those prayers- where would I be without those steadfast prayers.

      Delete
  16. Vicky... I wish for you from the bottom of my heart the best in this situation♥ Blessings♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. you are in my prayers...still, that somehow He gives you the strength and the courage to keep fighting. ((hugs))

    ReplyDelete
  18. Praying for you Vicky. Hugs from California.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Vicky, God works through you in such mighty ways - your words and spirit continue to spill across the screen and touch others far and wide. We continue to stand alongside you, looking you right in the eye and lifting you up to God. As always my prayer for you - that in quietness and trust you find strength. You are a beautiful woman and I pray I'm half the mother you are. SO much love to you, dear heart.

    ReplyDelete

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

When you get lucky

When you get lucky

Popular Posts

Minnesota.com

Minnesota.com - MN Weather, Map, Businesses and Blogs