Wednesday, October 3, 2012

in limbo

Thank you all for your thoughtful and heartfelt comments.  Any time you leave a comment, or email me, or fb message me, or text me, etc., I'm so touched.  My current struggle if you will, is figuring out, what the next right thing is for me to do.  But what I do know, is that if I can be a conduit to you in a fraction of all the life lessons that are coming my way, it helps me live a more purposeful life.  

I've gleaned a few more photos from the hordes I have stored away.  With the winds kicking up, I trust many of these trees are now near barren.

The coolest discovery awaited me in the pasture out behind the house.  At first she didn't pretend to even notice me.  But after awhile she steadily grazed closer to where I stood motionless and quiet in my coolest Pioneer Woman stance possible.  And then I discovered the goats.  They were so cautious- barely tip-toeing across the open field in the tracks of the horse.

The horse seemed to just tolerate the goats, while the goats mimicked her every move.  It was enchanting to watch.

They carefully maintained a distance just on the other side of the horse, but curiosity would best them at times, and I'd catch them peeking at me.  

While I was away at Carmel, Rick and Nolan took Crosby for one last fishing excursion on the lake.  Rick stitched together several different photos to create this saturated look.  I love seeing Crosby take it all in.  

I was surprised when it wasn't Dr. Panwalkar that walked through the exam room door yesterday.  He has a new Physician Assistant (I am totally blanking on her name right now) and she had just started seeing patients.  She was pleasant, listened well and gave me a quick exam.  

While drawing my blood had put me through the wringer yesterday, the blood tests revealed my counts are actually quite good.  My tumor marker did rise, but the difference was small.

The PA had no reference for the size of my lymph node under my arm when I suggested to her it felt enlarged. So Dr. Panwalkar did come in briefly and check himself.  He agreed with me that it was slightly larger than before, but was not a significant change warranting a change in treatment.  So I will continue on with the same treatment.  

He then smiled as he met my eye and said "oh your hair looks so good."  I don't know why those innocuous observations make me feel good- perhaps it just reinforces that he SEES me, not just the cancer. But he had a medical student with him and as abruptly as he came, he left.  He hastily said goodbye and said he'd see me in 12 weeks.  Because of the holidays, it will be 2013 before I see him again.  

I feel a bit in limbo.  Mr. Stable is oh so good.  And yet, I'm not in remission.  The ever elusive Mr. NED (No Evidence of Disease) has not shown up on my dance card.  Stage IVstill lurks, and Mr. Progression is just one bad blood test away.  And me.  I'm on the sidelines, dodging the seemly characters, hanging out somewhere between "Mr. Almost, and Mr. Not Quite"well. 


  1. oh vicky - my heart is wrapping around you today! While this does make me a bit sad - I am going to choose joy instead - because you are still here and your numbers weren't horrible - Mr. Stable will = joy. I will pray fervently for Mr. NED to show up!

    I am grateful for you!

    1. Thanks Tiffany- its true- stable is still good news and I don't know why it feels so precarious- it just does. I'm still counting gifts and grateful, but not disallowing the room for sad too :) It will pass! I am not chasing down Mr. NED, he is elusive and hard to hang onto- but if he finds me, well then, that is a different story :)

      I am grateful for YOU!

    2. Yes, room for sadness is ok for sure! While we welcome Mr. Stable, let's expect Mr. NED to show up - if we ready ourselves, prepare a place for him, he will come!

      I am encouraged by you ALWAYS!
      All shall be well :)

  2. While we are grateful for the storm's eye, Vicky, we are also aware that the other side of the storm is coming. But the reality is also true that the winds may abate as it travels and what has been predicted or forecasted often leaves egg on the face of those who "always" know. Try and rest in your eye-of-the-storm moment and revel in the reality of changes - some for the very best and some completely and happily unexpected. I am currently praying for courage as I have somehow become a desperate wimp after years of health issues. And life is simply not for the fearful because it compounds every dark corner and bump in the medical night. Yet, I don't face the fears and challenges that rock your world and my heart aches for you in that and it keeps me praying for God to completely cover you in His hand and to heal you.

    Thinking of you so often and you are ALWAYS the face God brings to my mind when I tremble at monsters and think of your bravery. Because we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. I love you, friend.

    1. Robynn,

      You are too kind... bravery always implies a choice to me- and I don't choose to be brave... I just HAVE to face things. I know you will gain your footing again too and face what you have to, but I am sad that you have to in the first place. I love you too friend... prayers for answers and healing from your health issues.

  3. Giving thanks for you. Love you sweet sister.

    1. Thank you friend- blessings and love to you sister!

  4. sweet woman, you are so humble to be willing to be a conduit of teachable nuggets from the Father to us through your experiences! you said so much in that one sentence that i still can't quite grasp that you find perspective like this in the midst of your circumstances. you had a good teacher {Gitz}.

    have you thought about selling prints of some of your photography? these are BEAUTIFUL, and my guess is that many here would like to have one, perhaps as a 5x7 or larger, or as notecards. i don't know enough about that to know if it would be worth investigating, but i'm just sayin' your most recent pics are STUNNING.

    living in the land of limbo is HARD, girl. i've done it--although not with your specific situation--and i know how it can exhaust you emotionally. living in each moment is what makes it easier, and you seem to have a handle on that. i'm glad you let us see the moments when it's not firmly in your grasp. HUGS.

    1. Jenn,

      Yep-Sara is engraved on my heart and has cleared the path for all that want to follow :) No- can't say I've ever taken myself seriously as a photog- but gosh, thanks for the compliment. Truly, I think it was all God's handiwork and the beauty came through naturally.

      Yes- not firmly in my grasp is really an accurate description- and yet I know I will work my way through it :)
      Thanks girlie- hugs to you!

  5. Yes I can totally understand Vicki that you were expecting different news. I would have been too. But this was the second best news you could have got. No worse, no better. However, there is so much promise to be better in 12 weeks.

    We are all hanging on by a thread in one way or another for many different reasons. Keep doing what you are doing because clearly it is working. It takes time to climb that mountain, you are just half way there and having a breather, think of it like that. Look up and out like you have been doing and you will climb to the top I just know.

    I read this somewhere today so not sure who said it but I liked it - LIFE It isn’t easy. It isn’t fair. It throws wicked curve balls. It leaps out to frighten and derail us. Life is a beast sometimes. We have many options, more choices, regarding what we do when we encounter these beasts. They will either consume us, or strengthen us.

    And I know that you are trying hard to gain strength from this battle you have. You sure are passing that on to the rest of us in your blog posts anyway.

    It is tough. Have a doona day or two and take some time to get over this disappointment. And then think of the good news you got, the possibilities for the next 12 weeks.

    I agree, maybe you could see your photos as prints or cards. I would love to buy a set. Truly beautiful. Oh what a beautiful photo book or books you would be able to do as well.

    Take Care and continue to hang tight and keep your eyes on the top of the mountain. Try hard not to look down below. Keep moving forward one step at a time. All of us here are with you no matter where we are in the world. xx

    PS Your Doctor sounds wonderful, I love a man who notices the details. And he really does notice you.

  6. Jenn is absolutely right about your photos Vicky, they take my breath. Rick's photo is amazing too...
    Ok...numbers are good, just a slight rise...I know you're in limbo but overall it's a friendly limbo...I love you my friend praying, like everyone, for Mr. NED to show up quickly!!!

  7. Thank you for sharing the "you" of all that you are going through. Your images are beautiful, as is your heart.

  8. Vicky, ahhh....beautiful, my friend. Love the glassy lake. Love the sun shining through those stately trees. Love that you introduced me to Mr. Horse (he was there last time but I never did meet him). As for limbo? Oh, that is one of the most difficult places to be. BUT, with limbo, there is still hope.'s so hard, but trust in God's infinite mercy and love. Lay it all at his feet. Let him know you know he knows how this is all going to turn out and you need peace and gentleness and mercy. Don't quit having that vital conversation. But at the end of it all, just give it to him. Hugs...

  9. Have you ever done a photo book?... say, through Shutterfly? A great Christmas present for someone you love... the images of "light" you have captured... perhaps with quotes that "speak" to you underneath!

  10. Your pics are awesome. Breathtaking.
    You look wonderful!!!
    Hair looks wonderful!!!!
    Keep eating good food to help your immune system fight and hang in there.
    Keep those good endorphins circulating.
    You are in every ones prayers Vicky every day.

  11. So much colr in you photos! Tennessee has had very dull fall colors the last two seasons.

    I think I could have written much of this post. In fact, during a phone call to Becky, I cried (first cancer-related tears in a while) that I constantly feel as if I am one blood test away from disaster. But then we celebrated Rory's birthday last week, and I think about last year on Rory's birthday and how I had just received the news that my summer of one of the worst drug cocktails you can receive had not worked. And I sobbed to Becky yet again (poor girl) that I felt as if this might be the last birthday I wooOuld celebrate with my girl.

    But it's a year later. And I'm still here. Having lots of good days mixed in with the bad. I want NED more than anything, but am learning to be content with the quiet, stable times because it could be so, so much worse. It's a lot of work, as I know you know, to choose joy again and again. But it's reading your heart that helps all of us do just that.

  12. just know, that through this all, we in the blogging world are standing behind you, cheering you
    on !!....your spirit and positive attitude is such a gift. you truly are a shining light !!

  13. I will be praying fpr Mr. NED to show up FAST. Limbo is a hard lace to be, b ut much better than bad news. I, too, LOVE your hair!!! The Fall pics are beautiful but YOU outshine even Mother Nature. XO

  14. So much strength, so much courage.

    Mr. NED is on your dance card for sure, but he's shy and taking his sweet time.
    But he'll get there, for sure.


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