Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.

It was nearly 1 pm, time for my appointment with Dr. Foster.  I am already sitting down in the waiting room with my pager, when I look up and he is hurrying by my seat.  He smiles in acknowledgment and waves.  

Within minutes, my pager goes off.  Its my friend, Heather, who happens to also be the charge nurse in radiation oncology, who comes to get me.  She is smiling so big and I alway feel how authentic she is.  I'm touched she has taken the time to come and get me.  

Of course, that makes me more chatty, and I have to remember, we're trying to do all the paperwork since I am a "new" patient again, having been released just a few months prior.  She is professional and always does a thorough job, while bringing comfort in her compassion and kindness for me, always.

She tells me Dr. Foster will be coming in, but he is thoroughly going through the old scan and the new one, and will take awhile.

So Rick and I wait.

It feels like forever, and all at once.  This place I find myself- straddling that line.  

As Heather is leaving I find myself saying,  "I am just open… to receive whatever is…"  

At some point, Dr. Foster emerges.  He smiles warmly, and greets both Rick and I.

Then he begins by saying he thinks, based on what he has seen, he has two options to present.  And then he leans forward a bit and says, that he personally, likes, one of them better.

So here, in a nutshell, as best as I can offer is his impression.

First, the scans are unclear of exactly what is happening in those two spots.  The word "prominence" is used in a vague sort of way in the report.  But that is because the nature of the prominence could be several things.  It could very likely be that my cancer is growing. Or it could be what is being seen, is necrosis, or dying tissue, just now, showing up on the scans. Or some combination of both of these things.  Some new cells, scattered about some old. 

And then it hits me, suddenly.  We aren't talking about new spots.  We are indeed talking about two previously treated spots.  Which leads me to know, only one treatment will be available, at whatever point its needed.  

So he offers his two choices.  To go ahead and treat those spots with radiation, in the only way that remains an option for me.  Whole Brain Radiation.  There, I've said it.  The one I've tried to keep out of my line of sight, out of my thoughts, out of my mouth.  The one I hoped wasn't in my future.  The one I can barely conceive of… the one.  I won't say more.  I can't.  Please know, I can't even talk about it. 

So we quickly go on to the next option he has.  Which is to wait.  Do nothing, now.  And re-scan in a few months, to see if there is more in which to help us decide what to do.  

His last question to me, then, is whether or not I feel psychologically able to withstand waiting.

So my decision, is between, hard, and hard.  

So hard it is!  I'll take hard, with a side of grace.

I do feel reprieve in the waiting.  I do know 3 more months is a gift.  

But there is still an ache in my heart.  A sadness, behind it all, that I am trying to sit with, for now.

******** I'm so thankful to fully feel, I am not doing this alone.  You all are so kind, and brave, for opening yourselves, to going through this very hard stuff, right along side me. And your prayers have soothed me, buffered me, and stood me up, when I wasn't sure I was able.*********

My infusion volunteer, Sandy, shared this with me yesterday:  "God is able."  Then she prayed, sweet words, over me, washing me in his Grace and Love.  

God is able.  And through his grace, I pray that I am able, too.  

Able, Mabel… has a certain charm to it, right? 


  1. I was about to log off my lap top..but went to find something on your blog..and there you were...I think Able Mable..and Stable Mable are one and the same..not sisters, not cousind...but the same. I have been studying and I LOVE this part of what you wrote, " could be what is being seen, is necrosis or dying tissue just now showing up on the scans". "IT COULD BE"..that touched me..resonated a truth. I studied the past 24 hours and many times radiation to Brain mets...has this but cant be seen for months later...sometimes it even looks like the tumors are more prominent after treatment..when actually they are being affected by the radiation... So something in me sighs...Hard and Hard ....again this may sound out there...but I hear the whisper...wait..all shall be well..wait...stable mable is able to to keep you stable...and so I will now pray with all my heart that you know without a doubt the choice to make between Hard and hard. How I feel your heart in it aches. I am wrapping you in a hug...but more so wrapping you in the lords love... I wrap you in a peace the defies everything...everything...!!! Love you beautiful lady...grace is in the, 'IT COULD BE'...and faith is surrounding you.

  2. I know I sound like a broken record, Vicky, but you are in my thoughts and prayers. Waiting is such a difficult thing when your health is in jeopardy.

  3. Praying for you and your husband and your boys. Praying for peace and for healing. Thanking God for each day that we can take a moment to look around at those we love and just love them. Praying for calm. Just praying.

  4. There is hope in your words, Vicky... "Or IT COULD BE what is being seen, is necrosis, or dying tissue, just now, showing up on the scans". I have read of others who were told that there were "spots" in various places but it happened to be dying tissue or scars left from radiation. PRAYING right along with you, that this is what is being seen and for complete healing.

    I am sure I have shared this quote with you before but I will share it again. "Once you choose hope, anything's possible" ~Christopher Reeve

    Sending love and hugs, my friend.

  5. I feel hope here today. 3 more months...yes. wait. And He is in the waiting. Love you xo

  6. So I know this whole "could be necrosis" very well. As you know I continue to live with all the unknowns associated with "could be." The first thing I thought when I read this was of Tasha Cobb's song Break Every Chain. So it's mostly talking about sin, but the thought came flooding through my mind that God can give you the ability to break through that anxiety and fear that holds you regarding radiation. I weep nearly every time I hear her sing this song. And in the meantime, enjoy these 3 months, no matter how hard the uncertainty is.

  7. Continuing prayers, Vicky, each and every night.

  8. I think we are all here with you Vicky, heart and soul. Let us hope for the dying cell prognosis.
    Most of the time this is all it is but the stress is not good that is for sure.
    I am not good at handling these long term thingys. I need answers like... yesterday.
    Right now I am appalled at the GMO foods which we all seem to be eating and causes these cancers. Try to again look into this and avoid these products Seems even potatoes are grown by this method.I noticed cause I buy potatoes and they are hard and tasteless . It might make all the difference if you try to get food not controlled by Monsanto Corp.
    We all really need to become very vocal because this is all getting out of hand and criminal.
    Any little thing that can help, you should try cause it helps the infusions do their job.
    God Bless you Vicky.

  9. I've never met a more "ABLE" Mabel. Bathe yourself in love, compassion, inner presence .... and breathe ... deep, oxygenating breaths whenever possible. Sending you love and strength across the miles, dear Vicky.

  10. "There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God ... " lyrics from a beautiful old hymn - and they just came to mind as I began to tap on my kindle. Dear Vicky, lean on Him and allow us to hold you up in prayer.

  11. STABLE Able Mable. I think you've made the right choice, I pray you'll find the peace of mind in the waiting. I know you have the courage and grace. love to you -

  12. Oh my dear friend,
    That place between hard and hard. Yes, not easy. What I know for sure is that these three months give you time to breath more, to love more, to "become" more, to laugh more. A respite.

    Yes, He is ABLE to take it all and you, Able Mable, :) can turn it over to Him. He is holding you in the palm of His almighty hand.

    And in the meantime, know that we will pray and pray and walk along side you. And listen if you want to talk and hold your hand, even from across the miles, if you want to cry. You
    are not alone. Not for one minute.

    Love you to the moon and back again!

  13. this is the YT link to the song i shared with you via text yesterday by Michael W Smith:

    with you, girl.

  14. Wait with me a while, Vicky. I treasure those times and hope you can be there. I'm sure there will be some leaves left to dazzle us. :)

  15. Your infusion nurse is an angel walking....
    God puts those in our paths who we need or who need us.
    Blessings and hope abound in your life, my friend.
    I close with thoughts not only of you and for you but for your sweet family.
    Love you....


  17. Thoughts and prayers of healing and peace.

  18. Reading your words can bring me right back to this moment, this day, and all the goodness in my life. You are a beautiful soul.

  19. Amazed at the grace with which you write hard words. Waiting sounds good and I will pray that it is a river of peace and joy and healing for you. We will be your Aaron and your Hur. Love and many hugs across the miles.

  20. You've had to make so many decisions Vicky...I admire you so much. My prayers continue for you and your family.

  21. When I read your previous post, I immediately thought, "Oh, it's a mistake. If they can't be certain about blood vessels and old tumor spots, it's something else. Scar tissue. Effects of radiation. Sluff-Off-Stuff. I know you have to face reality, and you will in your elegantly graceful way.

    My prayers for myself are unsure and weak, but for you, they have my full attention and strength.

  22. Oh sweet Vicky... what can you do but wait...? I pray that in this time of waiting God gives you the gift of peace and life and JOY!!
    So much love to you!!!!

  23. I'm praying with you Vicky. May we all choose joy!

  24. I am hoping with your hope and hanging on to the possibilities of necrotic tissue. I think you made the BEST choice, Vicky, albeit a "hard" one as well. You chose between a rock and a "hard" place and hard has the promise of being difficult but not immovable, like the rock. Oh that imaging were an exact science with definitives and no guesses. You have been majorly on my heart and mind the last few days and now I know why. Hugging you through the miles and through that which cannot be described, Honey. You are loved. You are treasured. You are prayed for by an army who will not stop charging forward. May God give you peace in the hardest moments and give you extra angels to guard your heart, mind, thoughts, and body. Praying His healing light into those spots and into the spot where you must wait. But I know you and you will fill every day with life - in abundance. Wish I could spell what my hug for you right now would sound like.....

  25. we truly are here for you and with you…and while waiting is never easy, i hope somehow magically this time the choice to wait feels like the softest thing to ever touch your skin instead of sandpaper irritating you often….and please know that we will wait with you….xoxo


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