I was watching a movie with Tyler the other night. I was on the laptop and only half paying attention to what the movie was really about, but I glanced over and noticed that he was crying. I asked him what was wrong and it took about one second for him to burst into sobs. The movie was harmless. It was about some animals ,but the animals belonged to a family that didn’t have a mom.
“Mom, why would they make a movie where there wasn’t a mom in it? It’s not right. Why would they even think to do that?” He then proceeded to tell me how worried he is about me and it didn’t take long before I grabbed him and was holding him tightly in my lap trying to be the strong parent and not show that I am constantly fearful of that scenario for our family, as well. The kids. Cancer is so much harder because of the kids. The thought of my kids not having both parents around growing up is so hard to swallow. Everybody keeps telling me to just trust, that God knows what He’s doing, that His grace will bring us through. As a Christian, I know all of these things. I really do, and I believe them. But when we keep getting hammered with bad news, it’s really hard to remain peaceful about the situation. It feels like there hasn’t been any time to just relax and come up for air for so long now.
I’ve been having some complications since beginning radiation toward the beginning of April. They are just minor, mostly pain. Because the symptoms didn’t start out as pain, but had actually progressed to that, my radiation oncologist decided it would be a good idea to do a MRI scan to see if there was something going on with the tumors that might be the source of the symptoms. The scan showed that one of the tumors is growing new fingers that have gone deeper behind the occipital lobe. The scan also showed several areas of enhancement that may or may not be new areas of tumor formation. My brain has also filled up with fluid and inflammation, once again, as it did before this last surgery. It’s surprising that I’m not having more symptoms from that, but I’m on four seizure medications, so that is probably a good thing and may be what is keeping any seizure activity at bay.
At this point, they are remapping the radiation field to target the new area of tumor growth more heavily. It was already receiving some radiation, but not enough. The bummer of all of this is that more brain will have to get irradiated in addition to the extremely large amount that already is receiving it. Please pray, pray, PRAY that the new areas of enhancement are not tumor. These tumors have wheels and once they start producing satellite tumors like that, they are extremely hard to slow down and turn into freight trains. I’ll be totally honest. I’m scared. I’m really scared. I need peace. My family needs so much healing and peace right now. These past several months have really taken a toll on everybody. We need rest.
Once radiation is over, which now won’t be until June because of all of the delays, they will possibly have to install a shunt in my brain to drain out all of this accumulated fluid. My scan is being sent to UCLA and they will review it at tumor board, which meets on Wednesdays. I think the only new piece of information that may come from them is the possibility of starting chemo now, rather than waiting to see if radiation can control these tumors. Like I said, it’s better to stay ahead of these tumors than to try and play catch up.
It is so obvious to me the lesson that God is teaching me over these past several months. Control. It’s not about mine. I have none. All of the control I thought I had when it came to treatment and being able to keep this tumor in check with it through my research, etc., doesn’t matter at this point. The tumors are growing. Nothing is stopping them. At this point, it seems that only He can. I think He wants it that way. Full submission. It’s what it’s all about, right? I’m so stubborn, but He has backed me into a corner. He’s getting me to a place where it’s becoming an easy choice to lay it down because that’s all I can do.
I am so incredibly thankful for all of you who have been so faithful in praying for us. It is really the only thing that is getting us through this time. I could never have even dreamed what the next six months would hold after that big seizure I had last fall. We feel so often like there is no way we could be stretched more than we are at the moment and yet God continues to give us the strength and then, yes, stretches us some more. He is faithful, no doubt. But I believe that He is answering the prayers of so many like you. We have been so blessed by meals, cards, gifts, so much from so many friends and people we don’t even know! I know so many of these people I speak of are reading this blog, so thank you! Thank you from the very depth of my heart! I wish I could hug each and every one of you!