I know there are a lot of you out there that have been anxiously waiting for this update. Sorry this took so long but we needed to make some phone calls and talk to the kids before we got the word out. You've probably figured out by now that we did not receive very good news. Dr. Downey actually confirmed some of our worst fears today.
We were able to make it out of the room and the building with minimal tears but completely lost it when we got in the van. Brian and I just held each other sobbing and trying to absorb the shock.
The results from the biopsy confirmed that the cancer has metastasized. This is not a good word to hear. It means that the cancer is still attacking and it is branching out. Right now, he believes it is confined in the area where they removed some lymph nodes because that was the only area that lit up on the PET scan, but it could be in other lymph nodes as well.
The next typical spot it would head for would be my lungs. He gave us some warning signs to watch for and so far I don't have any of them. Also, my CA125 level went up to 192.
I will be starting chemo again next week. It is the same chemo that I did last January which seemed to be quite effective with minimal side effects. They sent the tumor for testing to find out what chemo would be most effective but those results will probably not be in for a couple weeks yet.
Dr. Downey told us today that he does not believe that my cancer is curable. He mentioned this before but also said it was treatable then. We asked him straight out today what he believes my prognosis is. I'm sure this will be difficult to read as it is very difficult to type. He doesn't believe that I will make it another 5 years.
This kicked us in the gut and knocked us down. I don't remember feeling such fear and helplessness before. This is the kind of thing that happens to other people. Not to our family. It was a quiet ride home.
All this being said . . . I am still going to win this battle! When we first got into the van after the news the song "I Can Only Imagine" was playing. I wanted to scream. Why? Why after all these signs that I was going to win would this happen? I felt like this song was confirming my fears.
As we left the parking lot "Jesus Calling" was playing. I heard the words "you may think the sky above is falling, but can you hear Jesus calling?" At this point I was afraid that was confirming that Jesus was calling me through the first song and saying that I would not need to "only imagine" anymore.
The next song I heard was "He is Mighty to Save". That one caught me off guard. Mighty to save? A weight started to lift off my shoulders at this point. Right after the song the dj was talking about how God uses scriptures and songs to speak to us. He said sometimes when we're not paying attention He will just keep sending messages to us until we listen. At this point I started crying again but tears of joy. The last song was Mighty To Save.
I started to think back. Was the song I Can Only Imagine playing because He was telling me that I still at this point will only be able to imagine? Then the song Jesus Calling . . . was He getting my attention at that point to remind me that He is mighty to save?
Could it be that we will have that miracle that I need? Was God telling me this? I only know that I felt a huge weight lifted and I had a peace that I never thought I would have again. The last song I heard was "Until The Whole World Hears" - these are the lyrics
Ready yourselves, ready yourselves
Let us shine the light of Jesus in the darkest night.
Ready yourselves, ready yourselves
May the powers of darkness tremble as our praises rise.
Until the whole world hears Lord we are calling out.
Lifting up Your name for all to hear the sound.
Like voices in the wilderness we're crying out
as the day draws near we'll sing until the whole world hears . . .
The poem that I posted this morning just came to me. I wasn't even thinking about it. He said "your faith has made you well, now get out there - you've got a story to tell!". What power that would be to tell the world about how God helped us beat all the odds and survive this cancer. Now that's a story to tell!
This has lifted a huge weight from me. We are still mad, in shock, disappointed, numb and emotionally drained but these songs give me hope. Those songs weren't just a coincidence. We are still planning on chemo and doing everything in our power to kick this cancer's butt. Ultimately it's in God's hands.
We have talked to the kids which was very hard. They are aware that we need a miracle. They are also aware that miracles can happen. I don't think that they really want to talk about it yet with a lot of people so if you see them, please just give them a hug or a smile or talk about the Tigers :)
We enjoyed a quiet night at home tonight. Friends brought supper for us tonight and it was delicious! The friend that wached Emily for us today brought her back with a loaf of pumpkin bread - yummy too! We've enjoyed a "normal" night together as a family. We even got a game of Apples to Apples in. The little details of life seem to be jumping out to me now.
I will beat this cancer. I still have kids to raise and a husband to grow old with. And I have a story to tell.