MRI, check: biopsy, check; chemo next

Things have been going quickly in the Fenerty department of medicine. On Wednesday I saw my doctor. On Thursday morning I got a call that a biopsy was scheduled for Friday. I went to Duke on Thursday afternoon for pre-op. I spent the night in a new hospital room and was getting prepared for surgery Friday morning. I was home that evening and back to sitting in my chair sipping coffee by Saturday morning. Talk about a whirlwind! I did manage to read about a paragraph of my church history book and do a row of knitting. Not much, but something.

The tumor is a grade 3 astrocytoma. I am going to have four treatments of chemo and I will have an MRI to see what is going on in my cerebellum, well, other than the amazing mind power I possess (read that part while laughing). This chemo is intravenous and will take about three hours to complete. I start tomorrow.

I am a little apprehensive. I volunteered at Red Cross blood drives in college as part of my sorority philanthropy.  I was put in charge of the snacks because the sight of needles made me feel faint. Needles have become a common occurrence lately. I can’t hang out in the cookies and juice area anymore.

The side effects should not be severe. I shouldn’t lose any hair. Well, if I could just lose the grey ones… I will be very tired and I have to be on the look out for blood clots and high blood pressure. Just another day, right?

Needless to say I am a bit nervous. But, God has not failed me yet and I know He is not about to start now. I can be nervous and at the same time know that the One who sent His son to pay a debt I could not pay is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than I could ask or think will be with me in the chemo room. He’s got this.

Valley Walking

I am two for two in the bad news column. I had an MRI today (at 7:30am, who thinks it’s okay to be awake that early!) and saw my awesome neurologist. The news is not encouraging. The latest tumor in the cerebellum has grown. The chemo had no effect. The good news is that I am off the chemo. Although, I just got a month’s worth of pills last week which makes me feel like I am wasting something. Note: I am a premium member of the clean plate club so maybe that’s why I feel this way.

The bad news is that I need another biopsy, stat. Then I will probably have to go on an intravenous regimen of Avastin. This, I am not looking forward to. Blood clots, extreme fatigue and high blood pressure are possibilities in my future. Anyone want to run away with me to an island not on the map so I can pretend this is not happening?

The good news is that the location of this tumor is easier to biopsy and I am expected to be in the hospital for two days at most. This is a bonus because I don’t want my kids thinking they are getting a  vacation from school just because I have brain cancer.

I feel heavy laden right now. I explained how I feel this way. I have just walked through the front door of a skyscraper. It’s a pretty empty place. The door bangs shut behind me, and though I know there are people I love in the building with me, I cannot see them clearly. The view is hazy. I feel alone though I know I am not. I look around, trying to find the door so I can get out of this place. It is too hot and then too cold; never comfortable. It doesn’t smell like anything and the silence deafening. The door out is gone. The only option I see is a concrete stairway. It goes up and up and up. I start climbing.

My first concern is for my children. God, please protect the children you have chosen to be mine. Give them hope and joy, especially when it seems that should be the last things on their minds. Remind them, Lord, how much You love them.

I appreciate your prayers.

Joyfully, Elyse