Wednesday, April 15, 2009

There is hope!

These past couple of days have been a whirlwind.  I already feel like our car is on automatic pilot to and from the University Hospital.  

Last night, I had the PET scan.  This is a test where they inject you with a radioactive glucose that attaches itself to any cancer cell in the body.  I was quite alarmed when the tech brought out metal canisters obviously used to contain the radiation.  Inside the canister was the glucose. I think I may glow in the dark by the time this is all over.  Once the glucose was injected, I was told to go and sit for one hour.  I was not allowed to talk, read or do anything because any use of my brain or body would burn up the glucose.  I then proceeded to have an anxiety attack which I am sure burned quite a bit of the glucose.  So I am not sure if telling me to not read or talk was the best way to keep me calm.  It might have kept my mind off of things.  After the hour was over, I was then placed inside a large machine similar to an MRI or CT Scan to take pictures of the entire body.  Luckily, Jason was able to sit at my head for the first half of the test which helped to calm my nerves.  The area you are placed in is very confined so it is hard to relax and keep from becoming claustrophobic.  

The purpose of the PET scan enables doctors to see exactly where the tumor is and whether or not the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.   We were told that the results would be given at my appointment with the Oncologist the next morning.  Needless to say, I did not get much sleep last night as I had much anxiety about whether or not the cancer had spread. I felt this was the pivotal point that would determine whether or not I had a chance to beat this thing.

So this morning, back to the hospital we went to meet with the Oncologist that will be administering the chemo therapy.  When I first met with her, I was a bit nervous with her demeanor.  But after the elephant in the room was acknowledged - THE CANCER HAS NOT SPREAD - everyone seemed to calm down and relax.  THANK YOU GOD!  I was so relieved and now have so much hope!  The cancer has entered into the orbit of my eye, so more than likely we will start with chemo therapy to reduce the tumor.  Although, we still need to wait until the team of doctors meet on Friday.  The Oncologist reviewed the types of chemo that will be administered and all of the side effects.  It is going to be intensive and aggressive.  Yes, it is not going to pretty, nor will I be.  Yet, I felt an unbelievable calmness and immediately said, "Let's get the ball rolling.  When can we start?"  I am ready to face it and beat it.  So she said that once we can get an IV port inserted, the chemo can begin.  It will be administered in the hospital.   Our hope is that it will begin next week.  Not the birthday present I was hoping for, but who cares...I can celebrate the next 50 birthdays.

While this experience has been awful and so emotional, I am already beginning to see why this has happening.  I am for once in my life, truly feeling the power God.  He is with me every step of the way.  I have felt the impact of all of your prayers!  Believe me, they are working!  I received two prayer shawls from two churches, neither of which we attend.  I have one on me most of the time I am at home.  And the girls have taken to the other shawl.  Especially, Kendall. They seem to really appreciate what it represents and it seems to give them comfort during this time.  Kendall has been having such a hard time watching mommy be so emotional and tired.  I am worried for her as I know things will get much worse.  But she is enjoying the time she is getting with her grandparents.  And she jumps in bed with me for cuddle time as much as she can.  Mackenzie, on the other hand, is my rock and inspiration.  She continues to be the happy little girl she is and doesn't forget to remind me that God is listening.  I think of everything she has gone through and continues to go through and it gives me hope that I can do it too!  I had a great conversation with my Dad the other day.  He has been a source of strength and comfort during this time.  He considers going through cancer a privilege because he knows first hand what an amazing experience it is to feel God's presence during what is the most difficult time of your life.  It is something that no one will ever know and understand unless they are a cancer survivor or a survivor of a life threatening illness.  I am only beginning to understand what he was talking about.  And I know in my heart, my faith will be unbreakable after this is all over.

Jason also has been so amazing throughout this experience.  Our marriage and love for each other has never been stronger.  I am so thankful to have him by my side each step of the way.   I have never felt so loved by so many people.  It is so wonderful to hear from people not only from my everyday life, but from life long ago.  

As soon as we hear from the doctors on Friday, I will let you know what will be happening. Thank you again for all of your prayers!  Please keep them coming!


Jen said...

Wow! That is great news, Sue! And you are such an inspiration! I'll keep praying...


Anonymous said...

You go , Girl! I am so proud of you and your wonderful family! We continue to support, love, cheer and pray for you...This is great news! Joan

Anonymous said...

Great news Sue! Yay!
I am so proud of your great attitude. You are amazing!! We are here for you guys. Anything at all we can do.
Lots of prayers and positive vibes coming your way!!
Trey and Cindy

Anonymous said...

fantastic news sue!!! thank god!!! he is so great and powerful! we are so proud of you and your infinate strength. always, always, praying for you and your family. thankyou for keeping us informed and if yall need anything or the girls need a playdate, just call anytime. love u, lizzy

Anonymous said...

Praise God, that is so awesome. Gods power reflected in your life.

Steve Tuttle

Cousin Beth said...

Sue- I'm so glad to hear the latest news- I have thought of you so many times in the past week. So thankful that you are finding hope and strength.

Anonymous said...

That is SUCH GREAT NEWS! Andy and I have been praying for you, Jason, and the girls and will continue to do so!-Dani

Anonymous said...

Sue, you will be in my prayers. Each day is truly a blessing and one to be honored as the sun rises.
-Stacy Cole (from high school)

Anonymous said...

Sue, praise God for such good news. It is a blessing to me to hear your attitude and your fighting spirit. I continue to pray for you and your whole family!

Anonymous said...

Great news! You are truly a strong and positive person, Sue. I have no doubt that you can beat this. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. God bless you all!
Kellee (Kruger) Ablard (EPHS 89)

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord! We know this is just the first of many posts with positive news!!! We are praying for you all.

Derek, Connie, and Bella

Anonymous said...

I am thinking about you, Jason, and the girls and sending you all my positive energy! I'm glad there is good news! I love that you got prayer shawls and am sure they have provided you and the girls and Jason much comfort as they are a reflection of how many people are praying for you and how many people love you.

Anonymous said...

Sue - We are praying for you every step of the way. I know you will make it through with flying colors. XOXO Stacy Johnson

Barb Lange Okey said...

HI Sue, I am a classmate of Jason and I want you to know that you and Jason are in my prayers. My daughter Heather was diagnosed with cancer when she was 18months old ( Luekemia) she is now 19 years old and in her second year of college. I stronly believed that with all the support, prayers etc from all the family members, friends and people we didnt even know helped us get through all of this. Family is your best medicine and you have an awesome husband by your side.