Monday, April 13, 2009

Where do I begin? We received so much information this morning that I am completely overwhelmed with what I am about to go through. Tomorrow I am going to receive a PET scan to determine if the cancer has spread. It will also enable the doctors to determine whether or not the tumor has spread into the orbit of my eye. Whether or not it has spread into the orbit will determine the course of treatment. As of now, it looks like they will do a a couple of rounds of chemo to try and shrink the tumor. This may start as early as next week and will involve a hospital stay for up to 5 days for each treatment. Prior to surgery I may have a permanent IV port and feeding tube put in place for the chemo treatments. This will all be determined when we meet with the oncologist on Wednesday. If they have success shrinking the tumor, then they will do surgery to remove the tumor and repair the structure of my face. The surgery sounds quite complicated and long so the more they can get the tumor to shrink the better. They will either use a prosthesis or take a bone from my leg to repair my face. And then after surgery, they will do chemo again or radiation or a combination of both.

I was very impressed with my doctor. He is very young, but seems very knowledgable about cancers of the head and neck. He will also be collaborating with a team of doctors to determine the best course of treament. This meeting will take place on Friday and they will let us know in the afternoon whether or not chemo or surgery will take place first. The doctor seemed confident that this tumor is treatable and that the outcome will be a positive one.

If the results of the PET scan are positive and the cancer has not spread I will feel very relieved and more confident that I can beat this. I pray that the tumor has stayed put!

While I am glad the process has started, I am very scared about what is to come. Can I handle this? Am I strong enough? It will be hard to not be physically strong and not be able to go for my morning runs. And forget about vanity. I will be losing my hair, I will be scarred on my face from surgery and have facial burns from radiation. But that doesn't matter - I just want to live! I want to see my kids grow old and see my grandchildren! I want to grow old with Jason!

I am trying to have hope, but have moments of being afraid of disappointment. I have been trying to start my days in God's word for encouragement and strength. The other day he reminded me of the miracle he performed with the birth of our daugther Mackenzie and that he can do the same for me!

I thank each and every one of you for your words of encouragement and especially for your prayers. Please keep them coming! And we will be taking advantage of the offers from those of you that have volunteered to take the girls for the day or bring meals! We will let you know what we will need when the plans for treatment have become more final.

Please pray for healing and for strength! And pray that I will be strong through the chemo treatments!

I will continue to keep you updated!


Anonymous said...

Sue ~ Wow. So much information and what if's for you to process. I am so sorry you are going through this. Your positive attitude and fight to win this battle will take you far. Sounds like you have put your trust in God and there is no one stronger or better equipped to help you fight! God bless you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I will pray for strength and courage for you all.

Heather said...

This sounds like a very promising meeting. I am so glad that you feel confident with your doctor and it seems he is gathering a lot of information to make a strong plan moving forward - Praise God.

You are so inspiring in how you are managing all of this. Thank you for sharing so much. Please know we are available for the kids, meals or whatever we can offer.


mimi charmante said...

Sue, you are definitely strong enough to handle this. I truly believe that your mental strength will get you through this, regardless of those days when your physical strength seems to disappear. I will be thinking of you and watching for updates - thank you for keeping us posted~

Anonymous said...

hey baby! our family is thinking of you and praying for you constantly!!! as u know we are ALWAYS here to help with absolutely anything at all. just call anytime! miss u love, j, j, & e foster

Anonymous said...

We love you Sue, and know you have everything you need inside of you to make it through this journey! So far the news sounds so positive and we're encouraged by that! God's grace is sufficient. . .


Rich and Cheri

Anonymous said...

wow, our prayers are with you.

Paul Rylance

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing such a ton of info. You are one tough lady and with what all you've gone through already with Jay in the years before, I am confident you will win! I'm so glad you have a doctor you feel you can trust. That's soooo important!

I'm sure you know Bob and I are praying for you and will continue to do so. God has a plan for you - of that I'm convinced. We love you and give Jason and the girls hugs for me. I so wish I were closer to help out in a physical way. But for now, we're with you and you all are so in our hearts!

Bob & Shirley

Jen said...


All of this sounds like good news, considering everything. Wow. I am still in shock, though, as I'm sure you all are. Please know that I am lifting you all up daily in prayer, and if it's OK, I'd like to have my women's Bible study group pray for you, too. They are true prayer WARRIORS! I also can't help but go back and think about Mackenzie and everything the Lord brought you all through, and like you said, this is a great time for Him to show what He can do. Rest assured that you are sitting in the palm of His hands, and that His love is pouring out on you.


Anonymous said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. You will beat this. You are young and strong. Someday this will all be a memory. You will be stronger for it! Please know that we are here to help anytime, with anything!

Jeremy, Michelle, and Girls

Vivienne Elborne said...

Dear Sue, we have never met but I stay with your parents each summer while I work at the University and so we have become close friends. You may be sure that you will be, from today, in our constant prayers, and those prayers will extend to your entire family. Your blog has made it clear to me that God intends us all to learn from your experience. May He give you the strength you need and the blessings you deserve.
With love and prayers,
Francis and Vivienne Elborne

Anonymous said...

Sue and Jason,

We love you guys, and are praying for you. We will get through this!

Derek and Connie

donna said...

Dear Sue and Jason: What a journey you two are on. I am asking God to continue to give you that "peace that passes all understanding." It sounds like He has begun that process. Your family has been through so much. You have KNOWN that peace and God's faithfulness during all you have
been through. I will check the site daily so that I can know exactly how and what to pray for you. For now, "Lord, give the doctors wisdom and discernment about all they need to do for this beautiful lady."
Add us to your list of those who love you lots. Donna and Dick Lundborg

Shirley said...

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear Sue! Not the most wonderful physical way to celebrate, but God is doing something we have no idea of. Blessings on you and I believe this birthday will stand out as one of the most meaningful ever in the years ahead. Praying so much for you so often throughout every day.

Much much love,


donna said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sue! I sure don't want to miss out on wishing you
a great day and year to come. I'm thinking of your mom and dad 38
years ago and what JOY you brought to their lives on that day. You have continued to bring that and other good things to them throughout
your life. It seems that being home will be a "good thing" since the hospital environment is not lifting your spirits. You will be surrounded by those you love most in all of life. Bless you, precious one, on this day and every day. Donna