Richard and I met with the oncologist last Wednesday to review results from my latest PET scan. I go through a period of “self talk” prior to appointments where we discuss results and my treatment plan. The following messages roll through my mind: “Focus on positive change,” “Trust the journey,” “Rely on the expertise of wonderful doctors,” “Be brave!” With modern technology, we usually have access to the findings from the radiologist prior to our appointment. At times, this brings great relief. Most often, I spend a significant amount of time trying to decipher, prioritize, and make sense of the language. It is always reassuring to sit next to Richard and listen to Dr. Nibley evaluate and explain the results. At this point in time, everything seems to fall in place and make sense.
In simple terms, here are the latest findings — we are about in the same place as we were three months ago. Tumors continue to shrink and die. A few tumors continue to grow. The cancer is still contained in my lungs. And, there are still several tumors. We are moving forward with maintenance treatment. I will continue to receive one of my current chemotherapy drugs, Alimta, every three weeks. We begin next Wednesday. I love that we do not waste any time! This treatment will continue for three months and then we will schedule another scan. This will determine if we continue with maintenance or change to a different, more aggressive chemotherapy drug. All I know is we still have a ways to go. And, I know I feel peace in my life.
And so, I give humble thanks that I am blessed to sit next to my husband through the journey. He is with me during critical appointments. He entertains me during infusion treatments. He walks slowly and offers his arm to allow me to participate with him in events that I love. He gently takes my hand and helps me understand his feelings for me. He patiently goes to the grocery store, loads the washing machine, unloads the dishwasher, and does so many little things without being asked. He bows his head in prayer and asks for loving blessings upon me and our home. All of this happens as he works long hours each day in his profession. We love together, ponder together, pray together, and find hope together.
During this sacred season, I may not have the energy to hit Black Friday with the crowds or push through long days of shopping. That no longer matters. I long for moments with family and friends. I pray that I might love and influence my children in a significant way. I use my energy to be “present” for my husband. I joyfully rejoice in the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I reverently listen to magnificent music. I appreciate every beautiful thing.
I share results from the scan as a part of the wonderful message of the season. Because of the Savior, we see clearly the importance of trusting the journey. We are being guided in treatment decisions. Because of the Savior, we live and have the opportunity to love deeply without judgment! Lives are touched during this time of the year as we think more of others. I love the opportunity to share His light with the world. Merry Christmas to all!