Greetings friends and family,
It is Saturday morning, and I’m enjoying coffee and a fire with the family. Well, the relaxing time was briefly interrupted by our need to rescue my 17-year old daughter, Joy, who ran out of gas on the way to work this morning, but I digress. I want to provide a short update on where things stand with recovery and options for treatment.
I am certainly glad I chose not to speculate about the ramifications of there being a mass causing my abdominal issues. I still don’t know what conclusions to draw about *why* it was growing, but I received a call from a research nurse from the oncology team in Nashville shortly after publishing my last post. She informed me that my oncologist does not consider the growth to be progression of disease and is not going to take me off the study. Boom.
When she told me this, I held the phone silently for a moment, not knowing how to respond. Questions immediately came to my mind, more of the “why” questions. But I again heeded my own advice to “stay in the moment.” Instead, we discussed *when* I should restart treatment, and it was decided that I should probably skip a week because of the surgery. Just a week off. Wow.
So, I’m home, recovering, not in much pain, sleeping well. I am scheduled to get a new port installed on Monday morning (hey, more general anesthesia!). I’ll follow up with doctors later next week, and then next Sunday, Kim and I head back to Nashville as has been our routine for well over a year now. On Monday, I will speak to the oncologist, and I can ask her a few questions then. But I’m almost to the point of not asking any questions, not looking at any reports, just waking up in the morning and living the day. That may sound foolish or naive to some, but honestly, has anxiously keeping my finger on my pulse had any affect on whether I have a heartbeat or will continue too?
(You’ll have to continue to allow me the existential questions even if I refrain from the speculative.)
By the way, I don’t seem to remember much from last Tuesday, the day after treatment. I’m told I was lucid, but I only remember devouring a plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, and pudding, the first real food I had eaten since Christmas. I recall the surprise and concern of nurses, friends and family who thought I should take it easy. Some angel brought me a chocolate shake from Chick-fil-A, though I don’t remember talking to him, but I crushed the shake, too (thanks Carlton). This same lunch + shake-brought-by-a-friend episode repeated on Wednesday, but I remember this one well (thanks James).
Thanks to all friends and family who visited me, who called me, and who texted me. Special thanks to Jared, who brought Kim food and clothes and prayed with me on Monday night, to Brett who brought a mess of brownies to the hospital (they made me popular with the nursing staff), and to Billy, who sent me a bag of foam vegetables to help satisfy my longings (he’s still a dork after 40 years of friendship). Thank you Joel and David for the much needed morning coffee. Thanks Tracy and Gaga for taking care of our kids. Thanks to Mom for getting to the hospital before me (along with Todd and Scott) and for keeping me company. Nan, thanks for visiting too; I know you wish you could have been there more. Anyone else? Sorry if I forgot to mention you–again, hazy.
Please forgive me if I said anything weird or overly sentimental. I’m sure I’m guilty; even at the end of the week, perhaps on a cloud of painkillers and the excitement of imminent freedom, I told nurse Jane she was the “cat’s meow.” Gee willikers. Must have been the malt in the chocolate shake…
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Praising God for this wonderful news!
Brent, 1. Expressing love and sentimentality is good for you and for your body. The release of endorphins is good no matter what the stimulus. 2. You have a scientific mind seeking answers. There is nothing wrong with that. However,
there comes a time when it is beneficial to step back, and let the team worry for you. As long as you are paying attention to your body as you are doing, then you can let some of the questions wait. You have to know that God is working through you. You have many wonderful friends, and only God knows what wonderful lessons they are learning from your journey.
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