This post is going to be difficult to explain.
The most difficult part of my journey to understand is the gray area. In life, we all strive for black and white. We like people to be either good or bad. We believe in right and wrong. We force people to choose sides. Perhaps one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome when faced with illness and death is the idea that bad things happen to good people. This fact challenges everything we logical human beings believe.
Life is full of gray. Bad people can sometimes act with justice. Good people do things with which we don't agree. We are conflicted. We don't know who to believe. Bad things happen to good people.
My latest scan results are a huge example of relativity.
I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even after my doctors told me the scans looked good and no new drugs were needed, while my mother and husband and friends were celebrating and popping champagne, I was still "Debbie Downer". We don't know what will happen next. We still need to worry about my heart. Come on, guys, we're in it for the long haul.
Everything with my scans is relative. My scan results are not just one page. They are about four pages long. In each place where they say things are clear, they also discuss all of the centimeter and millimeter sized areas of "concern" or "suspicion" that have not changed but are still being watched.
For the past five years we have watched my liver because, when I was first diagnosed, the doctors saw a 3 centimeter spot that appeared to be cancer there. After 6 months of chemo, the spot in my liver disappeared. Then, six months later, the spot returned, but it was super small (less than 1 cm) and it stayed small. Well this past scan, the doctors saw a new spot in my liver. That makes two spots "of concern" in my liver.
This second spot was also super small. It was not cause for concern. But still....there were two spots "of concern" and the doctors wanted to discuss this. They wanted to "review it." We were told not to worry, and we didn't, but perhaps we should have.
Which brings us to last week. Last week, I got an unexpected phone call from my doctor. This tiny, insignificant spot somehow took my world and flipped everything upside down. The doctors wanted to biopsy my liver.
All of a sudden, in a space where we thought we had black and white, good and bad, clear scans, free time, health in the midst of illness, suddenly a shade of gray peeked in.
The Family suddenly rallied and circled the wagons. Plans were made. Flights were booked.
This liver biopsy is no small feat. The liver is dangerously close to the lungs. Although the biopsy needle is deep, I have to remain awake during the procedure. Tomorrow, at 6am, I will be wheeled into an operating room, but will not be put to sleep. I need to stay awake. I need to hold my breath each time the biopsy needle enters my body to make sure it does not strike the lungs.
I am having a biopsy of my liver tomorrow morning, Friday, April 23rd. I have been under the knife before, but it's always been my breasts, or my lymphnodes, or my ovaries.
The liver is a vital organ.
I am, uncharacteristically, nervous.
I have not even considered the results. My mind can't go there. I am just scared for tomorrow. My doctors say we won't know the results until Wednesday. I hope the results are negative. They have to be. My mind can't dwell on that yet. My mind is too full.
That is where all of you come in:
Please say a prayer. My Big Girl Pants simply aren't big enough right now. I can't wrap my head around this. While I am focusing on the surgery tomorrow, will all of you pray for me? Pray that this new spot is not cancer. Pray that God will give me a break. Pray that my husband and I can enjoy this summer cancer-free. I am tired. I need a cancer vacation, a cancer-cation.