Thursday, April 22, 2010


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.

This sucks.

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.


Shaina said...

lots and lots of prayers coming your way

Kristi Thomsen said...

You got it! All our prayers headed your way!

Unknown said...

Oh sweetheart you have all my prayers and then some: here o Israel keep Bridget safe and free from cancer...

With love, hope and admiration,

Anonymous said...

Bridget, I am so proud of you to be able to speak so clearly about your situation. I will be sending you positive healing energy. I will post this on my website and ask all my friends to do the same. You deserve a cancer free summer. Bridget you are awesome.PETE

Pat Greeley said...

Bridget - I have a very large pair of "big girl pants" and I wil wear them for you. And prayers will be streaming from the everywhere.
Love and God bless
Pat Greeley

LipDom Team said...

My husband and I are praying for peace, healing, and health for you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are an incredible inspiration.

Unknown said...

Keith and I are thinking of you RIGHT NOW. We love you and we are pulling for you. Extra prayer session for you throughout the day. xoxoxo Peggy

Cat said...

I don't even know what to say. Every prayer I know is for you right now. Take care.

Sue Lucatorto said...

Bridget - You don't know me but I am great friends with Jaan DeFilippo and she has shared your story with us and talks about you all the time. I want you to know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Your positive attitude, courage and strength is truly inspirational.
All our best,
The Lucatorto Family

Anonymous said...

Just finished radiation myself. In limbo waiting for blood test results, also have a cyst on my liver & multiply other conditions. As this past year & 1/2 I totally understand what you mean. Prayers going out to you for negative results! Will pass this along to my prayer buddies. Hang in there hun!sulpsi

Unknown said...

Bridget, you are in my prayers today. Stay strong.

Anonymous said...

hey girl, hopefully the biopsy is
over now and you can rest. We are always thinking of you and will pary for healing. Susan, Blake & Kayla

Anonymous said...

Nothing but healing prayers and good thoughts being sent your way. Cheers to a healthy summer with your husband!

-Random Stranger

ryanaz said...

Today I'll take a couple of deep breaths and hold them for you...and I'll picture all the "areas of concern" to be just old age liver spots...oh wait those don't actually show up on your liver do keep smiling and remember to let everything go on those big exhales!!! Big Hugs and Love.
Ryan in Az

Anonymous said...

I once wrote an article right around valentines day but it was really about a different day cause I happened to be so far away. I wanted to share my thoughts on a particular way about a particular girl who had stolen my breath away.
I want you to know that Love is in the air that you breath today and like mine your story has reached and touched many along the way. Mine was a story with a message that flew over the bay; yours is a story of prayers passed along touched and touching others as they reach out to you today.

Bridget, know this... if your scared take the S from your fears and remove it from scared and look your cared, cared about and loved from where you are to the farthest reaches of the planet today. I am your 3 Day Brother and I'm not just praying for you.. I'm smiling too. I send to you from the desert oasis of Kuwait along the winds that connect us and the common stars that we can all see in the sky high above "Love is in the Air" and you my friend my sister are breathing it in and we are all with you, in your lungs next to your liver next to your heart. Can you feel us? Lord hear our prays, we are your children and she is our sister, you are in the breaths that we take, let her breathe us in and give her comfort healing strength and peace.

Anonymous said...

i am sending all my positive energy your way.

Anonymous said...

All of my good energy is directed towards you right now. Virtual hugs are being sent your way from all over today. I will hold my breath with you...

Christy Van Heugten

Dana said...

Bridget you are in my prayers. We love you.. Dana, Chris and Emma

Tanya said...

First I have to say this is the first time I have read your blog but I LOVE the name. That is one of my fav saying is put your big girl pants

This well be my first 3day walk and once again tears have been brought to my eyes and I haven't stepped on foot on the event trail.

I am a big believer in prayer, in people coming together in agreement for a common prayer so today with so many others I come into agreement and ask God to place his healing hand on you. To be the Prince of Peace and calm your fears.

Many blessing

nancy lemmon said...

Good luck, Bridget. I'm sending positive vibes your way. - Nancy Lemmon

amy deshane said...

Bridget, I continue to be amazed at the way you live your life. You are honest, brave and beautiful. You are in my thoughts today. I hope that you are recovering now and that the toughest part of this day is over.

Anonymous said...

Be not afraid
I go before you always
Come follow me
And I will give you rest

Bridget you are in our prayers and hearts.

All my love.

Anonymous said...

Let's pray life is NEVER too big for our britches- Keep smiling-it does wonders. Sending lots of GOOD KARMA your way...

Anonymous said...

Many prayers and well wishes to you!

Cruikshank Family said...

Bridget, you are completely blanketed in prayers and God has his loving arms around you. I hope you're feeling well today.
"No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trail will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it." I Corinthians 10:13
-Gayla Cruikshank (E360)

Anonymous said...

You are in my prayers.

Rachel Sclar said...

Roomie ~ You're in my thoughts and prayers. You're an amazingly strong person. If anyone can get through this, it's you! xoxoxo

Shop Without Money Sisters said...

I just read your post (and your blog for the first time) and I'm praying and hoping that your biopsy goes well and you get a cancer free diagnosis. I'm celebrating my 5 years as a survivor this year by walking in my first 3-day walk for the cure. I'll throw on a pair of big-girl pants with you while you wait for the results these next few days!

Anonymous said... have so been on my mind and in my prayers. I think of you each time I walk. I was so afraid you hadn't blogged for a while because of bad news. Please know I am praying 2 Thessalonians 1:11 for you daily..."So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of His call. May He give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do." Be comforted by Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with you; be not discouraged, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." and find peace in Zechariah 4:6..."'Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit' says the Lord." May you feel the comforting arms of the Spirit holding you and bearing all of the frustration, anger, uncertainty, sadness, pain, fear and fatigue you can muster. You are never alone in those big girl pants!
Connie in AZ