Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Yes, I Still Have Cancer

It's been interesting over the last few weeks that I have had several conversations with people who think I am in remission.  I understand that it's easy to forget that I still have cancer.  I'm active, I look normal and it seems like everything is going well.  Tonight we were reminded that the cancer is still there.

After a great report on Friday with my breast MRI, my cancer number came back today.  It went up 14 points.  Since it's never jumped that much in the past four months, I'm sure you can understand why we are a little concerned. The lowest it's been is 49.   I haven't had a chance to talk with my oncologist yet.  In a short email her words were that it's a small jump percentage wise and that I should hang tight.  I'm pretty sure she means that we should just keep going with the course of treatment that we are on. 

I ask tonight that you keep me in your prayers.  I need peace.  I need peace knowing that this isn't the beginning of the end.  I need peace in knowing that this could turn around again.  And mostly I need peace to help me keep going.  

Fortunately the one peace I will never loose in the peace I have knowing my sins are forgiven.  No matter what comes my way, that will never be taken away.  So while I might not have earthly peace, I have eternal peace in Jesus.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

God is Not Worried So I'm Taking Another Step

Life has been busy.  It's been so busy that I really hadn't been able to think about blogging for a while. The past month I've wanted to blog, but things have come up that made me feel I should wait just a little bit longer.  But now I need to again because I need your daily prayers.

So here's what's going on.  My CA-125 as of last month is now up to 60. In the bigger picture it's only gone up 11 points, but  it has been steadily going up for four months now.  In October I had a routine CT scan that I need to have every three months.  They did find a lymph node that they hadn't been watching before near some part of my esophagus that grew from 4 mm to 10 mm.  When I first talked with my oncologist we were both kind of bummed.  She hadn't looked specifically at the CT scan, just the reports.  At that point she said that we were staying on the medication I have been on because this didn't mean it wasn't working.  We would just see what happened.

Then she looked at my CT scan and called me back.  The spots they had been watching, and what she considers to be better markings because that's where they know disease is, have all shrunk or stayed the same. 
The lymph node near my esophagus is in my chest area, but not in the mammary gland area of the breast.  My CA-125 could go up because of breast cancer.  My oncologist said that we could do a blood test to check for breast cancer, but that can also be elevated when you have ovarian cancer.   It's very unusual for someone to get breast cancer while being treated for ovarian, but with the history of both in our family, it's something to get checked.

So between the lymph node and the small rise in CA-125 my oncologist thought I was smart for wanting to get something checked out.   I'm overdue for a breast MRI which would pick things up better than a mammogram.   We haven't done one in a while for two reasons - 1) I was fighting ovarian cancer  and 2) I had a horrible panic attack with my first one.  I will be having one on November 21st and they will give me something to keep me calm, i.e. drug me up.  I will find out the results the next day when I see my oncologist. 

I will admit I am a little concerned.   There were lymph nodes around my liver before the ovarian cancer was found. That is the biggest reason I want to have this checked out.  Between that and my gut telling me something is going on, it would be very easy to let something like this overwhelm me.  But God once again puts things in my life to show me He is in control.

One of those things was a devotion by Karen Ehman entitled God is Not Worried. Here is her quote that really struck me.

God is not worried. He’s not in heaven wringing His hands, wondering just how everything will eventually turn out. He is in control. He is loving.
God longs to use the circumstances of our lives to mold our mind, craft our character, and chase away the fears that threaten to slither in, paralyzing us and rendering us ineffective. Ever the patient and wise teacher, if He isn’t freaking out, why should we?
That same day another devotion came my way with this Bible verse from the New Living Translation:
24 You can go to bed without fear;
    you will lie down and sleep soundly.
25 You need not be afraid of sudden disaster
    or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
26 for the Lord is your security. Proverbs 3:24-26a
God knew once again what I needed to hear from His Word. I could freak out about this entire situation and be convinced that something awful was going to happen.  But if God isn't freaking out, why should I?  

So instead I choose to take another step.  I've been listening to Steven Curtis Chapman's new album quite a bit this past month.  My favorite song is called Take Another Step.  Here are my favorite lyrics of the song:
We walk by faith and not by sight we know it’s true
We say it and sing it and love the way it sounds
But none of us can even begin to truly understand
What it really means ‘til all the lights go out
And there we are nothing to hold on to
But the promises God’s made to me and you

Take another step, take another step
When the road ahead is dark
And you don’t know where to go
Take another step, take another step
Trust God and take another step

If there’s an ocean in front of you
You know what you’ve gotta do
Take another step and another step
Maybe He’ll turn the water into land
And maybe He’ll take your hand and say
Let’s take a walk on the waves
Will you trust Me either way
And take another step
Take another step  

It's time for me to take another step on this marathon cancer journey that I am in.  I have never been able to go on this journey alone.  God has provided me with so many of you who pray often for me.  So now I ask that you daily lift me up in prayer again.  Pray that, if it is God's will, that these steps that I have to take are ones that will be easy.  But if they are not, pray that God keeps me and my family close to Him, always relying on His strength to get us through the steps of each day.  

God is not worried, so I'm taking another step.