Friday, September 19, 2008

A Postcard (of sorts) From The Pin Cushion

So we have oodles of updates, with the emphasis on the up part of the word updates. (And not so much the date part. In fact, now that I think about it, the date part is only pertinent in the context of this postcard, in its compound state, with the word up. But I digress. Even if it was an interesting digression.)

It appears all this poking and prodding has not been for naught.

The Muga Scan, and my day of radioactivity from that, came back normal, in re: my heart-it's good to go for the chemo cocktail. It was cool watching my heart beat, but it did make me wonder who in the world thought up the accepted, but possibly slanderous, heart shape?

The CT Scans (chest, abdomen, pelvis) came back with no signs of cancer! This was the beginning of the non-literal weights being lifted from off my chest (as we have already previously covered the literal ones that were literally lifted) and Dave's, as he has been wound pretty tight through all this. I really think this has been tougher on him than me, since part of the time I've been under anesthesia or on an assortment of pain meds, or just spinning with the speed at which things have been happening, and just trying to hang on.. Dave has had no pain meds, which doesn't quite seem fair, but it's not like I'm going to share.

We got the good news about the CT Scans while we were at Children's Hospital getting blood drawn, by a very kind nurse named Lana (who gave me a Bugs Bunny band-aid!) for genetic testing and the pre-op blood test for my upcoming port surgery. We stopped by one of our fave restaurants (The Spinning Fork, which is our Cheers place, because Leila always has a huge hug for me when I walk in the door, and George makes my kind of comfort food when I need it) and somewhere in the midst of my fettuccine, we realized that we were both beginning to breathe easier. I think we were both worried about the lungs, since they are not exactly connected to the breast bone, but pretty darn close. Then we stopped off at our wine store (Little Sonoma) to pick up a bottle of Big Red Tattoo (a very drinkable Chilean red made by a couple of brothers who lost their mother to breast cancer, who donate some of their proceeds to breast cancer research) for our neighbor, Ron, who lost his wife to breast cancer last year. He has been our Good Samaritan through this whole thing. The embodiment of empathy right next door. Not to mention, cutting our grass this whole summer to boot. There were also hugs on tap at our wine store, which is yet another reason it's our wine store. And I haven't even gotten to the part where I went to the dentist the next day, who we've seen for years, and who Dave and Amanda had already been in to see this week prior, so they all already knew. My hygienist, Dalin, who I like to call dah-lin, was like the proverbial straw (of kindness) and it was all I could do when she dealt with me so gently and kindly (which is just Dalin, anyway) not to cry like a big, fat baby when we hugged "see ya later".

The Bone Scan, and my additional three days of radioactivity from that (I so wanted to go walk through an airport detector just to set it off and show them my radioactive excuse card, but I think I went home and took a nap instead) also came back with no signs of cancer! (Still no signs of superhero powers have surfaced as of yet, but stay tuned because these things can take time.) Dem bones are cancer-free!.

So, to sum up, from head to toe, it appears I am cancer-free, and healed, thank God!

Which is exactly what we asked Him for at the prayer meeting we began this battle with a month ago. He has heard and it seemed good to Him to answer our prayers by raining down mercy on me. And here I am, swimming in mercy and feeling like splashing! I don't know if you've seen the movie, Stranger Than Fiction, or not, but I've felt a lot like the Will Ferrell character, who was keeping a tally to see if his story was going to come out as a comedy or a tragedy (in the classic sense), and I know that my ultimate story will have a happy ending, cancer or not, because this life is not really the end at all...but even this story within my story has the comedy side way tipping the scales.

Therefore, we thought it only appropriate to have another prayer meeting, this time with the happy theme of praise to God for healing me! So if you are within reach of a road leading to our home, we'd like to invite you to come over on Saturday, September 27th at 7p.m. to thank God with us. We will also be continuing the prayer thing, as I will begin my chemo cocktails Monday, September 29th through the port I am having put in on Thursday, September 25th. I don't mean to imply that I'm taking all this too lightly, but I'd much rather be dealing with chemo than cancer. God has been very merciful to me, and I am grateful beyond words.

As an added bonus, for coming, you will get to have one last look at my hair, because pretty soon, even my goosebumps will be bald. Which is a very funny thought to me. Being bald in winter, not so fun a thought, so I'm trying to find consolation in the fact of not having to shave for five months. The irony is that I had just bought a new razor and a big, fat package of refill blades. I love irony, and can appreciate it, even enjoy it, almost anywhere. Even here. Speaking of, I can't remember if I had mentioned it in these blog updates, but I had just broken down after five or so years, and spent five or so hours, buying five new bras a month or so before this all happened. No joke. But very funny.

And, irony snowballing, the last prayer meeting happened to fall on Dave's 43nd birthday, and this next one will fall smack dab on mine. I know, it sounds like an awful lot to go through to have someone to eat cake with. But you have to admit, it's poetry (that God timed things that way), which I also enjoy, maybe even more than irony.

So I went back and forth on the whether or not to put in the part about my birthday, because I didn't want it to come off sounding like I'm asking for presents. Because I'm not. Your prayers, your PRESENCE in my life, the support you've shown in so many ways (from a little rock keychain that says that God's love takes away all fear, that I have been carrying with me throughout this whole scary a picture from a tennis bud (and blazer of battling cancer trails before me) of Rafa Nadal whose grit and grind on the tennis court is to inspire us all the prayers, emails, cards, phone calls, flowers, gifts, meals, rides here and there and to watch tennis, visits, hours in hospital waiting rooms, miles driven and Team the handmade scripture all the sacrificial bras that burned unnecessarily with mine because tennis is a game of love and our bond is my tennis bud, Celina's matching my former youth group student turned oncologist nurse, Toots, and her soon to be freezing head)...have I not already been showered with PRESENTS? Am I not already undone with all your kindnesses to me?

And that is the big happy scoop.

P.S. Amanda's ticket situation also turned out in our favor, thank God. She did get her license suspended for 90 days, but with the exceptions of being able to drive to college (which starts Wednesday next), beauty school and work. We go back to court on Tuesday to finalize things, and are going to ask that they add church and driving me when I need her, because I have a feeling I'm going to need her. A funny side-note: she went to the eye doctor today, and it turns out she needs glasses for reading and DRIVING. My tennis bud, Aimee, said maybe she'll see the speedometer better now. Even Amanda could appreciate that one. “That's what I like about you,” Amanda, one of the many things, that I couldn't count, even if I tried.

Cheers, and thanks for praying. I am living proof that they work. And so very grateful.


Anonymous said...

Yoy may not know that because of you, I got my whole house painted. It seems that working, and cursing when mistake are made, takes the mind off of things that are very distressful. Today, I instructed Jan to finish the job.
Good job Kiddo

Anonymous said...

** Your ally in the pin cushion challenge (Uncle Bill) has a bit of advice for you: "Only allow each challenger with a pin 3 attempts to successfully accomplish "the stick", and then demand another challenger!" This saves many bruises, elevated blood pressure, and most of all, blurting out words you even surprise yourself with!#*!
Love you bunches!

Anonymous said...

Julie, you are so amazing! I admire you and love you so much. Keep up the humor and high spirits. You are such an inspiration. Can't wait to see you this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Until we meet again Joules...God bless!