Change – June 12, 2012

Here’s the update on the PET Scan. I’ll start by saying, it’s good news. I want to get that out of the way from the start!

Mike and I met at Dr. Smith’s office this afternoon (Tuesday), to get the results from last week’s PET Scan. I know you won’t be surprised to know I was late. Some was due to traffic, some was due to facing down someone trying to cheat their way into a parking place at the clinic. I’m older, I can stare harder, and I have more insurance. It was a tension relieving moment, to say the least.

As I had said, the tumor markers have continued to rise over the last 5 visits. Rather significantly, it seemed. Though it seems the numbers are read differently, sort of like earthquake numbers. Just because the number seems to be double, it doesn’t mean there are twice as many cells. Whatever. I leave that to the Dr. :-). But since the rise was again significant, Dr. Smith ordered the PET scan, 2nd in 10 months. He needed to reassure himself, as well as us. (He actually said today that as the disease progresses he doesn’t know who will feel worse with the news–him or us. I don’t know how he does it day after day. What a man!)

We went in with trepidation today, anticipating any kind of result, but at the same time knowing that we have had 5 relatively easy years with this recurrence. So we were ready for whatever the news was, and while I don’t want to say I’m comfortable with anything, I am at peace with it.

ANYWAY, the scan did not show significant changes in the cancer on the bone. Yes, it is breast cancer on the bone, not bone cancer. It has spread to most of the skeleton. But as long as it stays on the bone, we can manage it very well. Well, with the aid of little white pills. Sorry–truth can be a little hard at times.

The scan did show teeny tiny spots in the lower nodes of the lungs. But they could be ANYTHING. As a matter of fact, he said many people in this area of the country have them, usually resultant of histoplasmosis. I swear, I thought he was going to say smoke or 2nd hand smoke. What a surprise, even though I do recall hearing at some point that this was a common disease in KY/TN. The only way to see if the spots are cancerous or something else is to do a needle biopsy, and we all agreed that was definitely not necessary. (well, I’m not so sure about Mike, though he did get smacked on the leg when he jokingly said OK) Especially me! I’m good with waiting to see what happens. They apparently were there last year when we did a PET scan, but the radiologist thought they were so tiny they weren’t worth reporting. I won’t tell you what Dr. Smith said, lol. something about radiologists admitting when they have seen things before and maybe should have reported them. I do love that man. AND, I have complete faith in him.

We are continuing the same medicine and routine. No need to change to chemo now (it would be a pill first–and it can last for quite a while, quote unquote). Big plus: even though this medicine is an appetite stimulant, I have not gained any weight at all. Even lost one pound. As Mike says, I try to monitor it carefully. Protein shakes, nabs, and then splurge on special occasions. Like tonight when we went out to celebrate. Yea, El Maz!

Dr. Smith’s parting words were: go and celebrate. Take a long weekend and enjoy yourselves. Now that Mike is feeling a little better, and we have our results here, we are actually trying to think of a long weekend somewhere. We do need some time away, for sure.

Thanks to everyone for prayers. Prayer does work. We love everyone, and know we owe so much to all the support of friends.

Please pray for little Davis Lowe, who is waiting for a heart transplant at Vandy. He is so tiny, and is fighting so hard. We wish him and his family the best. Also pray for Pauletta Hatcher, wife of Adam Hatcher. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer (a very young mother), and needs all our prayers and good thoughts. Love to Adam and Pauletta and their girls. And so many others who need our thoughts for so many reasons. (Fred and Ann Pfisterer, Shirley, Amy’s Mom, Adam, Carla, friends with family struggles)

I’m going to close with this thought. Every day I hear from someone “You look wonderful.” sometimes I think OK, I am good with that. Sometimes I can see in the person’s eyes that they see the changes and how I feel that day. All of us who go through these battles (whatever they may be) can feel that we have days that aren’t so great, and we don’t look so great or move very well. The sentiments are sweet, and much appreciated. But please know that you needn’t feel obligated to say things like that. Just be your normal selves with us. We don’t have to hear we look great. Just like your other friends don’t have to hear that they look well. Just be yourself. Your support is all that’s needed. And your care. Here is my Upper Room for today. The theme is Those Who Fear Change. It’s OK to change. And it’s normal. 🙂

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

– Hebrews 13:8

How many times have you been told, )“You haven’t changed a bit!” when you know full well that you have? In fact, you may have changed a lot. How can anyone from birth to now not change? Even though we may feel young at heart, we grow older. Whether from inside or outside forces, we change. Celebrate the changes, and rejoice in the Lord.