“There You Go and That’s That”

In my last post I wrote about feeling like I was falling into a “black hole.” Lo and behold, as Terry and I sorted through yet another box of books (I can’t take but one box a week!), I found my childhood copy of the “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.” As I re-read the book, I could certainly identify with Alice chasing after the White Rabbit and falling into his hole. This clinical trial is a lot like the rabbit hole. Tumbling, tumbling into the dark, not knowing where or when I’ll land. The last few weeks have certainly been challenging. I’ve become weaker. The side effects of the chemo drugs are increasing. We met with our oncology team on Wednesday to look at the results of the CT scans done last week. Basically we learned two of the tumors they...

Good Friday Reflection

Yesterday, we met with the oncologist  to look at options for dealing with the tumors that were found on my last scans on March 15. It was helpful to see the actual scans and to see what is growing where as we discussed my situation. The only option available is to try chemotherapy one more time. I agreed to start the two drugs the doctor suggested on April 5. I’ll receive treatments every other week for two months. Then scans will be repeated to see if the chemo is helping and we’ll go from there. I also got a prescription for a stronger pain medicine. The pain in my bones and joints has been some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. The oncologist thinks the pain may be an effect of the investigational drug and once that is out of my system, I’ll feel...

A Vaccination Against Fear

My 13-year-old grandson and his dad are leaving for a class trip to Washington, D.C. in the morning. When he came home from school today, he said that many of the kids in the class are very fearful of going because of the threats that have been made against the city by terrorist organizations. What can I say to him? As the result of the horror of the attacks on Paris this past weekend, I believe kids are not the only ones who are carrying fear in their hearts. I have pondered and prayed on this during the past few days and I can see that fear and despair are dreadfully contagious. They spread like wildfire, blown by the fierce winds of social media, 24-hour news channels, and, yes, sad to say, some pulpits. However, there is something else that is very...

Peeling Off the Layers

The past two days at the Duke Clinical Research Unit have been challenging in many ways. They are running out of good veins to stick. Alas, tomorrow (Friday) I’ll have more waiting-time to ponder what it means to be “me” as I go through a nuclear scan and a couple other fun tests. Then on Monday, I’ll have a bone biopsy, spend the night in the hospital, AND GET THE FIRST INJECTION ON TUESDAY MORNING! Hoo-rah!! Since writing “Who Am I?” and “What Really Counts,” I have had a bundle of “kindling” thrown onto the fire of my quest! The first little spark caught when Terry, my husband, suggested that I go to our favorite thrift store and buy a lot of books to read when I don’t feel well during the research project. I nearly fainted! This is the man who said after...

The Timely Tail of Todd the Cat

Not a Mother’s Day passes without remembering what was certainly a memorable Mother’s Day in 2007 for my family! God is just full of surprises and once again God gave my family a timely reminder that God can take something broken and turn it into a gift! My daughter’s family had recently adopted a tiny kitten who apparently had been thrown out of a car along the roadside. My grandchildren, ages 2 and 4, named the little fella Todd. His tail seemed to be broken so the kids and my daughter took Todd to their vet. She said, “Let’s give his tail a chance to heal on its own. Bring him back in a couple of weeks and we’ll check him out again.” About a week later was Mother’s Day. My sweet son-in-law told my daughter to snuggle down and get a few extra winks. “I’ll...

What Is Life?

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10: 10 NIV Yesterday found us once again at the Duke Cancer Center. The results of the tests were tolerable —the cancer is still there in my lung. But, it has not significantly changed since January! I assure you, I am thankful for that! Labs were mostly okay. I asked the doctor if my continued fatigue, lack of stamina, body aches, frequent headaches, etc. could be related to the continued rise of the FGF23 marker. My latest level was 1,420 and normal is 180 or below. He was very honest with me. They just do not know about this bugger’s way of life! Last evening, it was such a joy to end the day by sharing a wonderful meal with two dear friends at their home. It helped me let go of...