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Monday, March 23, 2009

A Crappy Doctor's Visit!

Ok! So maybe that's a little harsh to use the word, "crappy!" As I said in my last post, I am having some "separation issues" with all of this, and don't like the words "almost done," etc. Now, all of a sudden, I WANT to be monitored by a doctor, and I want to know the minute a cancer cell reappears somewhere and have it zapped out of me right then and there! Being weaned off my oncologist is NOT a secure feeling for me. But I do know that his job is done. . . for now. . . . forever, I hope and pray!

I thought today I would have LOTS of questions for this guy about how I would know if the cancer was coming back, what are the symptoms to look for, etc., etc. But he took control of the session right from the start. He looked at the site where my boob once was, and had this HUGE smile on his face, his eyes lit up, and he was almost giggly happy as he said, "BOY!!!!! does that ever look great! I never dreamed that it would close up like that!", etc., etc. And to him, that was the end! Kapotz! Over! Success! When I did ask about the future, it was like I burst his balloons of celebration. All he could tell me was, if I suspect something or feel something, let him know. And I don't see him again for another 6 weeks. So that was the extent of my 6-week check up.

So. . . . I guess I'm doing fine for now. A couple more weeks of radiation every day, and that will all be over with, too! Isn't it strange how we become so attached to the care we receive. As long as I felt I was doing something to "fight" this cancer thing, I felt positive. Now. . . .I don't know how to feel. For nine months, this has been my focus, and there hasn't been much else in my life except getting through each day of treatment. Now all of a sudden, I have my life back, and I'm finding there isn't much in my life at all right now.

New beginnings. Where do I start? I do know one thing, my heart has changed a LOT! No more whining about what I don't have, about what I'd like to have, etc., etc. I've become so thankful for each day, for the people around me who have cared so much and helped me through, for all my blogging friends, their prayers and love and encouragement, and learning what's important in life and what is not. Values seem to change when you begin to calculate. . . . all the charts seem to say that I have a 68% chance of this cancer returning within two years. Not very good odds, to say the least. If I make it past the two years, then it goes down to 51% chance of returning. With those figures constantly dancing in my head, there are a lot of things being tossed from the "important" pile into the "not important" pile, believe me! I've also begun to re-evaluate my faith. I always thought I had a very strong faith, but find myself wondering why I have this anxious feeling all the time! If I were so full of faith, I would just go on about my daily to-do lists and not worry about tomorrow at all. I've so appreciated all the comments that you have left me about living for today and not worrying. I feel very guilty about how many times I have told others that, not understanding what they were going through. Now that I'm there, I do understand, and the Lord has shown me my lack of trust and reliance on Him. I am way too self-sufficient and self-relient, and to be stripped of that is very hard!

So my goal for tomorrow is to NOT think about cancer returning, but rather, to think about finding something new and beautiful in each new day God gives me! Want to join me?

29 comments:

Barbara said...

your words have touched my heart so much...your honesty at the feelings you are experiencing. I have to say that I can not begin to imagine the things you face each day...but I am praying for you. I understand the fear and uncertainity and the loss of control as my husband has had two open heart surgeries, almost dying during the 2nd one so I understand the feelings, but they were from the my view, not his. I truly pray for God to give you peace. I know that He has a plan for you and that He will never leave you regardless if the plan is the one we would choose or not..but my heart is so touched by your expressions. May God Bless you on this journey...I pray for divine healing for you. I have three friends who have had breast cancer and none of them have had a recurrence..time spans of 7, 5 and 4 years....I found your site by, well I refuse to say "by accident" but choose rather to believe so I could pray for you. May God's Peace rest surround you....

Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

Thinking of you with love my friend.

Hugs,
Lea

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Sis,
Thanks for your updates!! I always look out for them. I was giggling when you wrote how we rode our bikes till our legs hurt!! Oh how I wish we still had all that energy. I remember I could ride up the steepest hill, and climb the biggest tree lol.
Yes those were the good ole days, and the nice thing about those memories is that we can always reflect back on them when we are not having a very good day, or feel a lil sad inside.

Luv ya Lorie

Oma aka Meme said...

oh my friend- I understand- I remember hanging in with papa's cancer doctor and finally we could not go back as papa was too weak and it was a 20 mile trip- sigh- and I felt so lost - he was some how my last hope -sigh- but I know that God is there for us every day and every moment- I am glad you are almost done and yet- even I want you to see him more than you can- I guess it is our human nature to want to hold on- I think of you so often and I know how proud papa would be- he loved to hear of others winning the earthly battle- I found a picture of him to share and I will find some more later- see my blog-- I am so proud of you and so happy for you- I am so glad the Lord brought you into my life - hugs from Meme

Dani said...

Dear Cora, what you are feeling is actually very normal..there is always a let down after such an ordeal...perfectly normal...we are only human, dear friend..and don't worry if you feel faithless, just remember 2 Timothy 2:13.."our faith may fail, His never wanes. That is who He is, He cannot change".

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Cora,
I'm supposed to be taking a blogging break; but I saw that you'd written and had to see how you are.
I just want you to know that I too am so proud of you, and will continue to pray for complete healing for you.
I'm so happy your doctor is so happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'll be enjoying each and every day along with you. I just read what Barbara wrote in your comments and just feel like doin cartwheels. We'll keep BEEELIEVING in divine healing!
EAGLE WINGS,
Love Lea

Ruthie said...

It's normal to have that let down feeling - like a birdie being kicked out of the nest. I remember reading once that all change is experienced as loss - even good change - and therefore we grieve to some degree.

When you talked about thinking of good things, I thought of the verse in Philippians 4:8 "-whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." (NIV) I memorized that and quoted it to myself every day when I was feeling worried a few years back.

Our faith fortunately doesn't depend on our little and sometimes weak faith, but on the strength of our God.

Enjoy your days and I'll be praying you find richness and joy in your future. Happy Spring to you.

Blessings.

KathyB. said...

Oh wow! The last time I read your blog, months ago, things were not so good! Praise God! He has allowed you to be healed here on earth, and the one day at a time we are given looks like a few more for you....

I hear you sister, with the contradiction of faith and anxiety experienced at the same time!Still struggling with this....but know He is in control.

Penny @ Miss Pootsie's Primitives said...

Cora dear... I can remember when I was going through the mastectomy and after, I could only limp through a moment at a time, let alone a full day!
Everyone kept telling me, "It will be okay...", "Everything will be fine, you'll see."
I thought, "I KNOW everything WILL BE fine.. but what about NOW??? What about RIGHT NOW?" I was wanting the peace and comfort for that very moment, not a reassurance that it WILL BE fine. The control of my life, health, and happiness had gone from my grasp and I was flailing around.

I must agree w/ several who have commented here, what you're experiencing is normal. It has to be. You are only human, Cora. You have all the frailties of the flesh, like we all do, including the want to control. God knows that! He created you to be you. He loves you just the way you are.. so doggone it... if you need to feel out of control because your treatment is waning.. let it go! He will still love you, He will still be in control, even if you rant and rave to Him that YOU want to have the control. Just like a Father, He will let you 'get it all out' and then He will prove Himself to you over and over again.

I love you sweet Cora and am still praying, every day! Praying for peace of mind, and rest for you today dear one.
Penny

Nancy McCarroll - Arts, Crafts and Favorites said...

Five local women and I get together every Tuesday morning for coffee (we are all now cancer free, biting our fingernails wondering if the big C will return). It helps to have a "support group" of sorts; we just kinda found each other. I hope you can find a like group of women...our prayers are with you. PS: my oncologist would not give percentage numbers about recurrence rates. She said "The rates are 50/50. You either get it again or you don't." I like that answer.

Anonymous said...

I think Ps. 118:24 takes on an even deeper meaning after going through things like this. I had coronary stents put in at age 52 and I felt that same separation anxiety when my cardiologist said I didn't need to come see him anymore. That was 7 years ago and thank God, I haven't needed him again! God bless you...

Maryjane - The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Cora, You have gone through so much and it looks like you are pulling through it all. My thought and prayers continue to be with you! Wishing you a sweet kind of day. Hugs, Maryjane

Stacy Lambert said...

I haven't gone through surgery, yet. But, after my last chemo I felt the same way. I'm done. Now what do I do to fight. Yes, surgery, but then what happens if it comes back, I want to know right now. It's a bitter sweet feeling. The End?
I don't want this ghost to determine my every day.
To stop me from living. To haunt me.
God Bless you and keep the faith.
Love and Hugs,
Stacy

papel1 said...

Hi Cora,
Just think positive thoughts, which you usually do. I see you still are selling on Ebay and hoping that you will heal enough so you can cut lots of angels out. And soak up the warm Florida sunshine and smell the flowers. I am sure Juri will be of great help.
Judy

Julie said...

When my Dad gets a cancer-free diagnosis after each 6 month check-up, we all celebtate. I know he thinks about a return a lot, but he has been cancer-free for 2 years now. He reads a lot of positive books, serves others in our church, watches t.v. and tries to keep busy--for an 82 year old, that is. This is the teacher in me speaking, but maybe you could volunteer at a local elementary--children are LIFE!! And good people like you are always needed and welcomed!! Just a thought--have a great day. Julie

Deb said...

Of course I want to join you! I know there's hope for us all. All that have something going on whether we share or not. I hope we know that the Lord IS here for the taking, and that we should practice daily to cast ALL of our burdens on Him then take the time to smell the roses. Deb

Denise said...

I remember once many years ago when I was going through something FAR less than you are going through. I was full of faith and strong in the LORD, or so I thought. I stood strong until we had a revival break out in our church. The Evangelist that was preaching taught on healing. He told me one night after church that if I came back the next night I would be healed. The next night came and I was scared to death to go.. all of a sudden I was not so strong and I feared that my faith was not great enough...... even with all this fear I went to church that night.. after the sermon and the call for anyone that needed healing, I stood frozen in time without moving..... the preacher looked right at me and called again for anyone that needed healing. Slowly I moved out into the isle and made my way to the front..... The closer that he got to me the more afraid I became.... Just a few people from me with tears rolling down my face the Holy Spirit exploded in my spirit this scripture.... Lord I believe, but help my unbelief....... It broke my heart and loosed me of my responsibly for my healing......

I said all that to say this.. It is not in us to have perfect faith, but it is in Christ to have perfect faith, for it was perfect faith that HE had in the Father to raise HIM from the dead.....

We live and move and have our being in Christ....... You stay grounded in HIM girl and rest in HIS faith...... HE will carry your burden,

I do not know the path that you walk but I know the man that walks with you....... I will pray for you each day and you continue your journey...... I know that HE will give you joy that will overcome the fear.......

but the way.... when the preacher touched me and prayed I was completely healed.... I had doubt, but HE did not...

Nancy M. said...

I can understand you wanting to make sure it doesn't ever come back. But, I love what you said at the last of your post about finding new and beautiful things everyday! Wonderful idea!

nancy huggins said...

I don't think there is much that I can add to what has already been written in here Cora...All I can do is repeat what my Grandmother (the one who I try to use as a daily example) said "THE LORD WILL PROVIDE" She believed it and I believe it and she was right..He always does :)
Hugs and Love to you Cora and all your family and Buster too

ByLightOfMoon said...

Cora Sweetie, Thanka for the many kind comments and fun ones too on my blog. Just know that maybe this cancer things is winding down and Won't be the highlight of your day!

You may have to find a new hobby. Not a cancer one and you are an odds beater. Look at you Now compared to 6 -7 motnhs ago! Looking great as your Dr says. Too bad he does not take good time and spend some special moments with you to let you ask questions. Myabe just call and tell him or his nurse that you have more to talk about. Write all of them down and maybe on the phone he will listen to your concerns a little more.

We do have the wisteria blooming here now and the big spring rains have already started. Maybe flooding even.

We are getting Daisy ready for a roadtrip but not to spend $, just too look and have fun!

I look forward to getting back to normal if I can find it and staying home more, Yes, Emma is a handful and so funny sometimes, and other times, I could strangle her. I should do her blog more as Bob leaves so much out.

Bless you, thinking of you always, Smiles, Cyndi

Tina- said...

oh Cora, I am so glad that you are doing better. you and my friend Deena have been through so much..but so glad you both are doing well.
what lovely news.
hugs to you.

Linda / Behind My Red Door said...

Cora I can't begin to know what you are feeling these days but it so understandable to have those feelings. I continue to pray for you and hope that those new and beautiful things show themselves to you each and every morning!

hugs, Linda

Jill said...

How I can relate to everything you have written. You do become so obsessed with everything during your time with it and seem to feel safe throughout the treatments...now away from all of this and to try to get back to a normal life is hard but something we have to try to do. I also look forward to every day now and make the most of it.Yesterday I got my mammogram results of my good side and all is clear....what a relief.
Soon you will done with your radiation and I know that will be a blessing. Spring is here and with it hopefully comes a new life for you!
Hugs
Jill.

Juri said...

Cor....I remember discussing these same feeling with you when I realized the umbilical cord was being cut from my oncologist! It was downright scarey to me! I spent those months of chemo and radiation saying "I can't wait till this is over and I can get back to normal" and then almost cried when I found that there was no "normal" to go back to, I had to create a whole new normal, with the constant threat of recurrence for the rest of my life. I will never forget that sinking feeling when my doctor patted my leg, smiling, and said, "you are done, see you in about three months...you did well"...and he left the room. I thought I should be celebrating, but I felt like crying! So, your feelings are normal. Fighting cancer becomes a "lifestyle", all your energy and thoughts have gone to this one goal for many months. It will take a while to find a new "normal" for yourself. As your sister, however, I am celebrating that you have done so well and come so far...and I am sure we will be celebrating together when you are a few years "out", too!! Love ya!

Jenster said...

Wow! I could have written this same post a few years ago. I only see my oncologist every six months now and each time my appointments get farther and farther apart I feel apprehension.

I also don't think about cancer like I used to. It takes time and the longer you go without a recurrence or mets the longer you'll go without thinking about it 24/7.

AND my surgeon told me I had "great flaps" after my mastectomy. lol Not something I'd ever thought about hearing. :o)

Renna said...

Cora, I'd think that what you're going through right now is likely common to women who have just gone through treatment such as you have. I wonder if there might not be some kind of local support group which would helpful to you?

This scripture verse if from The Message translation. I hope it will encourage you.

"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."
~Philippians 4:8-9

Sara said...

Hi. I just came across your blog. I've recently been weaned somewhat from my oncologist, and can totally relate to your feeling. Praying you have a happy cancer free life from here on out!

Yesteryear Embroideries and Eggs In My Pocket said...

Sweet Cora, your words brought tears to my eyes. I think what you are feeling is just the weight of all the stres finally falling down and letting you free. There are new paths to go down....new flowers to smell...new things to try...and you have the chance to do it all. My prayers are with you. Take good care of yourself! blessings,Kathleen

Debby said...

Oh, Cora. I happened upon your blog some time ago, I believe. I was not aware that you were dealing with (or you didn't have it yet...)breast cancer.

I am finished with treatment, and I am at that stage of 'waiting to see'. After all of this proactive treatment, waiting to see just did not set right with me, until I realized that proactive, aggressive treatment no longer matters. If this metasticizes it is considered incurable. Oh. I prayed about this and got myself set straight on it. I found another lump last Thursday. I will have a biopsy on Monday. The Dr. states that it doesn't feel like a lymph node, but that he doesn't know what it is, although he's not concerned. ARgh! It seems like I'm trying to hold on to an ever changing reality.