Hands down, hardest week since the path results came back.
Nothing is wrong. Everything has just bubbled up and overflowed again this week as I shoved myself through 4 different appointments…all for this dumb cancer stuff.
- Radiation Oncology consult with Dr. Spencer
- Dental appointment to get cleared for radiation
- Another dental appointment to get molds made for my mouth piece I’ll wear during radiation
- Chest CT scan
I wrote the beginning of that post early Friday morning before Friday afternoon came. And all of the above is still true, but Friday afternoon brought some rather frustrating news.
I had known since Monday afternoon at my consultation that they had ordered a chest CT. ACC often spreads to lung or bone if it is going to metastasize, so this is just normal precaution as standard of care. So I scheduled my scan for Friday and went about my week.
Multiple indeterminate mm sized spots showed with a possibility of metastases due to prior diagnosis of malignancy. Heart. Sank.
So before anyone gets scared, this doesn’t mean lung metastases and it also doesnt mean lung cancer that is most generally known. This report only means there is a potential of metastases due to the fact they just took cancer out of my body a little over a month ago. Without knowledge of Glanda’s histology, this radiologist may have never read my scan this way.
Thankfully Dr. Spencer was in clinic that day and came out of her last appointment, read my results, and came to chat in my office. Yes, there is something visible on the scan…a very tiny something…like grain of sand tiny. Also, she said she is 90+% sure that it’s nothing and coming from a radiation oncologist of many, many years, that’s dang good odds. Apparently living in the south grants you a few things here and there that are not normal but totally normal here and this is one of them. To be sure, she’s ordered a PET scan which will light up any abnormal cells (or abby normal for my Young Frankenstein fans) and confirm that those things no longer exist in my body.
Understandably so (I think) I welled up with tears and just couldn’t choke them down this time. It had been the worst and most tiring week. It had been nearly a month since we faced cancer head on and this week had brought up so many thoughts and emotions that I honestly could go the rest of my life without thinking or feeling again. I wasnt even mad that I had a chest CT or that the results didn’t come back squeaky clean like I had imagined. And I wasnt scared that something else could be wrong. I was just plain frustrated.
I knew my original 7 year old tumor was comprised of less than 10% cancer cells. I knew that my cancer hadn’t even spread to lymph nodes outside of my salivary gland. And it was more than likely shown in the lymph node that Glanda was pressing on only because they were literally pushing against each other.
I also knew that I have been feeling better than I have in years since we said goodbye to Glanda. Not to mention, I danced for 2 hours last week and did way better than expected being only 6 weeks out from surgery…and I’m talking about my dance ability not my lung capacity. Lungs are and were perfect. How on EARTH could anything else even possibly be wrong? It. Just. Doesn’t make sense.
Friday afternoon ended with a sweet blessing though. Coworkers that consoled me, continuously handed me tissues, and prayed over me, before walking with me to the bus while simultaneous distracting me of anything that had gone on within the last hour so I could make it to my car. Anyone that knows enough about my last few jobs knows this is an absolutely incredible and unexplainable blessing to me.
So here we are, another week out and a PET scan facing us soon. Part of me is excited to slap cancer (or the lack of) in the face once and for all and bulldoze straight through radiation like a champ. And part of me is scared that this PET scan is going to show something crazy and light up something abnormal that wasnt even on our radar as a concern. What I’m absolutely sure of is that whatever the PET shows, it’s going to be ok and I understand that the results are part of God’s will that we don’t have to understand.
One of my favorite things I’ve heard spoken over us lately is that we have to put more trust in the Lord and His healing rather than putting trust in what the reports are saying. Sovereignty > Science. I’ve picked a verse to carry me through the next six weeks of radiation specifically and also the next several years of inevitable checkups.
“Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” ~Ephesians 3:20
Yes and amen. It’s harvest season. Onward and upward.