Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bone scan at table #3, please...

Today was very difficult. I had to take a day off work for 2 more obligatory tests before I start my chemo, the bone scan and full body CT scan. They're to make sure I'm not an oddity that can jump from stage 1 to stage 4 without hitting a lymph node like some kind of potentially lethal hopscotch. So, I went to the hospital to register for the tests. They took my name, handed me a coaster-blinky-thingie (like they do in a restaurant) and told me to wait and that it would light up and make noise when it was my turn. She explained this in entirely too much detail. I thanked her and took a seat. (Like I've never been out to eat...) So, as I wait for the next hour staring at my coaster-thingie, I realize that I'm quite hungry and wish I WAS waiting for a table and a meal, anything but where I am right now. The absolute last thing I want to do is go back into that same hall behind the key-coded door and be tested some more. I've been there too many times before this cancer and even more since. I also realize that this is something that has no end in sight. Now, I will be tested behind that door for years to come on a regular basis. The joy of carving out the cancer has been replaced with this new reality.

Fine. They call my name. Nuclear testing (they actually call it that) here I come. So, they sit me down to wait again and here comes the lady with a 3" cylinder in her hand marked with the radioactive sign. You almost expect it to be smoking like witch's brew on someone's porch at Halloween. Instead once removed from the tube, it's a harmless looking syringe of stuff to push through my vein. It takes 3 hours to get to the bones, so I ran errands with my cotton ball taped to the bend of my arm and 2 new armbands. You gotta love the hospital "jewelry". People out in the world look at you like you escaped or something. So, yada, yada, yada...bone scan complete. It was peaceful, really. Quiet. Nothing like the MRI machine. I actually caught about 15 minutes of sleep I think.

On to Texas Oncology for the CT scan. They are so nice there. (That's actually a true statement even though it's dripping in sarcasm here...) First, they gave me a wonderful "cocktail" to drink (contrast #1). Then, I got to have a signing party for all of the paperwork for my clinical trial. I'll know the week of the 14th if I get the drug or not. The lotto hasn't been held yet apparently. Either way, I am officially a registered lab rat. Then, one more huge syringe (contrast #2) about 20 more minutes in a giant tube and my day is done. I felt a little queasy from the whole thing. Not sure if that's 3 types of contrast + radioactivity or all of the lectures. Probably the latter...

You see, I got another "talk" today about how I'm not going to be able to do what I have to once my treatment starts. It's so disheartening and confusing! Half of the nurses and doctors say I will, the other half sit there and look at you like you've gone mad even thinking that you can go through chemo and work the whole time. Then, both of them escape the conversation with the comment, "Everyone's different!" Really??? I hadn't noticed. This is not a choice I am making, people. Given the "choice" I wouldn't even have cancer. This is called survival. There's nothing glamorous about life as a single parent. In fact, most of it is really really hard, except for NOT having to agree on what's for dinner, which route to take where, etc. You get to make all of those decisions for yourself. Problem is, you have to make all of the hard ones alone as well, and at the end of the day it's just you. You pay the mortgage, bills, and feed your family. Otherwise, it doesn't get done. Besides, if everyone IS different (already established) then let's just wait and see. Knock off the talks. They aren't helping me.

See what they don't understand is that neither one of us is in control here. Not me, not them. I don't know how this is going to go and neither do they. Am I scared? Yeah. It's terrifying. But thankfully, I have a place to take it. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Some of that scripture used to confuse me. Like how is His burden light? And exactly how is His yoke easy? And what's a yoke anyway?? (In case you don't know, it's a heavy wooden harness that was used to attach oxen side by side to pull equipment to work the field.) Luckily, my Life Application Bible explains this so clearly. I love the visual of this.

See, when you're "yoked" to Him, the burden of whatever you are carrying rests on much bigger shoulders than your own. You have Him as your Partner to pull the weight, and that makes your burdens so much better. Otherwise, you would collapse under the pressure. There's no promise in there that it won't be hard, but there's a guarantee that you won't carry the heaviest part because He will. You're not doing it alone anymore. He's right there with you, and there IS rest for your soul. That's what I'm counting on. That's a promise that I am claiming because I AM weary. I AM burdened, and I DO need rest. So, I don't care what they tell me about not being able to "do it". Because I'm not doing it alone. And if He sees fit to help me through it and work every day I plan to, then I will. Either way, I won't crumble under the weight of my responsibilities because He has more pulling power than I do, more than any of us. I simply have to come to Him with my burdens, and then I find will rest.


kitykity said...

Sorry, I'm kind of tapped for words today. Glad that day is all over for you though, and it was good to hang out with you last night. Happy birthday to your mom...

Triann Benson said...

I love how you are able to bring humor into all the crummy things going on! (my favorite was the restaurant blinky thing -I have never seen that done before! Cruel!)
It is tough to hear conflicting information, but perhaps even scarier that they don't really KNOW! Praying for you and so glad that icky day is behind you.
You *can* do it. Even though I've only known you a short time, you seem very determined. For myself, sometimes being told I can't do something makes it even more likely I will conquer it just to prove them wrong ;)


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