Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hope and Hallelujahs

We made it through the day. My appointment at the cancer clinic has come and gone but I am having some troubles wondering about what to do with my emotions. My own oncologist was vacationing in Nice, France - his home town, so there was another doctor filling in for him. This wonderfully gifted, hospitable doctor, accompanied by a student doc, attended to me with honesty and a forthright manner. Gilles and I had met this doctor before during a couple of my chemo sessions, so he was not a stranger. He actually has the greatest bed-side manner. :)

First, the news is not bad about my post-chemo check-up. I had bloodwork and it showed no problems. There is another blood test which I had - the CA125. It takes about a week to get the results back, so I am sure if there is an issue, I will get a call. I also had a physical examination which revealed nothing untoward. Another positive indication that things look good.

The jumbled feelings I am dealing with at present derive from some of the fine doctor's words. He basically told me that he cannot say 'all is well' because there are no guarantees. His approach was 'nothing is for sure' so we will wait and see. I didn't want to hear that. I wanted to hear things like, "Cancer free..." "Clear sailing..." "Everything is looked after and you have no need to concern yourself..." "we were able to zap all the malignant cells..." Instead I heard things like, "I cannot say for sure that this won't return..." "We just don't know..." "There is a 50/50 chance of recurrence..."

I guess I sort of knew all this in my head but I wanted to dance out of that cancer clinic today with a new breath of fresh air and a carefree spirit. It didn't happen and I am doing way too much thinking.

My 'fill-in' Doc talked about some deep seated feelings I have on occasion and stressed my right to be concerned. He also alluded to the fear factor and how I must be very fearful and have thoughts about death and what might happen and the like. Given my good news, as far as today's tests are concerned, I wondered why he would talk about that, but I guess he was attempting to draw me out and discuss my feelings on the 'what-ifs.' It was actually a nice opportunity to talk about my faith. Gilles started it and told the good doctor that we have a strong faith and that sees us through so much. Then I told him that I do not fear death and where I will go one day is not a cause of stress for me. My biggest sadness trigger is leaving my family, my friends, my grandchildren, my loved ones...we had a good chat about that and much more.

I basically am exhausted. The week has been a long one and a busy one with lots of travel and headwork. I just need some down time. Some time to think; to relax; unwind and to pray.

Cancer, no question, is life-changing. I just want things to be the way they were before, but they are not. They never will be. So I will accept the things I cannot change and forge on. I heard a song this past Tuesday...Remembrance Day...Onward Christian Soldier.


Ryan and Lori said...

My dear Glynis,

My heart breaks for these feelings. I'm sorry you could not go out dancing as you had hoped. I'm not sure this will help, but after last week with Al Nyp, I realized again that none of us are in control and we need to always be ready for what God has in store for us. Through this trial of yours, your spirit is SO encouraging and for that I thank you! As I am writing my little testimony for the baptism, I am including this verse that I'm sure you know well...
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give
you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and
come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek
me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13

You are so faithful at seeking God with all your heart and are such a light for Him.
You are thought of often.
Love Lori

mary haskett said...

Dear Glynis,

I feel for you. I think this is common practice to tell patients nothing is certain. Al was given the same spiel. Like you he testified of his faith in God. And today he continues in good health. I realize I cannot give you assurance, but praise God we know the one who can! I just say a big Amen to the Scripture quoted by Ryan & Lori.
I pray the days ahead will see you gaining strength and confidence each day in Him who is able. I believe a wonderful book is going to come forth out of your experience and it will be a blessing and encouragement to many.
Love & hugs in Him

mary haskett said...

Dear Glynis,
I feel for you. I think it is standard to give patients this kind of spiel. Al was given the same type of information and he too testified of his faith in God. I am sure out of your experience a wonderful book will come forth to inspire and encourage many. I say a hearty Amen to the Scripture quoted by Ryan & Lori.
I cannot assure you but we both know the one who can!
be necouraged my friend
Love & hugs in jesus

LC said...

Glynis, my husband (who has CLL, a blood cancer) continually says that we are all terminal. Most of us put off those feelings about what happens when we die, even we who know the Lord. We don't want to face the reality, yet some of us are given things like this so we can face it, and then share the wonder of what we find with others. God is not the author of fear, and I'm convinced that His priority is how He can use those who know Him as a witness to His grace -- in whatever our situation. You are doing that. It doesn't mean you will have no negative emotions (who could relate to that?) but that He will give you what you need and that will glorify Him!

love you,

Kimberley Payne said...

Hi Glynis,

I am sorry that you couldn't do the happy dance out of the office. It is heartbreaking.
Your courage, honesty and faith are refreshing and encouraging to those of us who face trials of a different sort.
Know you are loved good and faithful servant.
Love Kimberley

Debra Facer said...

Hi Glynis, I just stopped by to see how you were doing and to see how your Dr appointment went. Hey you know what, hang on to the good things they say and ignore the other stuff, nothing is for sure, so why worry about tomorrow, we have today, and the fact that everything looks good, that is a GOOD thing. Only God knows what is to come, so grab on to the good and run with it. Glad to see things are looking good, you keep up the good work. You are in my prayers.. Big Hugs Deb

Linda said...

I hear you Glynis. I hear the frustration and I feel for you.

l'optimiste said...

Sometimes it's better to listen to your own heart and body than the doctors. They have to cover everything with everyone - you just have to think about being well - and why not dance and sing - you are alive and will remain that way.

Concentrate on the singing and dancing - it's much better for your head than worrying about something that may never happen - my oncologist was the best - her remark was: "get on with your life, yes you may die, but it could be a truck that hits you and you don't worry about that every day do you?".

Sensible advice - if rather startling! Good luck - and thanks for sharing your experience too.