I wasn’t planning to update today but I spoke with my oncologist last night and wanted to give you guys the news. First the good news: he said that the cancer had not moved to any more lymph nodes, which is great!! They removed 51 (!!!) lymph nodes total and only the two we knew about contained cancer. Woohoo!! The not so great news is that the one by my ear (on my parotid gland) had, for lack of a better way to explain it, sprung a leak, so although they got the gland out, the cancer will have spread to the surrounding tissue. The next step is radiation that area to kill the cancer cells that eeked out. I will at some point next week meet with a radiation oncologist at Penn who will oversee my treatments and he told me treatments would start the week after Thanksgiving. Good news: I can have my treatments locally! This is awesome considering he said the treatments would be every weekday for 4-6 weeks. They only last about 15 minutes each apparently. I know nothing about radiation, this is just what he told me. So none of this is unexpected, just wanted to let you all know. Because you’re awesome. And you care. And you pray for us. And we love you!!
Apparently, all these world-famous doctors were talking at their weekly tumor board on Thursday about my case and the surgeon said that I was healing amazingly and that he couldn’t believe how fast I was healing and how upbeat I was. I’m not bragging, I’m telling you that this is a direct result of your prayers! God is working and He is good!!
So much good has come out of this so far, it’s really hard to even wrap my head around. Although I had to let the control go of my physical health, I feel at a really good place. I came home last night from my parents’ house (which was a really fun time believe it or not!) and it was really great to just be home and feel “normal” again. My physical limitations are few. I just can’t lift the kids up. That’s really it. I’m a little slow and stiff but picking up the normal activities has felt really good. Truly, more than anything, I feel joyful. I know this process is just beginning and I have no idea how or if radiation will affect me physically or what the chemo process may be like, but this has put everything into perspective. Life seems sweeter somehow. Whatever my kids do, good or bad, I just smile because I’m here and I’m with them. There’s a certain appreciation for every moment that I wish I would have realized before all this, because life is good. It is sweet, and amazing, and wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, there are low times too and there are tears, but there’s so much more to my life than my health and physical capabilities. Time for me to stop existing and getting down about the little things that ultimately don’t matter and start living! I want God to refine me through this process. I want to start looking at every day as a gift and an opportunity and every person I come across as a treasured child of God, which they are. Everyone has a story and just because they are rude to me or seem grumpy doesn’t give me the right to dismiss them. God loves them. He loves them as much as he loves Mother Teresa or Billy Graham. Now thats’s a pretty cool thought! Our youth pastor always says, “Hurt people hurt people”. That is so true! People hurt us because they’re hurting. That’s why we hurt people too. Time to end the vicious cycle! I’m not gonna allow how people treat me determine how I’m going to treat them anymore. Life is too precious and God is too good to keep doing what I was doing before, which was just going on autopilot. Today is the day 🙂
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you! I’m not a mutant 😦 No invisibility. No super strength. No lightning speed. Just normalness haha. But at this point, normal sounds really good. So I’ll take it.