Tag Archives: fear

Another Day, Another Scan

The life of a cancer patient is often riddled with tests and scans in between normal visits and treatments, and I’m certainly no different. We are headed to Penn today for a PET scan. I think most people who have had one would agree with me that they’re pretty unpleasant – especially the 6 HOURS of fasting…

But I also think those people would agree that an MRI is way worse. I always say MRIs are awesome if you like laying in a coffin full of jackhammers during an earthquake.

So I think the spectrum goes from, “X-ray?? Alright!!” to “CAT scan! Score!” to “Aww man, a PET scan” to “NOOO!!! An MRI!!”. Or, at least, that’s how I categorize them. And I have my brain MRI next week. Score.

The PET scan process isn’t too bad, besides the part where the nurse books it out of the room and a machine pumps radioactive material into your IV. Yes, seriously. I figure I’m about one away from starting to develop my super powers, still deciding on what my hero name should be. Cancer Kim? Thigh Face?? Eh, I’ll figure something out and let you guys know what I decide.

So anyway, after that you have to drink 2 huge cups of this barium stuff within a few minutes (looks like milk, tastes slightly better than death) and then you have to sit and wait for an hour or more to let all that junk do it’s thang. They usually recommend you sleep during this time because you aren’t supposed to move much, if at all, during that period. But since I’m a rebel, I do crossword puzzles. YOLO!!

So then the nice nurse comes to get you and take you to the machine and you lay down and then the sweet girl straps you down to the stinkin table. With like huge velcro straps, like you ain’t goin nowhere. I always worry the building will catch fire and they’ll all run out and leave me there. That makes for a super fun hour during the test!

And then it’s all over and I’m free to go! The way it works, based on my very scientific and mathematical approach to understanding it is that the cancer lights up on the scan. Haha, yeah that’s all I got. It’s pretty wild actually, I’ve seen some images of my previous ones.

So this will tell us what’s up. My last one, if you remember, was really good. None of my known mets (brain, lungs, hip bone) lit up. That’s phenomenal, but doesn’t leave any room for improvement, which freaks me out. My drug is so new that they don’t know why it works in some people and not others, why it works better in some than others, and for how long it will work (if it works at all). My oncologist explained it to me in something along the lines of “this drug sort of works…until it doesn’t”

So, I guess it’s safe to say I’m scared. Once things start popping up again, we don’t really have anything to fight it. I’m trying to stay neutral, I don’t want to get my hopes up for another awesome scan, but at the same time, I’m not someone who likes living in a fearful place. So if you are a praying person and feel led to pray for me today, I would appreciate it very much. Also, if you have any suggestions for a good super hero name, I am currently accepting those too.


The Fear

Here we go again! We just came home from a super fun week at the beach, which besides a few aches and pains, a few times of feeling not-so-great, and a random seizure Saturday afternoon, was pretty much cancer free. Ahhh…

But then comes this week which thrusts us right back into real life, which for us is a life stained with the trials of living with advanced stage cancer. Shown by the stack of bills we came home to and the fact that tomorrow I go for an MRI of my brain which will tell us several things: it will tell us what, if anything, the gamma ray treatment did to the tumor that we already know about, and it will tell us if there’s anything new. There’s so many possible outcomes that it’s actually a little overwhelming. If there’s nothing new, then why is my vision in my right eye affected? Why did I have a seizure Saturday night? What’s with the headaches and pressure? Am I ready for the major surgery that growth of the tumor entails? Did the tumor go away?? If it grew, I will need to have surgery (not cool) if it went away, then I will throw a stinkin party!

The fear I feel right before these scans is almost palpable. I can’t keep my mind from racing and I’m about 92% sure that I won’t sleep much tonight. It’s nothing I can help and something that I’m sure anyone who must get scans regularly can identify with. I’m not ready to hear what the results are, I’m not ready to leave my husband and kids, I’m not ready to feel like crap every day. I’m not ready for life as I know it to be gone. Although, I must admit, God has provided and kept us close through every change so far, so I’m not sure why I would fear any upcoming changes.

So here goes! I’m humbled again by my weakness, or maybe I shouldn’t say weakness, because I really think it’s just my humanness. I could pray for a miracle, but God gives us the desires of our hearts and he knows that the desire of my heart is for His perfect will to be done. That truly is my heart’s cry, and He knows that, so while I pray for a miracle and for healing, in the back of my mind I’m saying “but if it’s not what you want, then it’s not what I want.” It’s just something I’ll have to reconcile on my own time I guess.

So I leave you with two very comforting songs:

1. Chris Tomlin “Whom Shall I Fear”
Not sure if it’s based on Psalm 118 or not, but I read that tonight and verse 6 says, “The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear” Yup!!
Whom Shall I Fear

2. Kim Walker-Smith “All I Need Is You” it’s a remake of a Hillsong song (of course lol) but a really good one.
“You hold the universe…”
All I Need Is You

And here’s just a sweet event from tonight reminding me that my problems are way, way smaller than my blessings. Here is my husband answering Brit’s “phone” when her grandparents are calling, Eric actually pretended to talk to all 4 of them as she was telling him who it was lol ❤