Today they call me a miracle. Everyone remarks how healthy I appear. They tell me, “You look great.” They know what I faced four years ago, how close I was to death. Yet, today I am feeling good, able to function very well and look like I am in perfect health. I give God the glory for each day I can babysit my grandchildren, or look my husband in the eye when he asks me, “How do you feel today honey? “and truthfully say…”I feel good.”
There is much to say about medicine today, the strides that have been made in cancer, in cardio vascular health, in treatment and surgical techniques. So much progress…yet…so much more to discover. New ills present themselves. New strains of bacterial infections that even our strongest antibiotics can’t suppress. Health evolves based on food sources and environmental conditions. What we consume is bad for us one day…good the next. It is difficult for all of us to keep up.
We strive toward a more healthy lifestyle. We eat organic and monitor our steps and activity. We focus on quality of life as we approach old age. Often an age most of our grandparents never believed they could reach.
They call medicine a science. I never really understood how true that is. Run a test, processes of elimination. Is it this? Could it be that? It is likely to be this. Percentages are bantered about like so many tennis balls.
“You have these nodes in your lungs we have been observing for eighteen months now.” “They are slow growing, but two or maybe three of them are concerning.”
Started with two now there are eight.
Tommy and I have learned so much about pancreas cancer since we started on this journey April 29th, 2014. We know how difficult it is to detect. We know after it has attacked the pancreas it typically moves on to the liver the lungs or the brain.
“Let’s do a biopsy.” We need to determine if these spots are lung cancer or metastasized pancreas cancer. If it is lung cancer, it is highly treatable. If it is mets of pc…we have an entirely different ball game. Lung cancer….the number one cancer killer…lung cancer. I am praying these nodes are lung cancer. The biopsy, so difficult a procedure to locate that less than a centimeter node and extract tissue from it, came back negative for cancer.
But you say they are cancer, just not 100% sure what type?
When Tommy, Abby and I were in Washington DC advocating for funding for pancreas cancer with PanCan we attended several breakout sessions where we listened to clinicians, researchers who are working hard to learn all they can about how a normal cell progresses into a full blown pancreas cancer cell.
On the screen in the room appeared two images. The left was a slide filled with breast cancer cells. The various sizes of maybe fifty pinkish red cells were jammed into the space. To the right of that image was another slide filled with pancreas pinkish tan cancer cells. There might have been five. So, you are sticking a needle into the tumor to extract these cells to determine what type of cancer it is. What if you miss the cells altogether? A false negative biopsy would result.
But, when it means life or death….how should you feel about that?
Precancerous cells are found in everyones bodies. When they will begin to mutate into cancer is not predictibe.
The only way to determine what these nodes truly are is to remove the ones that are solidly formed and look at them under a microscope.
I have cancer in my body and I need to know it is not the beast….it is not pancreas cancer that has now invaded my lungs. June 26th we will head to surgery.
I am praying for lung cancer. Yes, I am praying for lung cancer.
God is in control. He knows best what the outcome will be. But, we are prepared for whatever His will for us is.