Monthly Archives: January 2019

The big purple jar

The big purple jar

Four years and eight months ago Lindsay brought home from her office a large glass Ball canning jar. It was decorated with a purple ribbon and held squares of various shades of purple note cards, each folded middle school note style and stuffed inside. The jar was never opened because I knew it was filled with hopes and prayers and well wishes from Lindsay’s WWP workmates and truthfully, I could’t move myself to read them…until today.

I knew the day would return when I would need to find a boost of courage and hope and today was the day.

What I found tucked inside that jar today was just the medicine I needed.

Lindsay’s career with Wounded Warrior Project began during her internship her final semester of college. She absolutely loved her time there and shared with me that if would be her dream job when she entered the job market. She loved serving with the warriors and her fellow teammates during that time. And apparently, they saw her value and offered her a full time position shortly after she graduated. She was thrilled to be back on the team handling communications.

Several years later she reached out to her team when she learned of my diagnosis of pancreas cancer. One of her bosses had recently lost his own mother to the disease and she immediately turned to him to share her fears. This boss now family friend shared that he held Lindsay in his arms as she told him the news. You see, everyone who works at WWP belongs to the family. He calmed her fears and assured her he was walking beside her thru all of this. (For that I am eternally grateful.)

Today I opened and read each and every note. Some were to Lindsay, some were to me. But all were heartfelt messages from deep within their hearts.

I was so moved and happy I had waited to reveal what was awaiting inside that big purple jar.

There was even a message from The Cookie Monster…

One was from the internet entitled “What Cancer Cannot Do” Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple love
It cannot shatter hope
It cannot corrode faith
It cannot kill friendship
It cannot suppress memories
It cannot silence courage
It cannot invade the soul
It cannot steal eternal life
It cannot conquer the spirit.

But, the best message of all was from the entire WWP family..

Today, as I read the messages from our WWP family, I am filled with hope, courage and love to know that some people who may never have even met me would take a moment to write, pray and encourage me. We live in a world that some would have us believe is filled with hate. I know better.

1 John 4:12: No man hath beheld God at any time: if we love one another, God abideth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Love one another………

The ticking time bomb…

The ticking time bomb…

Every six weeks we face a CT scan and MRI to determine what is happening deep within my lungs with the tumors that were discovered to be metastasized pancreas cancer in late June 2018. Blood work is drawn and can be a precursor for activity of the tumors, but not always. The anticipation we endure is indescribable. It is like living with a ticking time bomb in your body, never knowing when the bomb will go off.

Today the bomb went off. One of the newest tumors in my left lung doubled in size in just six weeks.

The other eight tumors in my right lung remained stable. But now there are two or three in my left lung and Dr. Ko remarked that “the one that grew pretty significantly is concerning.”

My cancer mets are now considered “progressive”.

Now we face decision time. What are our treatment options we ask our radiology oncologist who specializes in lung disease? Dr. Ko works side by side with my hematology oncologist to guide us. His answer today was a possible targeted therapy that would focus on eradicating the tumor with radiation. The plus side is the treatment would offer limited side effects with only a five percent chance of effecting my lung capacity. And, it would not effect my quality of life, which to this time has been amazingly good. The down side is it will not effect the other tumors whatsoever. After the targeted radiation therapy we would typically wait six more weeks for a CT scan. Now that the cancer is progressive, it is impossible to determine if the other tumors will begin to grow as well.

Between appointments we visited our church to talk to God about the latest development and to pray for strength and courage and discernment to make the right decisions. He never disappoints. We both left the church feeling a peaceful calm. Thank goodness we have our faith.

The second option is aggressive chemotherapy. this would in fact attempt to eradicate all the tumors and hopefully make some disappear, the others to shrink. But, the downside is the side effects of aggressive therapy. My quality of life for eight weeks and a few beyond would suffer.

So what do we do?

My amazing husband has two trips planned. One, an annual trip to Vegas for Super Bowl and a Lady Gaga concert…and a trip to Southern California to accompany him to a trade show in late March. Will I be able to make these trips we ask? Dr. Mody studies the calendar and comes up with some dates. It looks like we can make this work.

I tolerated the chemo regimen very well the first time, no reason to think I won’t this time. I might be a little tired, but I know I can make it. I won’t let this stop me from living my best life.

We begin chemo on Saturday. Thank you Jesus!

I hope I can make it to Lady Gaga…