I met with my oncologist this morning to go over the MRI and PET-CT results. Overall, all looks great! The MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) indicated no evidence of a metastatic disease. And my blood work looked good as well. Conversely, the PET-CT (Positron emission tomography–computed tomography) scan showed a prominent lymph node under my right jaw area.
What does this mean? More follow up tests are recommended. The fight is not over ... not just yet.
Transitioning on a dime
Back in January, I wrote a blog (IT'S OVER!) about my last chemo injection on January 2nd. We celebrated with friends and loved-ones at an Italian restaurant. Then, soon after I wrote another blog (THE NEXT FIGHT), stating that this was my last entry on this site. In my mind, I thought it was over. A quick transition from cancer treatment to a normal way of life - sort of like a car "turning on a dime," so to speak.
I wanted it to be done and over with ... finished! ... concluded! ... wrapped up and ready to go!
However, the problem with some various types of cancer - like mine - you can feel good and look good, but the bugger is still crouching down and waiting for that chance to pounce! So, I have to be diligent ... I just can't say, “I am all better now.”
Responding to life’s challenges
After leaving my oncologist's office, we drove to the next medical appointment. We arrived and parked the vehicle. But before we got out, I looked at my wife and said, "Let's stay in the car for a moment." What followed was me whining and complaining: "I hate going to all these medical appointments” ... “I just want a break from all this” ... “And especially, I don't want cancer!" ... “MAYBE GOD IS PUNISHING ME!”
Teresa looked at me with those loving eyes and said, “Let me play this morning’s devotional about how we, as Christians, should respond to life’s challenges.” She played the devotional on her iPhone. We listened. We prayed together.
The words changed my demeanor from despair to appreciation.
During the devotion, I was reminded by my beautiful helpmate that it’s more important to lean on Him than to focus on the illness and the “what ifs?”
The author of the devotion wrote:
“Sometimes … we move from times of peace and tranquility into the painful realm of trouble. At that point, the question is, “How will I respond?” We can be fearful and wonder why God allowed this to happen to us, or we can trust that in the midst of this trouble He is doing something that in the end is for our best, even if it hurts.”
The question “How will I respond?” resonated aloud in my mind. It was a good reminder for me. Cancer may still be in my body (or not). Either way, I shouldn’t concern nor worry myself about it. The prominent lymph node under my right jaw area may be nothing at all (and hopefully it is not). Or it may be significant enough to warrant a new treatment regime to fight against cancer.
But what's more important than having cancer is how I respond to it, better yet ... how I remain in Him.