Friday, July 27, 2012

Courage From Cowboys

Thursday, July 26 will go down in history as one of the most wretched days of my entire life.  That's saying something, because I've had more than my fair share of bad days!

First was a visit to Dr. F, my Plan B oncologist.  He confirmed the presence of serous papillary carcinoma (read: $&#;%! cancer) in three different spots in my pelvic region.  He went on to say that there is some uncertainty among the medical team if those three spots are the only spots.  The harsh truth is that by the time a patient has a third recurrence, their body tends to be filled with cancer.  Three different radiologists have looked at my CT film, and they do not entirely agree on what is going on in there.

To that end, I will have a PET scan next week.  Hopefully the radioactive material will light up those awful cells and reveal their hiding places.

Dr. F suggested that surgery probably will not be an option.  The data for third-time cancer surgeries is limited at best, and any data that is available is probably for women twice my age. Given the location of the known masses, the surgery would be risky for interference with a few organs and their functions.

Chemotherapy is a must, and the sooner I get started, the better.  I am looking at a Taxol/carboplatin combination, every 3 weeks for six rounds.  The timing here is very important.  Each cancerous mass has the ability to double in size in as few as 30 days.  18 weeks of chemo leads us straight into the holidays, at which time there will be another round of scans to determine what, if anything, needs to happen differently.

That's the medical, practical side of this thing.  It's dry and it's terrifying...but compared to the terror I felt as I sat across from my little cowboys, it is nothing.  First, I gave them the good news:  Mom loves you very much and there's nothing you can do about it.  Then, the bad news:  Mom has new cancer growing in her body.

Immediate panic ensued, especially for Goliath.  I had just given life to his worst fear.

The only thing I care to remember about that conversation yesterday is how they all reacted with fierce emotion.  They are each so wonderfully unique, so Goliath's breathlessness=Little Middle's hung head=Baby's tears.  As much as I detest the bad news that turned life upside down for my sons in that instant, I love that their reaction demonstrates how they love me.  If nothing else goes right from here on out, I will remember that they are scared and emotional because I am important to them.  It's a terrible, but somewhat comforting, thought.

I answered their questions as best I could, and reminded them what is really important:  Cancer doesn't change God.  God loves us just as much today as He did yesterday.  God isn't surprised, even though we sure are.  God knows that we're angry, and He understands.  We can make a choice to trust Him or to stay angry. 

This morning, on the way to an appointment, Goliath and I cut through the high school parking lot.  We rolled down the car windows and started yelling:  "I HATE CANCER!"  "CANCER STINKS!"  Construction workers turned their heads, but we didn't care.  We felt better.

Somehow, I will make it okay for my boys to yell.  I will encourage them to express their distaste for this horrid disease that has reared its ugly head once again.  I will do everything possible to make sure they know that they are THE reasons I will fight, and fight I will.  I will tell them and show them that I love them.  I WILL NOT DIE.  God gave me one life--one chance--to be their mom.  The cowboys give me courage.

I am waiting to be able to talk with Dr. B, my Plan A/M.D. Anderson doc.  She and Dr. F will put their heads together to make final decisions about treatment.  Unless she offers a miracle experimental drug that can only come from MDA, I plan to remain close to home for treatment.  I will update early next week as plans are finalized.

I wish I could understand, but I don't.  I wish I had a glimpse of the big picture, but it eludes me.  What I am sure of is this:  He is close.  As long as I am able, I will run to Him.

17 comments:

Amy said...

I hate this for you, Allyson. I might need to run across the street and yell in the high school parking lot, too! Your cowboys are so blessed to have you as a momma! I am praying for you everyday. Thank you for being open in your updates...it keeps us on our toes with prayers! :) Sending hugs!

About Me said...

I love you Allyson! And your cowboys! We need to plan another visit to your house soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh Allyson, my heart is broken for you and your sweet boys. My prayers are with you. You are exactly right on with everything you have so eloquently expressed . . . Much love and support sending your way. I am with precious Goliath, I HATE cancer! -Rebecca coffee

Anonymous said...

Prayers going up for you and family.

Anonymous said...

I HATE CANCER TOO! Praying for you and your preciouse family. Find peace in Him and he will give you rest.

ABishop said...

Praying for a healing miracle!

Anonymous said...

Allyson,

I have been one of the blessed ones to have had your mother love my children and be apart of their discovery of Christ and join her in the journey of prayer for you. I have watched you from afar and walked this valley of pain invisibly with you. I will continue to lift you up to the God who promises to hide you in the cleft and Who will never leave you or forsake you and pray for a miracle...may He sustain, encourage, strengthen, and bless you and your sweet cowboys.

carrie

Jeri Kunc - friend of your Mom & Dad said...

I HATE CANCER! But I'm praying for you and your cowboys and I will be faithful to take your name to the throne of God regularly.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Allyson, I remember when I first met your mom and dad. You were a quiet three year old, already an old soul. You have always made everyone better for just knowing you. What a blessing the three cowboys have in you as their mother! I have followed your courageous battle from the beginning. I know how hard it is to be faithful to the Lord when you are ill because I failed miserably. You, on the contrary, are steadfast. Hold on to Him, Allyson. Many, many prayers are being offered up for you and your family. Love and Prayers, Sherry

Anonymous said...

Dear Daddy God,
I come to you on behalf of Allyson and her family. I ask You to be all about her: be over, under, around and through her. God, I ask that You strengthen her body and deliver it from this cancer! God You alone are the Greatest Doctor .. .. I ask You to remove the cancer from her body..in the Name of Jesus.
God, Ps 18:2 reminds us that YOU are Allyson's ROCK, YOU are her FORTRESS and YOU are her DELIVERER.. in YOU does she trust.
God, You are our only HOPE! I ask You to surround her boys with peace that only You can bring. God, help them to look to you on their own. . that they would know Your love.
God, I pray that You strengthen Pat and Larry. Thank you God for their love to You and to Allyson. They are devoted to You. I am so grateful for that. Thank You for Allyson. . for what she means to her family. God, help her remember that she is treasured, that You rejoice over her with singing. Let her sense Your banner of love.
God, we know Your word does not come back void.. .. all the scriptures that have been poured into Allyson's boys.. I pray that they would spring up a well of hope, joy and encouragement.
In Jesus mighty name,
Amen.

Anonymous said...

Amazing Allyson, my heart aches for you, my tears flow for you and your family, but my joy is in our Amazing God and your wonderful attitude through this horrible testing of your faith. My mind jumps to wonderful memories of you thoughout some of the gimspes of your life that I have the priviledge of being a part of... Second grade Bible school, 7th grade Sunday school, your wedding, chance meeting at the airport with your cowboys, Jenny's wedding and many more. I hold you and your family close to my heart even though I don't see you often, I love you and treasure you and your family's friendship. More later will keep in touch amazing Allyson. Susie b.

CRIM said...

thank you for keeping us updated on blogger - thinking of you and your family

Gigi said...

Allyson..your love for your boys is just amazing and your openness is so moving..i know you have such a tremendous load on you..too huge for understanding...you remind me of the many courageous women in history like Joan of arc..amelia earhart.sacajawea..all brave women
...while others whine and complain about minor petty issues..you march forward with a fight most of us will never have to fight..i send you love..kisses..hugs..prayers..and sincere wishes for brighter days..i carry your heart with me..i carry it in my heart..love always.. auntie gigi

Gigi said...

Allyson..your love for your boys is just amazing and your openness is so moving..i know you have such a tremendous load on you..too huge for understanding...you remind me of the many courageous women in history like Joan of arc..amelia earhart.sacajawea..all brave women
...while others whine and complain about minor petty issues..you march forward with a fight most of us will never have to fight..i send you love..kisses..hugs..prayers..and sincere wishes for brighter days..i carry your heart with me..i carry it in my heart..love always.. auntie gigi

Gigi said...

Allyson..your love for your boys is just amazing and your openness is so moving..i know you have such a tremendous load on you..too huge for understanding...you remind me of the many courageous women in history like Joan of arc..amelia earhart.sacajawea..all brave women
...while others whine and complain about minor petty issues..you march forward with a fight most of us will never have to fight..i send you love..kisses..hugs..prayers..and sincere wishes for brighter days..i carry your heart with me..i carry it in my heart..love always.. auntie gigi

The Horton Family said...

I HATE CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CANCER STINKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you so much. You are right. God knows the plan. And like Matt Chandler says, in 50 trillion years, this may not look or feel the same that it does today. I will continue to pray. You know I will. You will NOT die. God is in control and He will help you and those little cowboys through this. You are an amazing woman my friend. I am honored to walk along your side in this life. And we will continue to walk.

Don Waybright said...

I HATE CANCER...but you are my hero! We will be praying fervently in Inida