Last night I had one of those dreams that seemed so real that when I woke up it took me a minute to realize that none of it had really happened. I dreamed that I went to the Ballpark in Arlington to audition to sing the national anthem at a Rangers game. The audition actually took place AT a game in front of a sold-out crowd. I went out to the pitcher's mound, and then I forgot the words to The Star Spangled Banner. But I didn't hesitate...I sang Amazing Grace instead. A natural choice. And somehow, it was phenomenal. The crowd went wild. Ron Washington had tears in his eyes. People were throwing their hats in the air and cheering! The Rangers ran onto the field and offered me an exclusive contract to travel with them and sing Amazing Grace at every game. I was just about to sign the papers when my phone rang. I answered it. It was Dr. F. He said, "We got the scan results. I don't know how this has happened, but there has been a huge mix-up and it turns out you never had cancer to begin with." I said, "That's great, because I'm going on tour with the Texas Rangers!" and I hung up on him.
I've never hated my alarm clock more.
Unfortunately, the Texas Rangers did not call me today. But Nurse Allyson did. At 4:30 p.m. It was a really long day.
The news is not the best, nor is it the worst. The CT images show that the cancer is stable. It is basically unchanged since the last scan I had in November. Since I began the Topotecan regimen, the diseased areas have neither shrunk or grown. The cancer remains in my abdomen, just as it was three months ago.
I do not know how I should feel about this news. I know it could be worse, so I feel, I don't know...guilty? that I am upset. What bothers me most, I think, is the idea of the wasted time. For three months I have gone back and forth. Three months I have spent the majority of my time sick or sleeping or incapacitated or unavailable. Three months I have been around my boys, but not with my boys. Three months. That might not seem like such a long time when you are thirty-seven. But three months to a seven-year-old boy? That's a good chunk.
So....the inevitable question: What Next? Dr. F wants to order a PET scan to check on the metabolic activity of the existing cancer. This will answer a few questions (hopefully) about how the chemotherapy has affected it so that we can make an informed decision about further treatment. I will meet with the good doctor next Tuesday, March 5.
Tonight, my brain is a mess of swirling thoughts and questions. I wish I could understand. I wish I could see the big picture. I wish I could look into the future and see my little boys all grown up to be men and know what the purpose is for the suffering they must endure. My confusion and fear are real, but so is my faith. I believe that my God is good, and that His love for me stretches beyond what I can comprehend.
"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. When you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." --Victor Hugo