When I checked my calendar to see what week I was on in this strange new reality, I was surprised that this is Day 10. Just ten days ago my doctor called with news that would change our "normal", life as we'd known it.
Positive for colorectal cancer.
We were sent for blood work and a CT Scan and then this last Friday we met with a surgeon.
Shaun and I often talk about how so much of life is about expectations. Your experiences in the big things and the little of life are largely influenced by your expectations.
For example. A friend goes on and on about a movie they saw that was just incredible and you must see it! The acting was top-notch and the story was riveting. Best. Movie. Ever. When you go to see it, you are expecting the best movie ever, but because your expectations of it were so high, its likely not to measure up. Maybe it IS a really good movie that you would have really liked if you hadn't been expecting it to be aMAZing. You leave thinking, Hmm...I think I missed something.
That theory proved to be correct on Friday when we met with the surgeon. Shaun had spent the week thinking the worst...that in six months he was going to lose his best friend and would have to explain to his kids why they didn't have a mother anymore.
I, on the other hand, spent the week thinking treatment would look something like surgery, a couple days stay in the hospital and then be on my merry way in life.
So when we heard at the appointment that it is "very treatable", Shaun let out the breath he'd been holding all week and I thought, well duh, of course its treatable....its the 21st Century! But then she went on to extend the three-week version I had in my head to a nine-month plan.
While Shaun and Amy walked out of the appointment skipping and rejoicing, it was a harder day for me than when we got the diagnosis. In some ways on diagnosis day, I had been glad to pinpoint the cause of my chronic pain and also reality really hadn't set in yet.
The treatment plan set forth, while it IS a plan towards recovery and healing, is much more intense than I had prepared myself for. I had spent exactly two minutes reading on the internet before I decided if I had time to read it would be my Bible instead, with the words of this song ringing in my head:
The voice of Truth tell me a different story, the voice of Truth says 'do not be afraid'. The voice of Truth says this is for My glory. Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of Truth.
I'll leave you with a portion of Shaun's brilliant email to family and friends...from the ecstatic, isn't-it-wonderful-she's-going-to-live perspective (the place where I'm inching myself towards :)):
Yesterday’s meeting with the Dr. was a crossing of the Negev to scout out the promised land. It is inhabited by a fierce people and there are giants in the land, but the land also FLOWS with milk and honey. To quote Dr. Ayers “it is very treatable”.
This week will be a great week. Dr. Ayers is close, personable, glowingly referred and carries a very impressive resume. She is very available and we have her cell number to contact her directly any time. Lisa has a green light to run as much as she is able and some better pain management tools which means a resumption of her mentally therapeutic exercise regimen. And we have a plan. We will meet with the radiation/chemo Dr. this week and have an MRI done to confirm the cancer has not spread. The schedule is for 6 weeks of daily radiation/chemo to start in about 10 days to shrink/eliminate the tumor as aggressively as Lisa is able to handle. She is strong and tough. Pending factors including how well she recovers from the treatments, possibly the first surgery shortly after Christmas.
Everyone in the body of Christ has different gifts and we are promised to not be challenged with more than with Him we can handle. I and by extension much of my family are not great orators, prayers, or speakers (except for maybe Aiden, that boy can call fire down from heaven when he gets going). However, through Him we are tough and strong. We have a plan and a big fight ahead of us, both of which are comforting to me, we can fight. Things you fear in an oncology consult like survival odds and “inoperable” were never mentioned because they did not apply. Lisa’s cancer is not related to a genetic defect, so our kids and all her blood relatives are not at greater risk because she has it. If all goes according to Dr. Ayers' plan, by next summer she will be cancer free and have a glowing testimony of His faithfulness.
We know He is sovereign and has a master plan for all of this. All things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.