Two weeks ago my thoughts were about the typical Monday routines at school and at home. Little did I know that by Friday I would hear the words, “you have advanced lung cancer, stage 4 of 4” and that more tests were scheduled to determine if the cancer had spread.
Is it any wonder then that I felt as if I had received a priceless gift last Friday with the news that the cancer is contained in the lungs? I’m sure that reading of my joy that I have “only” stage 4 lung cancer seemed a bit odd, but I guess you know that my mind had jumped to a far more discouraging outcome. Knowing that there is only one battlefield is definitely cause for rejoicing.
You may be wondering what’s going on now. The port incision site is healing well and will be ready when it’s time for chemotherapy. Since I have been a bit tired and a little short of breath recently, I’m resting more that I typically do (that’s probably a good thing). Mostly, I’m waiting for the pathology results from the biopsy and for the genetic makeup results of some cells, which I will know by Friday.
Here’s what I’ve learned about my cancer: The PET and CT scans show a right lung mass which appears to have spread to the lymph nodes in middle of chest and then up into the chain of nodes in the neck. The biopsy indicated that this is an adenocarcinoma. There are also smaller patches of cancer on both the right and left lungs. Being able to identify the exact makeup of the cells will determine the drugs to be used in treatment.
This time, however, the waiting is not as stressful as it was last week. Since the extent of the cancer is known, treatment will begin after these results.
Thank you for your precious words and kindnesses to my family and me. I have been blessed to hear from current and former students, from friends here in the Nashville area and in faraway places, and from people who know people who know me. I am grateful for the prayers most of all, for the notes and flowers and food, for the phone calls and emails and texts.
I’ll let you know when the waiting ends.