Well, today reminded me—as if I needed reminding—that God answers prayers. Since midday, that verse in Romans about the Spirit’s intercession for us keeps ringing in my mind: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26).
A day that started with some potential and frightening news ended with unexpected and great news that I wouldn’t have had otherwise this early in the process.
Let me begin at the beginning, and please stay with me to the end.
I arrived on time at 10:40 for my 2nd chemotherapy treatment, but after lab work I was a bit surprised at the unusual delay to see the oncologist before beginning treatment. It turned out that my heart rate was elevated and there was a real concern that I had developed a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in lung). After an EKG (regular heart rhythm but elevated heart rate) and a CT scan (and a wait for the radiologist to interpret the results), I learned that the blood vessels were fine, and I was cleared to begin chemo. By this time, however, it was almost 2 pm, and I was thankfully given the option to return tomorrow morning for treatment. I quickly accepted.
Who knew? Students and teachers and friends and family prayed this morning and throughout the day for me. The doctor seemed to think it likely there might be an embolism. Because my heart rate was elevated this morning—and it’s never been before—everything stopped so they could check it out. Several indicators seemed to suggest a serious problem. If my heart hadn’t been racing before, it certainly was then. Waiting for the results was almost as troubling to me as the question, What if this had not been discovered before the chemo began? I didn’t go down that path though.
A mere two hours after the problem was discussed with me, it was ruled out. Of course, there are and will be some changes in medication and more monitoring in this next cycle, but I am so grateful for prayers, for an attentive and wise physician and his staff, and for some wonderfully good news that came as a result of the necessary scan today, news that I would not have learned until the end of all of the treatment cycles at the end of July.
Now for the amazing news: The largest tumor on my lung has shrunk in the three weeks since the 1st treatment. The blood test taken two weeks ago showed that the C-125 cancer marker is down to 48 (!) from the first number of 585 in February and 250 at the beginning of April. The treatment appears to be working, and God is to be praised for what He has done.
Oh, I know that I am still at an early stage in this process, but after the stress of the midday hours, I loved hearing such tremendous news. I am hopeful for a regular chemotherapy #2 treatment tomorrow. I’ll be there at 8:30 am and should begin treatment by 9. After what happened today, I will be most grateful for your prayers tomorrow.