I had a pulmonary stress test this afternoon, and the results showed that my lungs function well. Air flow into and from the lungs is normal. This is very good news.
I do continue to have problems with breathing and coughing, however, and those problems begin around day 8-10 after chemotherapy and get progressively worse until the next treatment day.
I’ll try to summarize below. I may be oversimplifying things or may be just plain wrong; I claim no medical expertise. What I heard today does agree with what I’ve heard from my oncologist over the past several months.
Here’s my version of what’s happening to me: At some point in time, cancer started growing in my lungs. As it did, I began having trouble with coughing and breathing. When the symptoms became too much, I started chemotherapy. After the first treatment on April 6, those symptoms decreased. After a week to 10 days, however, the coughing and breathing problems were back and even increased until time for the next treatment. With the next chemotherapy on April 26, the cycle began once more, and that cycle has continued every three weeks. Taking steroids does help reduce the swelling in my airways during the second half of the cycle, and that in turn lessens the symptoms.
Now this is what I know is true: Scans have shown that tumors are shrinking; the C-125 cancer marker number has been dramatically reduced from 585 to a normal 26. Those are encouraging facts, and because those things are true, then at some point the symptoms will decrease too. There is no new problem, just a continuation of the same issue. I have cancer, but, praise God, that cancer is melting away. I trust that in His time the symptoms of that cancer will also be reduced and even disappear.
I believe that God is doing mighty things. I refuse to be distracted by little things that seem to indicate that new problems are not being attacked by the chemo. I know that God is faithful. I rejoice in how He is working in my life. I am grateful for your prayers and will rest in His mercy and grace.
I’m ready for treatment 5 tomorrow morning. Weirdly enough, I do feel better immediately after the chemotherapy. Isn’t that something only God would include in His plan for me? Just when I find myself becoming overwhelmed, I am reminded once again that the Creator of the universe knows the plan for my life. Nothing is up to me, and that’s a definite relief.