Thursday, May 5, 2011

His Schedule...

I haven't posted anything new in a little over a month for several reasons. First, nothing really "earth-shattering" has happened around here. After I learned I had cancer, I made the decision to use the blog as a way to update my friends and family about my recovery...but I also decided not to post about absolutely everything. Mostly because who really needs to know that I watched three consecutive hours of Law & Order, while eating a toasted blueberry bagel with plain cream cheese? And, yes. Yes I did. And it was wonderful. But who wants to read about that?

My life has been pretty boring the past few weeks, when it comes to my health. I'm getting stronger everyday.  My physical activity from mid-December through March was very limited but now that I'm feeling better I'm trying to challenge myself and get back into shape. The physical therapist gave me a lot of really good exercises to do at home to gain strength back in my left leg and the infectious disease doctor (doesn't that sound like a delightful profession?) cleared me to be able to swim again last week. My mom loves water aerobics so I'll go with her in the evenings and swim laps.

On a happier note, unrelated to exercise, I had a birthday since I posted last time. :) Brad and I saw Young Frankenstein the Musical in Sacramento in the afternoon and then went out to dinner at my absolute favorite barbecue place with my parents that evening. When we got back to the house, my mom served my favorite cake (strawberry cake with rainbow chip frosting) while I opened my cards and gifts. I have never received so many birthday cards in all of my twenty-three years. In fact, I counted...wait for it...drum roll please...46! At the end of the night I had a pile of cards, a plateful of cake and a bellyful of barbecue...what more could I ask for?!

I thought that by May I would be writing about our July wedding wedding plans coming together. Instead, Brad and I had to make the decision to postpone the wedding. We would have come to the conclusion on our own, considering my health situation and Brad's unemployment, but we were strongly encouraged to decide sooner rather than later. So just to review for any the past year I have had two major brain surgeries, been diagnosed with brain cancer, got a staph infection, shared a hospital room with an elderly woman with no control of her bowels (on two separate occasions), shaved my head a total of three times, put my entire apartment in storage and moved back in with my parents while taking classes online, and oh yeah...I also had to make the decision that our beautiful summer wedding followed by a week in Maui would have to wait. I decided that if the wedding had to wait, then the blog did too...In other words, I wasn't in the mood to write about my life because it would require me to think about my life...

God's theme for 2011 seems to be "Your Plans Aren't My Plans" maybe, the "Throw Your Calendar out the Window 'Cause You're on My Schedule Now" year. He wants me to sacrifice my plans and let Him take control. Some days I hand my calendar over without an argument and other days we play tug of war. Needless to say, I put up a pretty big fight over the wedding...

After the staph infection, I began an antibiotics regimen that would last until the end of June. When I saw the infectious disease doctor a week ago, he recommended a minimum of six months on the antibiotics to be sure the infection was gone. He didn't think that the low dose would delay my cancer treatment any further.

I saw the neuro-oncologist yesterday and after looking at my latest MRI (or as I like to call them, my new headshots) she thinks my best treatment option is chemo. I'll take chemo pills for five consecutive days per month for a year, with MRIs every two months and regular bloodwork. She thinks that radiation has too many cognitive risks because of the location of the cancer and she would rather start out small and have the option of radiation down the line if need be.

The doctor warned me that chemo is systemic, meaning that it will affect other parts of my body, including my fertility but I quickly reminded her,"I've got eggs on ice!"... The doctor said that I may feel nauseas and very tired during the five days of treatment but my body will be able to rest and somewhat recover during the days in between. I meet with the radiation oncologist next week to confirm that chemotherapy is my best option.

I also start rehearsals for the last concert of the school year with the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the college choir next week. Singing in such a large ensemble is an intense and emotional experience no matter what the literature choice but the opportunity to sing Mendelssohn's Elijah is one that I do not want to pass up. I won't be starting chemo for another few weeks so I will most likely be able to participate in graduation as well. My last final is May 26th and the graduation ceremony is the next day. I have one more class to complete next semester and I will officially be done with my BA! When I started college I never thought it would take me longer than four years but it will end up being a total of five and a half. The phrase "In God's time" takes on a whole new meaning...

I'm praying for patience and as the pastor said last Sunday that I would "see a fresh new glimpse of the greatness of God." I have had a few "spiritual mountaintop" experiences in my life, where I felt surrounded by God's love and infinite power (usually on hikes or during worship services) but mountaintop experiences are just refreshers. Peter wanted to build a shelter and just stay up there but God told Him to remember what He had seen and share it with others. (Mark 9:2-13) Our peaks are just little glimpses at the God that we serve, to humble us and to remind us our lives are His to mold. The challenge the pastor gave was to remember our mountaintop experiences and maintain the change they made in us. Remember who God is on a daily basis and also what He did for us.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear that you had to make the decision to postpone the wedding, but I know that you, Brad, and your family will choose the course of action that is best for you. I'm so proud of your ability to trust in God, even when it's so difficult. We all love you so much and are praying for you!