Thursday, June 25, 2009

Twilight



From a photographically technical point of view, this picture is all wrong. My wonderful husband game me a good camera for Christmas last year. I love the camera but I see why people say it is a huge jump from a point and shoot to a DSLR. Lighting, white balance, aperture and f-stops - I haven't really figured all of that out yet.

So many of my pictures are just slightly "off". That pretty well describes how I've felt the majority of this month - just slightly "off". I went for chemo last week and again my numbers were just fine. The only specific item of concern that I mentioned to my PA was that my vision had been blurred for the last several days. It has since cleared and returned to normal. She ordered an MRI even though I had just had one at the end of February.

When you have an MRI on Tuesday and your doctor's office calls you on Wednesday saying they want to see you, you don't have to be a genius to know it's not good. And it wasn't. I have a small brain tumor with associated swelling. This morning at my oncologist's office Howard and I learned a few things we did not know previously. We both were unaware that chemo does not protect against invasion of the CNS. This why you see mets to the brain and spine. It unfortunately seeks refuge in a "safe" spot where it can live and grow without threat from the power of chemo. That is what happening to me at this point. The up side is that the chemo is obviously very effective at holding the cancer at a bay. The down side is that the cancer has found a spot in which to reside. My oncologist was able to arrange for me to go over to the radiation oncologist's office within an hour of my appointment with her this morning.

The tumor is midline in my brain stem. I did see it on the MRI which my oncologist was good enough to blow up for me so that I could see it. The bad news is that is obviously inoperable. Actually, it couldn't possibly be in a worse area. The brain stem as most of you know, is vital. The good news is that we now have gamma knives.

I started looking on the internet for information about the procedure. The concept is fascinating. In a nutshell it uses gamma rays to blast the tumor rather than a knife to remove it. I've included a link http://gammaknife.org/ and click on the left where it says "Click for Video" for an informative video of the procedure. I was surprised at how long the technology has actually been around. It has only been in our area though for a few years. Again, a timing blessing.

Speaking of blessings, I find it remarkable that my vision less than 2 weeks ago was blurred to the point that an MRI was ordered and now my vision is fine. Thank you again Lord. In fact, my radiation oncologist said that there is no way that it would have produced the blurred vision. I am 100% asymptotic in both my estimation and as evidenced by neurological exam. That this MRI was ordered when it was is a nothing short of miracle.

I can't help but know in my heart that There are considerable risks associated with the procedure but I have to do something about it. It cannot be allowed to continue to grow. Despite the ugly and dire warnings I feel confident that if God blurred my vision such that it was to the point I told my PA and she ordered the MRI (otherwise, it would not have been found till it had time to do considerable damage) then He has not brought me this far without purpose. If He arranged for it to be found now, He wants it treated. If He wants it treated, then He will continue with His provisions through that treatment.

It will be next Wednesday before my radiation oncologist can present my case to the Gamma Knife Committee. I will not know till after that if they will do this procedure on me. Of all the silly things, there is one major hurdle here. I have a deadly allergy to ALL caine medications (Lidocaine, Novocaine, Xylocaine, etc). I cannot have it in any way shape form or fashion. Attaching the frame to my head involves screwing it into my skull. This is not something that I would be able to tolerate without anything. I have asked my radiation oncologist to simply put me to sleep with a general anesthesia for this and to just wake me up to do the test. This will involve Xanax and some pretty heavy duty pain meds.

They may not consider me a candidate though because of this. If we cannot do that, then we will have to go with whole head radiation which is a very distant second runner. If treatment is dragged our is wil interrupt my chemo schedule. My oncologist is more concerned about keeping the rest of the cancer in check during the treatment period for the brain tumor. She has also put me on steroids to reduce the swelling. Oh my, not at all what I wanted. I can look for even more weight gain from them. And I never sleep well when I have had to have the steroids in my chemo infusion.

Specific prayer requests are that I will be accepted into the Gamma Knife Clinic, and that treatment does not drag out and interrupt my chemo. My former pastor called me almost immediately yesterday afternoon. His words of comfort and reassurance as always, "Be still and know that I am God". We serve a very big God and if only we are still and allow Him to be God, He will be the one we need. One of my favorite verses is:

You shall be My people, And I will be your God.
Jeremiah 30:22

On second thought perhaps my picture of twilight isn't so off after all. The light is what catches your eye and invites you to come into the picture more fully. My light in this time of twilight is the light of God as once again He graciously takes my hand and whispers that He is my God and I am His. Together we will walk this road at twilight.

14 comments:

Barbara A. said...

Oh Cindy - my prayers are with you and your family. I know the Lord will be by your side, and guide and direct you to the right path of treatment.
God Bless,
Barbara in CT (LCC)

Teresa said...

Cindy, your courage and faith are an inspiration. Yes, the Lord knows all you need. He is with you through all of this. Be not afraid.

Peace,
Teresa

petersonclan said...

Praying, dear friend. May God sustain you in your hour of need.

Anonymous said...

Cindy,

I am praying for you!

Dear Father, Please glorify yourself in Cindy's illness. We ask that you would go before her and clear her way into the gamma knife clinic. Dear Savior, we lift Cindy and her whole family before you. Please give them strength and health and joy in this trial.

In Christ's name,
Melanie
http://www.carepages.com/carepages/katiesheart

Mom Of Many said...

Oh my precious friend,
I feel sick to my stomach. I cannot imagine. I am sooooo very, very, very, very sorry. I wonder how you would feel about a day of prayer and fasting for your healing?? Please let me know. I am sure that friends would join in...I would post it on my blog with plenty of notice....let me know.

My heart is so heavy......please know I will be praying and interceding on your behalf.

Much love from Colorado, Linny xo

Shea said...

I am praying for you. I am in awe of your faith. It is very comforting and a reminder that I need to trust the lord more. I am thankful for finding your blog and thankful to see someone who loves the lord so much. God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cindy,
Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family and your doctors. May all the right decisions be made. I'm glad you are asymptomatic from the brain tumor and I hope the least invasive treatment can be done. God Bless all of you. Love, Jackie and Dean Wilkerson

EbethW said...

I'm here.

Love
Ebeth

Amanda said...

BIG prayers for you and those Doctors who will be conferring about the "gamma knife"! I love your example of faith and joy!! You are my hero:) I know GOD will continue to bless you as you touch so many lives!

Blessings,
Amanda

Bo and Becky said...

Cindy, I am praying for you. My cousin had the gamma knife treatment almost 20 years ago. His treatment was successful. Praying you are accepted by the committee for treatment and that your's will be successful as well.

Love,
Becky (BB from CAFT)

Anonymous said...

Cindy,

Thank you for the updates. Steve, Stefani and I are praying for you and your precious family. Please keep me in mind while Julianna is away to help out with the kids during appointments, etc. Just let me know what I can do for you and Howard.

Love,
Laura Ellingsworth

Laurie said...

Cindy,

Hoping & praying that the Gamma Knife Committee will allow you to have this procedure. Your strength in character & faith are inspiring & I wish you the very best.

Anonymous said...

Oh Cindy,

My prayers are with you daily and you are truly my hero in all that you have continued to battle with!

Jewell Seprodi

Linda up north said...

Dearest Cindy,
I will be lifting you up in prayer. May God give wisdom to the physicians and strength to you and your family. May His healing hand be upon you, even as His Spirit gives you Peace.
With love in Christ
Linda up north

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