Climb Every Mountain, a song I never particularly liked, has been going through my head a lot lately. Every time I psych myself up to climb our mountainous staircase, in fact. Now I have a much bigger mountain to climb.
I woke up about 5:45 a.m. Sunday morning in excruciating pain and having trouble breathing. When neither problem resided within 45 minutes, I decided I needed to wake up David to call an ambulance. My thinking on the ambulance was that using that mode of transportation would get us moved to the “front of the line” and through the ER faster. That method worked, by the way.
They ended up admitting me, and I’ll be here again tonight. Since arriving I’ve been really loaded with pain medicine and more than a bit out of it. I had a phone conversation with David this morning and could tell he thought I was crazy for arguing with him about when the Target pharmacy would close. I kept repeating the same thing about the difference between a.m. and p.m. before finally giving up. I later said something to the nurse about the high level of steroids she was about to give me and how they would keep me up all night. That’s when she said, “It’s morning. I don’t see how they’ll keep you up all night.” We both got a good laugh when I realized my mistake. The blinds were closed and I truly thought it was 9 p.m.
Have you ever watched a movie when they’ve thrown a sane person in the “nuthouse” and given them enough medicine to make them seem insane? That’s kind of how I felt. But they were just giving me enough medicine to kill the dreadful pain I was in.
David and Mom were here with me when an excellent doctor came in last night. He spent a long time explaining everything to us. Then, he wanted to show us the scan so badly he figured out a way to use a nurse’s computer to pull it up. He went through the entire scan and explained everything. I may be forgetting some things, but basically here’s what he said is going on:
- The breathing problems are probably permanent, but they shouldn’t get any worse.
- There’s a tumor in a lymph node near a rib that has grown to the point that it has broken the rib. That explains why I’ve been complaining about pain around my midsection and an ice pick stabbing pain at one point in my back. They’re talking about radiation to shrink that tumor, which seems logical. I do, however, have to think about more radiation to a lung that’s already permanently damaged from radiation.
- All of the tumors have gotten larger.
- And now for the prize-winning announcement: The tumor in my liver has grown to the size of a softball.
As I told the doctor, this is the first time I’ve heard anything about my liver. I am very frustrated and will likely change doctors.
I know the prognosis does not sound good, but I truly feel like this is not the end for me. For at least the past six months, I’ve kept prayer cards in my Bible that I pray through every day. I just randomly placed them, but they ended up at Psalm 57. I read that verse most of every day because it’s right in front of me. It reads in part as follows (emphasis added):
Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me—
God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.
I’m clinging to that verse and to the hope that regardless of what happens with this cancer, I live eternally.
Thanks to all of you for your continued love and support. I am humbled by the outpouring of love that continually comes my way.
Taking refuge in the shadow of His wings,