Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Waiting Game

~ Psalm 84  How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts!  My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.  The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young.  Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and My God.  How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!  They are ever praising You.  Selah.  How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion!  Passing through the valley of Bacca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings.  They go from strength to strength, Everyone of them appears before God in Zion.  O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob!  Selah.  Behold our shield, O God, And look upon the face of Your anointed.  For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.  I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.  For the LORD God is a sun and a shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  O LORD of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

When we couldn't wait any longer we finally broke down and called the Dr.'s office.  That kind of makes it sound like we waited a really long time, but honestly, we only held out until about 1:30.  If I had know how little information they had for us, I would have kept waiting.

Basically, all the Dr.'s assistant had for us was that the Tumor Board decided that surgery would be Mom's best option.  When I asked if that meant a mastectomy, the nurse said that he would talk with us about that at her next appointment.  Dr. Schuss will be out of town all next week and so her next appointment isn't until the 11th of October.  The nurse said that he doesn't want to see her sooner because he wants to give the red spot over the tumor time to fade or get worse.  She did say that they would most likely schedule her surgery for that same week.  After we hung up the phone and were all talking we got confused, because if they are doing her surgery for sure that week, they must not be going to attempt to use Chemo to shrink it first.  But if that's the case, why wouldn't they just tell us that over the phone?  Good grief, getting info out of a Dr is like squeezing blood from a turnip!  Who knows if they will have other options for us that Monday.

The red spot has not really changed much over the last few days, but we are still trusting and praying.  We are all trying not to be frustrated by the slow trickle of information.  I guess we all thought it would be pretty cut and dried and things would start happening right away.  None of us, (Shan, my mom or myself) have much in the way of patience it seems.

On a brighter note, we decided to drown our sorrows at 5 Guys Burgers & Fries after our uninformative phone call.  Shan and I had never been, so this was a brand new experience for us.  Scott was able to meet us and we laughed and ate and had a grand ol' time just being us.  Afterward, Shan tried to get us all to pose for a few pictures, and it proved to be an hilarious attempt.

I will leave you with a couple so that you too can join our crazy family for a few minutes.

Standing on the promises of God,

Monday, September 27, 2010

An Unwelcome Diagnosis

~ Trust in the LORD forever, for in God the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock. Isaiah 26:4

Last Friday, my mom was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma.  She noticed a lump in her left breast in June and had a core biopsy last Tuesday.  We have very little information at this point.  We met with her surgeon, Dr. Schuss, today and he decided to take her case to the Tumor Board that will be meeting tomorrow.  He will call us on Wednesday with more information.  What we do know is that her Bloom-Richardson Score is a 4-5, which means it is a less aggressive and slow growing cancer--this is a good thing.  Today, her surgeon said that her lump was somewhere around 7 cm large.  This means that a mastectomy is probable if she chooses not to do chemotherapy in an attempt to shrink the tumor.  There is a chance they will want to do more tests such as a PET scan and a Sentinel Node Biopsy.  If surgery is scheduled, it will not be until Oct 11th at the earliest. 

There is a red patch over the mass that we thought was an allergic reaction to the numbing agent used during her biopsy.  It appeared the day after her biopsy and was incredibly itchy.  The itching has since stopped, but the redness remains.  Dr. Schuss seems slightly concerned that this redness is not an allergic reaction, but a sign that the cancer may have spread to the skin.  He wants to wait before doing a biopsy on the skin in hopes that the redness will fade over the next few days indicating that it is indeed just a bad reaction.

My sister, Shannon, flew in on Saturday evening so that she could be here for today's appointment and will fly back home on Thursday.  She will return in time for my mom's surgery.

As we begin this journey, we covet your prayers, dear friends.  Please pray for peace and comfort for my mom.  At this point she has a wonderful attitude and is fully resting in the sovereignty of our Lord Jesus.  She said to me the day she was diagnosed, "God's plans are good plans, so we will not worry.  I will trust in the Lord, because trusting in Him is the safest place I can be."  Also, pray that the redness will fade and that it is only a reaction.  Pray for the decisions that need to be made by my mom, the surgeon and the Tumor Board.  Pray for the Dr. that will become her Oncologist.  Pray that I am able to minister to my mom in the days, weeks, and months ahead.  Pray that our family that lives in Washington and cannot come to be with mom will not be anxious, but also rest in the Lord's arms.  There are quite a few grandchildren (both grown and quite young) who are rather upset that this is happening to a much beloved "Gramma", please pray for them as well.

I will do my best to post here after each Dr. visit or every few days with whatever information we are given and keep you all updated on how mom is feeling. This way you can stay current and we won't be fielding as many phone calls.  Please feel free to comment as often as you'd like with words of encouragement and prayers, I will make sure that your notes are forwarded to my mom.

Standing on the promises of God,