Monday, December 22, 2008

Turning Points

In the course of a story, there are several pivotal moments, times when the h/h must make tough choices and because of their choice, the story turns in a different direction.

I'm facing a personal pivotal moment, but it's not one where I have any choice. Today, I'm going back to my surgeon to learn whether cancer has spread to my lymph system. If the nodes are clear, I'll be declared cancer-free and the best Christmas of my life begins in earnest! If the lymph nodes show the cancer has spread, I'll be referred to an oncologist to discuss further treatment.

I think it's the feeling of helplessness that irritates me most. I'm presented with two doors, but the choice of which one I walk through is not up to me. It's already been decided by a nameless techie somewhere who prepared my biopsy material and checked for abnormal cells. I have no control.

Yet, there is one thing I can control through all this. My attitude. I can trust God. I can keep my sense of humor. I can choose to live each day with joy. I can love my family and think of others instead of myself.

Maybe I have more choices than I thought.

Finding Door Number Three

12:39 pm. Rejoice with me! My lymph nodes are clear! 22 negatives out of 22! I feel as though my life has been handed back to me. I get to worry about retirement again!

And yet, there is a another shoe to drop. Ordinarily, I'd be pronounced cured at this point. But because of the size of my tumor (5 centimeters) and my age ("You're so young," my good-looking surgeon kept saying--see why I like this guy?) he's recommending I see an oncologist and consider having chemotherapy "just in case."

So the saga continues . . .

But I'm thrilled with my good news and I'm so thankful. God is good. And as Thornton Wilder said in his play OUR TOWN, "Oh, life! You're too wonderful for anyone to realize you."


Nancy J. Parra said...

I'm so glad your results are clear. Keep us posted on what happens next.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Bless your heart, Emily. I am so happy to hear your good news. I also had the cancer scare and am cancer free now. It is a thankful feeling you have for the rest of your life. Glad to know we will have a lot more of your books to read in the future. Life is good!

Shonell Bacon said...

WOW- Thank God. I am so happy to hear about your positive results. That is a blessing AND a half.

Linda said...

Bless you and all you are going through!

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks so much! I'm grateful to God, my dear family, my surgeon, and all those who prayed for me.

This has definitely been a trying time, but now the relief is all the sweeter. Even if I do elect to go ahead with the chemo, I'll go into it with the idea that it's an insurance policy, not a cure.

Merry Christmas!

Colleen Thompson said...

I'm thrilled the news is positive! Thanks for keeping us posted. Let us know what you decided, and I'm sending you a big hug.

Enjoy the holidays.

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks, Colleen. I've been inundated with advice about the pros and cons of chemo. I know from watching my mom go through it that it's a long, dark tunnel. But since she's been cancer free since 1999, it might be worth the trip.

But every case is different. I've decided not to think about it until after I discuss it with the oncologist on Jan 7th. Right now, I'm just ready to celebrate life with gratitude.