Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tomorrow. Tomorrow. I love ya?!?! Now, when exactly will you get here?!?!?!

We return to Vanderbilt for the post-surgery follow-up appointment tomorrow. Appointments are scheduled with both the surgical oncologist and the medical oncologist. I am nervous but hopeful. We are expecting to find out whether there is surgery planned in order to check more of the lymph nodes (an axillary dissection) and also whether the plans for radiation remain or if they are off of the table since there was no indication of cancer in the chest tissue which means none in the chest wall.

Based on what I have been reading, I feel like there is a possibility that I could skip the surgery and possibly receive radiation that would potentially take care of any cancer that might exist in the lymph nodes (and wouldn't the chemo do the same?). I am CERTAINLY not an expert and probably don't quite understand all of what it is I am reading, so I don't want to put all of my eggs in that basket.

I believe that we will also find out what the course of the planned chemotherapy treatment is but I doubt it will change from what I was told back on April 4th. The number of treatments might increase since there is lymph node involvement, but I am not sure. We will also discuss with her the possibility of being referred for chemo in Knoxville instead of making the drive to Nashville/Vanderbilt for each treatment. I still have reservations about that because it is the chemo doctor who really "sold" me on Vanderbilt. While I liked the other two doctors, it was this particular person who seemed to "get me" and she understood my questions about how this would impact my young children since she, too, has little ones.

Maybe that is the connection? She is a mother of young children as well, so I feel like she knows that I NEED for her treatments to kick this breast cancer to the curb. It's not that other doctors wouldn't try just as hard, but maybe, just maybe, she will try a little harder to be sure that we do exactly what I need in order to become cancer-free and never have it return? I don't know. I really wish I could get the chemo in Nashville, but that seems unlikely and like a logistical nightmare.

I don't know how to "know" when I am making the right choice. And lately, most of these choices leave me feeling like the family takes the back seat while I deal with the cancer. And that just plain sucks. It isn't fair to them. It isn't fair to our future to think of how this stupid cancer thing could really mess things up across the board. My kids are young, and hopefully very resilient, because I don't want this to screw them up. And it puts our marriage somewhere even farther away than the back seat. I mean it isn't even in the driveway. We're talking maybe around the corner in the driveway over there, but certainly not something we can really pay much attention to at the moment. We just have to hit "auto-pilot" on most things and hang on hoping (and praying) that we will come to the end of this ordeal stronger as a family because it would suck to have cancer take anything else away.

Once again, I'm left waiting, wondering and feeling completely out of control. This is so unsettling and frustrating. I'm a planner. I like advanced notice of any changes. And all of this has me wondering how we will manage things, financially, emotionally, spiritually. Honestly, I feel like I'm having a spiritual crisis. I want to feel closer to God because I know in my soul that He is the one who will walk through this with me every step of the way, even when I feel completely alone. And yet there are times (most of the time lately) when I feel like I'm so caught up in all of this that I can't even think about praying (or just being still and waiting to hear Him) to help it all make sense.

Today, my sister gave me a card with a copy of a devotional she read many years ago. It referred to the following scriptures and I wanted to share them because they definitely came at a time when I needed to be reminded that He will give me all that I need....when I need it and that I need to trust in Him for everything:

Exodus 16:1-5

New International Version (NIV)

Manna and Quail

16 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt!There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

Lamentations 3:22-24

New International Version (NIV)

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

Matthew 6:33-34

New International Version (NIV)

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


  1. Kim, you are awesome. All the other stuff (your kids, your husband, your marriage, your faith, the chores, the finanaces...etc.) will be fine while you survive this. You need to stay strong for you right now. Give to yourself as much as you can and give to everyone else what you have left to give. It's OK to be selfish sometimes and fighting for your life is definitely more important than anything else right now. I am sure they understand and would fight this battle for you, if they could. Sandi's scriptures were pretty right on, keep the faith..He doesn't bring us to anything he doesn't help us get through. I love you and I'm praying for you. Just keep fighting like the girl you are!

    Teri Miller

  2. Your friend Teri is right! Everything else will fall into place and be okay. Remember, even in your darkest times, God knows what's on your heart <3