I truly don't know how people navigate through a health crisis without a medical person in their family. From the moment a clinic in Minnesota found a spot on my chest x-ray, I was on the phone with my brother, who is a physician. Every single day of the past 5 weeks, he has been our advisor, our medical sounding board, our consultant who consults other specialists that are colleagues of his. He has spoken to my oncologist, he has talked us through confusion, and he has done it all as a brother who wishes he was not having to do any of it, because he sees his sister facing the biggest challenge of her life. There is absolutely NO WAY I could ever return to him everything he has done for me. I can only hope he needs me some day, and that I can be his rock.
A talk with Mike last night gave me clarity and resolve about what I need to do......and that is, to have a 2nd bronchoscopy (it is such a nasty procedure) to try to get enough tissue from the lung tumor to test for the mutations. Two biopsies have already failed to yield what was needed. I made sure I told my doctor that I wanted A PRECISE QUANTITY needed from the laboratory so the pulmonologist knows exactly how much he needs. I WILL NOT do this a 3rd time. If I do not do this, and they start me on traditional chemo, I would always wonder if I would have been eligible to take the newer drugs. And so.....Friday morning I do it all over again, after my radiation appointment.
This is my 9th procedure/scan/MRI/biopsy.....and I hate medical procedures to begin with. At moments I look back and am awed by the fact that I have gotten through them all. God's strength works in our weaknesses, and this is a weak area for me.
And now, a pause for thanks.
Kelly and Susan J stopped and gave me big hugs......I miss seeing them at work! Susan B, my lifelong soul-sister, loves me more than I deserve to be loved. Her body is in Georgia, but her heart is up here with me, and I am so grateful for her "vigilance" over me the past few weeks.
My friend Karol has been so faithful in calling and visiting. We are ND born and bred gals who happen to have lives in SD, but whose hearts are each planted by the shores of two different Minnesota lakes.....that binds us! Her listening ear, and suggestions, faith and empathy have made me feel so cared for. My friend Jill, with whom I have walked some challenging paths over the past 13 years......what can I say? She has been at my doorstep every step of this journey, with food, hugs, tears, flowers, love and laughter. Together we survived the teenage years with S and K, and together we will walk this cancer journey of mine. She is a constant.
Friends Cindy and Larry came one night and shared their own journey of pain and suffering and praying for healing. When someone else has walked the path ahead of you, you find yourself holding onto their every word. And their words of encouragement and faith bolstered us in such a huge way. We love their transparency and their support right now.
My prayer request probably goes without saying: That the bronch on Friday would produce adequate tissue for testing. That I deeply want the test to show I HAVE this mutation is a whole other request I will put out there in days to come. One step at a time. For now, please pray that this biopsy is successful. Thanks so much for all your prayers.