Monday, October 3, 2011

It never gets easier

Thursday I was very excited to get a job offer for a corporate training position with a company in Southfield.  My joy was short lived when I later found out that Lisa's scans had come back showing "multiple new foci of MIBG uptake mainly in the skull, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, left pelvis and bilateral femurs" .  This basically translates to: the cancer has grown in most of her "bony" parts including her skull (which I was expecting because she has been complaining of headaches very frequently).

At the doctor appointment today, the decision was made to put her on the chemo drugs Cytoxan and topotecan.  These were the very first agents she ever received.  The docs are trying to hit her hard with the strongest drugs they have.  Rereading the blog entries from the first chemo, I realize that even though we've been doing this for three years, it never gets easier.  I still have all the anger, fear, queasiness, apprehension that I did that first time.  I struggle with the best way to move forward yet still stay in the moment.  I feel paralyzed with indecision and no control as "what-ifs" circle through my brain. 

Given Lisa's situation, Mike and I have discussed in detail whether or not I should take the job offer.  We've both decided that it is the wise thing to do at this time.  We are hopeful Lisa has a good response to the drugs and continues to fight for numerous years which means we cannot put our lives on hold and "wait" for the inevitable.  We must live each day to the fullest and make the most out of our lives.  While the chemo regimen Lisa will be on is very rigorous, we are hoping that things will work out and that Mike will be able to adjust his work schedule to take Lisa to daily chemo treatments every third week.  We are also hoping to find some people to help out in the weeks in-between when her counts drop and she is not feeling well enough to go to school. 

I feel a great sense of guilt not being there for her every day she is getting chemo or if she is ill, but as my mother always told me "cross that bridge when you get to it".  At this point in time, we have no idea how Lisa is going to react to the drugs this time around....she could have no side effects and be bouncing off to school like she usually does making this whole dialogue of how to juggle schedules a whole waste of time.  If she does get sick, we will deal with it and as Mike says "Allah will provide"....God will guide us and give us the resources we need. 

If Lisa's scan results weren't enough to remind me that each day, each moment is important, then the "lock down" at Maranda's high school campus certainly drove the message home.  Nothing like yelling "love you" to your kid from your bed as she leaves the house to get to the bus stop and then find out two hours later that she has been in her first class the whole time because a note was found that stated a "threat of student retaliation.”  After driving by the school, calling the school and texting various other parents and Maranda's friends, we finally got word that kids were in classrooms and being dismissed to the buses which would transport them home.  By noon, I had Maranda and two of her friends at my house.  While they were all very matter of fact about what happened and laughing about the rumours of  shark in the pool, deers in the hall, bombs, etc I was still freaking out.  Mike, trying to be helpful, gave me a statistical analogy of Maranda being 1 in 6000 kids so it was a slim chance that she'd be the one who was a victim if there was any danger.  Are you freaking kidding me?! For the past 3 years, we've been the statsitic; of course if it was going to happen to anyone she would be a good bet! was a very long, eventful day.  One that has exhausted me but not taken any of my loved ones from me.  What more could one want?  Tomorrow is another day, one that I will face with hope and vigor as I attempt to live every moment of it!  Pray, Pray, Pray!


Lynn Zott said...

Yep, it's pretty much impossible not to automatically jump to the worst-case scenario once you've "beaten the odds" in a negative way. That's just human nature. I have two nieces at P-CEP, and I was freaking out when I heard about the lockdown. Scary stuff.

I'm so, so sorry to hear about the latest scans, and am sending positive, healing, peaceful, and loving energy to you all, in the hope that Lisa's experience with the new/old chemo regimen goes as well as possible, that your new job will provide you with both material and emotional benefits, and that you will all find the resources you need to keep on keepin' on. Take care!

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