Hurry Up… and Wait

This morning I saw an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. After I thoroughly embarrassed myself and fell apart in his office, I cried pretty much for the rest of the day. Overwhelmed is an understatement. Confused. Fearful. Frustrated. These all come into play.

Basically I learned that it takes new doctors a very, very long time to figure out just what I’ve been through, and then they still don’t get it. And when that doctor has a touch (just a touch) of arrogance and thinks they know it all when they don’t really have an inkling of what I’ve been through… well, then it just makes it worse.

After explaining to him all my cancers and how I spent a summer going over the mountain to a geneticist and how they determined my cancers aren’t genetic thankfully, he shrugged and said, “All cancers are genetic.” Aaaaand he lost me right there, so I had to work really hard to listen to him and not just shut down which is what I wanted to do… what I’d just love to do today. Shut down. No thinking. No figuring out what to do, where to go, etc. Just. stop. the. world. for a moment so I can catch my breath and some shred of sanity!

However, he did have encouraging things to say. The enlarged lymph node is just there, fighting something and doing it’s job. Not to worry about that one. He does think there is some impact from my thyroid treatment on my salivary gland on that side, but nothing he should have to do surgery on. Just something to watch.

He can’t feel the node the radiologist recommended the biopsy on and when he read the report, he said, “Oh, sweetie, it’s 8mm. Do you know how small that is?” Well, yes, yes I do. The radiologist told me it was small. He also said there is some calcification in it and metastatic cervical nodes from cancer of the thyroid tend to show calcification. “Well,” he continued, “It’s really small. AND it’s right between your carotid artery and your jugular vein. The risk of something happening there is greater than your risk of it being cancer.”

He recommends waiting. Another ultrasound in 3 months. If it hasn’t changed or grown, then wait another 3 months… and so on and so forth. Because thyroid cancer is so slow growing, 3 months won’t hurt me. He is contacting my oncologist. She will call me to discuss and we will go from there.

It was at that point when I fell apart, because I just. don’t. know. what. to. do. And I’m tired of making decisions and being poked and prodded and wondering and waiting and having no clear answers.

So.

Here we are.

Hurry up and wait.

Y’all. I am exhausted. Utterly and completely exhausted.

And to top it off, my Ash had exams all week and is in the final stages of his science project (and y’all, I am convinced that there cannot be good in a world where there are science projects), so our home is in high stress mode right now.

Despite my desire to shut down, I didn’t. I did the things that I am called to do–care for the ones I love–and I went to my warm and happy place: the laundry. I love the freshness, the smell of clean, the piles of neatly folded memories. That’s what they are. Some may see a shirt or a skirt or a pair of pants, but I see memories. As I fold a pair of pants, I think about that boy sliding in the gym, or that girl dancing in the kitchen, and I thank God for them and I pray for them, and I find solace in socks and sweaters and dresses and jeans.

While I was folding and praying, I realized this is all new to me. Not the laundry… not the waiting… not the scans. We have always been in a place where they found cancer, treated it or cut it out, scanned me and then said, “You’re clear.” I’ve never had to live for months wondering if it’s there. Will it come back? That was a questions I was always facing. Am I carrying cancer around with me all the time? Asked upon occasion but for all intents and purposes, I was clear. Cancer free.

Am I cancer free right now? I don’t know. All I know is there are things “of concern” inside me, and we will just sit and watch and wait and wonder what it is.

This is new.

And not easy.

And I am exhausted in every sense of the word.

So.

Here we are.

Hurry up.

And wait.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path:
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.
(~One of my favorite hymns. By Samuel Rodigast)

(Thank y’all for praying and encouraging and holding us up to the One Who knows. I am blessed. I am loved. Of that I have no doubt. The children still don’t know, although I’m sure they sense the stress. Please pray for their hearts.)

5 responses to “Hurry Up… and Wait”

  1. Words don’t seem adequate. Just know my heart and prayers are speaking what my fingers can’t seem to put into place on a screen. Love You So Dear Friend!!! And praying. Of course… always, loving and praying!!!!…

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  2. Please know of my prayers for you, my dear friend over the mountains. Love and hugs along with those prayers!

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  3. I am asking God for Peace for you right now. A peace that passeth understanding. You don’t have to think or decide in this moment, nor do you need to “be” anywhere but right where you are. Breathe deep, trust, rest. He’s got you, Angie. He’s got this. I know you know, but its good to hear, yes?

    We go every three months for Jeff. His tumor is not operable because of its location. Surgery would cause paralysis on one side of his body, or death. They cannot classify his tumor as benign or malignant because it has a “mind of its own.” It has had dormant periods and periods of growth. Fortunately, the first year of chemo stopped that growth. These type brain tumors will typically behave like his has been and then one day, for unknown reasons, grow rampantly. That’s what we watch for. Hoping we can catch it and throw everything we have at it. It will always be there, like a bomb. Some days we don’t notice the ticking. But when his appts are coming up, it ticks rather loudly. Or when we hear a story, or read an article…especially when we experience the wonders of raising our babes. Something beautiful occurs, everyday beauty that strikes us, and we share a glance and we both know we are thinking “Will Jeff get to be with us for all of this glorious growing up?”

    I share, not selfishly or comparatively, but just to say, I hear you, and understand, even if just a little bit of the chaos of what you call “hurry up and wait.” It is a wearisome burden and right now you are worn out. My heart aches for that weariness in you. I am praying. I know others are too. And I know God is with you.

    Breathe. Speak what you need. Be kind to yourself. Rest in any way you can. Know you are loved.

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  4. My precious one,

    We know that all things work together for good for those who love God and for those who are called according to His purpose and those who are predestined to be more like His Son. What a calling. May God give us the strength to keep our minds stayed on Him where there is perfect peace. I walk with you in this journey of faith looking unto Him the author and perfector of our faith. Thanks be to God that we are in His strong right hand and nothing will separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ. I stand with you and am praying.

    I Love you dearly,
    Judie

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  5. I’m reading your feelings and praying for you. Your words have encouraged me. This past fall, I had my thyroid surgery and cancer diagnosis. Bouncing between different doctors with different opinions has been tough for me. Thank you for sharing your raw emotions as you wait.
    -Laura

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