More scans (Update 2)

CT scannerAfter speaking with my oncologist, my GP called me back this evening. The onco asked for more tests: CT scans of my chest, abdomen and pelvis. The referrals were faxed to me this evening – they’re marked “urgent”. The oncologist said that after the CTs are read she may ask for a biopsy (I suppose of the finding at the sternoclavicular joint) and then they will discuss the skull mets.

So. Okay then.

I didn’t think I was having any particular problem with going for the scans; it’s a pretty routine procedure at this stage of the proceedings, after all. I went about making a nice dinner (pasta with button mushrooms in a peppery cream sauce and a tomato-fresh basil salad). I carried the plate from the kitchen out to the table and… the whole plate of food slid on to the floor. Then I noticed my hand was shaking.

This was upsetting in all kinds of ways! I hate to waste food, and I’m kind of a nut about a clean house, and I hate it when my emotions control me instead of the other way around. Harrumph. I cleaned up the floor and threw away all that perfectly good food because I washed the floor today and there was probably still detergent residue on it. I washed the floor again because I clean when I’m anxious.

What’s with this anxiety, anyway? The tests are expected and routine in my situation. The results will not change the fact that I have Stage IV breast cancer. Yet, I suppose I’m anxious about the possible outcomes, that is, that the cancer may have spread to lung or liver as well as bone, or to my ribs or pelvis. It’s still Stage IV, though; there aren’t any more stages than that. I don’t know what I’m anxious about. I just need to accept that I am and move on.

Treatment at this point is about prolonging my life. Once all the data is in, I will make a decision about that. Do I want to prolong my life with cancer treatment? How much quality of life am I willing to sacrifice to that end? There is also the issue that it is much easier to say “no thank you” and not start treatment than to say “enough” and stop it. Easier in terms of the Israeli medical establishment, and perhaps easier on the people I love and who love me.

There is also a moral issue. My life does not belong to me; it belongs to God. That raises another question. When I stand before my God, will he be disappointed in the choices I’ve made? At what point can I morally choose to prolong my life no more? If I suffer, is there redemptive value in my suffering? (Yes, there is.) Do I have the right to curtail that before time? How will I know?

Big questions, all. Too big for me right now. I go back to the psalm that I love so much, that I quoted earlier this month, this time as a goal to move towards and not as a description of a state attained.

For right now, I’ll just keep breathing and turn off the speculation machine in my head.

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13 Responses

  1. biblio says:

    I’m praying for you right now, as I have been regularly. Hang in there. I hope that you have enough fixings for so you can still enjoy a plate of that pasta and salad. *hug*

  2. belen says:

    Big questions that I cannot really contribute by answering, but as always, I want you to know I am here, reading you, and thinking of you.

  3. heyjudyjudy says:

    I know you aren’t expecting answers from your readers…and these are just my thoughts anyway, not really answers. But going from my own experience with God and decisions and hard questions I find that its the same answer again and again: Pray with all of my heart and then move forward with confidence that God will be there.

  4. Lisa says:

    I don’t know one cancer survivor who doesn’t become anxious at scans. At the hospital a few weeks ago I had a CT of my head and an x-ray of my hips after a faint where I had hit my head. In the CT machine I was thinking “They could find met’s in there, you know” and then during the x-ray I was thinking “They could find mets there too.” They weren’t even looking for cancer and I was panicked. I’m sorry about your lovely dinner and about all you are going through. This is a road home that we would not have chosen, but God will be there to guide you. I will be praying for you and the decisions that you will have to make.

  5. Maxine D says:

    What can I say from this side of the world, other than I am praying for you, and may you find comfort and Peace in God and His Word at this time.

  6. Laura says:

    In my humble opinion I don’t think God will be disappointed with your choices–whichever they happen to be. I believe that He will be proud of the life you lived and all you did in His name.

  7. Peter K Tan says:

    Tough questions, and I’m with Laura. The fact that you’re really engaging with Him is what matters.

  8. Mary LA says:

    You’re in my thoughts and prayers

  9. Sillyman says:

    I carry you with me today.

  10. Engaged? I think she’s married to Him. :^)

    I think of you all the time throughout the day, and I only know to turn it over to the Holy Spirit, over and over again. It’s at times like these that the distance that seems to be wiped out by conversations over the ‘net returns in full force. I wish I could be there to lend moral support, or even mundane support (which can actually be very helpful at times like these).

    Let us know if there’s anything that cheers you: pet rock jokes, pratfalls or, well, anything.

  11. Knot Telling says:

    I don’t even know how to respond. You are all so wonderful!

    Thank you so very, very much for walking with me.

  1. 26 July, 2012

    […] again I am faced with the problem of getting more CT scans. It is a problem because 1) the “sick fund” (the Israeli version of a health […]

  2. 6 April, 2014

    […] again I am faced with the problem of getting more CT scans. It is a problem because 1) the “sick fund” (the Israeli version of a health […]

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