Thursday, March 18, 2010


Today I got called in to teach at an elementary school I'd never been to before. Despite what I'd heard about the difficulties of its open plan design and about the recalcitrance of some of the students, the day went rather well.

It wasn't until I was well on my way home that I thought at all about perhaps getting the results of Monday's CAT scan today. And I don't know why, but as I was putting my key in the door and wondering if there'd be a message on the answering machine, I thought to myself, "I don't have a good feeling about this."

And immediately reflected, "Yes, but my pessimism won't make things bad if they really are good, and I would like very much to be proven wrong."

Yes, the machine was flashing and beeping. It was the nurse at the surgeon's office, who had called this morning. The CT scan results were in, and I could/should call her to discuss them.

And, she said, there were a couple of things they needed me to do before the 25th.

One was to go to the local hospital where I had the scan and pick up the films. I'm to bring them with me when I come for my surgery. So (unless the envelope is sealed) I guess I could take a look at them myself after all.

As for the second thing, she said, "We also need you to get an ultrasound done, of your liver, prior to the surgery."

I sat there, still in my coat, on the arm of the sofa next to the phone table. My liver. Liver cancer. She's telling me the tumor on my ovary actually is malignant and it's already spread to my liver. Stage IV.

And again I have to face my own mortality. I've relaxed a bit from a month ago when my gynecologist gave me the word about the ovarian mass. I wasn't prepared for this, at this point. Maybe later, later, later, when I'd fought the good fight for awhile and was getting tired of it all. But now? Frankly, I was and am rather scared.

Feeling that way, I know it's time to rally the prayer troops. That's what kept me out of anger and despondency a month ago; that's what's going to do it now.

So although I'd planned to spend the evening patching my upstairs hall floor and working on my sermon for Sunday (I'm subbing for a very ill pastor over in Ohio), I used most of it letting people know my latest need. Facebook, email, phone (that call was to my mother), and yes, don't laugh! the community blog frequented by regular commenters on i can haz cheezburger.

And looking at online information about liver cancer. Oh, joy. Another of the types with only subtle symptoms, most of which I don't have. But now I'm wondering if the feeling of pressure I've had on the right side of my abdomen and just under my ribs is my liver being enlarged, and not referred pain from the ovarian tumor at all. Absurd, how I didn't feel it at all lately until after I got that phone message, and now I do with a vengeance.

I'd still like to write a page or two of sermon before I turn in. But I can't stay up too late-- they've scheduled that ultrasound for me at 8:45 tomorrow morning, at a hospital a few miles down the road towards Pittsburgh. Nothing by mouth after midnight. Right. I'm getting good at this.

I'll try to put in a call to my surgeon's office and talk to the nurse about the CT scan results before I leave for the ultrasound. Better I should know going in what it is they want from this new test and face it squarely, in the power of the Lord.

(Heaven knows I have none of my own.)

1 comment:

whiskers said...

I've still got my fingers crossed for you. Let us know how it goes, okay?