Saturday, November 7, 2009


You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains

You raise me up to walk on stormy seas

I am strong when I am on your shoulders

You raise me up to more than I can be

“You raise me up” by: Selah

I was long due for good news and it finally came on 9/10/09. I had a CT scan the previous day, and in the morning I woke up to a call from Dr. Scotty. I held my breath when my caller ID showed “MC” and did not exhale until Dr. Scotty said the words “so good news” pheeeeeeeew! Finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had spent the months of July-September in and out of the hospital. The salvage chemotherapy that I was now receiving was much stronger than the previous chemotherapy I had received; it was also delivered over a course of 4-5 consecutive days rather than in just one day as before. Plus, I lived 30-40 minutes away from MC and hated more than anything to be in a car post-chemo sessions because it would cause me to get carsick and thus more nauseous. So, for all those reasons I chose to receive my salvage chemotherapies as inpatient. My stay in the hospital to receive the chemo got shorter though with each one as the pancreatitis was put under control with the tumor shrinkage. At first, I was given this regiment of chemo in July called R-ESHAP, but nine days after my discharge I was hospitalized again for a pancreatitis recurrence. A CT scan at the time showed that the kidneys and lung tumors had shrunk some but not the pancreas tumor. Yeah I figured since I was lying in a hospital bed with abdominal pain again. Because of that, the doctors decided to switch my chemo regiment to another called R-ICE; they were quickly realizing that I did not want to finish this fun experience without getting a taste of all the chemotherapy regiments available out there-give me more, give me more! We had better luck with R-ICE it seemed. I was discharged from the hospital a week later and 2 ½ weeks had passed without incident. On my follow-up appointment with Dr. Scotty he had scheduled my CT scan and told me he would call me with the results as soon as he found out; he also instructed me that I should relax some and not think too much about it-pssshtt yea as if that was possible.

On 9/9/09 I went in for another CT scan and waited anxiously for the call. I was still in bed the next morning when my cell phone rang and I heard Dr. Scotty’s voice on the other line. He informed me that ALL the tumors have shrunk further this time, and the pancreas one was almost gone. This meant that I was chemo-sensitive to this regiment which was really good news. Dr. Scotty finished telling me about the plan- that we will continue with R-ICE treatment and try to shrink the tumors as much as possible before the stem cell transplant. Then he said to me:

“You don’t sound too happy”

I guess I forgot to show some excitement in my voice. I told him that I was happy and thanked him for calling me so quick. The truth is that I was thankful for this little light in the midst of all the darkness lately, but I still could not get myself too excited about the news. If I learned anything from this experience, it is to always be on the lookout for the worst; I did not want to set myself up for disappointment in case things went south again. So I made myself be thankful and happy about the news but very cautiously…

In Him was life,

and the life was the Light of men.

The Light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1:4-5