Quote for October

A Prayer for the Ephesians Eph. 3:14-21

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Update 9/26/09

I have good news!

I saw my oncologist on Tuesday. My Chromogranin A is down to 27 again! I guess it just went up because of the testing I went through. So it's gone back down to normal for the third time in 5 months.

On the way to Orange County I was singing along with one of my favorite CDs for comfort. I was imagining myself going through another procedure with the music to calm me. On the way home I was singing on my way rejoicing!

Jesus my all to Heaven has gone! Glory Hallelujah!
He whom I fix my hopes upon, Glory Hallelujah!

I want a seat in Paradise! Glory Hallelujah!
I love that union never dies, Glory Halleljah!...

I know that my Redeemer lives! Glory Hallelujah!
What comfort that sweet sentence gives, Glory Hallelujah!

Shout on, pray on, we're gaining ground, Glory Hallelujah!
The dead's alive and lost is found, Glory Hallelujah!

I love that song! It's from Celtic Joy, A Celebration of Christmas by A.M.E.N.
They sing in English, Irish, Latin, and Greek.
I like this CD so much, I imagine it being played at my funeral as people come in to be seated. There are three songs about heaven. It isn't Christmas music, but hymns from 100 to 800 years ago. It would be nice to listen to at Christmas time. Some songs are plainsong. There are three people singing three parts; I sing along with the middle part.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Update 9-6-9


When I was at the Medical Center getting my Octreotide injection this week, I got my lab results. The nurse has my whole chart there at that time, so I can see what both doctors have written, see my labs, read my surgical reports... I can do all kinds of cool stuff while we wait 45 minutes for the medication to arrive from the pharmacy. I have the delight of using a frozen drug; so we wait until the stuff thaws out and gets mixed up. Then the pharmacy technician shows up gently shaking the tube from side-to-side until the nurse takes it from her. It's a 5cc injection given in the hip and it's good for 28 days.

Anyway, my numbers are Chromogranin A 109; Gastrin 210. Gastrin is normal 0-100 and CgA is normal 0-50; so my numbers are a little over double the normal amount.

I will see my oncologist on the 22nd of September. If I don't hear from the surgeon's office by then, I will tell him about the EUS. Before then, I will email the PAC and ask about the procedure. I don't want to tell the oncologist that the surgeon's office slipping up. I would like to call before then, but I don't remember to call from work. I'm too busy with school stuff, and by time I get home everyone at the hospital is ending their shift.

I've noticed my attitude toward having another exam done has become that it's a nuisance to go through it again. Actually, the doctors might be finding my third tumor and getting it out of there. We know there is a tumor(s). It's just that i went through this twice during the last school year, and the doctors didn't find anything. I missed two days of work which uses up my sick leave.

This is different than the first tumor in spring 2008. Now I'm not in such a big hurry to find the tumor; I've been convinced that it won't make much difference if they do. If it's in the intestine, the doctors can remove it. It it's not there, I just keep taking medication. If the tumor is in the liver, the surgeon can't do anything unless the tumor is big enough to stick a needle into it. He says it needs to be about a centimeter before he can see it. Nothing the doctors can do will save my life, so it doesn't seem such an imperative to get tests done.

I have gotten my oncologist's attitude. There's not much we can do but manage my condition for as many years as possible. Carcinoid is a weird cancer. You may be OK until the time when your particular case flairs up, and then you go right down the tubes. But then, the docs can take out a foot or two of your intestine and you're good for another year. At least you're still alive--you might not be too good, but you're still here. Some patients take 10 or 15 years to die.

A Story About My Mom or Maybe it's About God

This memory came to mind this morning after a season of prayer. I took that as an OK to write about it.

In July I was giving myself 3 injections of Octreotide per day. (I have to do that before I have scans done.) I went into the bathroom one afternoon for my shot. As I uncovered my belly, I could see the ring of bruises around my navel. Since the shots come every 8 hours I get quite an assortment of different colors of bruises. They are usually little green and brown bruises within a day. Sometimes I don't bruise.

As I was looking at my belly, I felt my mother's cools hands covering the bruises in the right upper quadrant around my navel. A memory came rushing back.

There was a time in my childhood when I had to have shots given because of a lung infection. I had gotten the first shot previously, and Mom went with me into the room when we came back for the second shot. I remember lying on the examining table, so the nurse could inject me in the hip.

My mother saw that I had a bruise on my hip from the previous injection, and she placed her hands across the bruise. It was cool and comforting.

That was the exact same sensation I had when I went to give myself my shot that afternoon. I could feel her cool hands. It was just as she had done; she had placed the fingers of her right hand on the bruise, and laid the fingers of her left hand on top of the right hand at the opposite angle. It occupied a small space, not the area of a complete hand.

So, when I felt that coolness on my belly, I had a comforting thought that my mother had seen what was happening to me, and she cared. That, maybe in heaven, she had prayed I would have comfort in the midst of getting so many injections.