Ive seen three Dr.s today. I'm not going into surgery tomorrow like we planned. Im enrolling in a clinical trial for melanoma, to see if taking all the lymph nodes out or just the sentinel lymph nodes (the ones that have already been removed) make a difference in survival outcomes. The hypothesis is that there is no advantage in taking more lymph nodes out. Im attracted to this study because of:
A: Scans. Lots of them. They are setting up a CAT and MRI within the next week. There is something comforting about having everything in the body on film. They will make sure there is no other signs of tumors so they can accurately stage the cancer.
B: Follow up. Lots of it. Every four months followed closely by these melanoma specialists.
C: The opportunity to help others with melanoma. If Im going to die, maybe it wont be in vain.
So they randomly select if you get further surgery on the lymph nodes, or no surgery but close observation.
After talking to the 2nd Dr. he said in my case he would not take chances and would take all the lymph nodes out. I cant help but agree with him, as I'm feeling like a leg amputation wouldn't be uncalled for to get the dang stuff out. Of course, really the danger now is not the leg, but the blood and the lymph that could be carrying the melanoma. So I think Ill wait and hope to get selected into the 'further surgery' group, and if not I can drop out and just have him do the surgery. Nothing lost, scans gained.
After surgery we start interferon treatment. This worries me, but if it might help, bring it on. The Dr.s are giving me a 50/50 chance of survival after all this. This has changed my way of talking about the situation as it used to be "probably going to die" to....I don't know yet, "might die?"
Now for spiritual experiences. There are just too many, I dont know which to tell.
Last night as we were driving home (and by the way, we pulled up at 2:30 am and the kids were still wide awake) over the moonlit nothingness of central Utah, I was feeling overwhelmed with the logistics of the therapy (who will take me to the Dr. daily for the first month, watch my kids, what if I'm too sick to take care of them, etc.). It was too much to ask anyone. I would be a burden to everyone around me. I couldn't see how this would all work out.
I got home. Cried when I noticed the lawn mowed, the house clean, food everywhere, basement finished. All the details up to chocolate on the pillows and leopard print sheets. There were flowers everywhere with cards.
One card had every word I needed to hear. It was from Jana (next door, amazing). The end of her card read "Please never feel like you are asking too much-there can never be too much. Just please keep asking."
Thank you Jana, I love you.
Have I told you about my ward of miracles? We have had some amazing things happen with ward fasts. Bishop Jensen is calling me the next one. When I hear him say it I totally believe it. They fasted for me today. We broke it at YW/YM tonight. I just want to thank you all. I have felt so much peace today. Everything is going to be okay, either way.
Oh wait, Dr.s orders today: POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
Im going to need some help on this one.