We just got back to the hotel from a long, really nice dinner at Table 16 in Greensboro, NC. It was a date! It was a date! Out of town, a couple in a different town, sharing a bottle of wine and two different fish dishes. A nice ending to an exhausting day.
I’ve decided to talk to God tonight. I don’t mind if you listen in. In fact, I want you to listen in and know what is in the back corner of my heart.
Dear God, we have tried to be all you would have us be since cancer came to visit us almost three years ago. We have helped raise $150,000 for the American Cancer Society and received the incredible gift of feeling the love of our community on one of the greatest nights of my life.
I have peddled a bicycle, worn makeup and posed for pictures and video for billboards, print ads and television commercials for the John B. Amos Cancer Center and Columbus Regional Healthcare System. We have written over 140,000 words, first on our Care Pages and then on this blog so that we can leave a very easily findable trail of crumbs for the kidney cancer patients who are visited by this disease after me.
We have bared our souls, discussed bowel movements, explained our fears and discussed medications, procedures and even videos of me getting shrink wrapped for a stereotactic radiation treatment. There isn’t a single thing that has happened to us that we’ve held back on. It is all out there — the good, the bad and the ugly. Our local doctors, PAs, nurses and techs have not failed us. We have received exceptional care. We left Columbus because it is time to seek care from a renal cell cancer specialist.
We didn’t hear what we came to Duke to hear today. Jill and I are in a “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead” place. Dr. Dan George….not so much. The tumor that was in my spine is gone. The CT scans and MRIs confirm this. We came expecting to be offered high-dose interleukin 2 therapy, a brutal systemic therapy, which could cure me of this cancer. A 7% chance. A chance we were willing to take, in spite of the horrific side effects and stress on my body and on Jill’s soul from having to witness it.
Lord, I don’t like indecision. You know I like to lead, follow or get out of the way. I’m not good at waiting, even though I know that it is not my will, but yours, Lord, that will be done. I’m afraid of this tumor coming back in my spine. I’m afraid of my legs being taken away. Dr. George was emphatic today that HDIL-2 won’t keep this cancer from returning. He says the cancer in my body needs to declare itself. He feels that we need to continue to watch. We’re living in a constant state of cancer advent.
I asked about PET scans, or any other cutting edge scans that might not be available in the Columbus area. Dr. George will call us inside of two weeks to discuss those options, if they exist.
The good work that has been done by our caregivers at home may have healed me. It is entirely possible that this cancer is gone permanently. If you’ll grant me a wish, Lord, I’d really like this to be the case. In the meantime, we’ll continue to wait, and pray from cancer advent. We’ll continue the scans, the hydration and the needle sticks.
I won’t give up on you, if you won’t give up on me.
Oh, one more thing. Please get us back to Alabama safely.
Amen, and goodnight.