I used to wonder what it was like for folks who had to face regular visits to cancer doctors and, well, M.D. Anderson, and such places.
I don't wonder any more. It feels a lot like the life Damocles lived when he swapped places with Dionysius in the ancient legend. The legendary/mythical "sword of Damocles" always hung over his head, suspended by a thin thread, symbolizing the ever-present threat Dionysius felt.
Now, the "sword of Damocles" analogy fails, because (a) I've not swapped lives with anyone, and (b) I'm *definitely* not in a position of power.
Those caveats aside, having a sword of destruction hanging over one's head suspended by a narrow thread is pretty much how it feels to be a melanoma survivor. (Related aside: that's also why you, insert your name here, should wear sunscreen!)
Oh, I don't live in fear, for my God is on His throne, and He was not surprised in Nov. 2005 when my cancer first appeared, nor was he surprised in May 2008 when it showed up again in both lungs.
And He will not be surprised by whatever next week's followup scans @ M.D. Anderson show.
Thus, most of the time, God graciously doesn't let me linger on cancer & on the likelihood of melanoma returning.
But as the return journey looms, the sword looms also.
We head back out to Houston Sunday afternoon.
Here's the schedule of all of the "fun":
Monday - bloodwork & P.E.T. scan & brain MRI
(stick your head & chest inside a small metal bucket & have someone bang on the bucket repeatedly with a hammer; that's pretty close to what a brain MRI is like...*grin*)
Tuesday - appt with Dr. Homsi (my main medical Dr. there)
Wed. - appt. with Dr. Mehran (my surgeon)
I'd call it 50-50 that I have another surgery this time. There's the one spot near my ribs on the wall of my chest near one of the previous surgery entry points. Not a new spot; been there all along. Last time we were out there, the P.E.T. scan showed that the spot had grown just a bit (although it's still very small). Hence the surgical consult this time.
I don't really mind surgery, but I *hate* the recovery time. Plus, anesthesia messes me up for the next couple of days after. Plus, it'd be groovy if we were rolling back home Wed. evening having been told "nothing to see here..."
So, the sword becomes visible again as I'm reminded of my medical history...which reminds me how gloriously dependent & *not* in charge I really am. And which drives me to prayer. And to ask for the prayers of others. And to be mindful that a day is coming for me (and a place) in which there will be no more cancer, no more need for surgery, no more recovery needed...I can't wait, though I do not seek to get there any time soon!
If you're a praying type, your prayers are *most* welcome, needed, and appreciated.
In His Grip,
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us...And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience...
Romans 8:18, 23-25