January 10, 2010


Well it's time for another trip to CTCA. I feel like I was spoiled the last 8 weeks with a nice long break! My mom and I decided to go ahead and fly this time. My mom has not flown since her teens I think so this should be interesting! Since I do not receive chemo while I am there now, my visits when I don't have scans are so short it makes sense for us to try flying. The hospital pays for my ticket so we only have to pay for one. Plus, the thought of leaving here and arriving in Chicago not even two hours later is appealing. Mike is taking us to the airport before he goes into work. We are leaving my house at 5:30 am to get the Cleveland airport by 6:15. Our flight leaves at 8:10 and we land at O'Hare at 8:50 central time. The hospital sends a limo to pick us up and take us to the hospital for my check in at 11 am. They will access my port and draw my blood work, then I will see my doctor around 1:30. Once that is done, so are we! The limo will pick us up in the hospital lobby at 5 pm, which will give us time to eat dinner before we leave. Our flight home leaves O'Hare at 8:15 and we will be back in Cleveland at 10:15. I heard that Cleveland Hopkins lost power today for quite awhile and flights were delayed, so hopefully this does not affect us in the morning. So far everything is still showing on time.

As far as my health, I have been feeling really good. Tommy and I took his girls sled riding yesterday. That was only the second time that I can remember actually going sled riding down decent sized hills. I have a sled that inflates with air and was big enough for Olivia, me, Emily, and Tommy to all sit on at once and go down. We had so much fun. Those are some things that a few years ago, I didn't know if I would be able to do again. I don't take any of it for granted.

A couple of weeks ago, my back had started to hurt on the right side near my shoulder blade. It wouldn't hurt when I was active, only when I would sit down or try and sleep on my back. It eventually started to cause some tingling which was really annoying. I even called my doctor a couple weeks ago and asked if I could try some pain medicine to ease it, which for me to take pain pills... well, let's just say I didn't even use them after my surgeries. The pain has gradually gotten a bit better, but was still there. Today in church, our assistant pastor asked if anyone needed prayer specifically for neck or back pain. I raised my hand and a woman came and prayed with me. I did not have any of that pain for the rest of the church service, or so far throughout today. This may seem like something small, but for someone who has to mentally battle every ache and pain I have so that I don't start worrying that it might mean something worse... it's huge to have that prayer answered today.

Our pastor closed out his message today by saying that as Christians, we have everything inside of us right now at this moment to get through anything that we face. Think about that. Jesus is all we need. We don't have to do anything to earn His favor or love. He can't wait to show it to us. I found that encouraging.

On a side note, why is it that when someone with cancer passes away, people often say that they "lost their battle" with cancer. When I think of my brother, Jeff, and the fight he fought, I would never think of his graduation to heaven as "he lost his battle with cancer." He won it. Cancer is just evidence of the fallen world we live in. It's a symptom of the problems in the world. The battle we flight is not just physical against cancer, but spiritual against the enemy's plots to steal away the treasures that God has promised to those who love Him. I would much rather that obituaries read "His battle with cancer came to an end, with a victory celebrated in Heaven! He won the race set out before him! He finished it! The enemy's plans were foiled when his faith proved too strong." I think people who battle diseases receive something special when they get to Heaven. I have no basis for that assumption, just something I think about.

Anyhow, I will post something on Tuesday to let everyone know how my blood work came back. That CEA tumor marker is just something of a personal battle with me. I will not let it get me down, but I want so badly to just beat that number....

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