My head is swimming. I don’t know what to think. I don’t know anyone to ask questions of, no one who has experienced what I have experienced in the past few weeks.
My adventure began with a regular 3 month CT scan. Something different and puzzling was discovered. Not something you really want your doctor to say, but these are things you must face when cancer has you in it’s grip. A CT scan showed unusual growth, but the problem even more puzzling is the rate of growth and the fact that the cancer was not spreading as expected. This lead to a PET scan which confirmed that the cancer was still localized within the lung.
My cancer was still small, it was still at a manageable state, why was this a problem? Because I should be so very, very sick right now. My journey should be should be reaching some critical point where medically I might need to make difficult decisions. My doctor felt I should see another doctor to determine what and why things were developing at such a slow pace.
The consultation with the new doctor went well and I very honestly told him we were interested in a physician who was as curious about my unique situation as we were. He said he was and that he felt that his oncology group met each week to discuss interesting cases such as mine. He would present my situation to the group and call me with their findings. A few days later he called me and his phone call changed my life. The committee felt that there may have been an error and I may have been misdiagnosed, another biopsy was needed to confirm their findings. I was then referred to a chest surgeon.
Another doctor, another consultation and the bronchoscopy was scheduled with yet a third doctor. The doctor who took the samples from my tumor spoke with my husband while I was in recovery. She said that she had taken several samples and saw a lot of dead tissue, she felt that this looked “promising”. Promising, in the last two years the only encouraging words we got from doctors is that this chemotherapy was extending my life, continuing to exist, not promising. That word came from a vocabulary we did not dare to look at.
The pathology report came back, the original surgeon called me with the report and told me that my situation was complicated. But it looked like the tumor was not small cell carcinoma. The cancer that for two years had me believing I would die had been misdiagnosed. A visit with my oncologist confirmed that the tumor I have is manageable. The tumor committee will meet in a few days and provide us with recommendations regarding treatment.
I am now living in what feels like an alternate reality. Remember the Twilight Zone from when we were kids? I really do feel like I’m living someone else’s life. I’ve heard of people who have won the Lottery and feel like they are living a dream, this is the same feeling.
Misdiagnosis, is that possible? I’ve had so many tests since January 2014. And I’ve prayed intently for those years, prayed to God that I will take the path he has placed me on. Prayed that he would spare my life, but if not that I would have the strength to follow his path with grace. Prayed that whatever he wanted me to do with this cancer diagnosis I would be able to follow his mission in the way he wanted. My husband and I think that God wanted me to show people that you can live with a life sentence and still live, still enjoy your family, sunrises, puppies and still have a deep faith and love for God.
I have another week to wait for the answers, it will be difficult, but I’m not alone, I have my husband and children, I have so many friends who support me. And I have God, his word is there for me. My pastor regularly quotes Ephesians 3 v 20. Now to him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us.
God is good, all the time.
Shortly after writing this post I received the answer I had hoped for. This is a copy of the testimonial I gave at church yesterday.
In January 2014 I was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer that is also very deadly.
I saw 5 doctors, all with the same result, they all agreed that the best I could hope for was to extend my life.
I prayed for a miracle, and you prayed along with me.
Miracles are the things that happen on a busy highway when a person is saved by a doctor who is there because he happened to be running late for an appointment.
Miracles happen when a tornado strikes a town and hits 4 empty buildings but saves a building housing a daycare.
I have recently had another biopsy as my cancer is not acting as it should. I should be very ill, I should be dead. On Friday while on my way to the Women’s conference I received a phone call.
According to the specialist I have seen in Portland, the testing shows I have no cancer. I beat cancer.
The doctors say I must have been originally misdiagnosed.
Do miracles happen for a day to day person? Do I even dare to believe that the hand of God has touched my life?
You betcha I do.