Monday, August 06, 2007

Thank You

I have not been able to think straight for five days. No matter what I was involved in at the moment, no matter how cheerful I might have been--that sneaky, little, black cloud of despair would start drizzling on me until I found myself in the middle of a downpour of hopelessness, resignation, and defeat. If I hadn't said it before, I was really, really scared. Twenty-two years ago, my mom succumed to ovarian cancer--and now I might be facing the same fate as her, only fifteen years earlier than when she received her diagnosis.

The internet is no help. I tried in vain to stay away from any websites that dealt with the downside of ovarian cancer, but did find myself on one about survivors. It was actually an advertisement for Cancer Centers of America. One woman had unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms for months before an acquaintance filled her in on the silent symptoms of ovarian cancer. Her doctor suggested a CA-125 test, which she received promptly. Her results revealed a number of around 1,125. When she asked him what was considered normal, he stated "Zero to 35." Needless to say, she was startled, and very, very frightened.

She was alright because of Cancer Centers of America, according to her videotaped message--which quite honestly, seemed a little contrived to me. My doctor had already told me the "normal" range, but that if the results came out around 300, he would operate immediately. The numbers obsessed my every thought this weekend. What if it was 50? What if it was 100? What's a "normal" tumor marker number for a fibroid (which can cause the numbers to be high)? I found myself planning my demise, unable to be certain if I was going to be up for the fight of my life. Oh well, I thought, my kids know I love them. They'll be affected, but they'll be alright--they have so many people around them who would give them support and who would love them. But God, all I could think of was, "...But not as much as I do." I want to be around to see my great-grandchildren.

Then I remembered...my God is bigger than my problems. He's certainly bigger than some cancer cells. So I gave my troubles up to him, gave a request for my desired outcome, and then acknowledged that it ultimately would be his will, not mine, that would prevail. I chose to believe that he wanted the best for me, like any parent would for their child. Every time I started to feel gloomy, I repeated these thoughts, or prayers, in my head. I also took comfort in knowing that my family, friends, and blogging buddies were praying for me...the support was unbelievable.


I called the doctor's office early this morning looking for my lab results. They said that they were not in the morning batch, and that I should call back at noon to give them a chance to come in the afternoon batch. I called back at 11:58am, and got the answering machine: "Your call is important to us...." Yeah, yeah. Blah, blah.


"...Listen, I know no one wants to call back the person waiting for CA-125 results, but the 'not knowing' is absolutely killing me. I can't think of anything else, and I'd appreciate it if someone could just let me know if you've even gotten the results back yet. Thank you so much."


Ten minutes went by; no phone call. Two hours went by; no phone call. I finally called back at 5:00, and the receptionist told me that the lab girls were gone for the day. "But I left a message...a really desperate message! Now I'm worried! Maybe they didn't call back because it's really bad!!" The receptionist, hearing my concern and fear and understanding it, calmly asked which doctor I saw, and then put me on hold. When she came back, she told me that they would call me back as soon as the doctor was done with his patients. Wow. Was that supposed to be reassuring?

I started to cook to take my mind off of everything. At about 6:30pm, my cell phone rang. The caller ID said it was my doctor's office. It was the point of no return...my future, my destiny in this life, was residing on the other end of that phone line. I picked up the phone and meekly said "Hello."

"Hi, Lisa? This is Dr. B's office! I'm just calling to tell you that your test results were in the normal range!"

"...My test results?? For the CA-125??"

"Yes, they're in the normal range!"

"...They are?? Are you sure??"

(laughing) "Yes, it's right in front of me."

"...Um...do you have a number?"

"Yes...it was a five."

"...A FIVE?!? Are you sure?!? The CA-125 test?!?"

(laughing again) "Yes, it was a five. Now you can enjoy the rest of your day!"

I broke down in tears, thanked her, hung up, and dropped to my knees. I immediately thanked God, and continued to do so over and over again until my son walked in and asked if I was feeling alright.

So this goes out to you, my dear, sweet, wonderful, blogging buddies....THANK YOU. Thank you for your support, your encouragement, and most important, your blessings and prayers. Someone up there heard you, and I will be forever grateful for your thoughtfulness.

...You'll never know how much. God bless each and every one of you.

27 comments:

Carine said...

Lisa,
I'm so happy you received such wonderful news!!!! Yes, I do believe you can enjoy not only today, but many more to come. If I were you-I'd go out with hubby and celebrate-big time.

Shimmerrings said...

Lisa I am so so happy for the outcome! My friend just went through a similar scare, regarding colon cancer. She will possibly have to have surgery, but, she said, that's better than dying. She was already resigned to doing nothing if the results were extremely bad. Again, I'm so happy that all is going to be well.

Matty said...

Yahoo..........I'm celebrating your life.! I hope you can see me smiling!

Enjoy your life.....live for today. Can you see me dancing? Let's dance.....I hear the music playing! Let's party on!
God does listen to our prayers!

Summer said...

Lisa!!!! Thank God you are well... I am so glad the results came out normal!!! you should love number five more than anything right now!!! very happy for you! wishes to you to live long and illness free forever and ever!!!

Lisa said...

Matty,

Wah-hoo!!! Can you see me dancing right next to you?!?

If anyone knows what it feels like to wait for test results, it's you. As a matter of fact, I know you're in the midst of it now...I am praying for that little boy and for his super-hero grandma who's just amazing!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Summer,

You made me laugh out loud!! Yes, that wonderful, powerful, little number five! Who knew it could have so much influence?

Thank you for your good wishes!! They are very much appreciated. :)

Take good care,
Lisa

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Kacey said...

Dear Lisa --- Praise the Lord! I am so happy for you and so pissed at the doctor's office for the casual treatment of a lab result that mattered so much to you. It makes me feel like inventing a volunteer nursing job ... where a real nurse could call the patient's results in to them as soon as they are received --- with the codicil that any questions will be answered by the doctor as soon as possible. Anyway, let's dance...naked....as though nobody is watching!

Lisa said...

Carine and Shimmerings,

I'm so sorry for just responding back now, sometimes I start responses, run out of time, and have to exit out before posting. In my head, I already posted a comment, when I really didn't!

Thank you both so much for your kindess, good wishes, and support. I know you both have seen your share of "stuff" in your lives, and as women in general, we can all relate to each other!

Carine, I went right out and bought a bottle of wine. ;)

Shimmerings, I'm so happy for your friend. I still have to have the surgery as well, but I can definitely understand how she felt about the seriousness of it. God bless her.
Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

MMP,

Thank you for visiting. When I have time, I will come over to your blog to peruse--hopefully, later today!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Kacey,

You know, I was thinking similarly while waiting on the phone. How everyone becomes so "numb" in their jobs, especially in the medical field. They forget sometimes that we're all still humans with feelings, and not just a file number. I'm sure people would love a service like the one you described! Thanks again for the good wishes!

Take good care,
Lisa

Mark said...

Lisa,
I am very happy for you!
You are very fortunate and are right to express gratitude.
Love and hugs.

Betty said...

Dear Lisa,

I just came by to check up on you and I am ashamed of myself for having been out of touch and not there for you during your scare! But the happy ending is such a huge relief. I am so sorry you had to go through that. You must be ecstatic now! I am too!

Hugs,
Betty

Lisa said...

Mark,

My parents always taught me to say "thank you", so it's a natural for me...but as an adult, you realize how much more it really means to have gratitude--sincere thanks and appreciation. I had a lot of people praying for me...what a nice feeling...so I wanted to let people know it wasn't in vain!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Betty,

Stop! With all you have going on in your life, I don't know how you find time to blog at all! And I certainly know how it feels to sometimes "fall of the radar"...sometimes there aren't enough hours in the day! I'll be by to visit you this weekend!

Take good care,
Lisa

Desiree said...

Lisa,

Oh how scary that must have been for you!!! I'm so happy to know your test results were normal. That is awesome! When we have our heath we have everything! I feel like we should throw a party!

Lisa said...

Desiree,

I promptly went out and purchased a celebratory bottle of vino--I didn't care who was or wasn't around...I threw my own party! Salute!!

Take good care,
Lisa

Big Dave T said...

Great news, Lisa. You're too young for that kind of stuff. But I have to admit that a few of my contemporaries at work are living with the big 'C.' They go on as if it's just a part of life. Probably a good attitude to have.

After I read your blog here, it reminded me of a young (oops, make that very young, she's in her 20s) lady who was fighting ovarian cancer. She was blogging as part of her therapy and had visited my blog on a couple occasions. I tried to find her blog but it's gone now. She hasn't posted since last year. Hope she's okay. I'll have to do some more searching.

LZ Blogger said...

Lisa ~ Often times prayers are answered! I am glad that yours and ours where for YOU! ~ jb///

Lisa said...

Big Dave,

Wow. That is so sad...she is definitely too young for that disease. I hope you will be able to find her...maybe she's in remission and just had too much living to do to be wasting time on her computer! Maybe she's traveling the world. One can only hope...

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

LZ,

Thank you so much!! I'll tell you, this little blogging community that we all share is really something else. People whose voices we've never heard nor faces we've ever really seen rooting for each other, praying for each other, and just generally caring about each other in a cyberspace-sort of way. One of the most wonderful aspects of the internet, don't you agree?

Take good care,
Lisa

simply me said...

Lisa - as you know I waited for your call praying for good news. Thank God that all turned out well. I am grateful for each moment that God has the Grace to give me and all those I love.

A Who said...

Oh Lisa,

I am so glad you are okay! What a horrible feeling, to carry such fear -- and I feel terrible that I did not know you were going through this until now. (I will be better about checking your blog more regularly).

I thank God you are alright.

With Much Love,
Patti
The who

Lisa said...

Maria,

I know you were praying for me. I appreciate your friendship and your thoughtfulness more than you'll ever know.

XOXO

Lisa said...

Patti,

I didn't really want to advertise it to the family because of the situation with my mom--Tina didn't even know until after I had the test. I just didn't want any negative thoughts, people just assuming that because my mom had some dreaded disease that I would get it, too...you know how people always think the worst. So I wanted to keep the family out of it, but I needed to talk about it, so I wrote about it (honestly, I think you're the absolute only family member that reads this blog)!

My blogging friends are all such positive, wonderful people--I feel so fortunate to have gotten in with such a great group!

XOXO

Matty said...

Thank you Lisa, for the wonderful wishes and prayers you have left on my blog. I wish you a long, healthy comfortable life with no more scares like that. Live long, laugh hearty!

Lisa said...

Matty,

Thank you for your good wishes. I only wish that there was something that I could do for you in your current situation. I will continue to pray for your brave little grandson, and of course for you, too...his very strong grandma.

Take good care,
Lisa