Small Success: 6 More Months

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

I purposely waited to do this today. Early this morning, as soon as TheKid got on the school bus (a Small Success in his own right, given his track record for making the bus), Hubs and I headed off to the cancer center for his checkup.

I had a container with 2 dozen cookies in hand, to thank the radiology staff who helped us through all the craziness with the needed referrals (thank you, ever-changing rules regarding who gets to provide what service for which patient…)

Yesterday, in the middle of all those awful moments when I was told Hubs wouldn’t be able to have the tests because of some insurance snafu, I cried. And then I prayed. I knew I wasn’t getting anywhere on my own with this. I prayed before I made the next phone call I had to make. One Memorare Express Novena (9 Memorares plus a bonus one in thanksgiving) and a plea to St. Jude later, I dialed the phone, sat around on hold for a few minutes, then disconnected the call when my call-waiting showed Hubs’ primary physician was dialing in–to tell us that he could, indeed, have the tests today.

THERE IS NO WAY THAT WAS A COINCIDENCE. And yesterday was the feast of St. Jude, you know.

double chocolate cranberry cookies (3)My new friend in radiology was happy for the cookies and immediately gave me her email address so she could get the recipe. By the time Hubs was done with his CT scan, she’d printed it out.

The oncologist gave Hubs’ test results two thumbs up, so we’re all set for the next 6 months.

We had to stop back at radiology to take care of a few details before we left. I was annoyed at the inconvenience–we’d already been there almost 4 hours and I’d had enough. But back we went, and I sat down to wait.

And someone called my name. It was my favorite cashier from ShopRite. She and her husband go to our church, and he’s been quite sick recently. Today, he walked out of the X-Ray department looking better than I’ve seen him in weeks. He’d gotten a good report. We rejoiced together.

There are not a lot of good reports in cancer centers. There are not a lot of people leaving there with smiles on their faces. Today we, and our friends, did just that.

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

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#WorthRevisit: Waiting. Again.

We’re going for three.

Tomorrow we’re heading back to the cancer center for TheDad’s 3-year, 36,000-mile checkup. I’m not ashamed to ask for prayers for his good health, as well as for all the patients we will see who are living out hell on earth as they navigate treatment for this cruel disease.

UPDATE: waiting is even harder thanks to some stupid medical-insurance issues that I was TOLD were resolved last week. But this morning’s phone calls proved otherwise. Now it will be at least a week, if not longer, before this can be rescheduled. I am grateful to the people at the cancer center and our primary doctor’s office for trying really hard to work it out today. Unfortunately they were not successful.

UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: We are back in for tomorrow! I prayed a “Mother Teresa Express Novena” (9 Memorares plus a bonus one in thanksgiving) and a prayer to St. Jude. 10 minutes later the phone rang.

Here’s my look back at a post from 2 years ago:

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

0aa88-twinerosary

…at least, I hope it turns out to be that way.

Today TheDad and I will return to Philadelphia for his 1-year cancer checkup. He has 3 appointments:  an X-ray, a CAT scan and a meeting with the surgeon. (No, there’s no surgery on the agenda at the moment, but we both thought that the surgeon was a better choice for our follow-ups, just in terms of personality and ability and willingness to explain things clearly.)

My pocket Rosary is ready to go; it will keep me company while I am waiting. Even if I’m too distracted to pray, there is great comfort in holding this Rosary, made (and prayed) by a caring friend, in running my finger over each knot that represents so much, in gripping the cord tightly in my fist.

Please pray for us as we wait, as we attempt to keep the balance between hope and dread.

worth revisitLink up at Worth Revisit Wednesday, hosted by Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb!

Out of Control

I’ve been driving everyone around me crazy lately. There’s a lot to worry about, and if there’s anything I’m really good at, it’s worrying.

god first family then notre dameFor my birthday, my folk-group friends generously gave me 3 tickets for the Notre Dame-Temple football game. That game’s happening this weekend. Middle Sister loves football a lot more than Hubs, so she’s appropriated his ticket.

As the game approaches, I’ve found more and more things to worry about.

  • It’s an 8:00 game. That’s PM. I have a hard time staying awake through an 8:00 game, and now I’ll have to drive home afterward.
  • We’re fans of the visiting team. In Philly, that can be difficult.
  • I’m going to have to navigate TheKid, and his string backpack full of diabetes supplies and snacks, past whatever inspection stations you have to get past in order to get into the Linc.
  • Middle Sister wants to take the subway and meet us at the game. But it’s at night, and the return trip to LaSalle (past Temple, with all the Temple fans who will either be super euphoric or super angry) wouldn’t be pretty for a fan of the other team. And a 19-year-old girl traveling on the subway alone at that time of night? NO.
  • The game’s on Halloween. And did I mention that it’s an 8:00 game?

I just want to enjoy the opportunity to see my team play. And I know that’s all my friends wanted for me when they gave me those tickets.

Right now I’m deep into a state of general anxiety that makes me pretty difficult to live with. I’m getting ridiculously worried about all kinds of other things, things that I normally don’t think about. For example, last night we dropped TheKid off at the play. We had tickets, and he was called early, so we decided to go out to dinner before the show. I was wearing a white fleece jacket. All I could think about was that I should have packed a complete change of clothes (down to shoes) for both of us just in case a waiter spilled something on us, because we wouldn’t have time to go home and change.

I didn’t even say anything about that to Hubs, because how insane is that?

This morning I headed out to Wawa to get a hoagie for TheKid’s lunch today (he has two more shows, and we have to head straight from Mass to the theater to drop him off.) As I was driving, it occurred to me that no one knew where I was; they were both still sleeping at home; what if I got into an accident? How would they even know?

I need to make it stop, but I’m not sure I know how. I’m manufacturing worries here.

There are enough real things to worry about, and I suspect that I’m inventing fake worries to take my mind off the real stuff. I can’t do anything about the real things.

In four days, Hubs has an appointment at the cancer center for his 3-year, 36,000-mile checkup. I can’t believe it’s been 3 years. It feels like yesterday, and it also feels like forever ago. But that appointment is coming up. He’s super-stressed at work; I don’t know what’s going on there, because he has never been one to talk about things that happen at work. (He says he thinks about work enough while he’s there so he doesn’t want to talk about it at home.) He’s stressed about his mom in the nursing home. He doesn’t take good care of himself. Put all that together and you get a perfect storm for health problems.

I can’t control whether or not Hubs’ cancer has returned. There’s nothing I can do to change that.

Controlling every other little thing isn’t going to keep Hubs cancer-free either. So why can’t I make it stop?

All Clear

love vs cancerWe are breathing a big sigh of relief here after getting the good news that TheDad has passed his 1-year Cancer-Free Anniversary.

We are grateful that after this morning’s X-ray and CT scan, punctuated by a surprise blood test that led to a little bonus panic, came out clear–we knew this even before the smiling surgeon spoke the welcome words. (That big smile gave it away).

I passed the morning of waiting with my rosary in hand, bouncing around on social media on the iPad. TheDad sat beside me, dealing with work emails. I am beyond grateful for the people who left encouraging comments on this blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Waiting rooms are lonely places, even if you’re sitting there with a loved one. The prayers and encouragement that reached us across the miles (and, in some cases, across oceans) mean so very much. You were very much with us in that big, crowded, noisy, lonely waiting room.

My tears this afternoon are grateful ones–grateful to God for the blessing of 6 more months cancer-free for my husband, grateful to Fox Chase Cancer Center, and grateful to all of you.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

…at least, I hope it turns out to be that way.

Today TheDad and I will return to Philadelphia for his 1-year cancer checkup. He has 3 appointments:  an X-ray, a CAT scan and a meeting with the surgeon. (No, there’s no surgery on the agenda at the moment, but we both thought that the surgeon was a better choice for our follow-ups, just in terms of personality and ability and willingness to explain things clearly.)

 

My pocket Rosary is ready to go; it will keep me company while I am waiting. Even if I’m too distracted to pray, there is great comfort in holding this Rosary, made (and prayed) by a caring friend, in running my finger over each knot that represents so much, in gripping the cord tightly in my fist.

Please pray for us as we wait, as we attempt to keep the balance between hope and dread.

Relief

Did you hear that deep, deep sigh yesterday around 11:30 AM Eastern? That was me and TheDad after we met with the very personable surgeon at the cancer center. Under the circumstances, we got the best possible news.

The tumor (what’s left of it) is in a place that is easy to access. It is not in, on or near any organs and it has not spread anywhere. Next Friday he will have it removed in a same-day surgery.

After he recovers from the surgery he will begin radiation treatment. There will not be chemo because chemo doesn’t work on this type of tumor. Beyond that he will just need regular imaging to see if anything has returned but with this type of tumor the chances of it returning are pretty slim.

I am ever grateful for your prayers and support. I feel like the really hard part is over now. We have a game plan, and we have assurance that the tumor is contained.