An Unexpected Journey
This is the beginning of my first blog entry ever! My plan here is to update on my health journey as I move forwards but also to share some thoughts from the Word of God and anything else that occurs to me that I think someone might be interested in hearing about. Over the next couple of months as I deal with chemotherapy and whatever other treatment is required I may not be able to be in church every Sunday so this is a way I can reach out from wherever I am.
For now let me just tell you that I have been diagnosed with a seminoma extragonadol germ cell tumor. Typically germ cell tumors are located in the reproductive organs but mine is more rare and is located in my abdomen. My primary care doctor and my momma say that this makes me "special!" The complication is that where the tumor is located has caused a number of lymph nodes to swell in my abdomen and up into my chest cavity. This is constricting my stomach pretty severely to the point that I can eat very little. This is the reason I have lost weight (about 35 pounds). I am on liquids only but am limited with how much of those I can take as well. If I take too many my stomach swells up like a balloon and can stay that way for hours, very uncomfortable. I also have lower back pain. Good news is that once I begin treatment (which includes chemotherapy) the expectation is that the tumor and the lymph nodes will shrink quickly. As they shrink my stomach will be able to take in more and more food. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to a pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and a double Big Pal burger with cheese and bacon!! Right now I have an appointment scheduled at Duke University for April 8th, we are hoping to move that forward but if not at least that date will stand and I am anticipating treatment to begin there at Duke. The prognosis of recovery is VERY good (in the 90th percentile) and the doctor's I have spoken with are saying that this cancer is "curable" which they don't readily say about most cancers.
I am thankful for so many prayers and an outpouring of support. I have never felt so loved. The scripture that has been so much on my mind over the last few weeks is Philippians 3:10 where the Apostle Paul says "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death." Something I am discovering through this is that we come to know God not just through the "resurrection moments" when God does amazing miracles, but also through the suffering. I have felt SO CLOSE to my Savior during this time and have felt so much love from so many others as well. I know that through all of this God is showing me more of who He is and it will change me in some ways that I will only know looking back. Ways that I pray will not only continue to remind me of His goodness but help me to be more supportive to others that are going through difficult times.
I look forward to sharing more entries to this blog as I continue down this unexpected journey.
You are in my prayers.
Thank you Diana!!
Suffering is a journey I think I have known in some aspects of my life since I was a child, first with my foot and then in later years, with migraines. It is true, you will know Jesus in a totally different way through it. You will find your resurrection moments through it... And they will be even more remarkable! May you be blessed as you receive treatment and care from those who love you. Much love, Emma
Thank you Emma. I’m so glad this has brought us into more contact. I’m grateful for your encouragement & prayers. Hopefully we can work it out to see each other sometime. I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand sometime!!