Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"Peace, be still!!"

Over the past couple of months, I kept telling Pat that something was off, I needed to see my doctor. I had a pain here, a stabbing feeling there...but nothing bad enough to even take an Ibuprofen for. My back has been hurting at my tailbone....but when I reach down and touch my toes, the pain is pretty much resolved. I just felt something was going haywire......and I was scared.
So....this morning as we were driving to get my scan, I received a Messenger notice on my phone that I had a new message. I smiled, as I knew it was a friend who messages daily with a scripture and prayer for the day.I felt like this one was sent to just me and ONLY me but I know he sends it to LOTS of friends.
Here is what was sent to me:

Mark 4:39-41
"And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"  Our prayer:  Lord, we are often embarrassed to be afraid. Thank you Lord, for helping us to manage our fears. Amen.
WOW!  How powerful a message that came when I needed it the most. Yes, I have read this in the Bible and in scriptures more than once....but it didn't hit me in the face like it did at 6:35 this morning!
The scan seemed unusual to me as they would stop and go a lot but when they stopped the machine, it seemed like 20 minutes before they moved on. That also made me a little anxious but I stopped myself from wondering what the scan would show.
I met a new cholangiocarcinoma patient who had a resection 3 months ago. His name was Steven West and he was such a treat to meet.
Ron, the nurse I always mention, found us a room to sit in and wait our turn for the great doctor. Ron always like to joke with us and found it quite interesting that Pat was a former State Trooper in Illinois. I told Ron to hand over my scan report and bloodwork but he said he doesn't even get to see it. He stated he is a bad liar and if he read that I had a bad scan he would probably cry when he walked into the room....so we would have to wait. He told us Jackie, the PA would be in any time now. So....we waited.....and waited....Pat washed his hands....we waited.....then walks in Dr. Javle and my first thought was. "Oh no, they skipped Jackie. This MUST be bad news."
Dr. Javle stated that they compared my PET scan done today to one done in June of 2015. The aortocaval lymph node had just slightly increased. I had a node by the diaphragm that has been there but no increase really so Dr. J is not too concerned there either. Dr. Javle would like to wait three months and do another scan. He has a trial coming to MD Anderson in a couple months he is thinking of me in particular for and wants to wait it out if we can.
I told him...."But don't you worry it will metastasize to my pancreas, or kidneys, or somewhere? He stated, "Patty, it has not did that in almost five years, so the chances of it happening in the next three months is pretty slim!"  Ok...you got me there! :-) 
As a backup plan, we will have my local oncologist (in Illinois) ask for insurance to approve a chemo regimen JUST IN CASE we need to do it for a couple of months until the trial starts. Sometimes it takes a bit to get approval for chemo drugs so we would have the ducks in a row and ready to AIM---FIRE if we need to.
Dr. Javle considered this a good visit and mostly stable. Stable enough to let me off any treatments for three more months. BUT, then I asked why we couldn't just put some glass radioactive beads into the lymph node or radiate it. Dr. Javle thought that was something worth thinking about also. So, he emailed Dr. Das who has been my radiation oncologist for the entire time I have been at MDA, to see if he thought there was a possibility of radiating the aortocaval lymph node. Dr. Das believes there is a chance, so we are staying in Houston until he can see us by the end of the week.
This still doesn't mean I would not get on the trial in a couple of months because I STILL have cancer.....but it would get rid of the one node that is having a little growth.
So....I have options....and more than I thought. And this does not include phase one trials but I don't want to go there for as long as I can possibly keep from it.
So....to end this post without saying I am ashamed of not having MORE faith that everything will be ok is an understatement!  I just know that I have seen so many friends pass on from this disease so I try to also be realistic about the disease to a certain point. Does that make sense? 
So, I ask God to help me manage my fears that I have with cancer. I also thank and praise our faithful Father for always being there.....right beside me.  Now THAT calms my soul!!
I'll keep you posted about the radiation.....it might be over the weekend before I post.
Have a great rest of the week!!
~~~Patty Corcoran~~~