It’s a look I have. My brows furrow and the line, aka “wrinkle”, between my eyes is embedded. To some, I might look angry. Others that know me will assume I’m thinking. I’m processing. I’m wondering.
As a child, I was curious about everything. How does that work? Why does that happen? Why is that a belief? Why? What? Where? When? How? Asking questions came naturally. This worked well going to school for as many years as I did. In the last 10 years of my life asking questions has been met, at times, with defensiveness, doubt, skepticism, and anger. But fortunately, there are times they are answered with respect, kindness, and understanding of my curiosity. We live in a fast-paced world where technology processes things so quickly humans feel they must do it too. It’s taken me a week to process something HUGE in my life. Actually, my life may depend on it.
One week ago my family, Finn, and I sat at my kitchen table to ZOOM with a leading oncology surgeon in the field of neuroendocrine cancer. Dr. Liu is the founder of the Neuroendocrine Cancer Center at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center in Denver, Colorado. He and a NET patient, Cindy Lovelace, co-founded the Healing NET Foundation. https://www.thehealingnet.org/ Remember that look I get? It did include a big smile when we heard the confidence in Dr. Liu’s ability to perform surgery on me. He sees cancer through a different lens. It was a new focus. A new understanding. He listened with empathy, kindness, curiosity, and professionalism. There is a lot to process. There are risks. None of us are typical. We might share things that make us “typical” in the ways we do life. But we are each our own separate soul, body, and brain. We each have unique “conditions” that apply to any situation. Dr. Liu and I are barely touching the surface of a doctor/patient relationship. Through my processing (which DID include a fast celebration coupled with quick concern and a side of skepticism) I know that time is STILL on my side. Yesterday I met with an oncologist who immediately asked, “Why would he operate when it has spread so far and you have stage IV?” I replied, “To give me more time and help with the symptom burden.”
This Thursday I’ll meet with my original oncologist. I’m certain we will sit and process things together. He and one other surgical oncologist I now have both agree that surgery is not something they can perform. That has been thoroughly processed and I completely understand and respect their decision. Because of a caring community and friends, I have a start to get there. My next treatment will be after Thanksgiving. Cancer will not take my peace. I’m going to trust the process…and this promise:
The gas tank was full, my tires rotated, the oil changed, and my body, was mostly, pain-free. It was worth the nearly 3-hour drive. With tears, music, podcasts, and a furry girl by my side (I’m talking about Finley;-)) I felt freedom. I didn’t have cancer. “Grammy K, Grammy K!” Huge hugs, lunches, snowflakes, memories, and time I’ll never take for granted. There’s another driveway waiting on me…it’s a long drive at another time. Will I be able to do it? I’ll not overthink it and go one day at a time. The pain may not go away. I’ll push through it and listen to rest. For every 6 weeks, I can count on two “good” ones. I’ll take it.
God, I love you for all you are and for every blessing in my life. For every broken dream or promise, you have never failed. What means the most to you? To love you and others. It’s not always easy. It takes forgiveness, understanding, gentleness… and amputation of pride. There’s nothing to process when it comes to you. It’s not complicated. You offer companionship with two-way communication. You love us as we are. Family & friends, I pray over you. I pray over tragedies, injustice, and hate. I’m praying for your situations, your families, your struggles, and your joys. Here’s another prayer-“Lord, keep me laughing. Help me to find joy in the day-to-day. For every tear give me something that tickles me.” We don’t have to look far to find the problems…help me probe the promises and the practical that’s praiseworthy.”
Have faith 💚
Pic by K.L. Hale
Embracing imperfection with faith, flannel, & fresh air