This week will be relatively eventful on the medical front.
Tomorrow is scan day. Scanxiety is in full effect. I will have a CT scan and MRI which will give us a much better sense for whether or not the treatment I have been undergoing since September is working.
As I have mentioned before, all of us (doctor included) are pretty pessimistic about the efficacy of this treatment for me, but I am definitely up for being pleasantly surprised tomorrow. Even if the scans show a continued slowing in the rate of growth and proliferation of the cancer, like they did six weeks ago, I think I would be happy to hear it. If they show something even more significant, that would be cause for celebration. What I really fear is that they show things have gotten a lot worse, making our next decisions about treatment plans even more urgent.
On Wednesday I will acquire four new holes in my head when I go in for gamma knife radiation on the tumor in my brain.
The great part about this is that once the procedure is over I will no longer have a brain tumor, which is of comfort to me. However, the path to get there does slightly freak me out.
In order to ensure my head does not move even one millimeter during the treatment, the doctors will secure it with something they call a "halo." Unfortunately, I don't think I am going to feel too angelic wearing it as they have to make four holes in my head, two on my forehead and two at the back, to secure the thing to my head.
Normally I am not phased by all of the poking and prodding, which has become par for the course over the last four months. However, the minute they started to talk about this halo, my pulse began to rise and my palms began to sweat. I will readily take the doctor up on the offer of a sedative during the procedure, which I am hoping helps my mental state. It's all about keeping the end in mind. A tumor-free brain is worth four small holes that will heal. Right?!
If you are the praying type, obviously we could use some petitions for both days of medical appointments. On Tuesday the thing I hope and pray is that whatever the outcome, Erick and I would be at peace and that the next steps would be clear. I am also praying the scans show progress in the right direction. On Wednesday, I am praying that I am calm during the procedure and that they get the little bugger in one go without doing any damage to any other part of my brain!
We are also reaching the point where both Erick and I could use your prayers for continued strength to persevere. It has been a long four months, with more, much more, to come. I am physically tired and weak. But, it's more than physical, it is also mental and emotional. We are both exhausted by this whole experience. Some days I wonder how I will be able to stand another day of feeling bad, thinking about having cancer, talking about having cancer. I think Erick feels similarly. This is where #TeamSoderlund has been most encouraging to us. Your presence in our lives is instrumental in keeping us going in those times when we think we can't take one more step forward. It is a powerful example of just how much community matters.