Day 8 – Friday (8/31/18)

Note: I got a little out of sync on the blog today because I needed to use it to get information to everyone in a timely manner (I didn’t want to leave you all hanging when I finally had a few answers).  This blog “day” is now updated and finalized.  I will resume with a new blog post tonight, covering Saturday.

So I know the question on everyone’s mind.  Did I finally get that call from the doctor?  Short answer, Yes.  The long answer is bullet pointed below:

  • The Doctor who ordered the biopsy called me
  • The pathologist does not have final results yet
  • The samples they took have narcotic tissue on the outside, which means that there is scarring on the tissue that you have to “peel back” like an onion to get to the useable tissue.
  • This has complicated things.
  • At this time, the pathologist is reasonably confident the mass is a lymphoma.
  • The question is, what type of lymphoma. In order to determine, they are having to do a “stain test”, which takes time.
  • There are three types of lymphoma it can be. All three are considered cancerous.  However, one is easily treatable.  One is hard to treat, but we have the technology locally to do so.  The last is super aggressive, and would require treatment at a major university that is about 4 hours away.
  • The doctor is worried that the current biopsy samples may not be good enough to give the definitive answer to the pathologist.
  • He is already in talks with another doctor to go in and do another biopsy (if needed… he is working this in parallel so we don’t lose time). This biopsy would be actually putting me to sleep and going in and cutting a larger piece out.  It is my understanding the final decision on this will be made Tuesday.  If the pathologist is confident he has an answer, we skip the second biopsy.  If he is still unsure, we proceed.
  • Meanwhile, they have enough probable cause that this is cancerous to authorize a PET scan. They are setting this up for Sunday.  This scan uses a dyed sugar that is injected.  Tumors soak up sugar faster than other tissue, so all tumor cells will be highlighted.
  • About an hour after the call with the doctor, I received a call to schedule the PET scan. This will be at 10:30am on Sunday, 9/2.  The test will take about 45 minutes.

I guess I could say I had mixed emotions in the hours following the phone calls.  I am the personality type that just wants a straight answer.  “You have THIS… and this is how we fix it”.  The wishy washy diagnosis at this point I guess was a little frustrating for me.  Nonetheless, I want to make sure there is an accurate diagnosis.  So, if more time is needed, or another biopsy is needed, it’s cool.  I had a lot of people offering encouraging words and support after the phone call (both to me, and to my wife).  My wife was still at work (school) because they were having a pep rally.  A couple of her teacher friends helped her out getting her and the kids home and such.  This was much appreciated.  We even hung out with both of them for a couple hours in the evening just to stay busy.  This was a nice distraction also, and I thank both of them for it.

I also was super excited when a neighbor that we met last week came over.  My wife and kids had “ran” into her one day last week while they were all walking around the neighborhood.  We had never met them, even though they had moved in some time back.  A good conversation ensued, and my wife had told her about the blog and what was happening with me (I had been asleep, taking one of my world famous naps during all of this).  The neighbor said she would pray for us, and would check on us next week.  Often times, I hear these types of comments come from a complete stranger you met 10 minutes ago, and I assume it is simply them being nice, and trying to exit the conversation quickly, stage left.  Not these neighbors though.  Again, when I saw her coming up the driveway to see how we were doing, I was amazed.  It was like God was showing me that people actually do care, and I shouldn’t be so cynical about new relationships that come our way.  In fact, I should be thankful for new relationships, and look forward to how God can use them.

Dear heavenly Father, today was a day full of mixed emotions.  Anxious for the phone call, frustrated when answers were not crystal clear, exhausted knowing more patience was required, and excited knowing that new relationships were forming.  I pray for continued guidance for the pathologist.  It would be nice if they can get a 100% diagnosis from the current samples, but if they can’t, I will know it’s Your will for another biopsy.  I guess my concern is time.  If this is aggressive, time is of the essence.  If it is not, then waiting a few more days for resolution is okay.  The assurance I have, though, is that You know the beginning from the end.  You are not constrained by time or this world.  You are the Almighty God who holds everything in Your hands.  I yield to Your will and wisdom Lord.  Help me to take the knowledge I have in my head about You, and fully transfer it to my heart so that I may live it.  Help my actions echo my words, so that others may see the Holy Spirit living in me through all that I do.  Amen.