Saturday, August 30, 2008

When God Speaks

The Lord woke me up at 4 a.m. today. I have to drive carpool this morning, so I whined a prayer something like this: "God, can I please go back to sleep? I have to get up in 2 hours."

It is not very often that I literally "hear" the Lord (the Holy Spirit) speak to me, but when it happens, it is very significant in my life.


Me: "OK" (What else can you say to God? I figured in my groggy state, that no matter what, live or die, He will heal me.) "Lord, I praise you for healing me. Can I go back to sleep now?"

Eventually sleep came again.

Now when God speaks, I am learning, you can never truly know what He means until the entire plan has been fulfilled. And so it is with this. Right now, I don't know what that means, nor will I pretend that I do.

For now, I am content to trust that He is there and that He is in control.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Medical consult at the Pizza Palace

My doctor called tonight at 8:20 p.m. while we were in the throes of a "Back-to-School" Bash at the local pizza palace. All the bells and whistles: neverending buffet, big screen TVs, mini-golf!, bumper cars, arcade, etc.

Needless to say, it was not the ideal location to discuss my medical future.

Thank heavens for cell phones. I would have never guessed he would have called me so late!

After 20 minutes of weighing the options with him, we decided to be conservative and try a 10 day round of antibiotics. Afterwards, we will repeat the CT scan and see how it effected the mass.

Currently, I am a week into my Amoxicillin from the family practice doctor. Now adding Levaquin to the antibiotic cocktail.

On a side note, M2 has also been coughing for a very long time, so, in light of what has been going on with me, we took him to the doctor yesterday and got an xray. His pediatrician seemed to feel that he and I have the same thing (walking pneumonia), it is just manefesting itself differently in me than in him. The xray was clear. Praise God!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm not who it would seem

The pulmonary specialist (lung doctor) we saw yesterday was perplexed. He said on looking at my CT scan report he fully expected to walk in and see a 50-60 year old person who had smoked for 30 years and had lost 20 pounds in the last two months. But then, there I was. (Never smoked, late 30s, lost about 5 pounds in the last 4 weeks (hey! I can't taste anything anyway!))

He wanted to "think" about my case today and what to do next. The PET scan he felt like was a little premature. It is to look for malignancy and he really felt like we didn't need to go there yet. He did have some ideas about what it could be and he did say that, yes, it could still be pneumonia. If that is the case, probably of the "walking" variety. He was very thorough in his questioning. I think he was hoping for an "aha!" moment when I would say something that completed the puzzle, but that never came.

He is going to take my CT films and sit down with a radiologist and, armed with my full history and exam, talk through the possibilities and how to proceed. I will check with him tomorrow afternoon to see how he thinks we should proceed.

I will have to say that I woke up this morning feeling amazingly better. I am hopeful that God is healing me as I write.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Today is the day Don and M2 get home from their trip. Their flight arrives at nearly midnight. It's gonna be a long day.

I have managed to dole out the kids in order to get to my CT scan. My sweet friend, L, insisted that she take me to the hospital. Neither one of us was sure if I could drive afterwards. It was good to have the company.

Despite having just been there for the chest xray on Thursday, I still have to jump through hoops of red tape AGAIN before I can go to radiology.

I just want to interject here that I LOVE hospitals. It feels like home away from home to me. I guess that comes from being a nurse. To me, there is no fear or trepidation at all in setting foot in the doors of a hospital. I am totally at home there.

Once we get to radiology, and they call my name, I am reminded of how friendly most health care personel are. The techs were amazing and we actually had a pretty good time.

I've never seen a CT scan done, so I took in the experience completely. It was over in less than 10 minutes.

It was important to me that I have some sort of information to tell Don when he got home tonight, so I asked them if they could tell me anything. Of course, I knew there was nothing they could tell me, but they did let me look at the images myself.

There is a mass there, I already knew that. But the image that stands out in my mind the most is the one where they said, "Here is the mass (pointing), and here is your heart." And they were the same size! Now this was a part of my heart that is not the BIGGEST part of my heart, but still.

I went home with the image of a golf ball in my chest.

It is hard to describe my emotion exactly, afterward. But I was not scared. Somehow, I was totally at peace with the whole thing. A peace that passes understanding.

We hit Panera bread on the way home. It was my last chance for the summer salad. It is good to taste again.

Don and M2 made it home after midnight. It was important to me that I pick them up. There was a lot of catching up to do on both ends.

As you can imagine, Don was upset that I hadn't told him sooner. But I think he realized that he would have worried. And there was nothing he could have done otherwise.

It is really good to have them home, each in one piece (especially after hearing some of the tales of their trip!)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'm so sorry . . .

My doctor called first thing this morning. "You have a mass in your lung," she told me. "I am so sorry." She didn't even want to call me. She wanted to call my husband. But she knew he was out of town and she had no choice.

They have scheduled me for a CT scan on Monday.

Should I be worried about this?

I can't tell my husband. He's not due back until Monday, and by then, everything might be O.K. Plus, I hate to ruin the last days of his vacation by causing worry.

(This blog didn't exist yet, so he couldn't have found out here.)

I worry a little on my own, with a few friends and my parents. But worrying is not in my nature. I am the eternal optomist. Surely, everything will be alright. (I did start taking the antibiotics, just to be on the safe side . . .)

Stubborn Me

I've had this cough for over four weeks. You know, when you're a mom, you sort of let these things go sometimes.

We were on our way to Colorado when it started. The usual "allergy cough" that plagues me certain times of the year.

Of course, I was thinking, when we get to the clean, mountain air, it will clear up. But where we ended up was Steamboat Springs. Where they make the finest hay in Colorado. And you have to leave your windows open because it gets hot there in the summer (in Colorado!) and they don't have A/C.

There is nothing like being on vacation, that glorious time when you go out to eat nearly every day (and I like to eat out and try new things) and not be able to taste any of it.

Not to mention, that you are in the ER the first night because it seems that son #2 has broken his ankle.

So, I let it go. Others were coughing, too. We were relegated to our own room in the condo, "the coughing room" so that the non-coughers could sleep at night.

And then I let it go the second week of vacation, because still others were coughing (the first coughers having finished their bout with allergies) and it will get better when we get back to sea level.

But through that second week I learned where all the sinuses in my head were as we travelled up to 13,000 ft and down again. I never thought my ears would be unstopped again.

Returning home, we had to do some quick unpacking. And then repacking for Don and M2 to go off on a two week trip to the Pacific Northwest (A 10 year birthday tradition in our household. Read all about M1's trip here).

Once they were gone, I figured I just needed to rest and then I would feel better. I have to get everyone ready for school now. I don't have time to go to the doctor.

But at the start of week four of coughing, I woke up in the morning with swollen, painful joints. All the sudden, I thought I might actually be sick.

After visiting the chiropractor, to no avail, I decided it was time for the big guns.

My family practice doctor, who has seen me as a patient since I was about 10 was not pleased. She said I had to take antibiotics and get a chest x-ray.

I didn't want the antibiotics and didn't initially fill the prescription. But I did go get the xray, not knowing what tomorrow would bring.