Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Damn Cancer!

If you've ever had trapped gas, you know the pain a small amount of air can make when trapped in a pocket of the intestines.  Last night, I awoke to these sharp pains in my gut.  I did what I often do in those circumstances.  I dropped to the floor beside my bed, on my elbows and knees, in a prostrate position, and rocked back and forth.  Sometimes this works to dislodge the problem and reduce the pain.  Last night, however, the ache, upon waking fully, merely shifted to an intense pain in my heart.  I continued to rock on my knees, now wracked with the groanings of the spirit.

Yesterday, my sister-in-law sent an e-mail with the results of my younger brother Tim's CT scan and they weren't good.  In his first follow-up appointment after the testicular cancer was removed, they saw two spots on his chest x-rays.  We had to wait a week for the CT scan.  Now the results are in: the cancer has spread to his lungs and liver (5 spots on the liver and 4 spots on the left lung) and is considered stage four.

When I first heard the news, I literally could not breathe.  It is the kind of thing that takes your breath away, but not in a good way.  Even after several hours, I still am not able to fully process this information.  But, as I rocked, I heard the lyrics of a familiar Toby Mac song, called "City on Our Knees." The song says, "If you gotta start somewhere, why not here?  If you gotta start sometime, why not now?"  I found myself hurling those words back at God ... why here? why now? why Tim?

They are just on the verge of celebrating Amelia's five-year remission point from her battle with leukemia.  It will be hard to rally a victorious cry for her, when her father is facing such devastating news of his own.  Cancer is like a parasite inside and you never know where it will aim its hungry jowls next.  For my brother, it is his lungs and liver.  The next step is a biopsy (to determine if it is the testicular cancer or some other type) and then chemotherapy.  All I can say is THIS SUCKS!

Information is too readily available on the Internet these days.  Of course, I googled Stage 4 lung and liver cancer.  The prognosis sounds horrible.  I am overcome with fear and loathing.  I hate this enemy something fierce!  I fear what this means for my beloved little brother and his family ... his wife, his children.  At the same time, I still cannot wrap my head around this.  It was just three months ago, my husband and I sat with Tim and Mary on our back porch (heated, thankfully - but we were still wrapped warm and cozy in blankets) laughing and talking well into the night.  How could there have been this evil lurking inside his body without our knowledge?  Will we sit on that porch again enjoying a post-Christmas visit?  What does the future hold?  Who can say?

Only God knows.  And with that I have to trust in His wisdom and His plan.  He knows where we are.  He knows what time this tragic news has come.  He knows what plans He has for my brother.  Somehow, I have to trust, but I'm telling you, the trusting isn't coming easily.  My brother's final words in his status update on Facebook: "God is bigger than all of this, but yes, this does stink!!"

Another line from that song says, "Through the fog there is hope in the distance."  I'm straining to see the hope, but the fog is pretty thick at the moment. The pain in my heart is worse than the pain in my gut will ever be.  All I can say is "Please, God, send a miracle!  Do a mighty work in Tim's life! Give us more than months to enjoy the blessing of his presence in our lives."  There are numerous people joining with us in this prayer.  We are, indeed, a "city on our knees."

UPDATE: In speaking with Tim, I gained a little more hope through the fog.  He said he doesn't have Stage 4 lung and liver cancer.  It is merely that his cancer has spread to the lung and liver (thus "stage four" merely because it has travelled).  His oncologist said this is beatable, so the chemotherapy is a good bet.  Praise God!  Still praying for His miraculous touch.


Barbara Cross said...

Wendy, I'm praying for your family and for Tim, hoping you will all be able to celebrate for him and for Amelia. God is good!

Wendy said...

Barbara - Thanks for the prayer support. He is good - all the time - even when His answers don't always pan out the way we hope.