Saturday, April 7, 2012

Update on my sister

I thought there would be no post this day, but I have news to share.  My sister went to the doctor to receive confirmation that all the coordinating doctors agree to wait before doing anything about the unidentified growth in her brain.  My sister really likes this guy, and after hearing about the meeting, I can see why.  She said that while the doctors may all agree, she does not.  And after explaining her (and our) hesitancy to trust a doctor’s choice to ‘wait a while’ in the wake of her having to wait two years for any doctor to take her seriously the first time (and to discover a huge, fingered, malignant tumor growing unchecked in her brain), the doctor agreed that a more aggressive approach was wholly appropriate for a patient so young.  So, my sister will go in for surgery that will be both a treatment and a diagnosis next month. 

Another important update is that the tumor she had was of a type that would always return and, barring unforeseen accidents, would be the eventual cause of her death.  Since her last surgery and radiation, however, a chemotherapy treatment has been discovered/manufactured that will eradicate this tumor completely!!  That is why part of the purpose of the surgery scheduled for next month will be diagnostic.  They will test this new growth to see if it is the same type of tumor.  If so, this will be its last appearance in my sister’s body!  The cool doc actually said, ‘we should do surgery in May so that you can play with your kids all summer.’  Oh, Lord, let it be!

We are still saving money---do you see how close we are??  God has been abundantly gracious through our friends who’ve been so generous.  We are humbled and grateful beyond words.  What a privilege it is to be the one who gets to call or text my sisters with ever-increasing totals.  We all cry and wonder with each other at how it is all coming together.  My husband believes our goal is unrealistically low and prefers we have a better cushion to cover emergencies, but we are so close, I really don’t want to change it. 

We want to get out to Texas with all the kids in early June (after the surgery and the big kids come home from college).  I believe that this will be our final opportunity to be three sisters and seven cousins all together (barring weddings and funerals) and I am feeling quite bitter-sweet about it. 

In the mean time, several sets of parents are planning visits to see Diane immediately before, during and immediately after the surgery.  As the reality of surgery, possible chemotherapy and extended houseguests (but mostly the surgery and chemo) sets in, Diane is becoming overwhelmed and anxious.  She has poured all that anxiety into the state of her house, which is reasonable, seeing as how it is one thing over which she has some reasonable control.  But her state of mind at this point is pretty prohibitive to achieving any measurable level of productivity.  Enter the little sisters!

We are going to fly (thanks to our dad) to Texas this week to get Diane’s home in order and—more importantly—to give her some peace of mind before this main adventure begins.  Tickets are bought, child care is being secured and we are nearly on our way!  We are going to play at being on one of our shared favorite shows, “The Amazing Race.”  Katie and I are going to wear matching shirts and carry backpacks and run everywhere we go announcing we are in a fast-fast-hurry because we are sister-homeschooling-moms.  If we are brave, we might even wear fanny packs!

Your prayers for our families is much appreciated.  Pray for dads and kids left on their own while Katie and I clean.  Pray for traveling and financial mercies.  Pray Diane’s cancer is obliterated.  Pray we actually leave her house in terrific shape that requires effortless maintenance in the face of a month of off-schedule living.  Pray for Diane’s husband and children.  Thanks, everyone, so very much for your love and support.

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