Thursday, September 4, 2014


While trying desperately to stay busy this morning, I looked up some bible verses on waiting, the one that hit home was this one, Philippians 4:6-7, do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. I don't know if that was the reason my blood pressure was normal today instead of off the charts as in my first visit but I was able to stay reasonable composed until we received the news.

It wasn't what we wanted to hear but it wasn't as bad as it could have been, my bone marrow biopsy was fine but the PET scan picked up two more spots, one on my chest and one on my arm that then technically bumped this up to stage 4. But in lymphoma, stage 4 is not the terrible news that it is in other cancers.

Does anyone remember the skit on Hee Haw where Roy Clark and Grandpa Jones were talking?
Roy - "I fell out of an airplane yesterday."
Grandpa - "OH MY! That's bad!"
Roy - "No, that was good because on the ground was a big hay stack."
Grandpa - "Oh, that was good!"
Roy - "No that was bad because a pitchfork was sticking up out of the hay stack...." and the skit went on. I felt much the same way today.

I saw the other oncologist that travels to BV and didn't know what to expect because I'd been told that he was a no nonsense doctor. When he came in the room with my chart, he kind of chuckled and said he was reading a novel and the couple in the book's name was French. I asked him what happened to them and he said they were killed! At least he thinks they were killed because they haven't been found. Then he even told a joke, A robber went into a bank and told everyone to get on the floor, no one look at him because then he would have to kill them. After he got the money, before he left, he said, "Did anyone see my face?" A guy at the back of the room raised his hand and said, "I think my wife got a good look at you!"

I'm not quite sure what to make of him.

After explaining the good and the bad of my diagnosis, he said he recommended a round of chemotherapy and that is when the tears flowed, that was not what I wanted to hear. He did say the drugs he is prescribing shouldn't make me lose my hair and that was probably the best news all day. He asked me how my veins are, I have no idea, they seem to carry my blood fine through my body, but chemo is hard on them so I need a port put in my chest. More fun, the only good thing is it will be the same dr who did the needle biopsy so I will be able to ask him if his office girl routinely gives out devastating news to unsuspecting patients over the phone.

After a lengthy wait while a physical and surgery was scheduled for next week, a nurse came and talked to us about everything, had a sheaf of papers about the drugs and what to expect from chemo and I just wanted to put my hands over my ears and go, "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!" Luckily I did retain a shred of decorum and fought the impulse.

We were a rather subdued group when we left so Bruce suggested a trip to DQ for a treat, I'm going to give you a little tip, if you are in a hurry, don't go the Storm Lake DQ. Bruce went to check the hay he has down to see if it was fit to bale, usually I'm not looking forward to square baling but today I welcomed it. I needed to get out and do something, unfortunately it wasn't dry enough. Since the day had not met my expectations so far, I decided to do the stinkiest job on the farm, clean the chicken coop. That job will make a sane person question why you want the two legged poop machines after all. 

I have no idea what to expect in the next few months so if I regress and wallow some more after I promised I was over that, please cut me some slack. One thing I do know, I'm so very blessed to be surrounded by such loving and caring family and friends who are showering me with their best wishes, much like being wrapped in a warm blanket.


  1. I'm trying to write something comforting, but am in shock! Can only try to imagine what you and Bruce are feeling/thinking. We'll all pray for the best! See you tomorrow - Love to you both - Rosanne

  2. I think all of us would like to give that doctor's office girlie an earful! Oh Julie, wish I was there to give you a big hug. I'm so grateful that the bone marrow biopsy was clean! We shall focus on the positive, you will keep your hair and God will be with you every step of the way! In times like this, I always wonder what people without faith do? So glad He is with you! Please let me know if anything I can do. Much love to you & Brucie!!