We got the phone message while away on our trip to Portland.  It was from Karen’s oncology office:

“Your test results were inconclusive.  We need to take another look.”

Four weeks ago, I knew in my gut that it was not going to be good news.

I’m sad to report that the doctors have discovered that Karen’s cancer has recurred, two years post-surgery this very week.  The marker in her blood was elevated, and a CT scan showed a suspicious area in her lower abdomen.  The biopsy taken by laparoscopy proved our worst fears this week.

The area is small, about 2cm, much smaller than what was discovered previously.  Regardless of size at this point it is not to be ignored or underestimated.  A second round of chemotherapy treatments have been ordered and will proceed in a week and a half.  We brace for the worst and hope for the best.

King Solomon reminded his readers that “it is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other.”  We take his wisdom to heart and hold the reality of the situation in one hand, while not releasing the chance of a more favorable outcome in the other.  Anytime cancer recurs, the odds in your favor decrease.  But odds are still odds and sometimes you beat the house.

It’s Uncertainty and all Its unanswered questions that brings the most weight.  Excessive energy can be spent trying to solve an equation that does not have a solution.  Instead I am trying to center in on what I do know and that is, none of us own tomorrow.  Cancer or not, no one knows what tomorrow may bring and worrying about it can’t add a single hour to our life span.  Living one day at a time sounds like cliché, until you are forced into a situation where that’s your best option.

We also hold onto what we learned two years ago, and that is we are incredibly blessed to have amazing family,  friends and staff who literally will do anything for us.  One friend asked me what he could do to help, and the first thing that reluctanly escaped my mouth was to clean my leaf-impacted gutters.  Without hesitation he came right over and took care of it. These little unsuspected acts of kindness aren’t easily forgotten.

I write this on Karen’s behalf so she does not have to tell the story over and over again, and to give you permission to ask us about it when you see us.  It’s our daily reality, so you’re not going to make us feel bad by talking about it.  Thank you also for your prayers of support.  My dad always said he would trade one of mine for two of his. And thanks to The Kaul, who put this song by The Decemberists on a mix tape for me.  It’s nice to know that we don’t carry this yoke by ourselves.


Another Chapter in the Story

9 thoughts on “Another Chapter in the Story

  • May 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    You and Karen and family have my prayers.

  • May 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Chef – I posted the link to your blog on our church Facebook page. Please know we will be diligently praying for the Great Physician to restore your sweet wife to her normal health!

  • May 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Praying for you and Karen as you go through this again. I know what it’s like – next month will be my 1 1/2 year checkup after completing chemo and radiation in 2010, and not knowing how those test results will turn out is always difficult. Thank you for the reminder to take each day as it comes; each one is such a blessing.

  • May 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Big hugs to both you and Karen. I truly wish I were there to help take care of you both, even if only to pour you a really good sermon at the end of the night. Maybe two or three sermons. 🙂 Lots of love, you guys, and all the best to you. You’ve got my thoughts from across the pond.

  • May 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    So sorry to hear this but we too will be hoping for the best.

    • May 25, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      Our prayers are with you all, remember, No One FIGHTS Alone!

  • May 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    You are greatly loved by our family and we hold you dearly in our hearts and prayers.

  • May 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Our prayers are with you all, and remember “No One FIGHTS Alone”

  • May 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Our prayers are with you all, No One FIGHTS Alone!

Comments are closed.