What time I am afraid


The seasons of change speak deep into the souls of all people in this northland: autumn is always a last fervor of activity, for people and the animals, as we prepare for winter.  We dance in the yellow leaves, and rakes together God's gold into piles of glory, and harvest, can, preserve, bake crisps and pies and eat stew and soup again for the first time in 6 months.  And, because of the unique way God unfolded my cancer in my lap - surgery in summer, treatment changes in September, radiation in November - I am forever on a schedule that means I spend summer free from cancer and autumn turning back toward it.

Yesterday was my big fall appointment with my thyroidologist-slash-oncologist.  The planning appointment, when he tells me when to come back for the electric blue pill, when my wondering will begin, when I will leave home for a week.  This time, I begged for a year off from the scan.  Thought maybe we were to that point (I rarely wax optimistic, but cancer does seem to bring it out in me).  I am nursing Amy, and I must wean her again, now a second time and a time when she desperately needs the nourishment, a week before I get the dose of radioactive iodine.

The doctor shook his head obstinately, set in stone, when I mentioned it.  My TSH has been not adequately suppressed now for 4-6 weeks (this is discouraging, because I called the office to warn them, 4 weeks ago, but was told to wait for my appointment).  My tumor marker remains mildly elevated, and has climbed just a few fractions of a decimal point again (from 0.4 in June to 0.9 now).  He somberly intoned that there are two things that make him worry in terms of tumor marker values: stimulated values over 5 (my last was 2.5, up from 0), and numbers of any positive value that are trending upward (which mine definitely are).  He said that tells him that, based on his experience, I have more treatment in my future.  Because I chose the radioactive iodine avenue back in 2008, that means a larger dose (150 mci) of radioactive iodine, and a long, 4-6 week separation from small children and infants (of whom I happen to possess a few in my very own home).

He did capitulate on timing of the scan.  He felt it would be tolerable to do another check of my tumor markers in December and then, assuming they are about the same, wait on my scan until January, after the holidays.  Two extra months to nurse Amelia.

And I prayed, deep and hard and long last night.

Lord, fill the cracks where Satan splits my life.
Let those cracks run red with Your blood.
Forgive me, for all the times I fall short,
for all the times my lips spill unholiness,
forgive me for the known and the unknown.
Make our paths straight.
Lead us in the ways of righteousness.
Redeem these broken lives we offer You.
We love you, Lord.
It is such a comfort to have the Words you gave...
What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee...
I will never leave thee,  nor forsake thee...

Help me wean my baby again.
I am so lonely already...and January is 3 months off.