A weary prayer

I had my cancer doctor appointment yesterday. Potentially good news this time, which is a relief - but I won't know anything for sure until after my scan, which has now been set for "as early as possible". Given it is Christmastime, the "earliest possible" for me is January 3. I get injections the 3rd and 4th (Thyrogen - praising God anew for the insurance that allows me to pay for this $25,000 shortcut and remain on my medications). Then the electric blue pill - a mini dose of radioactive iodine 131 - for the scan on the 5th. After 9 a.m. on the 5th, I will be on my own without family once again. This is the hardest part of every year. You would think I'd be clamoring for a week off by this point, but I learned the hard way that it is an experience along the lines of "It's a Wonderful Life", and I would rather never do it again. Depending on the dose, I will be away from home for 5-7 days for the sake of my kids. Many disagree with me on this, but as a stay-at-home mom with homeschooled kids who like to crawl into my bed at night, I'm standing firm on my choice to take the most cautious road.

I learned that my lab values are climbing at an alarming rate, and that I am profoundly hypothyroid. Which means I have the following list of symptoms - great fun in the deep of winter here in the Midwest, let me tell you!
  • Severe fatigue
  • Sleepiness, sometimes sleeping up to 20 hours per day (not there yet, thank God!)
  • Depression, forgetfulness, feeling in a "fog"
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Severe sensitivity to the cold/feeling cold all the time
  • Pale, dry skin
  • Hoarse voice and sore throat
  • Puffy face and swollen eyelids
  • Elevated blood cholesterol/increased risk of heart attack
  • Pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints
  • and about 100 other things!
That's the list of the non-embarrassing side effects I'm suffering so far. The doctor is confused about why my thyroid levels seem to be going backwards as he treats me. Two options: 1) the remaining cancer has finally finished dying and my body has no internal thyroid hormones, so I just require higher dosage (the potentially good news that my anti-cancer diet has done the trick); or 2) I have developed such a severe thyroid hormone antibody level that I can no longer convert the hormone in my body and my pills have quit working. This will mean a switch in medication that will make it more difficult to suppress my cancer - and my symptoms.

I guess all I'm up for today is reporting the "news". I am tired and my fingers hurt so typing is difficult. I also received news this morning that a close cousin's baby was born at 26 weeks (a full 14 weeks early), weighing 1 lb 4 oz. He is a sweet little thing, but so tiny! His pictures brought me to tears as I so clearly remember these tiny ones...we had a few in the pediatric ICU I worked on who came to us for heart surgery and stayed for many, many months. Please keep little Ian Louis Gumtow in your prayers.

To this tiny one trussed up, brought out so soon by complications for his mother...Lord, I try to wait on you, but I beg for strength for the weak and weary. I haven't felt like I'm riding an eagle in a very long time and how I long for your rescue. Amen... Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary

You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on the wings
Like eagles
~ by Benton Brown, my favorite version here sung by Jeremy Camp ~
based on Isaiah 40:27-31