Select Page

 “O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot.  For me the measuring lines have fallen on pleasant sites; fair to me indeed is my inheritance.”  Ps 16(15)

Dear family and friends,

Okay, it’s been a long time since my last post almost a year ago in March.  I can’t blame it on COVID, any exciting cancer stuff, fleeing California, or any of the things you usually hear from people who drop back into your life after a long and unexplained absence.  Sorry.

My last post was about a seizure and an ambulance ride.  After that, I restarted infusions every two weeks to try to prevent brain tissue swelling and more seizures.  You might recall that, going back a couple years now, I’ve sometimes been accused of doing less than a great job of keeping cancer handled like the pro that I should be by now.  Okay, guilty as charged, but sometimes this cancer punk has a mind of its own.  What am I trying to say?  There have been two times since last March when I was in a car with a friend or a coworker and they took me to the ER to get checked out as possibly having a seizure.  One of the times it was another grand mal seizure like the one I eventually got around to mentioning in last March’s smart-alecky post about abdominal pain and other stuff no one asked to hear about.  This more recent time, they checked me out in the ER and I was home in a few hours.  I even worked the next day.

Let me say something that probably should be obvious here. After a couple years of dealing with brain tumors and learning how the little jerks operate, then having a couple new seizures, the thoughtful cancer survivor might suspect something is up.  I apparently am not as thoughtful as I thought.  Because today I got the radiology report from last week’s quarterly brain MRI and was surprised to learn that I have a little growth in 3 brain tumors that had been keeping a low profile.

Could this explain the two more recent ER trips, as well as the fact that I’ve been having migraines for several months now?  I’m no doctor, but I’m going to guess that’s actually an affirmative, and Ghost Rider buzzed the tower without permission.

If this cancer is as cocky as Maverick, I’m going to need a whole new approach

Okay, so I’m catching on.  We don’t know what this report of tumor growth really means, but we’re meeting with my doctor on Monday, and I think the next steps in the plan will be one of the following:

  1. Radiation treatment(s) if the tumors appear suited to it.  The key obstacle would be that if it turns out they have previously radiated the same area, they can’t radiate that area again.
  2. If no radiation is possible, maybe wait and see.
  3. If wait and see seems too risky, maybe a more aggressive surgical intervention.
  4. I suppose there’s a small chance there’s a clinical trial of a novel medication, but I doubt it.  Oncologists got together a while ago and decided they didn’t want to send a bunch of experimental drugs past the blood-brain barrier.  That can cause swelling, which I know for sure is a no-no in brain-related matters.
So I’ll take your prayers while I wait and see.
A few friends asked me today how I’m hanging in there with all this.  To the first one I said that I’m feeling fine.  I’ve been through episodes like this a lot.  I have pretty persistent uncertainty and have even had 8 brain tumors to think about at one point … and yet … I have to admit being somewhat tired of cancer.
I admitted to being able to see settling this in a street fight.

Let me be clear that being tired of cancer doesn’t mean being ready to give up.  I am loved by my family and supported with prayer by all of you.
Worth being tired of cancer.  Every day is a joy.
I told another friend I feel like I’m getting a gift I pray for every day.  I pray that when I leave this earth, it be when my family and I are more ready for it.  Part of my being ready for it is that I get to leap to heaven – that it will be a breeze.  No holdup in the line at St. Peter’s desk, no getting assigned remedial humility, Love of God summer school, or any purifying me of attachment to the way *I* think things should be (which would be an insufficient love and trust of God, such that I’m not actually ready to handle that divine introduction).  My prayer is that the challenges and sufferings of this life will burn away those inadequacies I know I have right now.  So anyway, I told my friend that I feel like this cancer inconvenience is an answer to that prayer.  Cancer makes me more concerned for others, more forgiving of the things that annoy me about people, more focused on what would make people happy, and the list goes on.  I don’t recommend getting cancer.  But I can recommend some ways to let it change you for the better if you get blindsided by it.
With fortitude and prayers for you,