This week, my mother's doctors discovered a tumor in her stomach. Technically, it has already been removed, but because the biopsy revealed malignant cells, she's now facing an additional surgery. She goes to an oncologist tomorrow. I insisted on the Catholic hospital where my own doctors reside -- I am (we are) are protected by Mary and I would prefer that Her presence be invoked in every nook and cranny.
Waiting is the rust of the soul. --Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind
As I considered possible new messages to write about this week, my own personal experience has called for a grand review of topics I've already shared here. Challenges like this, the tests and lessons that come along with a serious medical issue, present an opportunity to practice everything that I preach:
- Defining the Best Case Scenario and expecting miracles
- Confronting worry and recognizing where anxiety comes from
- Accepting Change (the less-than-pretty forms of Change)
- Staying focused on the Next Obvious Step
- Hearing what you're hoping to hear
I've been calling in the angels and asking for signs. Choosing the right oncologist was our primary topic of conversation and first request for divine guidance this week. Even as I write this, my Mama just called me, excited to have received an encouraging sign -- one of her sisters who lives in another state just received a health magazine in the mail yesterday with a feature article about the doctor we had chosen. Very cool. I love that sound in someone's voice, when they share a synchronicity with me... When they know it's more than coincidence...
I was hesitant to share this personal story, mostly out of consideration for my Mama's privacy, but yesterday she remarked on the positive benefits she'd experienced from calling in her support system. Although she is nowhere near as literal as I am in the way she practices her belief system, she said to me "I do believe there is something powerful and helpful about having a lot of people thinking about you at the same time, even if they don't call it prayer."
I totally agree, and it just so happens that I have access to thousands of people who are energetically connected to me, who are tuned in, who pray regularly, who communicate with spirit guides, who are master manifesters... You guys!
So, this week, I'm activating my own global network of Love and Support and calling in some favors.
Hold my mother Sharon (and me) in your prayers.
UPDATE -- as of Monday, April 20th John, my mother's fiance, and I went to Sharon's consultation with her oncologist. I took notes and typed everything up so Mama can send out an email to everyone at once.
(We all liked the oncologist -- very good vibes and intuition about him -- his family goes to John's church and I know his mother...)
During the endoscopy earlier this month, they technically already removed a small nodule (also technically called a gastric carcinoid) from the inner mucosa of the upper stomach. It was 6mm in size (which is about half the size of my pinky fingernail; anything under 1cm is considered very small).
Although the nodule was removed from the inside, there is a root (like with a wart, I guess) still embedded in the wall of the stomach which can't be reached with laproscopy (surgery from the inside). If the root is not removed, it could simply re-grow, so he will need to surgically remove a piece of the stomach about the size of a half dollar.
He indicated making an incision about 4 or 5 inches.
The surgery should be the only treatment required.
There is a very low chance of lymph node metastasis; and a very low chance of spreading to any other organ.
Sharon will now have a blood test to check Gastrin (sp?) levels, and a CT (CAT) scan of the abdomen and pelvis to make sure there aren't any others visible anywhere.
This type of nodule is considered fairly rare, although the oncologist says he does see them quite often in his practice. This type of nodule could likely be related to pernicious anemia (which she has had her entire life, problematic during her pregnancies).
Next week, Monday April 27, they will look at the results of the blood test and CT scans and then schedule the surgery. It will likely be later within that week.
Sharon could be in the hospital for 5 - 7 days (although he did suggest that she could be out a few days sooner).
After that, he said she can pretty much go back to work when she feels up to it (depending on how long she feels weak or sore). He said it would probably be 6 weeks until she truly doesn't feel that she's just had surgery.
The details are very encouraging, very operable, very much on the "minor" end of the scale, as far these things go...