Thursday, June 23, 2011

RAI scan - June 2011

Well, the scan is done and it was inconclusive. It showed a large dark spot in my right jaw area. I've been having swelling, numbness and tingling in that area for 3 weeks now, so that makes it suspicious. I'm waiting for Dr. Bajpai (oncologist) to talk with Dr. Phillips (radiologist) to determine the next step. I'll either go back to see Dr. Dumas (ENT), or have further testing done to determine what is causing the symptoms. Otherwise the scan looked clean, with no uptake in my neck or chest, which is great news.
Thyrogen is an amazing medicine. I was injected twice prior to the scan. This enabled me to remain on my thyroid meds rather than go off them for a month prior to the scan. My TSH prior to the injections had been in the 0.2 range. Yesterday my TSH was 78!! And the only real side effects I've had are sleeplessness and fatigue. HOpefully my TSH will go back to the normal range pretty quickly.
So now I'm waiting to hear about the next steps...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Review: Untamed

Lisa Harper has a way with words. She takes gospel stories and rewords them as though they were happening today. For example, she rewrites John the Baptist's message to Jesus this way:
"Are you really the Messiah? I mean, good night, here I've been slaving away in the desert without wine, women or ESPN, and You're going to parties, hanging out with drunks and prostitues, and telling people to love those who persecute them. I thought You were going to come out swinging and spewing fire!" (Chapter 3, pge 51).
Yes, she maintained the essential gist of the message John sent back to Jesus (Mt 11:1-3), but adds an edge and some humor. Typically that's my own style of storytelling and writing as well. It engages people who might otherwise not be able to get through a study about the Messiah. It adds a little skin, makes Him seem more real.
The book is laid out in chapters, with questions at the end of each chapter. It could work well as a Bible study guide for new Christians. It is not theologically deep, but it does tear away the images of a Jesus in clean white robes who never sweat or got tired.
So it's not my favorite book about Jesus, but I believe it has a place in the church, where often times people shy away from a Jesus to whom they can't relate.

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for the purpose of this review.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Next things...

I've had very little going on lately in regards to cancer. I've been seeing my oncologist farily regularly, but nothing else. But next week is my follow up RAI (radioactive iodine) scan to see if there's any residual thyroid cancer. So I've been on the low iodine diet, which really isn't as bad as I made it out to be originally. Last time I had to do it for 2 months, but this time only a few weeks. And I've lost 10 lbs, which is a nice side benefit!
Ordinarily with this scan, I would have to stop all my thyroid meds for a month prior to the scan. That would make me extremely hypothyroid, which was a very unpleasant place to be - fatigue, hallucinations, memory loss (I almost forgot to include that one!) But thanks to a drug called Thyrogen, I don't have to stop my meds at all. That sounded like a good deal at first, but as I've read more about Thyrogen and understand how it works, it's a little scary. Instead of becoming hypo over the course of a month, I'll become hypo in just two little days! Yikes!
So my upcoming schedule is as follows:
Monday - Thyrogen injection
Tues - second injection
Wed - labs, then swallow the RAI pill
Thurs - a 2 hour full body scan at 11:00, then see my oncologist at 1:00 and get the verdict - to treat, or not to treat!
Fri - labs
If anything at all shows up on the scan, I'll have to have another high dose RAI treatment, which will mean 8 days in isolation again.
Along with all this, I've had a swollen area in my jaw for the past 3 weeks. My face is numb and tingly, and certain noises make my ear ring really loud. I've been trying to decide: dentist or doctor? I have no tooth pain at all, but it's a possibility. In my indecision, I've done neither in hopes it will just all go away. I'll probably stop in to see my doctor some time next week. Hopefully that's not related to everything else. Sigh...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Book Review: The Waiting Place

The Waiting Place; Learning to Appreciate Life's Little Delays
by Eileen Button

This book is a collection of personal essays written by Eileen Button throughout her life, as she experienced various delays, interruptions and struggles. It's a quick read, and she is transparently honest in how she faces each delay. Her life as a Methodist pastor's wife, mother, adjunct college professor and finally newspaper columnist is filled with disappointments, unfulfilled dreams, a seriously ill child and a busy and often distracted pastor/husband.

I was drawn quickly into this book, enjoying the honesty and sweetness of her writing. After a while, though, I found myself longing to read of her dependence on God and His unavoidable wooing. I was hoping to read about how God is great in the good times, and just as great in the bad times. So I guess I finally closed the book feeling a little disappointed. I wanted a glimpse into the life of someone so enamored with God that the waiting places throughout life became meeting places with God. Instead it was basically just a biography done in essay format. Well done, if that's what you want to read.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson publishing for the purpose of this review.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Life gets in the way

So many times there are things I'd rather be doing, but life gets in the way. I'd rather be writing, but I have a Monday through Friday job. I'd rather be traveling, but there are bills to pay and not much money leftover. I'd rather be a stay-at-home mom, but, well, you get the picture. It's easy for the necessary things to become embittering and mundane. I think that's happening to me a lot lately. And so I need to desire the great gain in godliness that comes from contentment (1 Tim 6). It's true that I never, ever have a surplus of godliness! The question is how much to I desire godliness? Enough to press on in my Monday through Friday job, paying bills, staying at home with my family? Enough to say, "Thank you, Father, for everything that I have that has come from Your hand, and thank you for the things You withhold?" For therin lies true contentment.
So today I will pray for the desire to desire godliness above other things. I pray God will work His will in my heart, so that I will be willing to be content in what I have - after all, I have a Father who flung the stars into space and holds creation together through Jesus (Col 1:17). What more could I really ask for?