Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Paul, We've Got Good News...

"Your tumor markers have dropped to a normal level." Praise God! That is what I finally heard at my doctors appointment yesterday. After over a year, I can finally say that currently, I am cancer free. It's hard to explain the feeling that rushed over my body after my surgeon gave me the news. Not to mention when I broke the news to Dianne. All we could do was just stand there, laugh, and hold each other. We can finally begin to start living a normal life again. After I talked to Dianne I had to call my parents and let them know the news. My mom was ecstatic but telling my dad was the icing on the cake and what broke me to tears of joy. Hearing his voice and the relief he felt, as well the burden that had been lifted from him was incredible. I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for all their prayers and support. I couldn't have done it without you. It just proves that there is power in prayer.

When I got the diagnosis back in November, I was told I was in the 5% range of being cured. And while my tumor markers aren't back to 0, I am still in the normal range (normal being 0-10). And my numbers are expected to continue to drop. When I went through chemotherapy over the summer, Two months after chemo, my numbers were back in the 3000+ range. It's been over two months this time around, and with chemo and my RPLND, I am at 5. That's pretty amazing! For the first time ever I'm looking forward to meeting with my oncologist on May 19. I'm prayerful and confident that when I go back and get my lab work done again, I will be down to 0.

Even though I may very well be done with cancer, I plan on keeping this blog up. Because, I believe that being a cancer survivor is just as important as being a patient. Not to mention the fact that there are alot of things in my life that have changed because of cancer. I won't go into details know, but I'm sure it will come up as life goes on. Well friends, it's been a wonderful evening after having dinner with friends I haven't seen in years. By the way; Happy Birthday Brian Jennings. And all that being said, I leave you with this;

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His mercy endures forever."
 1 Chronicles 16:34

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's Been a While...

So I'm pretty sure it's been about a month since I have really been on my computer, much less have I sat down to blog. Having a smartphone almost eliminates me needing to get on a computer most of the time. But, nevertheless here I am attempting to get back in the groove of things again. The last time I was on here I was discussing my upcoming RPLND. The procedure went extremely well. They were able to remove the tumor as well as salvage my kidney. I was extremely happy to hear that. But I'm not gonna lie, I had never been so nervous about anything since having been diagnosed. On a good note though, the morning I was leaving my doctor came in to give me some news regarding my tumor markers. He informed me that they had dropped by over half since the surgery and that was exactly what was supposed to happen. He then went on to tell me that what should happen from that point on is that the numbers would continue to drop to a normal level. We'll find out in 8 days...

You would think that after hearing news like that you would overjoyed. I have had the hardest time being optimistic. I don't know why. Is it because I thought I had it licked last summer and it came back to punch me in the face later? Is it Satan trying to have me doubt God's healing power? Or, WAS it just me being a "negative Nancy"? I'm sure you noticed I just bolded and capitalized the word "was". Reason being;

I had fallen into a funk a few days after returning from the hospital (hence why there has been no updates in a while). You could almost say I was in a borderline depression. I was in pain, I couldn't really eat, I was   still getting nauseous, and I was having a hard time sleeping at night. I was frustrated with the way my life was going. Last Wednesday I decided I would go to All Campus Sing at Murray State. It is a competition where different residential colleges, independent divisions, fraternities, and sororities sing on the steps of Lovett in hopes to win a cash prize. It was really nice to get out of the house and see old friends and listen to some music. That night I kept thinking about how much different my life would be at this point had I not been diagnosed. Of course the next day I was back to my old depressed self, until Dianne talked to me and gave me some good advise. She told me that she could be depressed as well, but she makes a conscious decision not to. She said she has to high of hopes for the future to continue to let cancer bring her down. That made so much sense. I remember thinking to myself, "why didn't I think of that?"

So that's where I am today, I'm feeling better everyday, getting my appetite back, and haven't been sick in almost a week, and am not going to let cancer own me.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." -Philippians 4:13