What is Reality?
Reality is the last statement in the last blog: I rest in the reality that God is always with me. The knowledge of God's faithful, loving, merciful, compassionate care for me as His child is the reality that defines my life.
Reality is hearing that the CA125 number has inched up into the forties and that the scans reveal more cancer than was present when pictures were taken six months ago.
It is seeing the doctor shake his head, "No," when I said, "We're not going to get rid of this things, are we?"
Those realities leave me wondering if the cancer is more real than the life I live as a wife and care partner, a mother and grandmother, a friend and a Minister of Word and Sacrament. Is one more real or more important than another?
I cannot escape the reality of the cancer. I embrace the realities of family, friendship and the ministry God has given. God will show me a balance in all of this.
Treatment is again a reality--a new treatment that offers more hope than some. There has been some noted success for patients (I hate that word, so let's just say "people") w/ recurring ovarian cancer who are given Avastin. It is not a chemotherapy drug in that it doesn't kill off cells; it works on the blood vessels that feed tumors. Please understand, that is my interpretation of it, not a scientific description. As with everything, there are some possible side effects, some can be serious or life threatening, but then, cancer is both of those things. The drug is to be given in conjucntion with a chemo drug, again with possible side effects, but I will be closely monitored. It will be a schedule of one a week for three weeks, then off a week. That's as far as we got in the discussion. I failed to ask how many sets of treatment. The main thing was to get going and discover how "real" it will prove to be in my case. I sort of get the impression that if it is successful in reducing cancer cells, it will be come like the disease, chronic as in "hanging around." It is not a cure; it could offer a controlling effect.
More than anything, I hate what this does to Tom and our children. They always are realistic, supportive and take things in stride. The realities where they are concerned are two-fold: the depth of their love and concern they have for me and my desire to protect them. Those are hard for me to balance.
The question now is: how will I--how will we--respond to this reality of cancer, treatment and this wonderful life we've been given?