Friday, February 12, 2016

Great news, and my feelings of uncertainty

I'm spinning.  I've felt worse about the chemos--but the tumor isn't growing, is hanging out, right there as I breathe.  But not growing.  

I'm surrounded by people I love, and they're sending some good vibes my way.  I don't rejection those vibes.  But despite the vibes, my mind sometimes feels like is changing.  It's become who I am:  I'm a person who has a brain tumor, and whose professional is shifting.

Here's the good news--and it's truly good:  we went to Duke last Thursday, and my three experts said that my brain tumor isn't growing.  Gordana said that since I'm six months into this round of chemotherapy, a lack of tumor growth is a sign that it's going to keep working.  We don't know, but it's a good position.  Safe.

When I got out of the meeting, I wrote to all my family and close friends:
I just learned that my tumor isn't growing.  "All is well," said Sharon, one of my favorite medical people.  I'm very grateful. 
 I got the perfect, brief responses:
"Woot!!!" "Yay!!!" "Excellent news! I love you!" "I'm going to a lot to write about."  "I'll every moment." "Such wonderful news.""Savor every moment." Trey and Aaron emailed.  My dad and my mom shared such of what they'll to share their love.
I have no idea how Trey found this,
but it seems like it's celebrating.
I do love feelings like that, the ways that I'm surrounded by the people I love.  But my love is...a paradox.  I know I've been paradoxical, and I'm sure I'll say it again.  I feel so grateful, and also sad. Go back and read my post, what I sent to my team.  These readers send back a line of beautiful celebrations, because it's a big deal.  Having the Duke professionals share that the tumor isn't growing--this is great.  And I felt that relief!  But note that there are no exclamation points.  What does "All is well" means--that's calm.  "I'm very grateful."  And I was--I am.  At that moment, though, I wasn't excited.  I was grateful.

Paradox, right?  I'm grateful.  Feeling myself reaching out, but not with big hugs and laughter.  Grateful.  I'm getting both, but that means that I think we're in the middle.  Yes, this is great.  And yes, we don't know what to expect.

This week I had my Charleston chemo.  I've felt so tired that I've slept for two solid days.  This is normal.  The thing that I hated was that while I slept, I had nothing but nightmares.

But here I am.  Loving my daughter.  Taking my time this morning to finish my blog.  Awake right now, and it might allow me to do the things I'm doing at school.

I have nothing else to say!  But I wanted to throw things out there, since I haven't shared with you all for a while.


  1. I was just thinking about you and sitting down to look for any missed updates. I'm so glad to hear the chemo's working. Your presence here with us is a precious thing. Love,

    1. You were looking for my writing--that's so cool! xoxox

  2. Glad to hear your voice (words) again. Even more glad to hear that the tumor is NOT growing. Enjoy your weekend with Maybelle and hope your energy returns more and more each day. xoxo

  3. Chemo itself is a paradox's a poison that is meant to cure you... it seems to me that the chemo makes it temporarily impossible to be anything other than paradoxical...thank you for putting it into words for me...I so relate right now...

    1. A poison that is meant to cure you...yikes, true. And yes, you and I are relating. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as we go through our lives.

  4. I've missed your beautiful voice. I'm just sitting here with you in all your gratitude and ambivalence. Sighs and hugs and continued strength and courage.

  5. It's so good to hear/see you. I always love what you write to me. And I take your whole ending sentence--I am there with you, sitting beside you. xoxox

  6. Alison, your paradox is understandable. You alone know the enormity of your opponent. You alone know the temerity and endurance required to persevere and continue in the face of...this. In my experience your gratitude is a sign of the humility that comes from waging such a battle. "I look at life from both sides now..." This experience can bring with it a gift of wisdom. Gratitude is certainly wise. Continued blessings, Pam

  7. I just read John Grisham's book "Tumor." I hope you have too. It is so hopeful.