I have thoroughly been enjoying our first spring back in California. What a gorgeous, sunshiny place we live in! I have yet to tire of sitting in the sunshine, just soaking up the warmth. I like to throw open the windows to let the fresh air in as well. Flowers are everywhere!
My voice is finally close to 100%. I get a few froggies every now and then, but nothing major. Same goes for the cough. Almost completely gone. Unfortunately, I do still have a dull ache in my throat. I've been told this may hang around for quite some time!
I had my monthly appointment with the oncologist this week and they are optimistic that I'm responding well to treatment. They are encouraged that I have no pain and that I'm feeling well. They liked that my tumor marker blood test was reduced by half last month. (However, it has risen a bit this month into the "above normal" range. This makes me a bit anxious, even though my confidence isn't in what these numbers say.)
I will NOT be having a biopsy of the rib lesion. The oncologist took my case before the tumor board and everyone on the board gave a resounding NO to the suggestion. Two reasons for this . . . 1) The lesion was small to begin with and the benefits of a biopsy would not outweigh the possible harm from a procedure and 2) They hope the lesion is no longer there.
My potassium levels are normal again, so I no longer have to take the supplements! I don't miss them! My calcium levels are low, but I started taking all my vitamins again last week, so hopefully, those will improve soon.
Overall, I feel very good. I'm ready to dump the neck brace, but of course, I have to wait for my appointment with the neurosurgeon on April 22. I have started going back to the gym, working out on the elliptical. I've missed exercise!
I will have an MRI of my entire spine on Friday, April 19 and a PET/CT scan of my entire body on Monday, April 22. (We couldn't manage to get all the appointments in one day.) These scans will let us know what the disease is doing.
I emptied my third ink pen today as I'm writing through Genesis. I'm in chapter 43 right now, the middle of Joseph's story. One thing that stood out to me was this --
Joseph was thrown into jail after being falsely accused of attempted rape.
"But there in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners—he ended up managing the whole operation. The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best." (Genesis 39:20-23 -- The Message)
Even though God was with Joseph, I can't imagine that jail was ever a comfortable place to be. Later on, as Joseph interacts with the head cup bearer, he refers to the jail as a "hole." (Genesis 40:15 -- The Message)
"But there in jail God
was still with Joseph."
"But there in disease God is still with Vickie."
Stage IV breast cancer is a jail sentence that is a result of "false accusations." (In other words, I did nothing to "deserve" this disease.) It is a hole with lots of emotional slipping and sliding that comes with trying to climb out of the hole. But God is here. He never leaves me, even when I have feelings of despair. He will work all things together for good, even if I can't always see the good.