A few weeks ago, my oncologist asked me to get some labs drawn because it had been over a year since we had “checked in” with my bloodwork. While I’ve gained confidence in my healing with each subsequent scan that comes back stable, I still get a bit nervous.
Per the doctor’s orders, I hopped over to the Stanford Clinic in Los Gatos to get labs drawn (I was in San Jose with Trinity for a dance convention at the time). The labs were checking for COVID antibodies and a general CBC panel to see if my immune system had recovered from all the chemotherapy. To my surprise, they only needed four vials this time versus the times when I had 13 or more drawn. As I left the lab, I thought back to the days of walking into the hospital, slow, weak, and feeling defeated. I was hit with a deep sense of gratitude to have those days behind me.
A couple of days later, a notification for “New lab results in your patient portal” popped up on my phone. Anxious to see see the results, I opened the reports while Trinity was busy in her dance class. I sat there amongst a multitude of other parents who were all watching kids performing on stage. My only focus at that moment was to see what the numbers showed, knowing that these lab results could quickly change the trajectory of the proceeding days, months, and weeks ahead. I rapidly scanned the report for any “out of range” numbers so I could hopefully put my mind at ease.
Ugh, to my dismay, a couple of elevated numbers made me a little concerned. Immediately, my mind started to race: What did this mean? I have been feeling a bit run down lately, traveling a lot, and not resting enough – could this be the reason? I started to reprimand myself, as my mind began to wonder: is it back?
Unfortunately, I had to wait to find out. My telehealth visit was the following week to review the results, but those three small words set up camp in the back of my mind: Is it back? Had I let “normal” life get in the way of doing what I know I am supposed to do. A bit of fear started to stir up thoughts of doubt about my healing… thoughts that I am all too familiar with and I know aren’t from God.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
I stopped myself from going there and encouraged myself: there is grace. I am not a perfect person… far from it. But praise God that He uses and empowers imperfect people like me. I may only be a work in progress, but through Him I can do great things. Every day I am humbled that I am still on this earth and that he gave me the miracle of more time.
Thursday finally came to meet with Dr. Miklos, who was once just a doctor to me, but now is also a friend. As I considered this, I was filled again with thankfulness to have had him on my team, especially considering how crucial it is to have a good team of people working with you and for you.
(Side note: Being confident in your doctor is critical. If you don’t get a “good vibe” or feel like your doctor isn’t there to listen, serve, and support you, then keep shopping around until you find one that makes you feel that way. It will be worth it!).
As he went over the numbers, I anxiously awaited his explanation of my elevated numbers. To my surprise and relief, he said that my numbers were all wonderful!
The lab work showed all my numbers were “back up,” meaning my immune system had recovered completely– and I was as healthy as a “normal” person. The numbers that concerned me were just indications of recovered T cells and B cells! Whew! Praise God! \
I was and am still healed!
And that’s not even the best news that he shared… He also told me:
NO MORE SCANS!!!!
I was overjoyed! Given all the stable scans that I have had for the last 4 years, there is no need to subject me to any more radiation; blood work follow ups will be sufficient!
As I reflect over these past several weeks, I cannot help but think back to the beginning: It’s been 5 1/2 years since my diagnosis and almost exactly 4 years since the day that I found out I had Double Hit Lymphoma and given a poor prognosis. Whether people attribute my healing to conventional therapy, to prayer, the holistic healing therapies, nutrition and supplements, or a combination, what matters most is that God allowed it all to work together for good and for His glory.
And now my mission is to share that good news with others: There is HOPE for those who have been diagnosed with cancer or any other disease.
Somewhere over the rainbow…dreams (and prayers) really do come true.
That’s my story… and I am sticking to it.
“God works all things for good, for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Onward & Upward,