Anxious times.

The next week will be a very significant period in my battle with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.  On Thursday of this week I go to Duke for blood tests, a PET scan and a bone marrow biopsy.  The results of those tests will determine whether I continue with more chemotherapy cycles or if I begin preparations for a bone marrow transplant.  I believe it would be safe to say that represents a rather major fork in the road.  But aside from deciding whether I take the right fork or the left fork, it will also represent my first indication of how effective my treatments have been at impacting my cancer.  The tests will be completed on Thursday and I have an appointment with Dr. Beaven on Tuesday to discuss the results.  There is a chance that I may get some of the results before Tuesday, but the official review and the decision on the fork in the road won't happen until Tuesday.

So the 5 days from Thursday until Tuesday will probably seem more like a lifetime.  Has the cancer been profoundly diminished?  Will the bone marrow show no signs of the disease, given that the initial test showed both bone and bone marrow involvement?  Will I be re-staged from Stage 4 down to maybe a 2?  Or will she tell me that there is very little evidence of any improvement?  Do you remember waiting to get your first test back in Chemistry, or in Calculus, or maybe in that extra tough Political Science course?  You were confident that you had done everything you could to prepare for that first test.  Maybe you had even stayed up all night studying.  But until you saw that grade, written on the top of the exam paper or blue book, you just couldn't be sure.  While the stakes between that test and my test this week are quite a bit different, the principal is much the same.

My faith that God is in control is still as strong as ever.  I know that He is aware of the desires of my heart, and hears the many prayers that are lifted to Him on my behalf.  But my mind is still anxious about hearing the final report.  I don't believe that reflects a weakness in my faith.  It simply reflects the fact that I am human.  And in my mind it is OK to be a little anxious about things like this.  The key is not letting it get out of hand and having it begin to consume you.  So I'm going to be a LITTLE nervous until about next Tuesday :-).

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