Yesterday, my oldest, Brendan text me and said, “Just jumped into the Ponderosa Moments, we seem to have a lapse. (insert thinking emoji) Maybe writing could help with some anxiety. (insert thinking emoji again) Maybe free us mentally. (insert thinking emoji again…this emoji is starting to get on my nerves) HMMMMMMMMMMM ;)” Well now doesn’t Brendan have on his thinking pants or his smarty pants. But I think he is right. I love to write and I think it could be a distraction.
So for you that may not know and are wondering what the “hiccup” may be at the Ponderosa, the hiccup is me. Mama. Mama doesn’t get down, Mama rises to the challenge. But this time the hiccup is truly me. A brief synopsis of the last week. Sunday I started with what I thought was a stitch in my side that escalated to Richter scale pain. I do have a pretty high tolerance to pain. My bestie Teresa reminded me that I had delivered above-mentioned son on the sofa sans the pain meds. I despise going to the ER with a big fat $500 co-pay to be told something like, “It’s gas or you have a viral infection”. So I was determined to avoid it. Tator did not like seeing me in pain and was quite fretful. I finally looked at him and said, “Would it make YOU feel better to take ME to the ER?” “YES,” he replied and off we went. Thinking it was maybe appendicitis or maybe an ovary cyst or Tator thought kidney stone, we were just oblivious that it could be anything other than that. So after a CT scan and a visit from a new doctor, he dropped the BOMB on us. The Radiologist had read my CT scan and found a very large mass on my right kidney and believed it to be Renal Carcinoma. Ok, stop right there. I am not always the brightest bulb in a room, but I know the word Carcinoma does not mean anything good.
The tears fell like a sprinkler. Poor Doctor could not find any tissues and handed me gauze squares. His job from that point was to get me admitted for my pain and start the ball rolling with Urology. So morphine became my friend. They admitted me and the dialog was opened with Urology. They told me not to expect a visit from Urology until Monday. Which I totally understood. It’s Sunday after all. But at 10 pm there was a knock on my door and my angel appeared in the form of Dr. Williams, my Urologic Oncologist. He felt that the news that I had received earlier in the day deserved some face time with him. He came in and sat down to talk like we were old friends. I knew then that he was going to be my doctor.
So it’s FriYAY and here’s what has transpired. I was released on Tuesday Afternoon with good drugs. MRI on Thursday, (that could be another whole blog post) and follow up Dr. Williams appointment at 3. He shared with Mark and I the MRI images. The Big Ass Mass (whom I will refer to as BAM from this point forward), is HUGE and not what I envisioned. We don’t know if it is Adrenal or Kidney Cancer. Pathology will determine that. Stage 3. Not invading the Vena Cava. (Thank you, GOD, because that results in OPEN HEART surgery!) IT is snuggled up with my liver. That adds a complication. There appear to be 2 liver metastases. There is no spreading to my lungs or upper area and my lymph nodes are good. Surgery will be minimum of 6 hours but most likely longer. Surgery will be tricky and complicated and I will most likely need to have blood but Dr. Williams is confident in what he’s going to be doing. Surgery will be May 12 at Norfolk General. Phew…that’s a lot to digest.
This week has been an emotional roller coaster. I have been overwhelmed by those who have reached out to offer help, love, and prayers. I have complete faith in God during this little hiccup. I know he has a marvelous plan for my life. I have to share with you. I really have always thought that I walked alone(God was there, but didn’t know I was impacting others). I have tried to shine God’s love but always uncertain of if I was doing a good job. BUT over the last 6 days, the love that has been poured back to me and the prayers have confirmed that I am not walking alone. I have a tribe. WE will call you the Ponderosa Tribe!!!!
Cancer affects people differently. It’s funny the thoughts that have been running through my head. I have a very long to-do list. Things to make sure are covered during my hospital holiday. ( I have some Park Lane friends from Australia…I’ve always wanted to use the word “Holiday” like they do!!) Mark is stressed and his focus is on me and not losing me.
God has blessed me in so many ways. He gives me wisdom and words to share with you all along my journey. He has showered me with friends who love me, who are praying for me, who will chauffeur me, who are sending me cards, who send me messages, who check on me, who lift me, who make meals for us, send us gift cards, even those who have given to the goFundme that was set up.
I have to share with you that I have also learned a lot about pride and not blocking blessings. My dear Park Lane friend set up a goFundme page. I was a little freaked about it. I didn’t want people to be thinking that we couldn’t make our bills or that we were in dire straights. (Cause we are not) However, that is pride talking. If people want to share the blessing of finances with us that will go towards the huge medical bills that are headed our way, I will not block it. Mark is really starting to stress over the thought of the bills that are going to be coming our way. I’ve told him to not stress over that. God will figure a way for us. He told me that I stressed my way and he stressed his way. So I left that argument alone. So Jennifer Horton thank you for having the foresight to set it up. WE are touched and blessed beyond measure. Michelle Tarrant a dear friend of like 17 years was offering to do things to help and I started to object and she threw her hand up in a “STOP” position….and told me to not BLOCK her blessings. That was powerful. So I am trying to be humble and accept help and blessing where they are presented. Even when I feel useless and like a burden. God is sending me angels every day.
So there you have it a hiccup in the journey at the Ponderosa. Colton’s blood pressure is being maintained by medicine. His kidney ultrasound and heart ultrasound showed no issues. He has also lost 14 lbs. How awesome is that. I am so proud of him.
God is leading me through the storm and I hope you will follow along with the journey.
It’s gonna be a Cancer Moment today.
From a comfy chair at my desk to your kitchen,
Elizabeth Queen of the Ponderosa