waiting for the call

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i've spent the better part of the last four days waiting for "the call" -- the one that will supposedly explain the reason for my sister's inability to recover from what should have been fairly routine knee surgery.

of course, the problem is that since my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago there is no such thing as "routine" surgery of any kind anymore. even though, thanks be to God, my sister survived the patchwork butcher job they had to do on her body to get the cancer out and even though, thanks be to God, she has been a cancer survivor for four years, the team of "experts" who are her doctors explained that the numbers game -- the one in which they tell her she could have a good 5 to 10 years left as long as her body remained in remission, as long as her body fought for her and not against her -- that numbers game is really just a guessing game. this team of experts is not God after all. they may work for Him, but ...

so a few weeks ago, my sister goes in for "routine" knee surgery, but the blasted incision won't heal. hmmmm. the doctors didn't like the look of it. it's almost been five years of remission? hmmmm. they really didn't like the look of that.

so, my sister goes in and has some tests. tests. and more tests. this is my sister who has had more tests run on her than any human should ever have to undergo. this is my sister who has never smoked a cigarette and never touched a drop of alcohol and never engaged in any remotely risky behavior in her life. she's the sort of person who, when they are diagnosed with such an ugly damn disease you scratch your head and wonder, what the hell? she's one of the few human beings who actually walks the same spiritual path she talks. she loves the Lord and He loves her. so, what the hell? this is the sister who, as she was being wheeled into surgery to have her breast and muscles and lymph nodes cut off and ripped out, turned her head to me and said, "sister? i don't know what tomorrow holds, but i know Who holds tomorrow. okay?"

when her knee wouldn't heal like it was supposed to, she went back to the doctors to find out what her body was doing to her this time. well, they ended up saying a bunch of highfalutin medical terminology which basically scares the crap out of the average listener and it boils down to this: the cancer is back. which cancer is eating her up this time? well, it may not be the cancer, but it's some sort of cancer. we just need to figure out what kind. the bad kind or the really bad kind.

at first my sister didn't seem to care which kind. she's tired of it and said that she'd already sworn off both "c" words -- cancer and chemotherapy. been there, done that, not gonna do it again. but it may not be the really bad cancer, they told her. so, don't count chemo out completely.

so she's been waiting to see if it's the "good" cancer -- the sort of treatable kind. and we've all been waiting for the call.

well, the call finally came just a few minutes ago. my sister has been diagnosed with something called myelodysplasia, an unusually melodic word that describes a disorder that royally mucks up your marrow. it seems she's been thrown a bone, so to speak. this isn't the really bad bone cancer that they feared would kill her in a few months. this is the just the bad bone marrow cancer that they may be able to treat with a bone marrow transplant and just a little bit of chemo. now we have to find a bone marrow donor. her mother, daughter, and female siblings will be the most likely matches.

so now, i'm just waiting for the call.

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I will keep your sister in my prayers.

Will keep praying...

Dear Smockmomma,

I am so sorry to hear this news. I will pray for you and I will ask my entire Carmelite community to pray for her.



I'm praying here. It would devastate me if my sister were sick. Just know that I am praying for you all.

Adding your sister to my prayer list. May God strengthen her!

Oh Smock...I'm so sorry.

May God be with you all.


Your sister sounds awesome. May the Lord be especially present to her and to all of your family as she out for another round against the "c" word. May she and God knock it out again!

praying harder than ever. thought a lot about you guys when I was in my old Anglican parish for Sophia's funeral. wish they would cross the Tiber too.....

I'll be praying, M. And you are going to have to settle for a virtual hug till I see ya Sunday.

Ouch. Adding her to my prayer list.

Hi Smockmamma

Your sister has the right attitude

My poor sister in law died of bone cancer after it had gone from the breast to the bone after about 2 years. She had had depression and had sort of given up on everything and I often wondered if she suffered from a very deep despair which had opned the way for her breast cancer. She always struck me as a very sad person even before her cancer came. Praying for your sister and your family


Add me to the list of those praying...and here's a bit of positive info: bone marrow transplants have come extremely far in a relatively short amount of time. My mother underwent one last year and simply because of the advances they've made in five or so years, the prognosis was far better than it would have been a few years back. (And it wasn't for cancer; it was for a debilitating, marrow-scarring blood disease) It's not a pretty procedure, and you have to have a match. IIRC, siblings have the best chance of matching; mom has only one sister and ta-da! they matched. And the donation is annoying, too. Post-tx, she was in for a long time of a scrupulously sterile environment, but it might be a completely different scenario for cancer patients. Mom is walking around, almost back to normal one year later. Have hope.



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This page contains a single entry by smockmomma published on September 13, 2004 9:42 PM.

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