Today was a loonnng day.
I didn’t sleep very well last night because I was anxious and praying so much for JJ.
I had to take EJ to work again early this morning. Again, it’s always a pleasure to drive anywhere around here because it’s so beautiful. We saw the turkey flock at the bottom of the driveway as we started off. After I dropped EJ off, I stopped at TSC because I was low on chicken feed. When I got home, I took a nap because I was so tired.
At 1:30 p.m., JJ and I set off for his oncology appointment. We contemplated running away, but we decided we probably should keep the appointment. We had to drive through an area where a festival was taking place and the traffic was absolutely horrible. I think we waited at one stoplight for about 15-20 minutes because the line of cars was so long. But finally we made it to the cancer center with time to spare.
JJ is 22-years-old and while he wants me to go to medical appointments with him, he prefers to go in to the exam rooms himself, which is fine with me. So I waited in the reception area for him to return. I told him that if the news was bad, however, I really wanted him to send someone to get me so we could discuss with the doctor what would happen next. I prayed and prayed as I waited, hoping that no nurse would come to take me to JJ.
There are “markers” in the blood that indicate the presence of cancer. Apparently 1.0 is normal and means “no cancer.” If the numbers rise to 6.0, however, cancer is probably present and the oncologist looks for the source. JJ learned during his last few oncology appointments that his numbers were rising again. The oncologist told him at his previous appointment that the number was 4.9, which is only about one point away from 6. That is why we dreaded this particular visit so much.
It’s kind of difficult to describe what it feels like when an oncology appointment approaches. Before cancer, it’s like we never expected anything like cancer to happen. I mean, we know that bad things can happen, but things like cancer were not really a reality for us. In October 2013 when JJ first told us about the lump he had noticed, we were like, “Well, it’s probably nothing.” We took him to the doctor, and she told us to get him immediately to the hospital. We still thought that, well, it’s a lump, but it’s probably benign. And then we found out that it was a malignant mass–in fact, JJ had three different types of cancer cells in him, one of which was a type that didn’t respond well to treatment. So after the battle with cancer, we now know that bad things can happen, and we always dread oncology appointments.
JJ returned from the exam room all smiles. “All good!” he said. Actually, he first told me that he would have to have his gall bladder removed. I lightly slapped his shoulder and said, “No. Don’t mess with me!” Then he told me that his cancer marker number had fallen to 1.2!!! I attribute this to all the prayers being prayed for him. We were so relieved that we were weak! Whew!
We left the cancer center at 3:30 p.m. and we had to pick EJ up from work at 5:30 p.m. It wasn’t worth battling all the traffic to go home and then come back, so we stayed in town. JJ ordered Chinese takeout and we went to pick it up. He discovered that there was no silverware in the bag so he put it aside to eat at home. We still had a lot of time to kill. We discussed a few things we could do, but we finally decided to drive to EJ’s company and wait. We parked in a lot next to the airport so we could watch the airplanes take off and land. I read a book and JJ did stuff on his smart phone. After an hour, we drove across the street to the building where EJ works and waited for about 45 minutes. It was rather interesting watching the activity–shipping trucks arriving to take finished products away. We saw EJ busy on the forklift.
It was about 6 p.m. before EJ got in the car for the drive home. EJ said that he had told all his co-workers about JJ’s good results. It had been a long day so we told him that we were going to Culver’s to celebrate JJ’s good oncology report. Culver’s was quite busy and we were all tired so we just ordered “to go.” JJ and I gobbled our food in the car while EJ drove us home. He ate his at home.
We got home about 7 p.m. We did our chores–EJ fed the pets and set up the coffee machine for tomorrow while I went out and gathered eggs. We are exhausted, but very, very relieved and thankful.
Thank you, everyone, for your prayers.