10/25/13 What percentage (no pun intended) of your life involves odds and statistics? When I walked into the living room the other day (October 14th, to be exact) my Dad was watching Sports Center. The news caster was reporting on the amazing feat of the two Boston teams the day before: The New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox. It was a different type of sports report in that the newscaster was giving a statistical percentage of a win at each highlight of the game. New England was winning throughout the game but the Saints went ahead towards the end. New England won with the last throw of the game, a 17 yard touchdown pass in the end-zone. Then they flip to the come back of the Boston Red Sox who were behind 5 - 0 in their playoff game. They score one run and the newscaster gives the statistical probability at that time of a win. Then in the bottom of the 8th Ortiz hits a grand slam home run. In any game a grand slam is absolutely exciting (I have had the privilege of witnessing one in a live game in 2010 with the San Diego Padres hitting one off of the Los Angeles Dodgers...SWEET!!!) but in a playoff game where the chance of winning is looking pretty dim a grand slam will light up any stadium. So the Red Sox are now tied 5 - 5 with Detroit. In the 9th they finish it off with a walk off run to win 6 - 5. The newscaster then says: “0.2% chance of both professional ball teams in Boston to come back with a win yesterday. 0.2%.”
I don’t share any of this because I’m a huge sports fan and love an exciting come back story (although I do). Or because I’m a Boston fan and am elated for their wins (because I’m not). I share this because today I was devastated. I saw my medical oncologist. I started the visit by saying I was not happy with my latest CA 125 #. He said he was not happy with it either. He explained that it is an early trend but the numbers do seem to be trending as if the cancer is growing again. These were words I was quite aware of being shared at this visit, but they still hit with a very hard blow. He went further to say that he would like to do another PET scan in 3 months, because once the numbers start trending up, it takes about 3 months to show evidence of the disease on a PET. He even when further to talk about starting chemo again at some point. All I wanted to do was yell shut up, run out of the room, and cry. But I didn’t. He recognized that he was aware that I didn’t want to think about starting chemo. I asked if we would do the same chemo medications. He said yes since they were very effective. I looked puzzled at him since I don’t consider cancer growing again within 2 -3 months after chemo stopping, EFFECTIVE. He said, “You’ve had a good few months. I know you want more, but you have had some quality to your life since starting chemo.” Don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful man and a wonderful doctor for me, BUT he has been trained to treat based on statistics and his own experience. Obviously, he has a set way of seeing the course of this disease progress in a person. And that path is extremely bleak. I had only a 15% chance of being alive in 5 years after the 2nd diagnosis. I don’t know what the number drops to with a 3rd diagnosis.
I do know this... on a day where I felt extremely sad, defeated, cheated, and puzzled, the divine sent me a message through that sports cast. I rarely hear sports casts that have odds given during the play by play of the game, in fact I don’t think I have ever heard a sports report like that. And to hear it on a day where I experienced such a blow and to have those two teams beat the odds of a 0.2% chance of both winning. I’ll take my 15% and run with it and feel it’s plenty sufficient. More important I’ll believe the message was specifically for me, sent by the universe, to remind me to trust in the process and journey, and know that I am fine and will be fine with my divine guidance.
I quote Mark Nepo from The Book of Awakening, “It seems our ability to be authentic and free can’t touch us until we breathe our way below the twitch of our patterning. Often, this requires outlasting the anxiety of needing to catch or fix what comes our way, so we can truly respond from the center of our being.”
I wrote most of this post the day it happened, but decided not to send it immediately. As I reread it today I feel I’ve done what Mark Nepo describes, I’ve outlasted the anxiety, and can feel, from deep within, that I am fine. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself the past week visiting with my cousins out of state and feel especially upbeat, health, and happy. I write this from my cousin’s house in Idaho, overlooking a lake with the beautiful reflections of the trees shining through the water and truly feel the I Am!
Please think of me as this happy and healthy Denise during the coming week as I go for another blood test and an appointment with my surgical oncologist.
Love, gratitude, and health to all of you and all the support you continue to pass my way.