Sunday, March 9, 2014

Another Year

Last week, March 7, marked the 3-yr anniversary of my melanoma diagnosis. The past three years have been a roller-coaster ride: surgeries, radiation, chemo, pain, sleepless nights, tumors in weird places, bills in the multi-thousands of dollars, countless doctor visits, driving up & down the hill to Huntsman or the U of U, prayers, scans & MRIs, miracles, hope, good news, new baby grandsons (3 of them!), Mom-scares & hospitalizations & recoveries, my girl dating & driving, a little black puppy who loves to snuggle and sleep under my blankets, and many, MANY other hiccups and blessings. To say I am grateful would be like saying I'm human... Well, duh! I am beyond grateful. I am here, I am alive, I am functioning, I am a result of many miraculous mercies that seemed unreachable - but "nothing is impossible with God." I pray to be here in three - or twelve or thirty - years, counting blessings and enjoying every second with my sweet family.

Last week, I saw Dr. Adler to follow-up on my pancreatic enzyme meds. Yes, I'm doing much better, but not as perfectly as I had hoped. Still have stomach aches, which I hate. They sap my strength. He gave me a few tips - cut out obvious white sugar sources, like cookies, candy, & cakes, and watch out for onions & peppers etc. There goes most of my diet! He also admitted that another side effect of the Whipple surgery (haven't I had to endure them all?) is that because part of my pancreas has been removed, the remaining part will eventually atrophy. Great. How long is "eventually"? He also said that, unfortunately, in "ten or fifteen years", I might develop diabetes, which the pancreas also helps to control. I should have shuddered at the thought of diabetes, but my ears and my heart were somersaulting at the hope of 10-15 years down the road! To see my girl married with babies, to see my grandchildren growing up & going on missions & graduating from college & marrying in the temple...these are dreams I cherish and want to experience. To be alive, even with diabetes, would be an awesome answer to prayers. 

All in all, I am grateful for what I've learned over the past 3 years. I wish I didn't know what I know, but if I had to have this trial in my life, I'm thankful for knowledgable doctors and ongoing studies & trials & treatments that have brought me this far. This is a time of ground-breaking hope and scientific revelation which are blessing thousands of people everywhere. I am just one of many, but so happy to be one.