Hope Floats: Thursday, July 16, 2009

Well, it's been one week since the big H and I'm pleased to report that unlike my last surgery, there is no infection present and I'm feeling great despite a little tenderness and bruising around my surgical staples. In fact, I dragged mom out to do my 30-minute walk with me yesterday and since she's at an appointment this morning, I did it on my own today. So, I'm slowly but surely getting back in the swing of things.

Unfortunately, I've had a lot more negative thoughts about my long-term prognosis ever since Dr. E's visit to my hospital room last Friday evening, when he dropped the Stage III/IP chemo bomb on me and said something to the effect of, "Things look really good right now so I want you to do [IP chemo] because I want you to get married and adopt or make a bunch of kids and never have to think about cancer again and let's face it, we're not dealing with the best odds here..." His comments burst the hopeful bubble I'd been floating on and caused me to fall through the sky, crashing back down on planet Earth. We had never discussed my prognosis before and I didn't appreciate the negative reference to it at all.

Since then I've been struggling to get my hope and positive frame of mind back on track. To that end, I've been reading a wonderful book my grandmother sent me called, "The Anatomy of Hope" (it arrived just at the right time this past weekend!). In the book, the author teaches readers how to distinguish true hope from false hope, why some people feel they are undeserving of it, whether we should ever abandon our search, and what is an authentic biology of hope. Anyway, it's a wonderful read and particularly interesting for someone in the middle of cancer treatment (...and winning the battle, by the way) who is trying to keep her hope floating along.

Despite my best efforts to stay positive, I had a really morbid thought toward the end of my walk today as I struggled up the hill on Cameron Mills Road: I think I have about the same odds of getting married in the next five years as I do of having a recurrence of my cancer regardless whether it is Stage II or III, which led me to think, "I wonder if people will toast me at my wedding or eulogize me at my funeral before I'm 40?" I know. Sad, right? It gets sadder. Then I started to think, "Maybe the reason I haven't ever gotten married is because God doesn't want me to abandon a husband and children who love me and He knows I'm going to die." Really sad, right?

In case you're wondering, after a little more discussion about my exact diagnosis and prognosis during next Monday's appointment with Dr. E, I plan to tell him that he is to NEVER EVER make another reference to any negative odds again unless I ask for an honest opinion.

Now, off to the podiatrist to deal with the damn plantar's warts on the bottom of my heel...


  1. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
    -Jeremiah 29:11

  2. Not to be too much of a cheerleader- but if anyone is going to beat this Jennie it's you. There are two sides to odds- and someone always has to make up the survivor statistic. And maybe God's plan is for you is to meet the man of your dreams and adopt/have a surrogate brood of amazing and wonderful children. You're going to beat this- I don't have one ounce of doubt!!!