Thursday, February 4, 2016

Life Can Change in an Instant

by Kari Diane Pike

One might  think that all the craziness in my house over past four months would have given me enough writing fodder to last the rest of my life. Yet here I sit, typing and deleting sentence after sentence, word after word, character after...well, you get the picture. I skimmed through my journal for ideas, only to discover I'm in danger of becoming that old lady that can't talk about anything except doctors, bills, and health concerns. Ugh.

Quick play October 2015 - January 27, 2016: Due to health problems, the decision was made to move my parents in with us. Both of our houses went on the market. We decided to build a new home. Then we undecided. We took our house off the market. Searching for the root cause of a constant state of reflux, the doctors noticed my rising blood pressure. Which led to more medication. Which led to allergic reactions to said medications. Which got me pondering and praying and throwing all the meds out. Dad fell and hit his head and suffered brain bleeds and seizures. Throw in Thanksgiving, burglary of my parents' house, preparing our missionary to go out the door, Christmas, family pictures with everyone (!), New Year's celebrations, more medical procedures, including a bone marrow biopsy, and then one of those phone calls that no one ever wants to get,  - "I'm sorry. Your bone marrow biopsy indicates that you have multiple myeloma." Then I sent off our missionary with prayers and a promise to be here when he gets back.

Back to real time: January 29th, I sat in my oncologist's office prepared with questions and determined to be proactive in my treatment. And after asking me where I had my labs done and telling me she hadn't seen all of the reports yet, she looked me in the eye and said, "You don't have cancer, you know. You just have monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). All you need to do is come in twice a year and have some blood work done to make sure it hasn't turned into multiple myeloma." In other words, she told me over the phone that I have cancer before she even read the results of all the lab work. Go back in six months? I think not. At least not to her office.

Talk about mixed emotions - elation and relief that I am cancer free, mixed with negative feelings about the way the doctor handled things and anger that she put my family and friends through such an emotional wringer. On the other hand, thoughtful consideration over the past week revealed glorious blessings that have come as a result of this experience. I came across this quote:
Our Heavenly Father is aware of our needs and will help us as we call upon Him for assistance. I believe that no concern of ours is too small or insignificant. The Lord is in the details of our lives. ~Pres. Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, November, 2012
I learned that I am most decidedly not alone. I learned that "little things" can make a significant difference - like a passing smile, a random text just to say "Hi. I'm thinking about you.", a bouquet of daisies, an offer to go for a walk, stupid jokes, and of course a big hug. I learned that Heavenly Father keeps His promises. The reality that life can change in an instant hit me full force. I appreciate my ability to witness sunrises and sunsets, hear my grandchildren laugh, walk a mile with a friend and hold hands with my eternal companion more than ever before. Even bacon never smelled so good!

So there you have it. Every little cell in my body is healthy and happy and well (That's for you Deb!).
Life is magnificent.


6 comments:

  1. Wow, Kari! What you've been through. At least life is not boring at your house. So happy to hear you don't have cancer. But what a learning curve! It takes life-jarring moments to remind us of the little splendid things in life. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Hi Joan! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. hugs~

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  2. I am so glad that my friend is cancer free. Please take care of yourself. Find another, better, doctor who communicates well. ]I'm sending you my (((hugs))) and ♥ ♥ ♥

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    1. Thank you Susan! hugs back to you...and yes, I've already found another hematologist. He's helped my mother survive 4 rounds with cancer and live (so far) 17 years longer than they predicted.

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  3. Thank goodness. And definitely find a different doctor what a horrible thing not to be sure about before you make that call. And hugs you are having a terrible time.

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    1. Thanks for the hugs Terri! I had a great conversation with a dr. in our ward today...He said he has heard of this particular dr. doing similar things with other patients. I'm so sad that others have gone through this.

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