Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Joy is 55.3

Marking the Tumor

Remember those Month of Joy posts I did in March, well before I was diagnosed with cancer in April? I have a new one; Joy is a number and that number is 55.3.

It is a number that has quickly become Gail's new favorite. It is a number that nearly brings me to tears. Fortunately, I retain enough mannishness to resist that particular urge. 55.3 is the source of smiles around the Bayron household these days. It is a number ... yeah I know; enough already and tell us what it means. Simply put, it means the cancer cells are dying.

When I was diagnosed in April, they ran a test to establish a tumor marker; a number to help determine if the different therapies are effective. In April, the number was 163. On July 1, the number was ... well, you know.

While the chemo and radiation therapies appear effective on a physical level, you need to know what you mean to me on a spiritual and emotional level. Let's face it - willingly taking poison every day in the form of a pill or IV infusion or having a radiation gun pointed at your belly does little to lift up the spirit or encourage the heart.

Many of you are praying; some every day. Many of you ask "How are you doing?" with a genuine desire to know. Many of you have shared your own cancer experiences that have encouraged me. Many of you have sent notes, text messages, emails, cards, and books reminding me who I am and to Whom I belong. Part of the joy of 55.3 is that I get to share it with you; without that, the number becomes merely ... informational.

The next milestone is July 18. That's when the CT scan is scheduled to determine if the tumor has shrunk enough to be operable. Regardless of whether it's operable or not, may Joy be my response.

Eva Update

My son and daughter-in-law had a second opinion about Eva's condition and the meeting went very well. The surgery will happen in March/April with a few appointments in between to monitor Eva. We recently got to Facetime with Eva and she's very alert, loves Itsy Bitsy Spider and does her best to sing along. Continue praying for them; the procedure as described seems daunting but the doctor will remodel her skull without having to introduce artificial material and, hopefully, the recovery time will be less.

In the Palm of His Hand,
Rod Bayron

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