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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cancer on the Brain

My oncologist sat there so calmly while I focused on breathing, and not falling apart.

All these years, I have said to myself (and to others), "thank God, it's not in my brain!"

Now, here I sat, in my own worst nightmare.

"We can treat this," my doctor said, reassuringly.

Only, I did not find any of his words reassuring.

"It's in my brain, my brain, my brain," I repeated, softly.

"It was in your liver, your liver, your liver," responded my oncologist, leaning forward and looking me directly in my eyes.

I met his gaze and challenged him, "but the brain is worse!"

"Wrong!" my oncologist corrected me. "Disease in your liver can run you over like a railroad train."

Whoa, talk about cognitive dissonance.

Mets in the liver is a serious threat. Yet, since the mets in my liver responded to treatment (there are no more tumors visible in my liver), and I never experienced any symptoms, I do not feel scared by it.

Now, even though I do not have any symptoms, and we expect the tumors to respond to treatment, I still feel very scared.

It is not completely rational.

Mets in the brain seems so much scarier.



Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,
RivkA

19 comments:

Noa said...

Hi RivkA
Im am deeply in my soul with you, sending you power, power, power.
Noa

adena said...

I agree, it sounds scarier. But maybe your oncologist knows what he's talking about? He sounds like a good guy.

Anonymous said...

rationality not required.
ABH

Anonymous said...

Obviously feelings are not rational - and fears certainly aren't! We are continuing our tfilot and Tehillim for you and I truly believe that if anyone can beat the odds you can! -Jameela

Gila said...

Brain would scare me too.

I have to say that I am feeling more optimistic already, just reading what your oncologist said.

Love you tons, and sending prayers. As a number of commenters have shown (with their stories)--miracles happen all the time. There is no reason for you to assume that you won't be one of them.

Baila said...

Of course you are scared. Feelings are never rational, they just are. I am glad to hear what the doctor is telling you.

And RivkA, your blogging this is so important. As a cancer survivor and the mother of a survivor, its invaluable to me; imagine how much more so for the people who are going through what you are going through right now.

Thank you.

Robin said...

(((bighugesquishyhugs)))

Ken said...

Refuah Shlema. I am an infrequent visitor to trep's blog and have seen you there over time. Trep suggsted we should come on over to share with you our support.

I never knew you were living with this, and even though I have never met you, I am moved to send this, not out of pity, but out of good spirits and to send you thoughts of happy healing.

My best wishes to you and your family from a stranger in the UK.

tafka pp said...

What Gila said.

Shabbat Shalom xxx

zahava said...

It may not be rational. BUT. Judging by the responses of your readers -- MOST of us would have reacted similarly.

Based on your retelling of conversations with your oncologist, I think I <3 him! He sounds like an honest, knowledgeable, and empathetic physician. G-d knows it must be hard to be reassured by what he is telling you -- but I hope you are!

liat skippy said...

I join what Robin said:

(((bighugesquishyhugs)))

Sarah said...

Hug and good thoughts for Shabbat.

muse said...

We think about our (and our kids' brains) all the time, but who thinks of their liver? We take it for granted.

Refuah Shleimah!!

davidz said...

Liver, brain, breast, all of it scares me, like Dad says--there's no such thing as minor surgery if you're the one getting cut. It's much more serious when it's in your family.

I have been consistently impressed with your strength, spirit and optimism through all of this, i know you are an inspiration to so many.

In that spirit, with my sore shoulder reminding me, I thought I would ask, are you up to date on your tetanis shots?

Anonymous said...

whoaa!

I've been away this week, and now that I'm back thought I'd log on and catch up before shabbat while also catching up on some phone calls... when I was stopped short by the title of your post! I stopped short, finished the call i was in the middle of to give you(r posts) my full attention.

I'm so sorry to hear about your scary news(if it scraes you, it's scary, period).

I don't think I've got anything original to add to all the other comments, but it's so amazing to see how many people are sharing their prayers and positive thoughts with you and being inspired by you as I am! I am adding my happy thoughts and prayers in an extra-concentrated shabbat-dose!

Love
BW

Rahel said...

RivkA, I am sending you big, big hugs... and I like your oncologist, too. It sounds like you are in good hands.

I add my prayers and good thoughts to the positive, healing, mighty stream of them coming from all of us.

Mimi said...

RivkA,
I continue to daven for your complete refuah every day.

You have become a source of light and strength for thousands of people - So what I'm saying is that you are on a very important mission and have tons of work ahead of you. So keep plugging away and continue to search for all the beautiful and positive around you. You are an absolute inspiration to us all!

Shabbat Shalom

faith said...

hi rivkA
havent been reading lately, just saw this now. wow.
of course the brain sounds scary!!!! it is who we are (although the expression bochen klayot velev keeps echoing in my brain) i mean if there was such a thing as a liver transplant you would think ok so ill have someone elses liver, its just a (extremely vital) organ. but your brain? thats WHO YOU ARE.
so what if that is considered irrational.
(irrelevant story - when my 3rd son needed neurosurgery when he was 6 months old (to open a closed suture) and i was concerned about his brain the neurosurgon said were not going anywhere near his brain and im like hes 4 months old, his toes are near his brain!)
anyway bottom line, you are allowed to freak out, it is rational, but at some point youll calm down and look at it medicaly (which doctors think of as rational)and youll deal with it calmly.
continuing to pray for you. and believing in you and sending soothing thoughts
love
faith

faith said...

hi rivkA
havent been reading lately, just saw this now. wow.
of course the brain sounds scary!!!! it is who we are (although the expression bochen klayot velev keeps echoing in my brain) i mean if there was such a thing as a liver transplant you would think ok so ill have someone elses liver, its just a (extremely vital) organ. but your brain? thats WHO YOU ARE.
so what if that is considered irrational.
(irrelevant story - when my 3rd son needed neurosurgery when he was 6 months old (to open a closed suture) and i was concerned about his brain the neurosurgon said were not going anywhere near his brain and im like hes 4 months old, his toes are near his brain!)
anyway bottom line, you are allowed to freak out, it is rational, but at some point youll calm down and look at it medicaly (which doctors think of as rational)and youll deal with it calmly.
continuing to pray for you. and believing in you and sending soothing thoughts
love
faith