Alright, do you want the good news or the bad news first?
What? The bad news you say? Me too. I like to end on a positive note.
And really, it’s not bad news. It’s more like let’s eat our vegetables before getting to dessert. Vegetables aren’t bad, they’re just not as much fun as dessert. Unless we’re talking about juiced veggies, like beets or spinach. Then that’s bad news…
What? Get on with it you say? Sorry for the stream of consciousness. Welcome to my brain on drugs…
The vegetables: I am in the middle of round 7 of chemo, started it yesterday. That means I only had 4 days of feeling good between last round and this one. I had planned to insist on postponing this round for two weeks, because we are set to go to DISNEY WORLD!! WOOP WOOP! next week and I didn’t want to risk not being fully recovered from this round in time. So I had looked forward to this being a great no-chemo week. Dr. Penley, my oncologist did let me have the final say, of course, but he felt strongly that we should keep at it and not get off schedule. And here’s the good, no great, no FANTASTIC news why…
The dessert: My last CEA (tumor marker obtained by blood test every two weeks) was NORMAL!! PRAISE THE LORD! NORMAL, NORMAL, NORMAL, NORMAL, NORMAL! I am seriously in love with that particular word today, like little boys love mud. I am dancing around in it today! (The word normal, not actual mud that is.) When Dr. Penley told me that yesterday, I said, “That’s really great news, right? Like jump up and down, shout for joy great?!” His response was, “Well, our goal here in managing the emotional responses to cancer is not to let our highs be too high nor our lows be too low. But yes, this is really great news. You are responding beautifully to the treatment.” I like Dr. Penley. He’s a good level of encouraging but I am learning he is definitely a realist. Doesn’t sugar coat anything. But don’t tell, him – I’m jumping up and down and shouting for joy anyway!
My understanding of the CEA, which is very minimal, is that it is a measure of disease activity, and the less cancer you have, the lower the number. A “normal” number doesn’t necessarily mean all my cancer is gone, only a scan of some sort could tell us for sure. It does mean I have significantly less cancer than when I started this process, and who knows, maybe NONE!
So please, please get on your knees some time today and thank God for more wonderful news!
In other news, literally actually, my article hits newstands next month. I was asked by the nice folks at Focus Press (focuspress.org) to write an article for their THINK Magazine. I think you can order it digitally from their website, or I think the magazine is available at Barnes and Nobles bookstores, possibly at Christian bookstores also. My article is in the May issue. So I am officially published now! This is a dream come true for me, the always aspiring writer, so I’m really on cloud 9 today. I would copy the whole article here for you to read, but I don’t think that’s quite fair to the Focus folks, so I won’t do that. So for those of you who just can’t get enough of Sara Walker (bah hah hah hah- even I’ve had enough of myself!) just run right out and get you a copy of their fine publication, or download it in your pajamas. Thank you, Focus Press for fulfilling my dream.
In more Sara Walker news, I think another article about me and my family, written by the fab Becky Andrews, comes out in next month’s Wilson Living magazine (as in Wilson County, TN – Brian’s hometown and current home of most of Brian’s family). I continue to be blown away by how God, through you all, is spreading this story He is writing in my life, our lives.
I am thankful for much today: NORMAL CEA, minimal side effects so far today, that I had a wonderful Easter weekend with my family, my article, and you all. Thank you for the myriad ways you bless my life.
May you have a wonderful, Spirit-led day full of rejoicing, full of hope and filled with many joyful moments!