To help doctors determine the cause of symptoms that had plagued Donna for three weeks, a CT scan was done on February 22. Her body had been unable to process food and she lost 15 pounds. Although she visited her doctor during that time, the source of the problem was elusive. The next day she received a call from her doctor, telling her that a mass was found on her pancreas and she needed to go to the hospital immediately.
So, on Sunday, February 23, Donna packed her bags, and prepared for an overnight at the hospital. When the CT scan of her mid-section was reviewed by hospital staff, however, we learned that there were also suspicious spots on the viewable portion of lungs. Another CT scan was done on Monday, February 24, to view the entire lung area and it was discovered that there were numerous coalescent lesions throughout. A procedure was then scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, to biopsy the mass on the pancreas and place a stent, if necessary, to help with digestion. Indeed, a stent was necessary to reopen the small intestine where the mass was obstructing it. Hopefully, this will enable Donna to eat soft foods again soon. After the procedure was completed, the suspicions of pancreatic cancer were confirmed, although biopsy results would give more definitive answers in a few days.
Wednesday, February 26 and Thursday, February 27 were spent in efforts to help Donna's body adapt to the new stent, and regain some strength. Visits from gastroenterologists, the oncologist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a myriad of nurses meant very little time for rest. Donna's insistence on avoiding pain medication finally gave way after sleepless days and nights, and the pain of pancreatitis (inflammation caused by the surgery) did not let up. At last, by Thursday afternoon, she was able to sleep.
On Friday, February 28, Donna began contemplating treatment plans. The biggest decision before her is whether or not to have chemotherapy, in an effort to extend her life. The extreme side effects would likely require her to sacrifice a couple months of otherwise higher quality and there is no guarantee the chemotherapy would extend her life.
Of course, these are simply the straightforward facts of how cancer affronted Donna this past week. It is difficult to accept the enormity of such facts, but she knows the greater magnitude of her life in Christ.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. (Psalm 62:5-6)