You can’t always get what you want

Do you have a shower routine? Mine is likely a bit different than most but I’ve been doing it for years. When that glorious hot water hits my head I remember the words of my baptism. Often I say them aloud: I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. I picture the water cleansing me from sin, from worries, from yesterday. Then I say the Lord’s Prayer, focusing on, “Give us this day our daily bread.” That line has a very special meaning to me.

My dad battled severe mental illness in his later years, along with Parkinson’s disease. It was a nasty combination. Our visits were not always pleasant. No matter what, though, we ended our visit by joining hands and saying the Lord’s Prayer together. I always reminded him, “Daily bread, Dad. We have all that we need.” I wanted him to find peace from his terrible anxiety to know that we really did have all we needed and could stop worrying about the what-ifs. Not long after my diagnosis, during my shower routine, that prayer line struck me hard. I almost had to sit down. Daily bread, Heidi. You have all that you need.

The results from my scans on Tuesday were not what I wanted. Everything from my neck down is extremely stable. That is definitely worth celebrating! Everything from the neck up, however, is not. The 3 tumors they blasted with gamma knife are the same or smaller, so they are dead. The fourth lesion we opted to not treat is unchanged, so that was the correct decision. Unfortunately there is a new tumor in a different part of my brain. My case is being presented to the interdisciplinary team at Barnes/Wash U on Monday to decide how to proceed. There are three great options; we just need to decide which one to employ. The new tumor has not grown large enough to cause symptoms yet, so that is good. (Passing out when I turn my head to the right was not fun; glad those tumors are dead.)

The news knocked the wind out of my sails a few days. My inner circle and I needed some time to process it. For me, that means gaining the ability to partition those results to a part of my brain that doesn’t command constant focus. This morning, in the shower, I realized once again that I have been given my daily bread. I’ve been given all I need, even though it certainly wasn’t what I wanted. I have an amazing medical team who will knock this new tumor into oblivion. I have an amazing inner circle who want only the best for me and love me more than I ever imagined possible. If you need me, I’ll be repeating the Lord’s Prayer and looping the Rolling Stones on my phone. Today is a glorious day.

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