2 January 1999

Okay, here's the short new word. I spent the last week in Tennessee in the hands of my sister Irene. She shuttled me to and from appointments and one afternoon, when I felt well enough, we even went and found the Ryder auditorium which housed the Grand Ol' Opry for decades.

On the last Wednesday, I had an IV drip of carbo platin (a chemo agent) and later that day had an MRI. After they added the contrast to enhance the MRI, I had seizures for the first time since the very beginning. They were terrifying but soon abated with Dilantin and bed rest. Blessedly, even that night, we were assured that the MRI showed no tumor growth. On my last day there, the doctor told me that he and two radio-oncologists could find no sign of tumor in the films. New growth that he and Bill had noticed in the December 1st MRIs (I was happily in denial about that) was apparently gone. Since I was, by then, vomiting from the chemo, I wanted the doctor to announce that it was time to celebrate. But he remained sober saying that a glioblastoma is a very aggressive form of cancer and that he wanted me back in three weeks for two more weeks of treatment. I couldn't face the prospect then and I am not sure I can face it now. I don't like leaving my kids at all. (Okay, I get the irony.)

Arriving home was wonderful. We spent Christmas in Port Sanilac which kept me secluded when my white count was lowest and I was most vulnerable to infection. We watched the stars. We walked in the woods. We stared at Lake Huron. We read to each other and the girls baked cookies.

Now we are back in Detroit and I find that I am restless. I still don't know if I am living or dying. I still cry a lot. Finally it dawned on me last night that I need a forward focus aside from medical stuff, like the next MRI. The next issue of The Witness that I am responsible for is June's so I look forward to turning to that. Plus Julie A. comes to town for staff meetings mid-month. It will be really good to see her and the whole staff. Julie salvaged my October issue when I suddenly ended up in the hospital when the issue was nearly, but by no means entirely, complete and she's filled in ever since.

I continue to be grateful for prayers. I have lots of half-formed thoughts on prayer and healing, cancer and mortality. I'll be glad if I have the time to sort these through and write about them. Better yet, I'd like to be around to stand beside my daughters as they grow up. They are truly wonderful. And what about long walks in the woods with Bill in o
ur old age?