Friday, January 11, 2013

A Hope Deferred

This morning I was high. Higher than I have ever been, especially on an emotion as fickle as hope.  I usually stick to casual optimism, a well-guarded heart, etc, etc. In my experience, hope leads to disappointment.  This morning, though, I couldn't reign my optimism in.

I started the day off knowing that my sister would get the results of her latest scan around noon. If three rounds of chemo and six weeks of radiation did what they were supposed to do she would be well on her way to remission. If not, three weeks at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, with me tagging along as her caregiver, surely would do the trick. 

I couldn't control the hope that was filling my soul today. The buoyancy of it made me giddy, and I am not one to ever "do" giddy. I could barely sit still, I talked to a couple co-workers about the news expected, I swear I was having hot flashes even.  I tried to resist it, I fought it as best I could, all morning. I checked out the updates on a few bloggers who have recently endured hard times: all of them had at least semi-positive news.  I reminded myself numerous times of the tragic nature of hope. I pictured myself floating atop a geyser powered by this optimism and the outcome when the well ran dry, so not pretty. But still, my hope lifted me up.

It wasn't long after noon that I started to feel deflated. Between the lack of news, the sentimental songs on the radio, and the typical come-down effect of such an overwhelming amount of emotion, I began to realize I had been right all along.  Gina wouldn't return my texts. She wouldn't answer the phone.  To be fair to her though, I tried not to be aggressive and only called twice and texted only a couple times.  In a last ditch effort, I drove to her work at six, still hoping for good news.  And she wasn't there, but my mom was, and she had a little bit of info. And around 8, my sister was finally ready to give up a little bit of info as well.

The tumors in Gina's lungs have pretty much disappeared. Unfortunately, the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in her abdomen.  Instead of the more extensive, fairly invasive, treatment at Mayo which would have destroyed the cancerous tissue in her lungs, she will soon begin a fourth round of chemo, more intense this time, as well as radiation to both her chest and her abdomen.  But she is expected to be in remission by April.  

A mix of good and bad news. 
There is still reason to hope.  
There is still a need for a guarded heart.

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