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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

More Medical Miseries and Mysteries

Infection? Side effects from combinations of medications? Withdrawal of chemo?  Further complications of existing illness? Yet another new illness? Suzie's recent health blip (see previous blog entry) has now been going on for more than two weeks and, guess what.... the Doctor's don't know what is causing it! Tests have ruled out all of the most common causes of gastric infection, but there are many other things it could be. The trouble is that we have too many medical issues going on at once, and at least two of them are rare enough that I'm told even the 'specialists' are seeking advice from experts further afield who have more experience with such things as Multiple System Atrophy, Primary Peritoneal Cancer and Paraneoplastic Syndrome.

We had a long phone call from the Oncologist today who reported that Suzie's recent CT scan showed no sign of the cancer or the fluid that had previously been present. Her only potential cause for concern was that Suzie's blood test last week had shown a spike in her CA-125 marker level. (This is what they use to monitor the presence of the cancer.) Obviously, with the recent symptoms Suzie has suffered, we have both been worried that the cancer may have spread to other areas, and this latest blood test has only increased that concern. There are other things that could have caused this, not least, inflammation caused by her digestive upset, but this can't be ascertained until these symptoms have cleared up.... There is also the possibility that she has developed a reaction to one or other of her more recent medications, but if so, which one? And should she stop taking them? Our GP has never treated anyone with MSA before and  so can't possibly advise us on that. There are just so many possibilities and so many different medical professionals, each of whom holds just one tiny piece of the jigsaw puzzle that makes up the complete picture of Suzie's illness.
Meanwhile, I feel like I'm looking at all of the pieces of the jigsaw but they're all so muddled up that I can't make sense of any of them. As always, I'm desperately trying to do what's right and best for Suzie but never quite managing to convince myself that I'm achieving that goal. Suzie, on the other hand, is just so fed up with it all. New concerns about her health and her future collide with her ever increasing depression and frustration caused by her limitations, boredom and fatigue. Add all that to the fact that she is now feeling more unwell than she ever has done, even when she was going through the chemotherapy.... and the result is a very sad Suzie.

So.... Where's God in all this? I think the answer to that can be found in a Bible verse that I was 'given' recently:"We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed."   2 Corinthians 4:8-9
This is the faith to which we cling. God is God, and that's all we really need to know. We may be confused and bewildered, and sometimes downright terrified, but God isn't. That really is worth holding on to. We now just wait and pray.... I'll be back soon to report on the answers. 


Suzie, trying to stay cheerful