It takes one hour and 50 minutes from my door in Liberty to my parent’s door in Columbia. This is not a new discovery as it is a very frequently traveled road for me. This is also the road that begins each trip to Surfside, my favorite place on earth. Therefore, it is quite possible that my car could carry me on this journey without any direction. There are rarely any new sites on this journey. Same signs, same road patterns, same state troopers hiding in the same places (hope they don’t switch that up), same toll booths, same exits, etc.
 
And the same…rest area. Upon arriving at this rest area when I am leaving Columbia I think “I am almost home”. When I get to this same rest area when I am leaving Liberty I think “I am almost to my parent’s house”. Simple enough. Well, that would be simple if it were smack dab in the middle of the journey. But, it isn’t. So, technically my perspective changes depending on my destination. (my perspective can also change depending on how much water I have had to drink…but, we won’t dwell on that)
 
If you are caught up on your reading of The Colonel Chronicles then you will know that The Colonel had his doctor’s appointment last Wednesday and had an “off chemo” week last week as planned. The rest of his week was uneventful as far as any major changes to report. He rested as much as his body needed(much), had his daily infusions, enjoyed an overnight visit from my aunt, went out for his standing double date on Sunday night, rented a movie, ordered some pizza, took care of some financial business, and is reading a good book.
 
When we had our appointment with Dr. Hutchison last Wednesday she ordered a new CA19-9 blood test (don’t worry, I had to google it too)  CA 19–9 is a tumor/cancer marker and is used to evaluate how a patient is responding to cancer treatment. (I am very aware that there are many, many medical people that are keeping up with The Colonel Chronicles. I feel rather silly defining this test to you as I am sure I have not done it justice. Guess that is why I am a counselor and educator. Simple is good)  We have had this test 2 times prior to last week’s test. Originally, his numbers were around 21,000 and the second test showed that his numbers had dropped to around 19,000  (can you hear “yippee”?) The results of the test last week showed his levels to be 24,630.
 
Now, let’s get back to perspective. Needless to say, we are numbers driven kind of people. We all are. We like a certain price on the gas sign, we look at a number to see what it feels like outside, we look at clock numbers to keep a schedule, we dial numbers to call our favorite people, we pay close attention to a number grade on a report card (well, The Colonel did anyway. Trust me.), etc. So, my initial response to the jump in the CA19-9 level was negative. However, we have decided just to keep it all in perspective. Let’s not get hung up on that number but, let’s focus on the fact that compared to a month ago The Colonel has made improvements. He has gotten some stronger, is gaining weight, is resting well, and continues to not be in any pain or have any terrible side effects to the chemotherapy. Let’s just enjoy those milestones instead of giving too much attention to 24,630.
 
The Colonel had his appointment at SCOA yesterday to start Round 3 of this chemo treatment. He gained another 2 pounds since Wednesday! (woo hoo) His weekly numbers were right where they needed to be to receive chemo. He had all of his regular infusions yesterday and it was successful.
 
I guess this could be a good reminder to us all to keep life in perspective. Things aren’t always as they seem. Maybe we need to change how we are choosing to look at something. Or maybe things are as they seem and we can choose how we are going to respond to it. Let’s keep an eternal perspective…
 
“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (The Message)
 
Enjoy your day. It is a gift. Keep pressing toward what will matter eternally. God is so very good and gracious and wants to meet us right where we are.
 
Oh, and as many of you continue to remind me….”What if the blessings do come through raindrops?” I am learning that they do.
Much love to each of you. Thank you for your emails. We read them all and print them to keep in a notebook. You are a blessing,
Mary Anne

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