How do I begin to thank you for standing with us in this battle? God has been so kind to us, as evidenced by all of you, praying, fasting, giving. Each and every one of your prayers, thoughts, messages, letters, gifts and calls have been precious to us – it has sustained us these past few weeks. We are completely blown away by your overwhelming support and encouragement.
The past few weeks we have been getting settled in Mississippi while we wait, wait, wait on the best treatment opportunity. We’ve been visiting with several wonderful doctors, and they all recommend we wait a little longer on a trial where we can take the PD-1 drug in conjunction with another immunotherapy drug. When taking the PD-1 in conjunction with another drug, as opposed to taking them in sequence, twice as many people respond to the therapy. So, as you can imagine, these trials stay full, and if a spot does open, there are many people clamoring for that spot.
Our doctor at Vanderbilt has found a possible trial opening at Sloan Kettering in New York. They are calling us today to set up a consultation to see if we meet the qualifications for the trial. Believe me when I say that NO ONE is more ready to start treatment than I am. The waiting is agony! But, we trust our doctors, and they have all said that my disease appears to be growing slowly, and we should wait, even if it takes several weeks, to try to get into a trial. And so we wait! But while we wait, we are pursing other trial options and beating on every door of opportunity.
We will hear about this trial TODAY, so look for another update this evening, and please pray with us that they will have a spot for us.
This month has been a roller coaster of emotions, but we are holding up well. In the midst of this awful situation, there is much to be thankful for. We are still thanking the Lord for a clear brain scan. Huge praise. (Thank you all for praying!!!!) We are thankful for medical research - there were no viable treatment options for my disease just a few short years ago, and now there are some promising therapies! We are thankful that He has given us friends and a support system like you, who are standing in the gap for us. Believing for my healing, and praying for our strength when we are too overwhelmed and weak to believe and pray for ourselves.
Another huge praise is that I am still feeling well. That’s the craziest part of this disease. It can kill you within a matter of months, yet, if you saw me today, you’d never know I had this battle raging within me. I am SO thankful that for the most part, I still feel well. I can still get up every day and play with my children, cook dinner, enjoy my family. I’m so thankful for that.
Right now, keeping the fear at bay is my biggest challenge. A friend sent me an article last week written by a lady who survived thyroid cancer, and she said something that really struck me. “Cancer is not terminal. Life is terminal.” Is that not so true? Life is terminal. There is no way to describe what it’s like to be faced with your mortality in terms of months. Months. Not years. But the truth is, all of our days are numbered and each day is a gift. Whether we have days, months or years to live, it’s all a gift. It’s all grace.
As hard as this is to walk through (and y’all it’s SO HARD), I know that God has a plan and purpose in it. In all the pain, the grief, the doubt… He has a plan that is meant for my good. He is certainly bigger than this battle, and that is where we anchor our hope. And hope does not disappoint!
We have a long, hard road ahead. But we can face it knowing that He is with us every step of the way. He promises that He will never leave or forsake us. His mercies are new every morning. He hears every prayer and every plea. And oh how he loves us.
We thank you again for the continued prayers and support. We covet them!
I can’t wait to see our Texas friends at the Fear Nothing 5K in Alpine October 5. I hope to be well enough to run (jog) it with all of our awesome friends who are running. It will be a great weekend!
Love you all,
A passage that has helped me this month: Psalm 20[a] For the director of music. A psalm of David. 1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. 3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.[b] 4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 5 May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. 6 Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. 9 LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!