Ready or not, here we go! And let me say I am READY. Tomorrow is everything that we’ve been working towards. Cycle 1 of treatment is complete and tomorrow’s scans will reveal whether or not my body is responding to treatment. I’m so excited for this important step and hopeful we will receive good news. My sister is planning a celebratory dumping of a Gatorade ice bath over my head in the parking lot of the imaging center after good results. #winning (I told her I’d rather get tickets to the Orange Bowl instead. Dan Mullen are you reading this? I’m available to sit on the bench with the team for moral support, FYI).
But really, I fluctuate from extreme anxiety and excitement over these scans tomorrow. They are scheduled for 9:00 a.m., and we will have results same day. Emily will be posting results here tomorrow! Thank you, thank you THANK YOU for praying for us!!! It gives me great peace and hope knowing so many of you are lifting us up in your prayers. It’s such an important milestone for us, and I just can’t help but believe we will get good news after the miraculous way we were accepted into this trial. I can’t know what the future holds for us, but I am believing this treatment will provide the pathway to my wellness. Whatever the outcome, I am confident that Jesus loves me and He has a plan for my good and His glory.
Huge strides are being made in melanoma research right now, and they feel they are on the precipice of a treatment with a durable cure rate. (This trial I’m enrolled in may even prove to be the answer!) Time will tell. Metastatic melanoma can appear slow growing for a several months, or in some cases even a few years, but eventually “blows up” and spreads rapidly and takes over the entire body. This is why it’s considered a huge victory if treatment is able to halt growth, even if there is no tumor shrinkage. So basically, if tomorrow’s scans show no new tumors and no growth of existing tumors, the treatment will be deemed effective.
If the scans show new growth, they will likely try one more 8 week cycle before I’d have to look for other options. Either way, I’ll start cycle 2 December 15.
So we are done with cycle 1. We have made it through relatively unscathed in terms of side effects, and we are so thankful for that. Besides being extremely fatigued, I’m feeling well. Treatment has not hindered me from any of my day to day activities of being a wife and mom to my two babies, and that is a tremendous blessing!
The most difficult aspect of the journey is not so much the physical, but the mental and emotional struggle. Every day I have to choose. Will I allow my diagnosis to determine my mood? Will I live in fear of dying from cancer or will I chose to trust that my life is in His hands? Will I retreat into my room and throw a pity party or will I get up and find a way to serve my family and friends? Will I let worry paralyze so that I merely go through the motions of my day, or will I choose to be truly present and enjoy my relationships? Will I fret over the bad news or will I choose to be thankful in all things no matter what my circumstances look like?
Most days are good days. Great days, even! But the better news is that even on those really bad days, when I’m so sad or really frustrated and have a bad attitude, Jesus finds a way to let me know He’s still there, and He cares. He has used so many of you to get that message across. Through your notes, words, hugs, meals, fundraisers, prayers, kindness and generosity. All of you have been a very real part of this journey with us – an HUGE part. I cannot adequately express my gratitude for each and every one of you.
Funny story - my wallet was stolen in Boston a few days ago while we were eating dinner after my last treatment. It was a huge hassle – filing police reports, getting through airport securing with absolutely no ID (tons of fun), canceling credit cards. Really?? I'm barely 30 minutes out of my cancer treatment and my wallet gets stolen? So frustrating. (Plus I really did love that wallet!) Anyway, we made it home after barely escaping airport security with my dignity, and waiting in the mail for us were 4 different cards from friends, all with checks.... It more than quadrupled what I lost in my wallet. I was so completely blown away I just had to sit down and cry for a few minutes. God has been SO good and faithful to us. We are at a loss for words at the outpouring of love and support. We have a MILLION things to be thankful for, and losing a silly wallet is not even worth a second thought.
Again, we thank you for taking the time and energy to pray for us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
With so much love,