Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Update from Boston

More good news from Boston: her doctor has deemed her fit for treatment again! She saw her oncologist (Dr. Sullivan) and the neurologist this trip, and she remains encouraged. The radiologist in Boston read her scans as "no change" from December, which is crazy considering the results she got in Tupelo, but Dr. Sullivan was very pleased with her progress. He said the neurologist is a "very hard grader," but I think he just needs to have his eyes examined. Dr. S thought the scans looked great. I knew I liked that guy.

So back to the good news - Meredith got her final infusion from Cycle 2 yesterday. They plan to continue treatment unless the numbness gets significantly worse. Both Dr. S and the neurologist think the numbness is caused by inflammation of her nerves, and her bloodwork showed high CRP levels, which is an indication of inflammation. The doctors do not think this will cause any permanent damage / numbness. Meredith will keep monitoring it from home and report to Dr. S so they can keep a close watch on it.

Meredith reminded me that this is a marathon, not a sprint! The treatment plan is 24 months but could take longer if there are interruptions due to side effects. This might even be considered a blessing as her body is still responding to the medicine despite the interruption  last month, and the longer she receives the medicine, the longer it is likely to have lasting effects.  We are so thankful for the opportunity for Meredith to be in this treatment program and extremely blessed by the results we are seeing. She will continue bimonthly trips for now, and she will get another scan in 2 months!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Scan Results

Ok friends, are you guys ready for some great news? 

The radiologist who read Meredith's scans a few minutes ago said he can't see the two smaller tumors. The third and largest one is not much more than a wisp! Please keep in mind that her Dr in Boston reads her scans differently, but this is fantastic news! The radiologist said he wouldn't call it a tumor, that it was much more linear like a scar. We will get official report early next week when Meredith is in Boston.

Thank you as always for your faithful prayers and support! More good news expected next week!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

To Treat, or Not to Treat...

Dear January, If you were trying to kill me or at least drive me to the brink of insanity, congratulations. You nearly succeeded! A for effort!

My month in a nutshell:
I traveled to Boston 3 out of 4 weeks, Madeleine got really sick for a few days and then gave it to me (It’s still hanging on), my numbness moved to my mouth and down my foot a little (oh hey, panic) and  Blue Cross Blue Shield has caused me to nearly catapult myself off of a cliff.  They apparently switched our group ID number without notifying us, so I had people calling from the hospital and several pharmacies saying I no longer had insurance. I’ve lost track of the hours I’ve spent on the phone with them the past week.  

And ohhhhhhh yeah.  My doctor put the treatment that is killing my cancer on hold. 

But seriously....I'm allowed to be dramatic sometimes, right?

It was really hard to sit in front of Dr. Sullivan and hear him express concern over my numbness, which happened a few times in my mouth this month, and after seemingly getting better, has been slowly moving up my foot a little this week. It was hard to see the worry in his eyes and hear him answer “Yes” when I asked if the numbness might eventually cause me to be dropped from the trial. That was not a fun day. 

He deemed me unfit for treatment last week, and there are no promises I’ll be able to resume any time soon. As I’ve been processing that reality, I've become fearful, worrying about my scans, what might happen in my body while I’m not getting treatment, etc….

(and can we just pause to give props to Tom Petty?. He really hit the nail on the head. The waiting really is the hardest part.)

But the simple truth of the matter is that our circumstances have no bearing on Christ’s ability or desire to work on our behalf. He’s not worried about postponing treatment. It doesn’t make it any harder for him to heal me. And honestly, it’s been embarrassingly easy fore me to forget the path of God’s faithfulness I’ve been walking. He’s gone before me each step, opening impossible doors, and meeting my every need. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9) 

As I’ve struggled through this month, the phrase that has been resounding in my  head and heart has been “one day at a time.” The February 1 entry from Jesus Calling says it better than I can say it, so I’ll borrow from Sarah Young to close: 

Follow me one step at a time. That is all I require of you. In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world. You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you’re going to scale those heights. Meanwhile, because you’re not looking where you’re going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now. As I help you get back on your feet, you tell Me how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead. But you don’t know what will happen today, much less tomorrow. Our path may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains. There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance. If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb. I will even give my angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways. 

Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My Presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting ME to open up the way before you.

We can all walk in the new mercies that are ours for TODAY. This day. That’s all we have, and all we have to deal with. And His grace is sufficient for all of us for this day. 

I probably would have gone completely crazy this month were it not for your calls, meals, texts, letters, visits, and prayers. So many gifts of friendship and love that I have lost count, but that I hold so dear in my heart.Your acts of love have sustained me!  And another bright spot and huge prayer request answered this week –we have a contract on one of our Texas properties. We are hoping to close by the end of February! He is faithful.

Thank you again for loving and supporting our family. Please be in prayer for my scans on Thursday of this week at 2:00 CST. I’ll be off to Boston again this weekend to meet with my oncologist and neurologist and I’ll have Emily post on the blog any updates from that trip. THANK YOU for walking with us through this.

All my love,

Psalm 18: 29-36
With your help I can advance against a troop[e];
    with my God I can scale a wall.
30 As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.