My heart hurts as I write this post. Not because of what I have to do next, but because of what it means for all those around me. This journey is long and hard for the cancer patient, but it is so long and hard for the caregivers and the prayer warriors as well. Bad news not only deflates my joyful spirit, but it has a domino effect in all directions. I'm keenly aware of this as I continue on with my quest to be honest and transparent in hopes to keep others up to date. To inform those who stumble upon my story in search for their own answers. Yet, most importantly to glorify God in the midst of the trial He's entrusted to me.
This week Billy & I left our kids behind, now 12 & 9 yrs. old, to return for a quarterly follow up in Houston at MD Anderson. I had blood work and scans of my chest. The blood work showed some low function in my kidneys and indicated the spots in my lung have once again grown larger. The largest spot is still small at about 12 mm and growing slow, but steady. My doctor is suspicious enough that this is metastasized cancer that he has ordered a biopsy on March 3rd. He is basing his current concern solely on the scientific trend he has seen in cervical cancer cases, not hard evidence of my own case .... yet.
In addition, I am having some pain in my hip that he is going to have a CT of when we return as well. Cervical cancer (which they lump me into) has a tendency to move into the hip area as well.
My doctor began telling us that he would do some research for treatment if it comes back cancer. He shared how this has been unsuccessful in the majority of cases when treated with chemotherapy, but that is the primary plan. He will research clinical trials to see if anyone is seeing new success with other procedures as well. He explained that each person responds differently and that my age and health are on my side.
During this conversation Dr. L held my hand, but the pit in my stomach began to form and Billy was looking a bit pale as well. The word clinical trial brings hope, but fear as well. Are we really to this point, I wondered? That there is not another known cure? He said that our goal would be to shrink the cancer, but that there is not success in ridding me of it completely.
Long. Hard. Road. These words have stuck with us since we first heard in November 2010 that I had a rare vaginal adenocarcinoma at a young age of 34. Here we are facing the "fear" of a 4th round with this disease. But, I enjoyed an acronym shared with me this morning that fits the situation perfectly.
FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real
According to Science & Fear they believe I have cancer, but according to Fact and Faith......we have yet to see what God will bring about!
Join us and......
...Boldly ask God to intervene on my behalf and allow me to be cancer free after these next tests. (Hebrews 4:16; Isaiah 63:7-9)
...Ask God to give Billy & I the words to update our children tonight, but not scare them in the process. We want them to know truth so they can feel and see God at work no matter what the outcome. (Matthew 19:14)
...Keep asking God to show me favor in this situation. Providing peace and strength while we wait, and joy and laughter when we hear the good news! (Matthew 7:7 NLT; Daniel 10:19; Proverbs 15:30)
Thank you for your continued love and concern this week. Billy & I are so grateful as we have felt your prayers and the burden became lighter at times. Galatians 6:2 says, "Carry each others burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." We are blessed beyond measure with people who are willing to carry our burdens with us.
Here we go again...with God on our side!