Friday, April 10, 2015

The 4th Round - Treatment Plan

I'm thinking about a video I've seen. It's of a female in the boxing ring and she's being hit over and over with new information about her cancer.  It's a combination of physical and emotional blows. One after the other they keep coming and there is nothing she can do but resolve to stay on her feet.  Keep fighting. Blocking. Keep choosing her next move with each and every hit until the triumphant end of the final round. 

I am ringside before the 4th round praying deep down that this will be the one.  The one that puts cancer down and out.  I came out full of fury and fight in the first round. Determination and focus. The second round brought me to the point of wanting to surrender and the unexpected happened.  A counterpunch that put cancer down for the count...a miracle for sure. The third round became painful and so hard physically, mentally and emotionally.  I felt like I'd been hit repeatedly below the belt, yet I struggled to endure and persevere....digging  deep to remember my training and my purpose in the fight.  It was a barnburner, a nail-biter, intense kind of fight. The bell sounded and it felt so sweet.

Now, I will begin the 4th round.  I am tired. I am disappointed that the fight continues.  I wanted there to be a knockout in the first round, but the attacker is more sly and aggressive than I thought.  I will choose to continue the good fight no matter the cost.  I will not allow this round to knock me off my feet.  I stand on a firm foundation and have a clear understanding of my purpose.  I believe in my coach.  I believe in my team.  I believe in my training. I will go the distance.  I pray this will be so easy it's a snoozer.

Match Date: May 6, 2015
Time: 9:15 AM

Boxers: Kristi vs Cancer
Tactics: Taxol, Carboplatin, Avistin
Coach: Jesus Christ
Training: Holy Bible/Prayer
Team: All of You

Thank you team, for your relentless prayers for my husband, Billy, my children, myself, family, friends, Dr B and Nurses. God bless. xoxo

Exodus 14:14 " The Lord WILL fight for you.  Just stay calm." (NLT)

2 Chronicles 20:17 "You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you.... Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you." (NIV)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Appointment this Thursday

My MD Anderson doctors said that I can do my new chemo cocktail at home in Arkansas, which is a HUGE praise!  I polled my cancer posse group and asked for a specific doctor who is overseeing a clinical trial for colorectal cancer patients with the Kras "wild type" gene.  I'm not sure this applies to my cancer, but at least this doctor is familiar with what is driving the growth of my cancer. That makes me feel pretty good about our choice.  His scheduler was so sweet and printed off my md Anderson records for me and got me an appointment for 2:00 this Thursday with Dr B.

We are praying about our start date for treatment as I will have 3 treatments, 21 days apart, and then go back to MD Anderson to have scans and determine if it is working or not. 

Thank you for joining us as we continue to ask for total healing, wisdom and guidance for the doctors and nurses, and soft & confident hearts for us. 

"But the Lord's plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken." Psalms 33:11

"My heart has heard you say, 'Come and talk with me.' And my heart responds, 'Lord, I am coming." Psalms 27:8

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1

It's a No.....KRAS Gene Clinical Trial

Oh, how I wish I had gone to MD Anderson last week and came home with a plan packed full of hope for a cure. A plan with an end in sight. Unfortunately, I did not. 

Based on a 50 gene test, we learned that my cancer growth is being driven by a gene called KRAS.  Our clinical trial doctor didn't spare any time when he told us there is no current treatment or trial that has identified a targeted treatment that hits this gene. Ugh........ It's surreal to sit there and know that what you prayed for is not what you are getting......again.  Instead your unanswered prayer gives you only one direction to go.  The current standard treatment. Is this a blessing I didn't know I needed, I wonder?

One year ago when they found I had spots in my lungs and began to watch so closely a new chemo cocktail was being put into mainstream treatment around the world.  This cocktail is now my best chance to shrink or slow the growth of this KRAS driven adenocarcinoma. I wonder if anyone with my rare gyn cancer (primary vaginal adenocarcinoma) has ever been given this cocktail? Perhaps it is a cure for me, though not for cervical cancer.  Will God give me a miracle and allow me to beat the odds and live far outside of the "norm", according to science? Might I have life much longer than ever dreamt of because I realize God is bigger than my cancer? Might God choose to give little me, with no giant impact around the world, a miracle that shines His light in my small circle? Will the master potter create me to a be a beautiful unique masterpiece that lives this life with a small crack in my side? Much like Paul's thorn, my "small crack" will always remind me who is in control of my destiny.  The one who pulls me up out of bed in the morning with joy in my heart and strength to put my feet on the floor once more. The risen Savior. Abba. Yahweh. Jehovah!

My Savior is the lamp unto my feet shining light only on THIS day. I find it no mistake that as I remember being in the hospital at MD Anderson on Good Friday 2 years ago, fighting for my life, against multiple infectious bacterias in my body, I now set out on yet another life threatening journey. I could face tomorrow during that time because I knew my Savior lived!  He lives still.  He is faithful still.  He had bigger plans for the world on Good Friday all those years ago when Jesus died on the cross.  He has bigger plans for us on this day as well.  His ways are beyond our understanding. They are more dramatic than any theatrical climax.  It is too much for my human mind to take in. I long for understanding, but for now, I choose to trust. I choose to find hope against the odds.  I'd rather be a scared and tired soldier in God's mysterious army than a strong and powerful commander purposed to chase the wind.

God, help us to fight with purpose on this day.  We are sinful, scared and tired people who cannot come close to deserving your unending love. May we choose to be faithful today with the moment in time you've given us. May we remember that you alone are in control of this universe. You created the world and everything in it. This sinful world has caused so much pain and ugliness around us.  May you lift our eyes away from the pits, and toward you so that we can find our way through this battleground. Thank you for the gift of eternal life through your son Jesus Christ.  Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us until the day we get to meet you face to face. My you alone receive all the glory in our lives. Help us to choose to trust and hope in you alone. Amen.

Philippians 3:10 " I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead."