Monday, December 31, 2018

We stood together in prayer and the Lord answered.

Thank you friends for standing with us in prayer! We have gotten our answer and it was a YES! I just finished my trial treatment of Opdivo Immunotherapy! My bloodwork was very close to normal on all liver functions and Potassium. And God took it one step further, along with getting treatment approved on the last possible day, before getting kicked out of the trial, he also gave me good news about my scans! 

Dr B. says that he did a formal review/report of my scans for the trial research company and his finding were better than previously reported. When the radiologist measures the cancer spots horizontally it may show that the spot shrink from a 2.4 cm to a 1.9 cm, for example. This is accurate, but in addition the spots are also shrinking vertically so they look more like a pancake. This is AWESOME! 

Here’s an example. 

I feel like I can let out a huge sigh of relief.  Thank you Jesus! May this single drug work and continue to shrink and destroy this cancer until it’s gone and may it be easier in my body with less “itis” complications. ✝️🙏🏻🙌🏻 

Thank you Jesus for saying YES to my requests. Selah. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Sometimes life just gets tough; gotta kick Satan out

Last Tuesday Billy & I went to Fayetteville and had blood drawn and a check up again to make sure the high dose prednisone is doing its work on my inflamed liver. They called it auto-immune hepatitis, which is liver inflammation, but it’s all temporary caused by the trial meds only. We were a bit deflated last week when they said my liver enzymes were so high (over 8 x normal levels) that I cannot continue on the Yervoy medicine any longer. Dr B said that With melanoma patients they only give 4 rounds of Yervoy and then continue on with the Opdivo med. PTL they verified I had 4 rounds so got in a good amount to gain momentum and continue with Opdivo on 12/31 if I’m healthy. I believe I will be if i can avoid all viruses spiraling around. Yesterday, I had blood drawn again and they said my liver enzymes were at the high end of normal again so I am weening down on my steroid medications. This date of 12/31 is my 1 day window to accomplish treatment because I will have gone too long without treatment according to the trial requirements. I cannot do it before because I have to ween off prednisone first. PLEASE PRAY that everything will go smoothly to be healthy on 12/31 and over our Christmas together with my family. We are gathering in a new location in Colorado, so we still get our Colorado white Christmas, but a little different than in Meeker as our precious mom would have hosted. A hard first Christmas without Mom, but looking forward to this time together with Dad, siblings and our families. 

Last Tuesday when we left Fayetteville still processing my appointment, Billy’s dad called and said his mom was very ill and had an ultra sound. They believe they saw cancer in her liver that appeared as metastatic, coming from elsewhere. She was dehydrated and malnourished. My father-in-law got her to the hospital to be admitted Tuesday night for fluids and anti-nausea meds. We got Billy packed and he left for Oklahoma. Slept 2 hours in his truck that night as they didn’t want to keave her, she was so miserable. Wednesday proved to be a bit better and she ate and drank a little bit. Thursday she had a biopsy and an MRI, but slept all day, so miserable. Shortly after midnight on Friday her heart stopped and she went to be with Jesus before we even got a diagnosis. 💔 We are heart broken to have lost both of our moms in 6 months time. We had several days with Billy’s side of the family, planning, crying and reconnecting as we honored my mother-in-law’s life. 

When life gets so hard, I’m so grateful to know that I don’t rely on my strength. We are sheltered by the Master, carried by the Savior and led to a place of peace by the Holy Spirit. 🙏🏻❤️✝️

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Answers aren’t what we hoped, but God’s still Greater!

Well after 5 hours at HOG today we know why I’ve been so sick once again. The Colitis seems to be taken care of after 4 weeks of steroids. But they do think I have an upper respiratory infection of some sort, caused by a virus originally. My flu test was negative, which I almost wish was the problem. But now I also have what they call auto-immune hepatitis, also caused by my trial meds. It is a temporary condition treatable by more strong steroids, which I’ve already begun tonight.  Basically inflammation of the liver. 
This is found tgrough high liver enzymes in my blood tests. They were slightly high a week ago, but much higher today. It causes the nausea, vomiting, extreme fatigue and overall not feeling good.  I’m sick of not feeling good, so I can’t pretend to feel anything good about this, other than we are glad to know what has been causing me to feel so sick. I am reminded how cancer robs us of LIVING fully as I’ve just been laying in bed so much of the last 10 days. 

I’m only aloud 56 days, which I’m not sure how they count exactly, to go without treatment and still be part of this extremely important trial for me. My clinical trial nurse is like my little angel friend that goes before me and makes sure I am well taken care of. 
She counted and eased my nerves saying we have until January 1st to get a treatment done. I’d sure like to get it done where it doesn’t mess up our Christmas trip to Colorado with my family. Please pray for this. Also, pray my liver has responded really really well to the steroids when I go back in on Friday to retest. 
And lastly, pray that my body can go back on this trial and handle it ok. It was working and boy do we believe God planted this trial in my lap as a life-giving treatment. 

Satan would like to discourage us and make us feel afraid, but God is greater than Satan. God is greater than illness like auto-immune Hepatitis. He is greater than cancer. Sometimes our faith is fully a choice when things look bleak, but we just need a mustard seed of faith! 
Thank you for going to battle with us in persistent and Jesus-empowered prayer! 

This is more than I’ve been in my phone in days, so I’m wiped out and must go, but our family genuinely appreciates everyone who stands with us in this journey. ✝️💜 Thank you. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Celebrating 8 years of life; WITH CANCER.

I am sharing my recent post written in my sisters & I’s ministry page, called Sisters4Christ. Please feel free to follow us and keep our ministry in your prayers and we step out in faith as God calls each of us. 
You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and our web page. 

Treatment still on hold 🙏🏻

I had an oncology appointment today and unfortunately we couldn’t re-start treatment yet because I’ve caught a virus that’s caused me a fever the last two days. 102.3 yesterday and 101.5 today. Hoping tomorrow is much better and I get back on track to have treatment again next Tuesday. Please join me in praying for this. I’m only allowed a 57 day break and next Tuesday will have been 42 days since my last treatment.  

My girl is also real sick, so please keep her in prayer as well. 

Thankful we made it through Thanksgiving before this hit our house as we were blessed to host Billy’s family this year in Arkansas. 🍁

Friday, November 9, 2018

Treatment on hold again

Just when I knew I was feeling your prayers and turning a corner to feel better last week...I crashed. Last Thursday night I was in so much abdominal pain with nausea and repeatedly vomiting. It was a very long night even with prescription pain pills and anti-nausea meds. After about 5 hours I got some relief. I didn’t understand what was causing me to feel so badly for the better part of 3 weeks until I met with my oncologist and clinical trial coordinator this past Tuesday. They ruled out infection and felt certain that the immunotherapy treatment had caused my immune system to wrongly attack my GI tract causing a level 2 Colitis. UC is treated with steroids due to inflammation so we’ve had to put treatment on hold again so that we can treat the Colitis. I cannot have immunotherapy and steroids at the same time. It would be counter intuitive. The nurse couldn’t believe I didn’t go to the ER Thursday night, but I know I’m a complicated case and I’d rather wait to see someone who already has my history if I can make it! I barely did! 

 They gave me IV steroids and fluids on Tuesday and now I’m taking Prevacid and 80 mg of Prednisone (steroid) each day. Let me tell you, with all those steroids my brain was moving so fast on Thursday my body could barely keep up! I am not sleeping well, but I am feeling lots better already. PTL!  🙌🏻✝️
I will see the doctor again in 3 weeks to determine if I can go back on the trial or not. In the mean time I’ll step down the steroid dose by 20 mg each new week. 
We need to pray that I can start back on the trial and that the Colitis flare up will be gone and not come back. And that I don’t have anymore side effects to cause the treatment to go on hold again. Per the trial rules I have a scan next Monday in Fayetteville and it’s supposed to snow here in Arkansas that day! It could be a very good day all the way around if it’s white outside and I have more shrinking spots in my lungs! 
May it be your will, Lord. 🙏🏻

Jeremiah 29:11-13
11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call uponMe and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.…

Monday, October 29, 2018

God let’s keep asking.

Hi prayer friends. Please be in prayer for my side effects. I’m not sure if there is something else going on, or if this is all stemming from my treatment, but I am sure struggling with some GI pain, nausea, weakness and fatigue. It’s been going on for a couple weeks and doesn’t seem to want to resolve itself. Saturday I had to take some prescription pain meds and go down way too early for the night. I believe that God knows the source of the problem and can heal me in all aspects. Whether this is from a hidden infection or from treatment side effects, God knows. Join me as we keep asking for healing from cancer, infections and side effects! ✝️🙌🏻🙏🏻

#keepseeking #keepknocking #keepasking 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

In His Timing

Completed treatment with both IV Meds today in Fayetteville. Billy and I got to visit several hours with this sweet woman named Beth. Today was her first treatment of chemo. Please keep her in your prayers friends. This could be a tough week for her. She will be there every other Tuesday also! Perhaps we were brought together for a reason! 🙌🏻

Dr B says my treatment is working and it’s giving the research team such joy and purpose in their job! I couldn’t believe it when I found out, but i am taking two of the three meds that recently earned two doctors the Nobel prize! It’s amazing and humbling. I’ve waited and waited for this! Oh how I wish my mom was here to hear this. But then again, she sees with heavenly eyes now, so she’s way ahead of me! I’m just reminded again of how faithful God is to His people.  In His timing he always comes through. 👆🏻✝️🙌🏻

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Back to treatment!

Look! Approved for treatment and comfortably drinking through this iv tube in my recliner! I start a new 6 week cycle today with both immunotherapy meds. 

Prayer Requests:

1) After being really sick for 3 1/2 weeks with inflammation causing Pleuritis and sinusitis and a respiratory infection I finally felt all better last Friday! PTL! Please pray that this treatment doesn’t stir any of those issues back up. 

2) I also had Ecoli in my urine a couple weeks ago and took antibiotics for that. Do pray against a repeat urinary tract infection though. I am still showing slightly positive for an infection. White blood cells are up a little again also, but they don’t want to give me any antibiotics bc the ecoli can be so tricky that my test actually showed two strands last time and they say I’ll need IV antibiotics if I become symptomatic again! 😬 They consulted an infectious disease doctor on their decision not to treat until I become symptomatic as to not cause my kidneys to be resistant to anymore antibiotics. Pray that I do not become symptomatic or have to do iv meds please! 

Appreciate you all so much! 🙏🏻✝️⭐️

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I felt so discouraged, but then this happened!

I had a my CT scan this morning, with IV contrast, and outside of a little itchiness, no allergic reaction! Praise and answer to prayer! What is REALLY AMAZING & HUMBLING is that there is no blood clot in my lung as they recently suspected and my cancer has SHRUNK! It’s shrunk! I can hardly believe it. Just since my last scan two weeks ago. PTL! ✝️🙌🏻 A huge positive answer to prayer! 

Also, Dr B. thinks the two antibiotics and the three 50 mg steroids I’ve taken since last night should have me on the mend soon with a minor case of Inflammation in my lungs, probably pleuritis caused more from being so sick with the respiratory infection, rather than the clinical trial meds. This is painful inflammation in the lining of my lungs, which adds to my fatigue and discomfort. The steroids will stay in my body for a few days and keep working on this. Next treatment is in two weeks - skipping today due to inflammation and infections. 

Thank you for your prayers. Thank you Mama! (I think she talked to God for me!) Thank you God!💜👆🏻 I’ll be smiling and napping off all my benedryl now!

Satan wants us to wonder if our prayers matter. He wants us to stop asking because we are discouraged. Whatever you face today dear friend, keep seeking Him, keep knocking at His door, Keep asking for what you need and want and hope for! ✝️👆🏻

Prayer Requests Today

Today I should be going to have my clinical trial treatment, but following 11 days of feeling really really really crummy I’m on my way to have a CT Angio to look for a possible blood clot in my lungs. I really don’t believe this is going to be the case, but I am concerned I may have their next suspicion of Pleuritis - inflammation in the lining of my lungs. 

I will need to be on strong steroids to remedy this and I have to be off of my trial temporarily to take steroids. I feel crummy enough for his is okay with me. 

Also I had hives about 8 months ago with my routine Ct scan IV Contrast so they have refused to give me the contrast and just added an MRI to my routine. Today, however, I have taken 13 hours of pre-meds so that I can have the IV contrast and hopefully not go into an allergy attack. 

Please pray I have no allergic reaction. Pray there is no blood clot. Pray that my body can recover and heal so I can get back on my clinical trial to fight this cancer, and get back to living. 💜🙏🏻✝️👆🏻

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Thankful and Disappointed

At it again! Treatments are about 30 minutes from home in Fayetteville and we are becoming regulars here again. We’ve spent 4 1/2 hours here so far today, but learned that after several scans showing growth before this clinical trial treatment, THIS SCAN shows NO GROWTH! I wish I heard the word - shrinking- but we are thankful for NO GROWTH! My doctor said that immunotherapy doesn’t work in the same way as chemotherapy, so we should expect slow and steady results most likely. 

We didn’t get our favorite spot in the back of the room so Billy has to sit across from me this time so he’s over there shopping for trucks. (I wrecked the Tahoe and we have to replace it with a truck that can pull his bass boat - according to him. 😂)

My doctor asked about my mom today and I had to tell him that she passed away. We’ve talked about her at each appointment, and his shock and comment that Mutiple Myeloma should be so treatable just renewed my shock. I’m used to talking to mom on treatment days and answering her hundred questions. I miss that. 

I’m so thankful to be here living this life, but I’m so confused why my mom can’t be here as well. It is times like this that test our faith and we can choose to lean into God or pull away. It is only by God’s grace that I am still here alive and well after battling this cancer for almost 8 years. He hasn’t given up on me and I will not give up on Him, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wrestle out my confusion and disappointment with the Lord. I’m learning how to praise him on the mountain and in the valley at the exact same time. ✝️

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

We Weep For Our Loss & Celebrate Mom's Gain

Last night I leaned over the bathroom sink ringing out the dress that my mom wore to her 50th anniversary party last November. Hitting that monumental milestone was one of the most supreme accomplishments of mom’s life and she was so worried Dad was going to do something crazy and not be there to celebrate it. A few days before their anniversary Dad was invited to go to work with my brother and visit a buffalo ranch. Mom said, “George C, don’t get yourself killed messing with those buffalo. I want to make it to our 50th!” They did it and mom said over and over that she was so blessed to have all these years with her honey she’d picked out on the school bus in 6th grade.

Memories flood my mind as my tears blend into mom’s dress. This is the last dress we will see mom in now that she’s gone to her forever home with Jesus. We only got four short months to care for mom before cancer ravaged her body and God called her home, saving her from her suffering.
Our precious mother died at sunrise on June 10, 2018 at the age of 68.  Mom always liked the dawn of morning, hence my middle name “Dawn”. I bet it was a gorgeous sunrise view as our mom entered Heaven.

Mom’s funeral will be held this Friday at 10:30 AM at The Fairfield Center,  200 Maine St.,  Meeker, CO 81641. The funeral home is Grant’s Mortuary. 

Thank you for keeping our family in your prayers as we celebrate mom’s life and grieve the forever hole left in our hearts.  We weep for our loss, but celebrate mom’s gain.

Mom, I've missed you a thousand times already. Your husband aches deep in his bones for you. Boy did Dad love you! We can't wait to have a cup of tea with you over a long chat again one day.

A note from a granddaughter:
Four months is way too little for my Grammy! No one was ready for her to go, yet she is no longer suffering through all of this tough cancer but singing and living her best life up in heaven with god! She is such an inspiration to all of us and we will never really be ready to say goodbye! ~ Written by Alyssa Rose Wright

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Treatment 1 done, so now I’m with momma

Yesterday went by super fast and all went well! 

I had part of my entourage to support me as I took my first doses of clinical trial meds! No side effects or reactions, praise the Lord! I was so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open tho and fell asleep until evening when I had to pick Alyssa up from a pool party and come home to pack for a trip to see my momma! The doctor and clinical trial nurse said I could come, so Alyssa and I didn’t waste any time and we are already happily in the mountain air! 

As much as I praise God for feeling good and able to come here today, my heart breaks for my mom is is suffering and struggling so much.  It is very hard to see her so frail and needy. She has by far NEVER been a needy mom, so this is new territory for all of us. 

THANK YOU for praying for me yesterday! Keep praying the side effects away and for moms cancer to die and her to be able to eat and grow stronger. 

My faithful friend and husband.

Mom needs a big assortment to choose from as she works to get preotein and calories! 

And.... I cannot forget to wish our little miracle baby a happy happy 6th birthday today! My miracle in 2012 put my sister, Katy, right into labor with sweet Caden. 

Love you Caden! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Dear Lord, Is Asking For Three Miracles Selfish?

Psalm 126:4-6 The Message (MSG)

And now, God, do it again
    bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
    will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
    will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.

I cannot believe that Isaiah and Alyssa, along with my niece and nephew, Kacey and Breck, were this tiny when God gave me a true miracle on June 05, 2012.
You can read more about this miracle by clicking here.

Now, on this same day, June 5th, six years later I am begging God to grant me two more miracles!
I would think this selfish, but over my life I have seen how far and deep and wide my God's love is for me.  This understanding has only come through the suffering. 

I begin a new chapter of my cancer journey today and it is intertwined with my past - in both joys and sufferings. I believe ALL things happen for a purpose and are part of God's plan to draw us nearer to Him, to bring Him glory by revealing his character and to populate the kingdom of Heaven.

With this in mind, here are several things that are no coincidence.
  1. My mom is battling for her life against Multiple Myeloma in Colorado.
  2. I got to be there when Mom was diagnosed and fight for her like she fought for me.
  3. I am getting the first hand experience of a caregiver, just as I have the experience of being the patient. Both require a ton of intentional dependence on God. 
  4. Mom's oncologist helped me find the clinical trial I've been needing for years.
  5. My local oncologist was willing to bring this trial into NWA just for me - and hopefully others going forward, now that its open and active here. #beyondthankful
  6. I was barely able to get into this trial before the deadline of a temporary closing to new patients. I got enrolled on the eve of the very last day, only by finding a loop hole.
  7. I will begin my trial today - God willing - on June 5, 2018 - my miracle day.
  8. I was up most of the night not feeling well, with plenty of time to talk to God and hear Him say - go write about this.
  9. God has sustained my life since I was diagnosed with Primary Vaginal Adenocarcinoma November 2010. I am still here for a purpose. 
  10. I need a miracle today and my mom needs a miracle today as well. We need these latest treatments to work, killing metastatic cancer cells for both of us.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
WILL find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord;
He ALONE is my refuge, my place of safety;
He is my God, and I trust Him.
For He will rescue [Patsy & Kristina] from EVERY trap
and protect [Patsy & Kristina] from deadly disease.
Psalms 91:1-3

Please join us in asking for two more miracles today!
God please allow me to get to start my trial today even thought I am not feeling well.
Please allow this trial to kill all cancer cells and leave me with NED (no evidence of disease).
Please protect me from any and all side effects so that I may live fully even while having treatment.
Please heal my momma. Kill off all her cancer. Speak personally to her so that she may feel your presence today as she suffers and perseveres for you Glory. We claim truth that although a thousand fall at [our] side and ten thousand are dying around [us] these evils will not touch us. (Ps 91:7)

Thank you for continuing on this journey with our family as we love and support and give lots of grace to each other, with the expectant hope of the Lord's healing! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Today’s Prayer Requests

We have a couple prayer requests this morning. 

My mom had an extremely hard week last week causing her to have a 3 night stay in the hospital. She’s home now and much better, but they are considering changing her treatment plan. Please be in prayer for wisdom in this decision.  Pray that God will heal mom’s lungs from any treatment damage and cancer damage that has been caused. Pray that she will be at peace. 

I am waiting to hear if Dr Beck is able to get a clinical trial for rare cancers approved for our SWOG local treatment facility in Fayetteville through Highlands Onc.  SWOG stands for SW ONCOLOGY GROUP.  They have created a trial to help those of us that combined represent 30% of all cancer. I love that they took the initiative to see that rare cancer is falling through the cracks for study and advancement in treatment, so combining us all gives a large enough study group/cohort to justify approval. Please pray that this trial will get approved here locally and that I will be a candidate. I have an appointment in two weeks as we all hope it will be ready to go at that time. It is the newest immunotherapy which would be just what I have hoped for! 

Thanks for being our prayer warriors! 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

George & Patricia                   Billy & Kristina 
Denver 2018                            Houston 2012

Patricia being taken by ambulance from Meeker to Glenwood Springs. Feb 2018.

Kristina taken by ambulance from Springdale to Houston. April 2013. 

My Grandma Bessie (Mom’s Mom) coming to the hospital for us.

This family continues to amaze me with their immediate & continuous support! In less than 24 hours after hearing the initial news that our Mom, Patricia, has a non-curable, but treatable cancer called multiple myeloma, spouses and kids had already selflessly sent all my siblings to Colorado to be with Dad, Mom & I at the hospital. 

What a treasured opportunity to have experienced this sacrificial love personally. Now to give it back to my mom leaves me without words. 

How grateful I am to get to help my parents after all they’ve helped me! 

Another cancer journey. 

And we are still for each other and for His glory! 

  Team Kristi.                        Team Patricia
     Purple                                 Burgundy 
         &                                           &
Green (Hope)                    Yellow (Optimistic Joy)