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.