Monday, April 27, 2009

Awesome is the LORD Most High!

I wish you could hear me shouting cause I have not quit since about 10:oo this morning! Praise be to the Lord! I am through with CHEMO! Yes, you read that right! I am THROUGH with chemo.

This morning Michael and I left for the oncologist not really knowing what to expect but we surely were not expecting the news that I am through with Chemo. I think in the back of both of our minds we were preparing for news that would have been far worse. Michael will hold out and tell you this is what he thought but I cant even tell you that it was on my radar.

Let me give you a quick overview. My numbers have not dropped in 5 weeks. I had extra blood work last week that was sent to different labs at other cancer hospitals. All my labs came back by Friday confirming that my numbers were indeed between 7-8. There are three possibilities of what this means....
1.) I still have cancer and will continue on with same drugs to continue to fight it.
2.) My cancer has turned into persistent disease and has become more difficult to rid. This would require us changing chemo regiments.
3.) I have developed an EXTREMELY RARE antibody in my blood that conflicts with the antibodies used to get my blood counts and creates what they call a false-positive. (Ok--for you Doc's out there reading this....that is about the best I can do...Dr Rocconi--how did I do?)

Well you guessed it... They are going with number three! Praise God! This phenomenon is really hard to confirm and the test insurance does not cover and it cost $1000. SO, we are going to wait 3-5 weeks to see what my body does and will eventually have to have this but we are waiting right now.

So, what next..... I am THROUGH with Chemo. Because my numbers have been the same for the past 5 weeks, they believe that I have had my extra weeks that were initially needed. So, today was it. I will go weekly for the next few months to have lab work done to make sure I have no changes and after 6 months of no change I will be considered in full remission. PRAISE GOD!

Many of you have asked about the emotional side of this and I have lots to write. But, I can tell you that every morning these are the lyrics of the songs that I sing over and over. I have moved from these two songs to the song in the title. I am not blog savvy enough to make them play when the blog is loaded but please read the lyrics and know this is what has carried me through the past 4 months. It has been hard. But, the Lord has wrapped me in His arms even when I could not feel it.

Praise you in the Storm (Casting Crowns)

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn I
will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth

You Never Let Go--- Matt Redman

Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught
in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back I know you are near
And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me
And I can see a light that is coming
for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

Yes, I can see a light
that is coming f
or the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Wow...What a day!
Now I shouting...
AWESOME is the Lord Most High-- Chris Tomlin
Great are You, Lord
Mighty in strength
You are faithful
You will ever be

We will praise You
All of our days
It's for Your glory
We offer everything

Raise your hands, all you nations
Shout to God all creation
How awesome is the Lord most high

Where You send us
God, we will go
You're the answer
We want the world to know

We will trust You
When You call our name
Where You lead us
We'll follow all the way

We will praise You together
For now and forever
How awesome is the Lord most high

How awesome is the Lord most high

Monday, April 20, 2009

We have no clue...but at least trust and believe in a God that does!

We really thought that we would know a lot of information today and that I could share with you the plan for the next few weeks.  However we really once again know nothing.  

We met with my Oncologist this morning and left with two possible reasons my numbers have not dropped.  One being persistent disease (meaning I still have cancer and it is just becoming difficult to rid) and the other reason would be that my blood work was creating a false positive.  We were hoping for the false positive which in the Oncologist words is EXTREMELY RARE and just a very strange phenomenon that my body would have developed an antibody that reacts with the test they run on my blood.  Not only is it rare, it is difficult to confirm.  

So, I continued with the same chemo today.  I got my count back a little while ago and it did indeed drop which leaves my Oncologist even more baffled.  Because the drop was more than 10%, he believes that I might still have persistent disease.  I am going in tomorrow for more blood work that will try to confirm this or give the doctors a different direction to go.  As for now, we are waiting again.  We will probably not know anything more until next Monday when we get the results from the new blood work.  Good thing-- I am back to meeting with the Oncologist weekly instead of every other week so maybe it will not be so long in between information.  

Thanks for continuing to pray.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

No change to talk about....

I still have not had a real drop in "the count" to really speak of.  I had a one point change this week so naturally I am really frustrated and scared.  We do not really know what all this means and what my oncologist will suggest but I do not see him again until next Monday.  I spoke with the nurse and she said my Doctor was following the numbers and would just talk to us on Monday so for now it is just a waiting game.  I think the waiting part is the hardest.  

For now...just pray! 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Just Pray.

My count did not change at all this week.  We don't really know anything because this is not what my Oncologist had prepared us for.  I have called back and the nurse is going to consult with the Dr because she also has no clue what is going on.  

Today's appointment with the Oncologist was to prepare us for the next 6 months and that was hard enough.  We had thought when we got to zero, we were going to be able to put this behind us, but today we were told we have six more months to journey down this road.  That six months period begins when I reach zero, which we were anticipating today but did not happen.  

Today was tough.  I had many of the same emotions today as when I was first struggling with this reality.  But-- God is still God and He is still in control.  I have to trust that because currently my ability to feel in control of anything is not there.  I am weary of chemo and most definitely ready to be through.  I am ready to feel healthy and energetic 7 days a week.  I am ready to be able to say I am cancer free.  I am ready for closure in this chapter of my life.  

Please continue to pray.  I appreciate your pleas to the Lord on my behalf more than you will ever know.  It is comforting to know I have friends to pray when I dont have the words to pray myself.  Thanks.