Saturday, March 4, 2017

Holding

Lately, Debbie has been feeling really good. 

Some days she has had some nausea and headaches and has been very tired. When she feels like that, it doesn't take much to start letting the enemy penetrate our armor. The "what if's" creep in. The fear of the unknown begins to build. This is exactly the time we are reminded to put on the whole armor of God.


Ephesians 6:10-18The Message (MSG)
A Fight to the Finish
10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.


God is so faithful! He has given us comfort and peace throughout this whole roller coaster ride. We don't worry about "what if's" We don't live cancer. Cancer is not who we are. We don't think about it all the time. Sometimes we actually forget that we are going through this monitoring process of CT scans.

Debbie had a CT scan on Monday and we had the scan results appointment yesterday.

The results were really good!

One of the nodules is gone, three shrank in size, three stayed the same size, and one grew 1.1mm

The doctor said she is stable.

Thank you Jesus!!

We are so very thankful!


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Roller Coaster

Ok, here we go...

Debbie had a CT scan on Wednesday and we had an appointment on Thursday to find out the results. 

The doctor told us that Debbie isn't stable any longer. Most of the tumors/nodules remained unchanged to slightly smaller. A couple of them were slightly larger. The most concerning however was a new mass in her right lung. It is small 7.8mm, but they are telling us that it wasn't there on the last scan.

We weren't prepared for this and it has taken a few days to process. 

It's sort of a punch in the gut. Everything is different, yet everything is the same. We are still surrendering the outcome to God. We are still turning over the entire situation to God. We still are believing that Debbie will be healed and whole. We will not live in fear. We will continue to live in the truth and we will fight.

The plan right now is to have Debbie get scanned in 2 or 3 months to see if there is growth. We will determine the plan of attack at that point. Meanwhile, we will be researching our alternatives.

Please join us as we continue to pray for healing and for there to be no mass on the next scan. We rebuke cancer in Jesus name! We are also praying for wisdom and discernment regarding treatment.

Thank you!

Rick

Monday, September 12, 2016

Scan to Scan



Debbie has been feeling ok on most days. Good on some days...bad on others. She couldn't really describe how she felt. She just felt wrong...and very tired.

Debbie's blood work  hadn't been ready at the consultation, so they weren't able to go over it. She received a call one day saying that her thyroid levels were very low and that she needed to start taking medication for it immediately. She has hypothyroidism. This was caused by the IL2.

Hypothyroidism has many side effects. Some of the ones Debbie is experiencing are extreme fatigue and hair loss. She estimates that she has lost more than 50% of her hair. 

As we processed the information from the CT scan consultation and the blood work, we began having more and more questions. We called and spoke to the nurse practitioner that was involved with Debbie's treatment. 

Debbie asked if she was in agreement with the doctor's plan to not carry out Weeks 5 & 6. She said she agreed. She explained that Debbie's body had been pushed as far as they were comfortable with. Debbie only received two doses on Week 4. Debbie would likely only get one or two Week 5  and they may not even have her go through Week 6. She said that Debbie's body had responded as well as possible to IL2 and that her cancer was stable. 

What?!?!

The doctor had told her that she had no evidence of disease. I don't know about you, but NED is very different than your cancer being stable.

We had planned on speaking again with the doctor, but he was on vacation for two weeks and we hadn't had the brain scan yet. So...we waited for the MRI.

Debbie finally had her brain scan. She was very strong and went with the regular MRI instead of the open MRI. God helped her through it. For a brain MRI, Debbie is strapped down and has headphones put on. There is a metal cage that is snapped shut over her face. She is supposed to remain still for 45 minutes. If she moves or the image gets messed up, they have to start all over again.

The results showed no cancer in her brain!

Thank you Jesus!!

Debbie made an appointment with an endocrine specialist to help with her thyroid issue. We wanted someone that can focus on this one area. The medication takes awhile to kick in and is tricky to figure out the correct dosage.

We had a consultation on Wednesday with doctor Smith. It was mainly to clear up some of the questions we had, but also to do blood work. He said that depending on her thyroid levels, he would probably have to increase her medication. They have to start out the medication at a lower level so it won't shock the heart. He reiterated about not having her do another round of treatment and told us that another round of IL2 could have killed Debbie. He was positive that the treatment had done it's job and was happy with her results. He told Debbie that her cancer was in remission. He told us that if a persons cancer comes back, it is typically within 2-3 years. She needs to be scanned every few months and won't be dubbed "cancer free" until 5 years of clean scans.

Dr Smith called back later that day and told Debbie that her thyroid levels were near normal and he wasn't going to increase her medication! Thank you Jesus!!

All of this has been challenging for us to know how to convey Debbie's situation to others. We
have to stick with the facts...the truth.

The truth is we are very thankful and blessed. We know Debbie has been healed. We will take the rest of this journey scan by scan. It is challenging to not have it all wrapped up in a neat little package, but we will continue to surrender the outcome to God. He is the Great Physician and Healer!

Mark 5:34 "Daughter, you took a risk of faith and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.



Friday, August 5, 2016

Miracle Believed, Miracle Experienced!



The family at Cannon Beach

The 
Debbie had her CT scan on Wednesday and the consultation was Thursday. The scan showed that the large tumor is gone and the lymph node is normal size. Dr Smith is not having Debbie go through treatment weeks 5 & 6. He says that the risk outweighs the benefit for Debbie. He says that the treatment has done what it was supposed to and was a success. He was a little concerned that Debbie has still been experiencing some headaches and nausea, so he has recommended a brain scan to ensure the cancer has not spread there. Once the scan comes back clear, Debbie has to get scanned every 3 months for at least a year. 


We are still processing this information. We are incredibly overwhelmed and thankful to our Amazing God! We had surrendered the outcome to God. We have believed that Debbie was going to be healed. We have daily thanked God for her health. We have daily thanked God for her healing. We have prayed for NED (No Evidence of Disease) and that's what we have received!

We will continue to keep you posted.

Thanks again for all of your prayers and support!

THANK YOU JESUS!!!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Stick and Stay


The first week at home was tough for Debbie. 

The headaches came back as well as some nausea. This time she actually threw up a few times too. This is significant because she hasn't thrown up since we've been married. Her skin is peeling and itchy and can be very irritable. She has been very tired and needs a lot of rest.

Debbie pushes through all of this and doesn't do what she feels like doing. She does what she knows will help her. She gets up, walks her 3 miles and takes care of whatever business she needs to take care of. She continues to turn everything over to God and trust Him for everything.

If she did what she felt like doing, she may curl up into a fetal position and sleep all day. We have learned that feelings come and go. Feelings are fickle. We don't live our lives led by our feelings. We walk by faith, not by sight. It is a decision each day to focus on God and not our circumstances, to focus on the positives and not the negatives. To stick with God and stay with God no matter what.

We heard a great testimony at church yesterday. The scripture that was talked about was Phillipians 4:4-9. It was a powerful reminder about what we are supposed to do.

We pray that this message
encourages you and that you let God meet you wherever you are.


Phillipians 4:4-9
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Stick and Stay


The first week at home was tough for Debbie. 

The headaches came back as well as some nausea. This time she actually threw up a few times too. This is significant because she hasn't thrown up since we've been married. Her skin is peeling and itchy and can be very irritable. She has been very tired and needs a lot of rest.

Debbie pushes through all of this and doesn't do what she feels like doing. She does what she knows will help her. She gets up, walks her 3 miles and takes care of whatever business she needs to take care of. She continues to turn everything over to God and trust Him for everything.

If she did what she felt like doing, she may curl up into a fetal position and sleep all day. We have learned that feelings come and go. Feelings are fickle. We don't live our lives led by our feelings. We walk by faith, not by sight. It is a decision to focus on God and not our circumstances, to focus on the positives and not the negatives. 

We heard a great testimony at church yesterday. The scripture that was talked about was Phillipians 4:4-9. It was a powerful reminder about what we are supposed to do. Stick with God, stay with God.

We pray that this message
encourages you and that you let God meet you wherever you are.


Phillipians 4:4-9
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Home on Friday!


Week 4 was a tough week. Everything happened quicker and was intensified. Debbie ended up having only two doses out of 14 possible. Each dose quickly brought side effects. Some of the side effects were new. With each dose, more Neo was needed to regulate her BP and it took longer to come down on the Neo. 
On Thursday, the doctor told us that Wednesday mornings dose was her last dose of the week. He said that they had stimulated her immune system enough and he was happy with only having two doses. At the beginning of the week, he had told us to expect only two or three doses.

We ended up getting home Friday morning - a day early! It always feels so great coming home!

Debbie is now beginning the long process of getting back to normal. She needs to shed the water weight, slough off the peeling skin, heal from the picc line, and let the IL2 run its course through her body. It usually takes five or six weeks for her to get back to normal.

We were blessed with the staff more so than ever this week. This was more answered prayer. We always pray for every person that will come into contact with Debbie during her treatment. We pray that each person makes wise decisions in Debbie's best interest and that they are caring and kind. We also pray for no infection, no errors, and continue to pray for maximum effectiveness and minimum side effects. We continue to be so thankful and feel so blessed the way God takes care of us through this whole ordeal. He has provided in so many ways!

What's next?? 

Debbie will have a CT scan at the end of July with a follow up consultation the following week. We will find out how well the treatment is working. We are continuing to pray for NED (No Evidence of Disease) We will also find out when Week 5 & 6 are.

This means we will have six to eight weeks off of treatment to enjoy the summer!

This also means that we will posting less frequently.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

God continues to fight this battle for us!

And we rest with our outcome surrendered!