Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Praying for NED

I know it's been a few days since we've posted...

The truth is that not much has changed since the last post. Debbie is still feeling ok. She is still tired. Her body is working very hard fighting this crud. She is fighting and pushing back as hard as she can.

We found out today that her CT scan will be May 6th. The doctor visit to go over the results will be on May 10th.

We are praying for NED
(No Evidence of Disease)

Please join us 

We are praying and believing for complete healing and for there to be NED in Jesus' name!

Just to clarify, The results of the CT scan will determine if Debbie will be scheduled for Weeks 3 and 4 of IL2. There needs to be improvement (shrinkage of tumors) or at least no growth since the CT scan immediately before Week 1.

When scheduled, it will be the same cycle again. Week 3 of treatment, 2 weeks off, Week 4 of treatment, 4 weeks until CT scan. 

There will be up to 3 cycles total.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Immediately after treatment, Debbie felt OK. She wasn't gripped by nausea and didn't have the crushing headache. We were prepared this time. We had the logical medications for the side effects that happened last time.

This IL2 stuff doesn't have a pattern. It affects each person different. It can affect that same person different each time.

The headaches came back on Tuesday. The nausea came back too. Debbie fights it as much as possible with the medication, but doesn't want to over-medicate.

She wanted to exercise even though it was uncomfortable with the extra water weight and swelling. She has been doing her normal three mile route every day...even when she doesn't feel like it. The extra weight is almost gone.

She says that she doesn't feel right. She says that the IL2 affects every part of, smell, stomach, head, skin, even when she feels ok, she doesn't feel right.

You may see her out and about. She is trying to get back to normal everyday activity. She fights through the pain and nausea like a warrior. She is tough! She takes everything to God. She has a great attitude and stays positive (most of the time) She told me the other day that she was specially made by God for this project.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Done with Week 2

Saturday went SOOO slow. It was a day of patience.

Debbie's last dose was on Friday around 9am and she wanted out of there. The doctor on call was surprised to hear that we wanted to leave on Saturday. He said as long as we go through all the requirements, he would release her.

Debbie needed to get weaned off of the Neo and have her blood pressure stabilize. She finally got off of it at 3pm. She had to be stable for two hours before they would walk her around. After passing the walking test, she needed to have the port removed. They do that procedure in her bed. The port is a tube that is 7"- 8" long that delivers the IL2 or other IV fluids and how they draw blood daily for labs.  When they pull it out, Debbie has to stay flat on her back for 30 minutes. Then they go over the discharge paperwork with us. Nothing is quick about the last day.

We got out of the hospital and home around 7pm last night.

This morning Debbie felt pretty good and wanted to go for a walk. We started out and thought we would just go down the driveway. Debbie felt OK and asked if we could do the "short loop". So we kept going. At the turn off back to our house, she said if I was willing to continue going slower, that we could do our normal route (approx 3 miles) we kept going. We did the whole route!

Just to clarify...Debbie was on her back, confined to her hospital bed for a week. She gained 10 pounds of fluids from the treatment. Her feet were swollen and tender. Her skin is on fire and itchy. The bandage on her neck is uncomfortable. She doesn't feel right. She doesn't know what is going to happen or how she is going to feel. After Week 1, she had constant headaches and nausea. So when I say Debbie feels pretty good, that is with all that going on! The woman is strong! She does have grit!
It is so exciting to see her finding her identity in Christ and developing her Kingdom authority!

On the walk, I asked her if she would want to go to church since she is feeling ok. She started listing the reasons to not go. We decided to go home and have breakfast and see how the morning goes. Debbie said she would plan on going and that we would abort if she didn't feel well.

We went to church!

It was great to get to church to worship our creator.

We are so blessed!

We have so much to be thankful for!

Thank you Jesus!

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Grit courage and resolve; strength of character.  synonyms: courage, bravery, backbone, spirit, strength of will, toughness, determination, tenacity, perseverance, endurance.  

My mom likes to do hard things.  She's physically strong, emotionally strong, and spiritually strong.  She is not afraid of a challenge.  This isn't rooted in pride but grit.  When going through the process of having cancer and 'watching' for cancer, it is an up and down journey.  There are lots of opinions of different Dr.'s, this Dr. says hopeful things, that Dr. says the opposite and on and on...there came a time when my mom had to decide not to go on the ride any longer.  She wasn't moved by what a Dr. said or didn't say.   She became unwavering. 

My mom stayed true to who she is.  A diagnosis doesn't change that.  This does not mean its easy, it's a decision.  This photo was taken a couple months ago.  She sent it to me laughing about what she did that morning.  In the middle of the season of up and down she had to decide if she was going to be 'sick' now.  Should she slow down?  Should she stop doing things she loves that are hard?  Nope.  My mom goes on a run everyday, rain, snow, heat, nothing keeps her from going outside.  This particular morning obviously it was snowy and icy, she found her workout was only bearable if she stayed in the crunchy grass but not on the pavement that was covered in a thick sheet of ice. She literally had to crawl on her hands and knees to cross over every driveway.  She pushed past every obstacle that came to stop her fear, pain, and pride.  To me this photo is not a silly thing that she did one morning, this is a picture of true grit.  When I was told she was having one last dose this round, this photo came to my mind instantly. Then I remembered a sermon series we did when grit stood for Grace Released In Turmoil.  Oh, Jesus you are good.  Understanding Gods faithfulness and His goodness and His mercy doesn't mean there is no action on your part.  My mom still had to get on her hands and knees and crawl, she still had to choose to take another dose that comes with so much pain and suffering.  But God gives His grace in the middle of this turmoil.  

I could not be any more proud of my mom or 'Derbs' like I call her.  She is such an example for us all!  I think we all can learn from my mom and show a little more grit in our everyday lives.  

I love you all, your prayers towards our family is a big splash of love...Thank YOU!  


Friday, April 15, 2016

Last Dose of Week 2!

This is Friday.

We didn't have the 7am dose and Debbie was feeling pretty good. She had planned on being done with doses for Week 2. She was even starting to entertain thoughts of possibly getting to go home today.

She had been turned down on the Neo throughout the night. She was at 95 (Neo) and they typically want her under 75 to get a dose. We had been told that she could refuse a dose even if they wanted her to have it.

The doctor came in around 830am and was pleased with Debbie's recovery. Much to Debbie's dismay,  he wanted her to have another dose. She was visibly upset. She asked for clarification. He repeated.

She agreed to take the dose. She is so strong!!

Doctor Smith said we could go ahead and do the dose and not wait until 3pm. The later she has the dose, the longer we have to stay at the hospital. She had the last dose a little after 9am.

The last dose had a couple new side effects. She got the shakes and a fever. They gave her some Demerol and warm blankets.

With the fever and some nausea, she lost her appetite. I have been feeding her ice for the last hour or two.

Her skin is starting turn red and puffy. She calls it the IL2 peel.

Now we wait to see what happens with her blood pressure...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Walk Through the Doubt

I'm not gonna lie. This is tough. We both have times when we are struggling.

But God gives us what we need when we need it.

The message at church last Sunday was very timely. It was about doubt and how faith and doubt aren't mutually exclusive. You can experience both at the same time. However, doubt in faith can breed inactivity.

In the book Unmasking the Devil, John Ramirez talks about this same thing:

"Another error we make is that we focus too much on the circumstances and situation. We sit and ponder it, and that gives the devil great power to crush us in our circumstance. Instead of just looking at or glancing at it, and then focusing on the solution that God already has promised us to come out of it. We need to stop spending too much time in the ashes of the circumstances, so the enemy won't get the best of us in the season we find ourselves in."

We need to stand firm! We need to walk by faith. We need to walk through the doubt.

Today's verse of the day comes from Isaiah 40:27-31

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, 

or, whine, Israel, saying,God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”?Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Not much to report today.

Debbie hasn't had any doses since Tuesday morning. She has been recovering and getting the Neo reduced all day. It looks like she will receive the 11pm dose.

We believe that we have found a good combination of meds to control the nausea.

I got to run home to shower and take care of some tasks.

We are halfway done with Week 2!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Day 2 Week 2

They told us that during Week 2, everything would happen quicker... They were right. Even though we had a better idea of what was going to happen this time, there is no set formula for this. No one besides God knows exactly what is going to happen to Debbie.

Her reaction has happened quicker than Week 1. She has gone on Neo again (to control her blood pressure) and has to be continually monitored. She has been nauseas all day and has been on Reglan, Zofran and Compazine to get it under control. Her skin has reacted and she feels like it is burning. It is a ruddish color and she looks as if she has spent time in the sun. Her appetite has decreased.

Her dose count right now is 2/4/14 - she has had 2 doses out of 4, out of the possible 14 doses for the week.

Her 11pm dose isn't looking likely at this time due to the high rate of Neo she is on.

Continue to pray for strength, courage and resilience for her.

She is a very strong woman and is doing great under the circumstances. Thank you Jesus!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Back for Week #2

We are back in the hospital for the second week of IL2 treatment.

Debbie had her first dose at 3pm and was fine until about 6pm. She started getting nauseas  and her blood pressure dropped. She is right on the verge of going back on the Neo (blood pressure medicine)
They will check her vitals again around 10pm and we will see where we go from there. She is scheduled for another IL2 dose at 11pm.

We have a better idea of what to expect this time. They also tell us that this time things should happen quicker than Week 1.

She is sleeping right now. She has to sleep when she can. They wake her every 2 hours (or more) to check vitals, give her meds, or a dose of IL2.

Thanks for your prayers and support.

Talk to you tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Getting Ready for Round 2

Debbie is feeling almost normal...except for the itching and peeling. Her skin hasn't stopped since Round 1. The headaches and nausea have subsided.

She didn't want to go back after the first round, but God once again has prepared her for whatever the future holds. Her faith has been refreshed. She will be going in for Round 2 on Monday the 11th. She said that if it takes six months of her life to gain the rest of it...she can do it with Gods faithfulness. She is also looking forward to having 4-8 weeks off after Round 2.

She will have a CT scan four weeks after Round 2.

When the CT scans show shrinkage, she will be scheduled for Rounds 3 and 4...

Thank you for your continued support and prayers!

More to follow...