Amazing visit! Incredible place. Lots of tests (including 2 lymph nodes that worried them but after prayers and a biopsy it was benign) and then we met with the Radiation Oncologist, Dr Terreffe, at about 4. Until about 6. Or later. She was so so so smart! She is a beautiful, young, Ethiopian who came to the US shortly after she was born. Her family didn’t intend to stay but war broke out in Ethiopia shortly after they arrived so, after many trips to INS, they were granted refugee status. She was fascinating. And a very gifted communicator about cancer, treatment, and research. Not to mention, as I told her, she was leagues above me in brains but didnt make us feel that way. We liked her so much. I told her I want to be her friend! Thats tricky with doctor/patient legal limitations but she said we could be friends on Facebook if I don’t treat at MDA:) And then she gave me her direct office number and cell phone number and said I could text her anytime. I’m hoping that means she liked me too:)

In addition to being fascinating and brilliant, most of her thoughts, concerns and recommendations were very much in line with our Dallas doctors and our treatment plan. She affirmed the ‘high risk’ concerns, the surprising and unfortunate lack of response to chemotherapy, and then walked us through various scenarios with different combinations of drugs and treatments. She weighed in on ovaries – affirming the rationale but acknowledged a medical oncologist would be better to answer that question. So she began naming MDA doctors she thought would be a personality and profile fit and offered to make us an appointment with one of them. So she asked about our availability this week. When we told her we were coming back on Thursday for an appointment with Dr Osborne at Baylor Medical School, she quickly said, ‘then you don’t need anyone else here … he’s a giant!’ That was awesome confirmation about the opportunity with Dr. Osborne. In summary, she was affirming and encouraging in many ways! And did I mention I really really liked her!?

As we concluded with the medical stuff, since I was real intrigued with her intelligence, I asked about her education. The list of schools was long – and included Harvard. Since I love all things Africa, I couldn’t resist asking about her family coming to the US. In response, she’d mentioned ‘God’s providence’ so later I asked about her faith. As it turns out, she’s a believer but wasn’t raised in a family of faith. So I asked about that and she told more about her upbringing and explained that she wasn’t saved until the last few years … because of my friend Amy! How cool is that?! Amy overheard my excitement from the hall and came in. At that point, Dr. Tereffe said that Amy was ‘fearless … and gentle … and persevered.’ Amy said she just told her about Jesus and He drew her to Himself. I got choked up talking with them about how good and providential and amazing God is! And, as the 3 of us talked, she mentioned finally joining Amy at First Baptist Houston after years of Amy inviting and praying. More sweet weaving. The pastor at First Baptist is Gregg Matte who was a friend of mine in college and influential in my growth and walk with Christ through Breakaway. So that brought more tears to see how God has used two people I love to draw a doctor I needed to Himself. And He let me see the fruit of His spirit and gift of His grace in the life of my doctor.

In summary, amazing day. And headed northbound on 45 back home. Back to Houston on Thursday!

God is good. All the time. And He’s in the details. And weaving our stories and lives for His purposes and His glory. Cancer included.



12 thoughts on “MDAmazing

  1. Except for the cancer part, your day is just how I think Heaven will be – many beautiful stories of God’s grace and work in our lives, then a chance to just be right in His presence thanking and celebrating Him!

  2. Amazing indeed! I love confirmation – what a blessing! And God’s not letting go of those He’s called to Himself. And not forgetting those (you) that serve faithfully. And for giving you joy in the details of His providence. Love you!


  3. We all say Wow! Wow! Isn’t God’s providence so amazing to behold! I am so grateful for all that has gone on today to take care of my sweet friend! Reading Romans this week, I just can’t help but think that this was a Paul like moment for Amy and for you – “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (even Ethiopian smart doctors), to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” So thankful that you both are “eager to preach the gospel!”

  4. Oh , He is so faithful , and I love,love, love Pink Pray Love. Thank you for letting us in on your journey……………….the Clouse’s are sooooo very loved. You bless my heart sweet girl, Praying, MB

  5. I continue to marvel at your journey and God’s fingerprints all over it! Thank you for all the encouragement while in the midst of such a difficult time for you. Your positive attitude has been a Godsend to so many. 🙂 I just love praying for you!

  6. Your words challenge, bless and encourage me greatly. Thanks for teaching us through your journey. And, I have to ask, when were you at First Baptist? Have we had this conversation? I taught there, many moons ago. You were probably in grade school! Your light is shining brightly.

  7. Although I hate cancer and all that it is, I love MD Anderson. My sister has been steadily making trips to Houston since January 2005. Occasionally, when her husband gets tied up, I go with her. I’m just fascinated by the amazing spirit of the people that are there. Seriously, there is more positive energy among cancer patients than there is in the general population. Perhaps because they have vowed to enjoy every moment of life. I like to joke that if you are having a bad day, spend about an hour at MDA. Ride the elevators. Talk to people. Bask in their smiles. And know that it could be worse. You could be fighting for your life. It makes my worries seem so insignificant and I feel so grateful and blessed. It’s a sad, yet glorious place.

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