Dr. Osborne just called…

… with results from today’s CT scan and the first words out of her mouth were ‘ITS BETTER!’

Nothing has grown (that alone is HUGE since we primarily playing defense at this point!) and one lymph node in chest is smaller by 50%! There isn’t significant change in the liver tumors but they appear slightly smaller. And they are excited that the bone lesions appear to be healing as well. As Scott said/prayed, we were prepared for news either way but thankful for a God who hears our (and your!) prayers! And really crazy and cool to be most excited for Linc but to realize he has no idea all that the Lord is doing on his behalf!🙏💗

Thanks friends for praying for today’s scan results and my healing and our family and for bringing meals and caring for Lincoln and countless precious cards and gifts. Truly, ‘He is able to do abundantly above all that we ask or imagine’ through medicine and the prayers and love of His children.

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Looking Back. Looking Forward…

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Please look carefully at my ID bracelet from Monday. I am not 70-something. Thank you very much for the insult, ma’am. And, from my first check in when my HSA card wouldn’t work and I was giving this ID band I should have known it wasn’t going to be my best day. I went from grumpy to grumpier as the day went on. Drawing blood continues to be a lot of poking and prodding. Clearly, my veins are grumpy and tired too. They now always give me the same precious lady, Betty, to draw my blood. After some fails by the others in previous weeks, they’ve decided I get Betty – every time. And she’s great. She rarely requires multiple pokes but recently when she had the needle in and had to start moving it around under skin to get the blood. I looked up and Scott was pale and asked to go sit down. Nice. And he’s not even the one being poked! This past Monday it didn’t take multiple pokes but it took some work to get the blood to cooperate. So from there we went to see doctor and take meds (on appointment days I have to take meds onsite) and do the EKGS.

I seriously love my research nurse, Nancy, and she is amazing at her job. However, when you are quite proud of yourself for only missing your meds ONCE since 12.29 and turn in your meds diary every week with pride of completion, would you find yourself shocked and then grumpy to hear her comment on your medicine-taking and realize you may be getting a D/F in the class instead of an A?! Yeah, I was bummed too. Nancy got her serious face on and told me she doesn’t care if I exercise (Dr. Osborne’s mantra and constant encouragement) or lose weight (would sure like to lose weight and that would cease the nagging about not gaining weight bc of crazy negative impact on
mortality associated with weight gain) but ‘just please please please eat breakfast and take your meds!’ Insert: Shock face! Then Scott jumped on the lecture bandwagon. I was none too happy with him either. Then I shared with Scott (in front of all – awkward!) that it felt more like judgement than love and B/Jamie chimes in and says ‘that’s not what I heard…’ so I was annoyed with her too! Within an hour, I was able to smile again with B but I did give her a dirty look after she agreed with Scott to which she (or maybe Nancy?) replied ‘should we leave yall two alone?’ Fun times. Cancer plus lectures in tiny exam rooms equals less-than-fun Monday. During the lecture, Angela uncharacteristically kept her mouth shut but began to start naming every easy breakfast item she could think of! It SOUNDS so easy to ‘every day wake up and eat a light breakfast and wait an hour and take your meds.’ Yeah right. I like to sleep. And while I love food I don’t love food first thing in morning. So I can’t figure out how to wake up early enough to care about food, prepare food, eat food and then have an extra hour to kill before I start the day. And the meds themselves? Apart from my regular half dozen vitamins and other meds to help manage effects of no hormones and the clinical trial drugs, I also have 6 new meds – 2 of which require refrigeration and none of which can be conveniently put in pill box because Nancy has to count my pills every time I go in. For reals. So there is my essay on ‘Why It’s So Hard to Stay Alive.’ Needless to say, I was grumpy. And THEN during all these shenanigans, Nancy is trying to do an EKG and after 2 tests gets results saying ‘enlarged left something or other…’ So as if I don’t have enough appointments I had to go back up at 4:15 for an echocardiogram. Did I mention I was grumpy? And when they called to schedule the echo the girl on the phone was SO NOT HELPFUL. And had a zillion insurance questions even though I’ve been there before. Sometimes this little brat in me what’s to scream ‘I have cancer can’t you just be nice and make this easier!’ Instead I channeled my inner Lincoln and said ‘you aren’t being very nice to me.’ Yeah, I’m gonna be 43 this week and I pulled out that big girl line. But an echocardiogram AND insurance hoopla?! Ain’t nobody got time for that! My heart was fine. I knew it would be. At least physically. It took a few days for the grumps to go away and my real heart to be better! Thankfully it’s on the mend and as the week went on I went from grumpy and tired to only tired (sans the grump) and, by the Lords grace and Providence I am actually REFRESHED as I write this.

Scott proposed we go to Linger Conference at Watermark (and later tried to claim it as his Valentines gift even though it was his idea for himself and I made the reservations … Does that sound like a good Valentines gift?!) and while I am usually 👎 for conferences … this. has. been. amazing. Well done, Shane and Shane! Our pastor/friend, JP, described this as a ‘commercial for heaven.’ I think my cheeks cramped from the smile of that thought at that moment.

One of the speakers yesterday was Tullian Tchividjian – stinkin LOVE him! And then, today, Randy Alcorn is speaking and before I got re-diagnosed (not sure how to tag the events of 12.6.15 but it’s not a recurrence – just the bad news that it had spread. Anyways, before 12.6, I had read a fiction book called ‘Deadline’ that had a great representation of heaven. So, with my new news, I realized the Lord had used that book to prepare my heart and give me a sweet and joyful longing for heaven. What a gift! And that same author was one of the speakers too.

And, as if all of that wasn’t enough, then Phil Wickham sang the most amazing song about heaven. And within an hour of that song, Shane and Shane were playing the song that had already blessed Scott and I so much (wrote about in a previous post).

One more thing…
So most of you know that Lincoln is a total GIFT! He was given when we were newlyweds and weren’t sure we wanted kiddos and were on birth control (prior to a heart change in the topic!). And, then, 8 months after he was born we learned I had breast cancer. We still often reflect on how kind our God is and how perfect His timing is. And God continues to delight us with this little man. He’s got lots of personality and very opinionated (he’s in a ‘don’t take my picture!’ phase) and doesn’t like Jesus’ hair. And, apparently, he has a secret free spirit. His parents can’t dance. And we’ve never really seen Linc dance much. However, apparently he likes to dance in public places as long as his parents aren’t around. One of our neighbors’ sisters caught this one-man-dance-show. And we have watched it over and over. This is what it looks like to be completely free of fear of man (Lord, please help me follow my son’s example!) and have 2 white parents…

http://youtu.be/r2oInLl98O8

We love and thank you all.

Happy Monday!

Well, today is a fun change of schedule for me. Instead of headed to Baylor I am headed to the gym with my little man. The protocol for the trial is set up such that for the first cycle of the drugs (four weeks), they need blood draws and EKGs every week. But, for the next six months, the schedule changes to every other week. What shall I do with all my free time?! 🙂 I feel really normal today getting to be with Lincoln by myself without the doctor in without school (for him) or a tight schedule. Fun for me!

I continue to fight fatigue, especially in the late afternoon, but other than that feel pretty normal and myself. I am definitely at the stage where every stomach pain or cough KEYN make me wonder if something is happening on the inside. But another benefit of the trial is additional scans. We have our first scan, since the trial started, on February 18. I am glad for that information.

And, lastly, we continue to marvel at God’s people and God’s provision. We came home from a weekend away at a friends farm, and found a hand-delivered envelope stamp “confidential.” Inside was a precious letter of encouragement and desire to bless our family with fun and a check for, as they said, date nights or Disney. The check and the letter were unsigned. They were marked all over with love and encouragement – but not a name.

The Lord continues to remind us that he will meet all of our needs. Not only funds for medical expenses and help with care for Linc but He is kind enough to even provide the funds for fun 🙂

Thanks to all of you for the many ways you bless our family. Not everybody writes anonymous checks but whether it’s text or meals or surprise flowers or hugs… All of it is part of Gods plan to sustain us. And we thank you.