Hi everyone – it’s Jamie again. I asked Jen if she would be okay with me updating the blog with scan results from last week, and I got the green light. Jen’s people (YOU) are extremely faithful in prayer and concern, so I know you’ve been awaiting the results.
Last Thursday was a very long day for Jen. She had to be at the hospital at 6:40am to begin her scans. (PS: I’m thankful that Gigi was assigned that driving shift). She then proceeded to undergo a myriad of scans that lasted until about 1pm. Somewhere in between 6am and 1pm, however, Jen got into a scuffle with one of the nurses and I showed up as the drama was dying down. Let me just say you don’t want to mess with Jen or else you mess with us too.
Don’t be fooled by those smiles. We can be really fierce when provoked.
We were grateful Jen asked for some food after the scans were over, and Burger House was her first choice. Being the good friends we are, we ate fries and onion rings alongside our patient. (As a side note, just because your friend needs a shake doesn’t mean you do too.)
After lunch, Jen was able to get in a quick nap before her 3pm appointment with Dr. Osborne. Scott and Jen then went to the appointment where Dr. O shared the results.
Basically, Dr. O said there were ‘mixed results but overall not as good’ in every area where there was some stabilization (defined as less than 20% growth). She is watching the following: liver, lymph nodes around clavicle, mediastinum (chest) and fluid around lungs (which is present ~ indicating activity). The neck CT takes longer to get back and she doesn’t have results from bone scan yet. Also, they did not do a brain MRI as it’s on a different quarterly schedule.
They also spent a lot of time talking about ways to increase her appetite and about next steps for treatment. Jen will stay on the same chemo for now, but will decrease the frequency to every other week to hopefully lighten the negative side effects.
If you are like me, you were probably wanting more conclusive information. (Somehow I feel this illusion of control when I have a lot of details.) I’m confused by the results and all of the percentages. I’m frustrated by medical terminology. I’m wanting to hear something more concrete. A timeline, a definitive plan, an opportunity for a miracle. But I’m realizing quickly that cancer is cancer. And Jen’s body is riddled with it. And whether a tumor has grown or not doesn’t change the fact that God is in control. I am not. He’s overseeing every single detail of this journey. And although He never promised that our lives would be easy, He does promise that ‘our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.’ (Romans 8:18). Thank goodness our hope doesn’t depend on something as unreliable as scan results or tumor marker numbers. Instead, our hope is in the one true God who never changes (Malachi 3:6a). Psalm 56:4 says, “… in God have I put my hope; I will have no fear of what flesh may do to me.” I find peace in this verse as I watch this insanely cruel disease take over my friend’s body.
These truths are especially poignant today as one of Jen’s friends in her Pink Not Grey group passed away from stage 4 breast cancer yesterday. Oddly enough, I grew up with this friend in church and know the family very well. She was 41 years old and also a patient of Dr. Osborne. She was a lover of Jesus and shined His light brightly. She had lots of friends who loved her well. And she leaves behind a loving husband and one precious child. My heart simultaneously breaks for her family as well as for Jen. The parallels hit way too close to home.
I heard someone once say that “pain is the soil where the deepest kind of faith in God grows.” And for those of us in pain, our love for God is able to mature if we turn to Him.
As Jen enters a new stage full of unknowns, please continue to pray for daily reminders of God’s knowns. Pray for Scott as he cares for his wife. Pray for Lincoln to be surrounded by love and to have no fear of his future. Pray for Jane to feel the Lord’s arms around her. Pray for Jen’s friends and family to seek God in times of confusion, sadness and helplessness. Each of you are a part of this story and we continue to place our hope in the Lord as he writes the pages of Jen’s book.
Much love to you,
Jamie (aka B)