We are launching this blog only because the Lord has launched us on a cancer journey that began on February 1, 2012. So, please read between those lines to manage your expectations on content, organization, timeliness of postings, etc. We are clueless. But thankful for smart talented helpful friends the Reeves’ who set this up to get us started, share with our friends, and hopefully regularly update you on our world.
The Clouse House includes my husband, Scott – a very deep thinker and feeler, great dad, a truth-teller (which makes him my most humbling friend), super cute, lover-of-all-things-outdoors, and the PERFECT person to ride shotgun with me on this journey. And, Lincoln, is our 8.5 month old SURPRISE CHILD – who says old people on birth control can’t get pregnant?! Scott was 47 and I was 38 and we’d been married 4 months when we got pregnant with this most unexpected but most DELIGHTFUL sweet perfect surprise gift from the Lord. We’re in love. It is looking like the Lord gave us this surprise last year because, after this year, it’s unlikely we’d be able to have more children – but, then again, for a God who isn’t limited by birth control (or my lack of faith that got me on it in the first place!), what makes me think cancer and chemo are too big for the hands of the Creator?!
I’ve never ever ever once even kind-of-sort-of thought I’d want to write a blog. But here I am. And I know my husband well enough to know that my never ever ever wanted to is still a galaxy ahead of his want-to. So, I think it will be mostly me that you’re hearing from. We expect that this journey may mean we need help in EVERY area – including reading, caring and praying. And we’re thankful for friends who are willing. So we will oblige you all with the details of our journey and we covet your prayers.
Update February 2013:This blog was started before we knew much. We’ve learned a lot since last February and, in hindsight, I realize that folks coming to this blog for the first time may or may not want to read a year full of entries to get an overview of our story. So, here is a summary of our situation …
I was diagnosed in February 2012 with invasive ductal carcinoma that had already spread to my lymph nodes. By early March, I had a port surgically installed and began chemotherapy under the direction of my wonderful oncologist, Dr. Cynthia Osborne and her very caring nurse, Christina Craig. My chemotherapy regimen was 22 weeks – 2 weeks of an experimental drug (MM121) then 12 weeks of taxol (paired with the research drug) and then another 8 weeks (every other week) of adramyacin and cytoxin.
I completed chemotherapy by mid July and underwent surgery (Dr. Jeff Lamont) in early August 2012. I chose a lumpectomy for several reasons and you can read more about that in: Rest for the Weary. Unfortunately, my pathology report after surgery was rather discouraging: my tumor had minimal response to the chemotherapy and I had cancer in 9/19 lymph nodes. At this point, we chose to go to MD Anderson for a second opinion. We were blessed by a friend’s help to get us in quickly and met amazing doctors and left with encouraged hearts – in general, there was consensus regarding our treatment plan so we would stay the course with our plan and doctors at Texas Oncology (Baylor Dallas).
I began radiation therapy with Dr. Scott Cheek in Dallas in mid September and was wonderful thrilled and thankful to complete all 7.5 weeks of radiation just in time for Thanksgiving.
That’s the overview of my story (at least my cancer story) and whether you’re reading this because you’ve been recently diagnosed or know someone who has or just because you know me, our family, or our friends, please know that God is more than able to sustain, deliver, care for, comfort and minister His grace and mercy into your life or the life of one you love!