Thursday, March 21

Goodbye MDA

I've thought of hundreds of ways to start this post. Funny, upbeat, a humorous anecdote, dark, depressing, full of words, a poem, or... who knows... none of them really seemed to work. I'm going to get right to the point. I saw two doctors at MDA today, both of them had no further options for me. The trial doctor had no further trials. My oncologist I've been seeing for the past three years, and some change, has no other options or things to try either. They still want to keep in touch, but the suggestion of my doctor was to start hospice as soon as possible. He has given me no more than six months to live. On average at this point in things he typically sees his patients last about two to three months.

I don't know what to say. ("Oh, but you'll say it anyway." you're thinking...) I've been expecting this speech for about two and a half years now. Making it this far is nothing short of a miracle as it is. I've lived close to three times longer than the average patient with the same cancer. I kind of thought I would be freaking out when I got the news. Part of me is, I think... I don't know if you can really HELP but have some part of you just loose it when you get news like this. (Maybe I'm wrong?) But there is another part of me... a rather large part actually, that isn't freaking out. Generally today when I have cried it has been because other people come to mind and wondering how they will take this information rather than how I am dealing with it.

When I was first diagnosed with this I made the comment several times that sixteen percent chance to live five years was really narrow by the scientific definition, but was MORE than enough room for God to move. In fact the tighter the number, the smaller the chance, the greater the glory our Lord will receive when He does something amazing. And here I am... almost six years later, a year past that sixteen percent. Still alive and fighting. (Thank you Lord!)

And now there aren't any percentages. God knows when I will die, and how I will die. Be it two months from now, seven months from now, four years from now, or fifty years from now. The illusion is stripped away. There was always a one hundred percent chance I would die. If God chooses to use this cancer as the method for my transition to heaven then that is the way of it.  

BUT there is nothing keeping Him from claiming even more glory for Himself now by healing me from this cancer. When the potential for doubt about where the healing of my cancer came from is gone there is nothing but glory to be given to God. Again, it's like the three guys in the book of Daniel thrown into the furnace. My furnace is getting horribly hot, but that doesn't change anything from God's perspective. Just because the doctors have no more medicines to try, no more tricks to pursue, or things to put into my body doesn't mean God stops working.

I mentioned before, in January, that we had traveled to New Orleans to visit some friends and spend some time being prayed over by a friend of theirs whom God has gifted with healing. At the time we saw a thirty to forty percent reduction in tumor size, across the board. It was amazing. Tuesday he drove out here to Houston and had dinner with us and spent some time praying for me in the evening. I'm not going to go into detail here, as I am not entirely sure I am ready to share about that yet, but some things happened which lead me to believe that something is going on in my body, and I'm not sure that the medical world could explain it. I really think it was no accident I had a migraine on Monday and couldn't make the appointment. And that I met with Him on Tuesday. I really feel like the prayer prepared me in many ways for the news I received today. At this point the doctors have no plans to scan me in the foreseeable future. Which leaves me with kind of a predicament in the next three to four months.

MD Anderson is done with me. I have no real reason to stay here in Houston any longer. The problem is that if God is working a healing miracle in my body and things are changed then I would like to resume my life and work in Colorado Springs. If God has chosen not to heal me and instead use me in another way then I am thinking that Seattle might be a better place (family AND friends in a familiar environment) to wind up the rest of my days. This is part of my problem. Making that kind of call with limited information.

What I need from you all:

  • This is not the time/ an open invitation to send me "alternative" healing options for cancer. I'm not going to go chasing around the globe seeking treatments that might or might not work. My doctor here at MDA is very in touch with the medical world and knows what does and doesn't work against this type of tumor. Eating a spoonful of carrot/ asparagus/ blueberry/ strawberry extract/juice is not going to miraculously heal me. I have decided at this point that God has brought me to where I am now and today. He will either heal me, or if He wants to use medical technology/ science then a solution will arrive at MDA and they will contact me about it. Those are the two options. I'm not going to spend the rest of my life seeking after stuff that might, or most likely might not, prolong my life. God knows and He has gotten me here. This is my choice and I don't want to hear anything else about it. Don't even think about it. Put down that Google search...
  • On Friday I am doing a fast. I am going to really focus in on what God wants me to do now that I am essentially free of having to be here in Houston. I would love it if you would join me in some fashion and join me in asking God to illuminate for Lisa and I the next few steps He wants me to take.
  • Continue to pray for healing. Now is not the time to stop. The drugs have stopped for the foreseeable future. At this point God will heal me, or He won't. Let's not stop fighting this until it's over!
  • Don't put me in my grave now/ Don't apologize. To anyone. Me, Lisa, my parents, my extended family. "I'm so sorry" added with the puppy-dog eyes and arms out for a hug. I'm not dead yet. You can hug them and give them solace when I die. (We all die someday) Keep praying, and we'll keep hoping and fighting in the ways that God has given me the strength and energy to fight. "How are you doing?" With THAT tone of voice falls into this category as well. 

Thank you. Every one of you. I need to figure out what I am doing when it comes to hospice in the next week, maybe two, which means I need to figure out where we are going to be... which means probably moving. (Ug) BUT I don't know yet. I am hoping that I will know more after Friday, but I might not. Things will happen in their time and I need to decide what that is going to look like for me. Lisa and I plan to keep hoping, but we also are aware that I need to be smart about things as well. If God has chosen not to heal me I need to be prepared for that and not leave a bunch of stuff "undone" or messes that need cleaning up because I never planned for the end. You understand, at this point I have to walk a line between hope, healing, and hospice. (That worked out well alliteration wise...) Continue to pray for that healing, and join me in praying for wisdom and guidance these next few days.

Love you all, your encouragements and prayers give me new strength every day! The fight is not yet over! Onward we hope and in God we give ALL the glory and honor!

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