It’s been 3 weeks since our last update, and for good reason too. There really hasn’t been anything to report. We finished round two of chemo on February 18th, and nothing much has happened since then. We bide our time these days by watching Netflix, feverishly checking social media, reading and watching Netflix. I may have said that one twice… Oops.
Life is pretty simple right now. On Monday’s we usually have an appointment with our oncologist (that’s a cancer doctor, in case you didn’t know), on Tuesdays I spend the morning at work (that’s at Real Life Church in case you didn’t know) so Sara’s mother (her name is Kathy, and that you probably knew) usually swings by to hang with Sara while I’m gone, on Wednesdays we just hang around, on Thursdays I go to work in the evening (Kathy comes by again), Friday and Saturday are the same as Wednesday, on Sunday I’m usually at work all day and then the cycle starts over again, only to be interrupted every third week by a 5 day chemo regime.
People keep asking us how we are and what they can do to help. Oddly enough, we’re fine. Sara is exhibiting zero signs of any aftereffects from both the chemo treatment and the cancer itself, so unless she took her beanie off and displayed our matching haircuts you probably would be none the wiser to her illness at all. In fact, when we go to the hospitals or the doctors’ or the specialists’ offices and are approached by someone new to us, they typically look my way and begin addressing me first as if I were the patient, only then to realize that my hair loss is permanent and not temporary. Upon receiving this revelation it may also dawn on them that my name probably isn’t Sara, and their attention is eventually directed to her, as is to be expected. Such is my plight.
As far as help is concerned, again, due to our simple lifestyle these days and lack of “normal” complications, we feel uncomfortable asking people for anything since we don’t necessarily need anything at all. Financially we’re good, physically we’re good, we’re eating well and often. If there’s anything at all we’d appreciate and enjoy, it’s company. If you’d like to visit and hang out for lunch or dinner, let us know, and we’ll prepare something together (so long as you’re not sick, close to being sick, or in the near vicinity of anyone who is currently in any way, shape or form sick).
As for a medical update, a couple new things have hatched over the past few weeks. Our last visit to her cardiologist revealed that there is no longer any fluid surrounding her heart or lungs (during our first vacation in the hospital they removed the fluid twice from her lungs, but never touched the fluid around her heart. That problem has seemed to solve itself thanks to her chemo treatment). Our trip to City of Hope (merely for the sake of having a second opinion) a few days ago revealed that we are on the right track and that our doctors are doing the right thing. Sara’s body is reacting very well to the treatment and she is recovering better than usual. “Recovering” is probably an inaccurate word to use, actually, since she’s not really experiencing anything physically to recover from in the first place. We’re now sitting in our new “home” for the next 5 days (a.k.a. the oncology ward at Los Robles Hospital), about to begin round three of chemotherapy, so after this we will have hit the half-way point in her chemo treatment. Lord willing, she will require no radiation therapy, stem-cell or bone marrow transplants. We’ll know that stuff once we finish all six treatments (we’re scheduled to finish on May 13th); to my understanding, if her cancer is in remission by that point then we will not require these further treatments.
O ya, one more thing. That weird green image that I said I would explain… What is it? Well, the doctors have revealed to us on three separate occasions the current sizes of the cancerous mass residing around Sara’s trachea that keeps shrinking. If you know me, then you know I’m not a numbers guy. And plus, it’s always in centimeters, which confuses me even more because I speak English (consequently my blood is Red, White and Blue and I live in the Land of the Free). So I asked Sara to illustrate the sizes of these three masses on her computer so that I could visually see her progress after just two chemo treatments. If you click on this thumbnail image below you will see the actual sizes of Sara’s mass as it was before we started treatment (January 23rd), after round one of chemo (January 31) and as it was as of Monday (March 2nd) when she had a PET scan.
We are delighted to see that it is shrinking at such an incredible rate and that we have seen these kinds of results after only 6 weeks. God is good, we can feel his hand on us. Thank you for your prayers thus far, but please, I beg you to continue. We’re not out of the woods yet and we still have a long way to go. I’ll be honest that part of the reason I haven’t been keeping you all updated is because I don’t want to do this anymore. Not that I don’t want to write, or blog or share witty remarks hidden behind digital sarcasm, but I just don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t want to focus on this stuff. I don’t want to think about it. I’ve had enough of this to last me a lifetime and it literally took me 3 weeks to gather the strength to start thinking about it again. So please continue to pray for not only the healing of Sara’s body but also for the healing of our hearts as we continue to bear a heavy burden such as this.