What an encouraging weekend and week we have experienced! We were so very blessed by so many last weekend at the annual Couples Retreat Eric and I attend each year. The speaking was excellent, pointing us back to God’s faithfulness, love, and provision no matter what problem we are facing in our marriage or in life. We will have difficult circumstances in this world that is full of sin, but what matters is our heart response. Jesus lived on this earth and experienced the same things we experience, but He was able to respond with a right heart and not sin. Now He is sitting at the right hand of God praying for us! I love this point that the speaker brought out, that I don’t think I had fully understood before. Jesus is sitting in heaven praying for me! Wow! And He delights when we make those right choices and respond in the right way, even when we are facing hard times.
We were also encouraged by our fellowship with many friends, acquaintances, and those we hadn’t even met before saying they are faithfully praying for us. It is so wonderful to hear stories of how others have been encouraged in their walk with God in this life through our story and have been able to share the gospel message and the hope that we have in Christ! To hear of those that have turned to God in their time of need just blesses my heart!
We also found these fervent prayers being answered this week! I tolerated the chemo fairly well. I was very fatigued and wore out easily, but did not have to stay in bed for a couple days like I have in the past after a big dose of chemo like last Friday’s. I was even able to go out with our family and some friends for Valentine’s Day and enjoy precious time together!
Another big answer to prayer was that the tumor has seemed to respond to the chemo, in that it has not grown any more since last Friday! This is pretty significant, since I could see it getting larger in just 2 days last week between finding the lump on Wednesday and when I started the new chemo on Friday. Keep praying that the chemo will do its job and contain the cancer and even shrink it!
I have reached the lifetime maximum on the chemo (Adriamycin) I have been on since November, so my oncologist wants to switch to another chemo (Taxotere) next week to see how the cancer responds to the combination of Cytoxan and Taxotere. This chemo is also safe for baby, but having both at the same time can be pretty hard on me. I have seen the effects of the Cytoxan this week in my blood counts. They took a hit by Tuesday, but were still okay. But by Friday they were pretty low, so I had a shot to help boost my white blood cell counts Friday and another today (Saturday). We are hoping my counts will rebound enough by next Friday to start the Taxotere. Pray that I won’t get sick in the mean time with my counts so low. My hemoglobin has also taken a hit from the chemo. It was already slightly low from the pregnancy and I’ve been taking iron pills for a couple months now.
We are encouraged by the possibility of using one or more of the other options I mentioned in my last post. As the doctors have been able to do more research into other cases that these approaches have been used, they are seeing very positive results and no adverse side effects. These cases are just not as common and haven’t been studied out enough to be deemed “safe” on the list of approved options at this time. I will be meeting with my Radiation Oncologist next week to further explore the option of having radiation while shielding the baby. We would like to wait as long as possible to give our little baby time to finish developing before delivery. Keep praying our little guy will be protected and grow and develop as he should in the weeks ahead!
Are you waiting for that “announcement” I mentioned in the title of this blog entry? I have now reached week 26 and Baby Wilmeth is quite the mover! It is so fun to feel and watch him move in my tummy! Well, we have decided on a first name for our little guy! He has brought such joy in the midst of our cancer that we have decided his name will be…
which means “happiness” and “joy”! When we came across this name in our Bible reading, we knew it was the perfect name to describe our precious gift from God! “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)
Thank you all for your faithful, fervent prayers and support! We continue to trust in God to faithfully keep His promises and give us strength for whatever lies ahead. Eric and I have both been encouraged this week by listening to the song “Sovereign“, knowing it’s words are so true in our case. He is holding us in His hands in the midst of this cancer journey. Praying you are blessed and encouraged by it as well!