And now the news you have all been waiting to hear! I had my PET scan, which is one of the best ways to see the cancer cells currently active in the body. We got to hear the amazing results from my oncologist:
There are absolutely NO active cancer cells left anywhere in my body!!!!
WOW! What an amazing answer to all our prayers! God is so good! We were not expecting to see such amazing results so soon from my new treatment regimen started only 3 months ago. God answered in a huge way! I can’t stop thinking about Colossians 3:19-21 every time I think about it:
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”
God has worked His power in me to do infinitely more than we thought or asked at this point! We have experienced the fullness of His power! Absolutely A-mazing!
So what does that mean for my future treatment? I will continue and finish out my current chemo schedule. I had my 4th round (of 6 rounds) of my hard triple chemo days today, so this next week will be my “bad” week again. Pray for Eric as he will have to once again take over the nighttime feedings with Asher for a few nights, as well as the full childcare duties during the day those days, in addition to his normal workload. During my last round I did not have the energy to do much of anything from Monday afternoon through Wednesday evening. Another amazing experience was the way the severe chemo fatigue and “fog” seemed to lift on Wednesday night just as I know many churches were praying for me during their Wednesday Night Prayer Meetings around the country! Instant answer to those prayers right there! It’s amazing to actually feel the power of prayer working in me! Thank you to all who faithfully pray for me!
We have decided to take radiation out of the picture for time being, with such good results from chemo. After I finish my last 2 rounds of this hard triple chemo, I will get to be finished with the Taxotere! This is the chemo that is the hardest on my body and causes most of the fatigue. I will most likely continue, possibly indefinitely, on the Herceptin and Perjeta which are targeted to my HER2 positive cancer and have much less side effects.
I am very thankful that on this regimen of a 3-week dose that by second week I can do most normal activities with only a near daily nap at some point and the third week i am not requiring naps much at all, feeling as normal as you can while undergoing chemo! It is nice to have some times that I am not completely exhausted like I was from the weekly treatments I was getting before. We are thanking God for His strength and grace each day! Because of this, we were able to take a week long family vacation last week, staying with family back in Iowa!
This is the first vacation we have taken in years that hasn’t included some type of ministry work. Although we did have the privilege of attending two of our supporting churches in Indianola and Slater while we were back in Iowa seeing many family members and friends! It is such a blessing to hear that so many of you pray for us so often, if not daily! Wow! No wonder God is richly blessing us with so many of you storming the Throne of Grace on our behalf! Words cannot express how thankful we are for all of you! Being a part of God’s family is absolutely wonderful!
We were able to do some fun things while back in Iowa. Asher got to experience his first time on a tractor and the other kids got to have rides. Eric got to go on the Warren County Tractor Ride with his dad and brother and 120 or so other tractors. They topped out at 18 mph on a 73 mile tour, including a ride across the mile-long bridge at Lake Red Rock. He topped that speed though when he got
to drive a NASCAR for 8 laps at the Iowa Speedway that topped out at 140 mph! What an amazing experience just for the rest of us to watch! (Although I am glad he didn’t have to use that extra insurance that would cover any accidents in the racecar! Very thankful for God’s hand of protection!)
We celebrated Ethan’s 5th birthday while there with many extended family members throughout the week. (I can’t believe my little Ethan will be starting Kindergarten in a couple weeks!) We spent a fun day at the Science Center of Iowa as a family on Wednesday.
It was fun to learn about and experience many aspects of God’s amazing creation shown through various science activities. The kids were also able to be on TV as the local news broadcasts their weather segment of the noon news from the Science Center! The weather did not cooperate for us to see the balloons go up for the National Balloon Classic in Indianola when we had the opportunity, but we were able to have a nice dinner with a good portion of family and then visit the traveling exhibit of a massive statue of the painting The American Gothic and take some fun pictures.
While exhausting for me at times, it was well worth it as we had a wonderful time away from daily responsibilities and making some fun memories as a family! We are so thankful for this opportunity to spend time focusing on our family when the pressures of ministry and our current health issues can get our focus off our family at times. God has so blessed us with our 4 wonderful children who are growing to know more about loving God and loving others each day! We don’t want to miss any opportunities to help them come to know and trust God more in our day to day lives no matter what circumstances may come. We were especially blessed by a sermon on enduring trials by turning to God and experiencing the blessings and rewards that come when we do persevere to the end with God’s help. I love and claim the passage Hebrews 10:35-39 that was used in this sermon by fellow home missionary Steve Carter:
“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
‘For in just a little while,
the Coming One will come and not delay.
And my righteous ones will live by faith.
But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.’
But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.”
I pray that you and I will not turn away from God to destruction, but will turn to God and be saved in the midst of trials that come in this life. We are definitely experiencing God’s promised rewards and blessings after enduring this nearly 2 1/2 year battle with cancer and winning! And receiving so many, many amazing blessings along the way, including our miracle of baby Asher! What an amazing, loving God we serve who wants to bless us!