This week I have reached the halfway point for my treatments, so I get to start counting down! So far, my labs show that I am staying pretty steady overall. I just need to be vigilant about protecting myself from infections, so hand sanitizer is my “friend!” My doctors seem to be pleased with my progress, which I know is because the Lord is watching over this whole process. He continues to keep my spirits up and my heart at peace!
I have met a lovely young woman at the infusion center whose struggle is much more difficult than mine. Her favorite Psalm as she walks her cancer road is Psalm 91, which has been a place of refuge for me as well!
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”
This Psalm has been a special place of connection for us! We are both looking forward to the end of our treatments, but until then, we know that Jesus is our hope and help!
Please pray with me that my white blood cell and red platelet counts will stay within a normal range so that my treatments will not need to be delayed. Both are a little low, but still considered normal.
I also need prayer for strength to be able to attend our Certified Instructors’ Retreat next week. The doctor said I can go, but I need to be wise and careful.
I pray the Lord is your refuge and strength, as well, and that you are dwelling in the shelter and security of the Most High.
September 12, 2019
It has been a long time since you have heard an update about my cancer journey, and for that I apologize. Even though I have been able to tolerate the treatments pretty well, I have deliberately tried to keep focused on resting and responding to high priority tasks. Since so many ministry friends have been asking for an update, I thought it best to send one out today!
I had my fifth chemo treatment yesterday, which means after my next one, I’ll be half way to the finish line! According to my oncologist, the goal of my six months of chemo is “curative,” so that is surely one prayer request!
The Lord keeps my spirits up and hopeful, as I experience his Presence in my life in many evident ways every day. He has been my refuge and strength through this whole process! He has given me countless opportunities to point to his goodness and grace with my whole medical team, other cancer patients in the infusion center, my neighbors, my church family and my own dear children and grandchildren. Ken and the kids have been a “rock” for me as they sacrifice time and energy to take care of me with such loving kindness and support! Jeff calls from Virginia almost daily, as well. I am so very grateful for all the many blessings poured into my life!
I do struggle with a little fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain and neuropathy, but the Lord gives me grace each day so that I can keep up with our lives and ministry pretty well. My doctor said that neuropathy in my hands and feet “can be permanent.” So, we are praying that will not be the case, but once my treatments are complete, we hope I will return to some normalcy. Your prayers for no permanent neuropathy would be a blessing!
The best news is that the tumor board at Billings Clinic finally came to the conclusion that I will not need six weeks of daily radiation/chemotherapy treatments. We are rejoicing and thanking the Lord for this reprieve!
Thank you so much for your many prayers on our behalf! I am confident the Lord is hearing and answering them in many specific ways! Your prayer support is carrying me along!
From my heart,
July 14, 2019
I’m glad to report that Corlette is doing well in her cancer treatment.
Given the type of colon cancer she has, Corlette actually had the choice between two possible treatment regimens. One would take only three months with oral chemo medication and no radiation. The other would take six months of infused chemo medication and five weeks of radiation. Each had its own benefits and side effects. Cautious lady that she is, Corlette opted for the longer treatment, which gave a slightly better prospect of no reoccurrence. I gladly supported that choice cuz I’d really like to have her around for a long, long time, as would everyone who knows her.
She had an infusion port surgically inserted last week, which went well. This port makes if far easier and safer to infuse the medication (as compared to a vein in her arm … all of which like to play hide and seek whenever they see a needle).
Yesterday she had her first four-hour chemo treatment. Thanks to God’s grace and gentleness, and the prayers of so many supportive friends, she experienced none of the unpleasant side effects we were told she could experience. No nausea, headaches or other side effects. (It looks like I will be the only one who continues to lose my hair.) We do expect side effects to develop to some degree as her treatment proceeds, but her initial response seems to indicate that those effects will not be severe.
So … she’ll have an infusion every two weeks for two months, including two days of wearing a small pump that continues infusing at a lower rate. Then twelve days of recovery. Then five weeks of less chemo combined with daily radiation. And then two more months of the infusion regimen. After that, we’ve indicated to God that we would really, really prefer not to have any more cancer in our lives … six go-arounds between the two of us seems to be quite enough. And yet God knows best.
We would of course appreciate your prayers for her treatments to go well with only light side effects, and even more so for complete healing and eradication of every cancer cell in her body … forever.
But even more importantly by far, please pray that God would use our interactions with a wide variety of medical people to open the door for the gospel. Both Corlette and I have already had wonderful opportunities to give God the credit for how serenely and confidently Corlette is walking this road. Since we’ll be interacting with a lot of these people over and over, we pray for opportunities to tell them about Jesus and his gospel, which promises that whether this cancer is gone forever or comes back next year, our ultimate hope, joy and eternal life is already secured for us in Christ.