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Scan Results

“Well, the results are not what we’d hoped to see.”

Those were the nurse practitioner’s first words. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that sentence after a CT scan…

My cancer has grown.

Not everywhere, but enough.

Of the two largest tumors that they’ve been measuring and keeping tabs on in my liver, one was slightly bigger and one was slightly smaller.

The key finding was new lesions.  “New lesions” are my nemesis. “New lesions” are quite possibly the ugliest words in the English language.

I had new cancerous lesions in new lymph nodes and in my liver. “Several new lesions” in my liver.

This means: time for new drugs. The sole reason for new drugs: new lesions.

It seems that as tough as my spirit has been to defeat: my cancer is tougher. It appears that as “smart” as I’ve been told I am (believe it or not, I used to be known somewhat for my brains), my cancer is smarter.  Kill it one way; it quickly adapts and finds a way around that obstacle to continue growing.

So the plan is to start a new clinical trial at the end of this month. The new drugs will include a MEK inhibitor (which is what I’ve been on) and will also block a second protein pathway in the cell (P something). I actually was found to have a mutation in both pathways, so instead of attacking one, as we’ve been doing; we will now be attacking both. Rather, attempting to block both.

Until I start the new trial, I am taking nothing. I have to get this current med completely out of my system.

I am discouraged. I have run the gamut this afternoon: profoundly disappointed, profoundly angry, profoundly confused, completely hopeless. I have no answers. No peace that God has a plan. No assurance that He has even heard a single prayer. No sense that He even cares. I feel as abandoned as any person in the world with advanced cancer. What is the point? What is the point in following God, in trusting Him, in crying out for His help? I am no different than an unbeliever in dealing with this.

And yet, I know, if I would truly think about it, it has mattered. I know He has blunted the pain. I know He has spared me from side effects. I know all is not lost now.

Just earlier this week, I found out that my ovaries survived chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can kill ovaries, permanently stop egg release, induce menopause. Mine were spared. I still have what’s needed to bear more children.

Maybe that was my sign of hope for this week?

Right now I don’t even want to analyze my feelings. I need to just go numb for a little while. I know when I emerge, God will be there. I know His peace will return. I know I will see He has never left.

My boys are outside. It is spring break. My plan had been to do quite a bit of writing over the break, while my parents entertained my boys. That plan is over now. I really don’t care how badly some of you want to read “my book.” I don’t know how much time I have left and I just want to play with my boys.  I just want to be with my boys.

Signing out, a broken once again but somehow still breathing, Sara

Sara Walker





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49 Responses to “Scan Results”

  1. Clara Hinton April 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Sara,
    I’m so, so sorry. Sometimes it’s good for a “time out” from everything. Take this time to play with your precious boys, enjoy as many of the small moments in life that you can, and let the rest of us continue petitioning God on your behalf.

    You are in my daily prayers.
    Love,
    Clara

  2. lyla April 7, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    so sorry sweet sara…i love you and you are prayed for every single day by our family.

  3. Sarah Sanders April 4, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Sara,

    I am praying God’s grace and mercy on you. I am praying healing that only the Great Physician can bring to you. I pray for peace for you. I pray that you have an awesome savoring week with your family.

    In Jesus’ precious name…..

  4. Stacie Burke April 4, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Oh Sara I am so sorry to hear the latest results of the scans. I have been and will continue to lift you up in prayer. May you enjoy every minute with your boys this week.

  5. connie leach April 3, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Been thinking about all this– praying. I was reading the story of Lazarus again and saw how Jesus was mad. The story mentions it twice. He saw all the weeping and how all those people were hurting and it made Him mad. Then He wept. I wonder if He was angry at the enemy, at the enemy of death and suffering. He came to defeat it. I have to remember who’s the bad guy — the one who destroys. This is a battleground here. We must continue to pray. I believe it’s a mystery that we can’t understand, but we must continue to pray, maybe not to convince God, but to join with Him.

  6. Sandra Parker April 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    Words seem shallow. Crying with you. Praying for you.

  7. Tabitha Merritt April 3, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    I want you to know our Bible study group here in Sparta prayed for you and your family today, for peace, for healing, for deeper knowledge of Him. I have a saying on my wall, “When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart.” I just wanted you to know we are still here and you are not alone.

  8. cris April 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    Precious Sara ~ Know that you are in my prayers each day. Know that you are loved and cared for and thought of… not just in a passing sort of way, but in a real, true… even though we have not met in person you mean so much to me type of way. You are loved by so many! My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you and I know you are being lifted by so many and even though you may feel forgotten… you are not. Let all of us that love you and that you have taken the time to lift throughout this difficult journey that you have been on take this time to lift you … through our thoughts and prayers.

    ~ much love

  9. patricia singleton April 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    I hope you never have the time to read this. I hope you life is busy and full and brimming with love. Our hearts and minds are fragile creatures. You do love God and He loves you. I love you and don’t even know you. I’m sure that cancer is the devil. I really believe that. You be you. My Daddy died of cancer. There are no words. There’s only hope love understanding and acceptance. Please call if you need me or I can help. 642-1488. My name is Patrician.

  10. Heather Burch April 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Sara. I think about you everyday even though I have never met you. I found your blog by only what I can describe as God leading me to your story. It has inspired me in so many ways. I am a lymphoma survivor, diagnosed when my daughter was 10 months old. It has been 10 years and believe or not I still struggle at times. My daughter is 11 now and is a wonderful daughter and finally ,after much prayer, she has a brother who just turned three. I have loved getting to know you through your posts and you have lead me to a better relationship with our God. Thank you for your bravery to speak about the path of cancer and your battle against it. Thank you for all of us out there that have walked the road and now know all our feelings and thoughts are validated by your words. I wanted to tell you this today as your news has made me believe even more that we should tell people what a difference they have made in others lives. I don’t know you and you didn’t know how you have helped me continue to heal and that you have been such a blessing to me. Thank God for you and your words.

  11. Ann April 3, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Sara my heart breaks for you! Keep savoring!
    Praying hard for you,
    Ann
    Crieve Hall church of Christ

  12. Shanta Murray April 3, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Sara,

    Our church is lifting you up. We have all been very touched and brokenhearted by your story. I wish I had some clever thing to add to cheer you up, but I trust that God will reach in and take over where we are just pitiful. We are begging God to heal you. (fast!)

    Blessings,
    Shanta
    Tusculum Church of Christ

  13. Mara April 3, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    Oh girl, I will pray for you!!! I’m reading the book “Wednesday’s Were Pretty Normal” right now. I think you should pick it up or read the reviews on Amazon and see what you think:)

  14. Alyson Atchley April 3, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    I am praying and asking all my prayer warriors to pray! We will keep up the fight! I love you!

  15. Jo Shnell April 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    Sara, don’t ever sweat the book. Enough is written. Cherish this time with your husband and boys and other family. Take some deep breaths. Remember God is in charge and He is always there. Love you! Jo

  16. Amber April 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    I’m so sorry about your news. You are loved by many and we pray for you and your healing daily. It will happen. Go be with those beautiful boys. They will bring many smiles to your face. Much love to you.

  17. Lucinda April 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    Sara, My prayers for you are without ceasing and my faith in God’s plan is deeper than the oceans. May you rest in the comfort of His arms during the days to come. The days you will be savoring because that is what you do. Love you so much.

  18. Kelly Julian April 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Sara,
    I am so, so sorry to hear these results. Although I’ve never met you, I feel like I know you and my heart breaks for you. I will continue to pray for your complete healing.
    Kelly Julian (Karie Green’s sister)

  19. Brooke Semanchik April 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Sara,
    All I can say right now is how much I love you and how God loves you so much. My heart is breaking. I will continue to pray. I will continue to believe. Surround yourself with love…with your sweet family. Love to you Sara.

  20. Pam April 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    Praying boldly on your behalf, Sara.

  21. Brooke April 2, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Sweet Sara,
    I read your post today and cried. I just don’t and won’t understand the depth of God’s ways. As I cried out to God in anger over your results, I just kept hearing him whisper softly to me…”I can and still will do a miracle…”
    I know that the news today was not what you wanted to hear or what any of us are expecting, but I am trying to find peace in His whisper. I hope that it will bring you some comfort too. We are not giving up hope and will be praying for you on the days that you can’t. Love you.

  22. Kim Martin April 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Bless you Sara! My heart is breaking for you right now! I am so sorry your results were disappointing. None of us have answers except for God. I so admire your strength and your spirit! Even though you may feel weak and broken at the moment, you are not! You are God’s child no matter what! You are important to God no matter what! You know deep down that He loves you and that He is there for you! Right now try to savor your time with your boys and recharge your batteries for a new fight!

  23. Jenny April 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Dear Sara, these words resonated so much with me today: “Right now I don’t even want to analyze my feelings. I need to just go numb for a little while. I know when I emerge, God will be there. I know His peace will return. I know I will see He has never left.” I lost my one year old daughter in December to trisomy 18 and a heart condition, and your words perfectly describe what I feel on my harder days. Thank you for your honesty. My prayers are with you, as they have been for more than a year now.

  24. Shari April 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    I don’t know what to say, except I love and admire you for sharing your heart with total, raw honesty. The Scripture that I cling to in disappointments and despair and unwanted challenges is Romans 8:28, even though I can’t always see or understand how it is true in the middle of my circumstances.

  25. Judy Morgan April 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Sara, my heart is heavy! These beautiful days are for you to play with your boys and laugh! Cancer can take a backseat this week!! Your boys are in the front seat beside you, near you, loving you, and helping bring back that smile! It is ok to feel all the emotions that are running through you right now! But love with trump all!!

    So cancer, Sara is not thinking of you right now. She is thinking of her family!! As I was driving through Clarksville last week I saw a church sign…. I wrote it down when I got home and have it on my white board in the kitchen! It was there just for me to tell you!! This is what it said, “Blessed are those who believe when they don’t understand!”

    Prayers for peace this week. We will think about cancer next week This week my prayers are for you to have fun, laugh, and find peace being with your family!

  26. Holli April 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Sara,
    I posted this in May of last year on your CaringBridge site and have to say it sums up my thoughts right now! My heart is very heavy with your’s after reading today’s post. As I’ve reflected on your words (and all the words of everyone else in response), two Old Testament stories come to mind.

    1. Exodus 17:10-15–> “So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner…”

    2. 2 Kings 6:15-17–>”And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

    Sara, please remember that we are your “Aaron” and “Hur!” As your hands, arms, and body grow weary, we will help you sit down, support you, and hold up your hands until this battle is over and victory is declared! Further, I pray that during this uncertain time of waiting and worry, that you can have Elisha’s servant’s vision and see that “those that are with us are more than those that are with them!” Every one of us reading your thoughts, posting here and on CB, and praying for you is sitting on a fiery horse surrounding you and has enlisted a heavenly warrior to do this as well!
    Just as in these stories, I pray that the Lord’s glory will continue to be revealed in you–and ultimately in your complete healing!
    In the meantime, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your eternal story!
    Now, GO AND SAVOR the beautiful spring weather and your beautiful family! 🙂
    I love you!

  27. Ame April 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    Go play wiht those boys every day Sara! I feel like a read of chapter of “your book” every time you post to caring bridge or savoring the day. Remeber that even Jesus asked ” Why have your forsaken me?. God saw these results coming so he has already made a way for you through them. Keep the faith. You are not alone!

  28. Dinah April 2, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    Have fun with those sweet boys! Will and Darby need some Aunt SaSa time as well. I can’t wait to have some sister time this week. Love you and praying daily for you.

  29. Karri Misky April 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Play with your boys, Sara. My heart breaks for you. Just play with your boys. I met you briefly at your last Sara Walker Run. I was the one that gave you the painting from Diane Callahan. I have been following you, praying for you. I can’t imagine being you, all of the ups and downs. But God “DOES” have a plan for you. Your life will make a huge difference in this world. You are precious and I love you and I am praying for you and your family. Never give up hope, but never give up on God, I know you won’t. Love you!!!

  30. Ann April 2, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    Sara, sweet Sara, my heart breaks to hear your news today. He does love you very much. He is so proud of you, you have done so much for so many, myself especially. Listen and He will continue to be there and lead your path. Play, play, play with those boys and your husband. You are loved so very much by so very many. My prayer is you can feel His arms tonight and in the days to come.

  31. connie leach April 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    I don’t know what to say. I only know He is and He is love. I know that my glove was lost and I didn’t even know it and one night when I was walking my dog He told me that I’d lost my glove. As I walked further down the street, I saw a glove laying in a yard. It was mine. For days I wondered why did He care about my glove. That’s all I can tell you. He loves you. I hurt for you so He must hurt for you. I’ve never met you so I can’t feel this more than He feels it.

    I send you my best hopes and ask that He hold you in His hands.

    Connie Leach

  32. christy April 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    broken for you

  33. Hayley April 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    Sara,

    I am so sorry to hear these results. I know it is not what you and your family (and rest of us) have been praying for. I love you and am continuously lifting you up in prayer and hoping that you can savor each day with your precious family. I among many others have been blessed through your words, and there are times when words seem to fail to convey all that we are feeling and experiencing. Take some time to be with your boys and parents and siblings and remember that we all love you and are praying for you.

  34. Susan Chester April 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Dearest Sara,

    If you get this message and feel the Holy Spirit’s tug, go and check out Ruth Fazal’s song “How Long”.
    My Mom is dealing with a very painful condition. Not long ago a friend told her about this song and it ministered to my Mom and Dad in a tender way. She had me listen to it last night and I wept as I considered her… and you. I said, “Lord, Sara doesn’t need this song right now…” Yet there you were, heavy on my heart. As I read your update today I wondered if, indeed, these words might minister to you in some way.
    We love you from afar and won’t leave your side in prayer. May the Lord allow all of our shields to surround you and keep you from the fiery darts of the enemy.
    Rest and peace…

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Long/dp/B004HL9NB0

  35. Kathy Clark April 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Dearest Sara,

    I am heart broken for you and your family. Your disappointment, anger, confusion are so normal. Please don’t view those emotions as a lack of trust in God. He is so used to our questioning Him and wondering what He is/is not doing. Nothing surprises Him: not the results of the scan and not our responses. He simply continues to love us even when we feel abandoned by Him. Play with your boys non-stop. Savor every moment with them, with Brian, with your parents. You have already written a book on our hearts and we are so much the better for it. Your army is praying for you and storming heaven’s gates with loud pleas and cries. We are screaming, yelling, wailing, whispering your name to the Great Physician and we will not stop. We love you,
    Kathy

  36. Dana April 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Precious Sara, you owe us absolutely nothing. You have given so much of yourself, that if you never wrote another blog post, Facebook update, or book we would still be extremely blessed from all that you’ve already taught us.

    Enjoy your boys… rest… renew your spirit. Let our prayers carry you to a place of peace and comfort when you’re too battle worn to utter words or form a thought… Your heavenly father understand and he truly still cares for you, dear one.

    Love and hugs!

  37. Tammy McCann April 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Continuing to pray for healing and will continue to pray for healing. God is good now and always. Play with your boys. This is just a minor setback. God still has great things in store.

  38. r.elliott April 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Oh…lifting you up in prayer…

  39. Ronie April 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Dearest Sara……You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I know of you through Brian’s friends here at Willis and I have been so moved by your struggles. I want you to know that I pray for your every morning, and every single day I thank God for your life, and I pray for your complete healing.

    You have such a gift of communication dear one. I feel your elation when things go well, and I feel your discouragment when they don’t. I love your honesty and I thank God for the inspiration that you have become to so many who have followed your journey.

    I pray that you can take some small comfort in knowing that so many prayers are being lifted up on your behalf. Don’t give up precious Sara, but if you need to step back and rest your weary soul and just soak in the love of your boys, then revel in every moment with them. I won’t stop praying.

    Ronie

  40. Patsy Shropshire April 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    Dear Sara:
    Psalms 112:7, “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” But until you can — we are standing in the gap for you. Regardless of what we see or hear, we will trust in the Lord. David and I, plus my sister in California, my sister in law in Texas and her ladies’ Bible Study, my three daughters (Susan, Amy and Jason’s wife Leigh Anne) plus our Friday night couples group are holding up your arms when you can’t. Of course there are hundreds more as well. I cannot say I understand how you feel, but I can say “Sara I Love you , I care and hurt for you.” The Lord is not nervous that you are struggling. He is there. He knows you, and His love for you is ever increasing.

    Patsy

  41. Debbie April 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    Sara, God is faithful! You are not alone! Love you and praying everyday for you!

  42. Dawn April 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Sara, I lift you up in prayer. My family lifts you up in prayer. Even in a dark moment we are standing in the gap, praying God will heal, here & now! We know he heals and we know yiyr victory is won & secure. We pray he will exercise his awesome power, showing all who He Is and it us He in whim we have our confidence & trust. We pray the heal will be in this time and on this Earth so that you, Brian and your boys will have years together.

  43. Carol Barnes April 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Sara,
    I feel your heaviness! I feel your despair! I will cry out to God to intervene and hold you close and carry you just now. Enjoy your precious boys this week.

    Sending you love in Christ!

  44. Annette April 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    I’m so sorry about the results of your scan. God understands the way you are feeling. I’m not giving up-still praying for your healing-you & your family. Enjoy spring break with your boys. We are standing in the gap for you!

  45. Suzanne April 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Oh, how my heart aches for you……that was not the news any one of us wanted for you or expected. I feel your discouragement and disappointment……another unexpected bump in your story….Why? Why? Not a question any of us can answer. Only God knows the answer. It just doesn’t seem fair…..But this I do know He loves you and He has a plan for you…… Please feel this hug. I am praying you will find peace and that He will heal you!

  46. Martha Kimbrough April 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Sara, go play with your boys! Don’t worry about those of us wanting to hear your story…We will wait. As for me, I will wait with confidence that you will return to share another chapter and that it will be a chapter of faith and of strength and of hope. Why do I say that? Because that is what you have done throughout this struggle that you have shared with so many. Many like myself who you don’t even know. Thank you for being honest. It makes you real. Play with your boys! Savor the remnants of this day! After all, it can only get better, right?? Know that, when it is hard for you to pray, others are praying – are pleading – on your behalf. Go play with your boys, and I suspect you will soon find a reason to laugh. You are in my thoughts and in His heart.

  47. Janelle April 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    Precious Sara we pray over you that you feel God’s presence – He IS there – walking beside you though you may indeed be so numb you cannot feel Him today. HE …. IS… THERE! As are all of us who love you!

  48. Ann April 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Love you, Sara! Prayers are going up for you, as you regain strength to get through the tough news. My heart is broken with you. Enjoy time with your little ones! On my knees, hugs! Ann

  49. Niki Thomas April 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Oh Sara! I am praying so very hard. Have super fun with your boys this week!!!
    Love,
    Niki

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