It is a with a heavy heart and a bit of a benadryl-induced fog that I write to you today. So forgive me any significant errors in this post, but I knew that many are anxiously awaiting news and I want to relay it now and not keep you in suspense.
I was told that the CT scan again showed a “mixed response.” And so shall this post be – a mixture of good and bad.
Unfortunately there were no signs of any cancer regression on the scan. Some spots were the same size, while others had grown, and had grown significantly.
For this reason, Dr. Penley feels it is best to change course again. He felt to continue on with this regimen would only put me at further risk of toxicity while not adding any benefit. It is clearly not helping nor even keeping the cancer stable.
He explained two options at this point: 1) beginning a “targeted treatment” with a drug called vectibix; and 2) exploring experimental drugs (in Phase 1 or 2 clinical trials).
So today I began with my first vectibix infusion. He did want me to go ahead and consult with a physician at the Sarah Cannon research center to be exploring my options for experimental treatment, so that consultation is scheduled for October 31st.
For the medical folks: vectibix is a drug that inhibits EGFR (I think those are the right letters). It is made of human monoclonal antibodies, so is not “chemotherapy.” Its goal is to stop growth, not directly attack the cancer cells, as chemotherapy is designed to do. My biopsies were specifically studied to determine if there was a certain K-RAS mutation that might respond to vectibix, and I did have that mutation. So this vectibix might be a good match for me and may prove to be effective.
The good news is that it is not supposed to have the severe side effects that chemo has. I only sit in the clinic for one and a half hours for its infusion, and then I go home with nothing, no pump, nothing. So I have been given a bit of a break from chemo and for that I am thankful.
It was difficult to hear this news today. By God’s grace and your prayers, I was able to take the news without breaking down in the office.
I have spoken recently of my hope, my belief that God will heal me. My mind continually reverts to the passage in James which states that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” I know SO MANY very righteous people are praying and praying often and so I just can’t imagine how God will not hear and answer with healing. I have heard such passionate, spirit-driven prayers that I cannot imagine that God will not act. And as I listen to my kindergartener pray I cannot imagine how God could let him down.
And yet I am also very aware of the possibility that His plan may be for me to die very soon. My purpose on this earth may be to show others how to walk into death without fear. Because I do not fear death. I promise you that I do not. I can state that with full confidence and honesty.
What pains my heart is to think of the pain my children will face. What I fear is that so many of you who are praying will lose confidence in God if He does not answer me/us by healing me. I do not want my death to be a stumbling block to any believer.
I know that whatever happens to me will be for the greatest good. I believe that with all of my heart. I cannot see how my death will accomplish the greatest good, but that does not mean anything. What is my understanding? What is my knowledge? Nothing. God’s thoughts are higher than my thoughts, His plans are greater than my plans.
Please, please trust God no matter what happens to me. Please know that He is love, He is goodness, He is sovereign. Please know that I do not view death as losing, as an unanswered prayer. I hope that I do not have a “funeral” but a “celebration of life” service, a “celebration of victory.”
Again, my situation is win-win. I go on to raise my boys and love my husband, family and friends on this earth, or I go to a far, far better place with no more pain and no more sadness. What a great relief that is! What a precious gift.
I am sorry I don’t have better news to pass on to you on this day. God’s ways are unsearchable and I have no answers for you. I only have questions. But God is sovereign and His plan is perfect. Hold on to that. And treasure this day. That is all I know to do. To continue to try and live just one day at a time.
And today, the sun is shining, my boys still have their mommy, and God is still on His throne.