Well I started out the day thinking I would be at the hospital all day with my mom for chemo, but we ended up only being there a little over 2 hours. We got to Duke around 11am and then my mom had her appointment with the Doctor. The doctor did his exam and didn’t feel like the lymph node had responded to the last treatment…that combined with my mom’s allergic reaction to the drugs and lack of increase in her numbers lead the doctor to deciding that he would stop chemo and begin to monitor the lymph node. The lymph node seems to have stabilized and the doctor wants to see if my mom’s body alone is keeping the cancer under control or if the chemo is the only thing keeping the cancer from growing. My mom has an appointment with the doctor in a month. He will continue to check if the mass grows or remains the same; if the mass grows, he will decide what the next course of treatment would be. He does not want to give my mom the same drugs (because the reaction to it would likely be worse the next time) without being admitted to the hospital…there are probably other treatments he has in mind that he hasn’t decided between yet or mentioned to us. So we were left with things pretty much up in the air. We all have somewhat mixed feelings about not having chemo today. I guess we all just don’t know what’s next or how we are going to deal with either growth of the mass or even remaining stable. It’s a weird place to be. Still battling cancer, but not with any treatments (as of right now). It’s just a wait and see thing, which is hard! But we know that God is faithful and He is in control. We are trusting Him with whatever He has planned!
Skyped with Lauren today for almost an hour!
The plan for the rest of the day (as of right now) is to just relax…I am working 7am-4pm for the rest of the week and part of next week while a co-worker is out of town. I also have a bit of school work to keep working on; got a little done today while I was at the hospital. As Ashley and I were sitting in the waiting room while my mom and dad were back for her appointment, I started to think of how I could encourage my mom; I knew there was a lot of anxiety going into the day and I was just reminded of all we have in the Lord even in the difficult times. I was reminded of how much she has taught me through her struggle. She is a hero to me…she doesn’t even know how greatly the Lord has used her and her struggle in my life and the lives of others. The Lord continues to grow her and use her and it is a true joy to see. I decided to write her a short note and this is what I ended up with: (I hope this is an encouragement to others and to her as she reads it over again)
You can be strong because Christ is your strength; You can be fearless because God is your peace, comfort, and help; You can be faithful because God gives you faith and He is trustworthy; You can be hopeful because Christ is your hope; You are beautiful because you were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of our Father and Creator. You are a constant reminder of these things to me and you are more amazing than you know! I love you so much and you are constantly in my prayers! Keep pursuing and trusting God!
After writing this to my mom, I began to think about my dad…I have no idea when he will read this, but I want him to know a couple of things:
You are a wonderful picture of a loving husband! I pray that I can find a man that loves me the way you love mom. The way you sacrificially love is a beautiful picture of the way Christ loves the Church. Watching you through this trial has been a true challenge and a blessing in my life. I am so grateful to have a dad like you who loves me and cares for me; you always show me that I am important to you and that you appreciate me. You make me feel good about myself and always make it a point to tell me how proud you are of me. You are one of the most respectable men I know and you are the one who has taught me how to work hard and how to love family. I am so blessed to have you as my father and the head of the family. God’s grace and working in your life is so evident! One of the greatest joys has been to see the Lord working in you and seeing you passionate about sharing Him with others. Keep looking to Him and trusting Him! You are so focused on work that has to be done and how you can be there for mom and the rest of the family (people overlook how hard all that is on you); I pray that I can be there for you on Friday. There is nowhere I would rather be! Praying for you and your operation! Love you so much and I am so proud to be your daughter!