Thursday, March 21, 2013

Friends In Need...

Since my last post, Ocean Lodge held a birthday party for one of the great musicians here in St. Simons, Michael Hulett.   He and Jim Polezoes, his manager, asked for donations on my behalf instead of gifts.   It was so very kind of them and a great time.  I can't thank them enough.  Ocean Lodge also passed out awareness bracelets and pins (thanks Michelle and Tina).   And Tina had a beautiful poster collage of Karley and I made.   It was beautiful!  Thank you all so much!

This post is not going to be so much about me, but more about a few friends in need of our prayers and support.  

Since I was diagnosed, I joined a website, www.inspire.com.  I've met many people with my same condition (although I'm the youngest I've met).   One woman I met, Susie, really needs or prayers.   We've been talking about Tarceva, but it was just discontinued for her because it wasn't working.  The lesions in her lungs are getting larger and now she has 7 small lesions in her brain, all requiring radiation.  She has two daughters, ages 26 and 24, who lost their father in 2000 to Hodgkins disease.  As a mother, I know she is fighting for her life for her girls.  Please pray for Susie and her family.  Not only for healing but for strength through these troubled times.

As you all know, our dear friend Reggie received bad news the day of my last post.  Well, here it is...  His tumor, called a skull base tumor, is really a brain tumor (for those who did not know).  The Emory doctors showed us the location of the tumor on his CT Scan.  It is basically touching the brain stem.  The physicians are running more tests on March 27th to find out more about what they need to do.

He has already lost hearing in his right ear permanently.  His voice and ability to swallow properly may not recover.   He's already showing symptoms of partial facial paralysis, which is not reversible.  Since he isn't swallowing properly, food is going into his lungs, which could cause a serious infection. It is probable that one side of his face will be paralyzed and eventually droop, requiring plastic surgeries down the road.  If his ability to swallow gets worse, he may need a feeding tube.  These are all things we know now, but will not know the outcome until after surgery.   The tumor is destroying nerves that control all of these functions.  We may know more on the 27th, but we are not sure.  

As we all know, Reggie is a very outgoing and funny guy.  He makes me laugh when no one else can.   I've told him it's okay to be sad and worried.  The worst part is not knowing what is going to happen to you.  You don't have to try and pretend to be okay when you don't know if you will.   The best thing to do is to give that worry to God.  It is SO hard to get to that point, but when you do, it's an indescribable feeling of peace.  Please pray for Reggie.  He needs our prayers for healing, strength, and faith.  We all love him so much.

Another reason I'm sharing so much about Reggie is that I would like to start another fund after the 27th for him.   More than likely, some things he may need will not be covered under health insurance.  Additionally, he may be out of work for some time.   We just don't know yet and therefore, I'm waiting to start a goal for the fund.   When I get that info, I'll post on my blog and facebook.

Reggie and I went and visited Tim while at Emory.  He's currently going through physical therapy to begin walking again.  He's been at the hospital nearly as long as I've known about my disease it seems.   Tim is a fighter and can get through this.  He posts updates daily on his facebook page.  Please pray for Tim's healing and strength.

Also, please continue to pray for Dylan Rosier, Mrs. Jean, and a friend I met at MD Anderson, Courtney, who is my age, has a child, and also has Stage IV NCSLC.

I know it's a lot of prayers, but your prayers are more powerful than you know.  Thank you all for your continuous support and prayers for me as well.  God Bless all of you!

John 14:13-14
"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.   If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Results 3/12/13

I just got home from receiving results of CT scans of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis.  The oncologist did find a pelvic cyst but it seems unrelated.

The rest of the scans show the cancer is still confined to my lungs.  Additionally, by the grace of God, the primary tumor has gone down by about 65% and there are no longer "numerous nodules"  throughout my lungs.  According tot the scans, there are now only 2 besides my primary tumor.  One is 3 mm and the other is 4 mm, with the primary tumor  now 1.9 x 1 cm.

After hearing these fantastic results, we met with Piedmont's marketing team to share my story.  They are an awesome group of people and I can't brag enough about the treatment I've had at Piedmont.   Everyone has been so kind and empathetic to my situation.

I am so thankful these scans continue to show improvement.  God is so good!  He and my doctors have been taking great care of me!  I am thankful for all of the continued prayers and support from my family and friends.  God Bless you all!

I will follow up in 6 weeks with a chest x-ray and see how things are going.  We continue to pray the cancer will keep going away!

Please also continue your prayers for Reggie.  He did not have great news.  His tumor is very complicated and requires more scans before treatment even begins.   Left untreated, he would be terminal within a year or two.  I know he can get through this, but he's got a long and hard road ahead.  We are "Tumor Homeys"!

I know I've quoted this verse before, but I feel it is so appropriate for any situation you may be in. When everything seems hopeless, look to Him:

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."