Firstly, thank you everyone for your faithful prayers that have continued to carry us through and gives us strength. we feel your prayers everyday as we struggle through new challenges on every turn. 2016 brings me into my third year of living with stage 4 cancer. i can hardly believe so much time has passed and I thank God with a grateful heart for the time he has graciously given me.
We knew a change was coming. To be honest, I was kinda hoping it would. I'm SO very over the whole chemo thing. The hard thing about wanting a change is wondering if I should be careful what I wish for. Is the "new" going to be worse than what I had? Or, will it even work? I'm still wondering these things, but the change wasn't my choice or because I wished for it.
The future is unknown to me but not to the Lord. His love is perfect and so I don't need to fear the future. I think, "Yeah, but I could still die. My kids could be without a mom. Lewie could be going it alone. How will they recover from the pain of that?" I still go through these questions, almost daily, but I'm also reminded daily of how perfect His love is, and why that love casts out fear, even though our fears can become reality. His love is perfect! We can't understand perfect, but that means that that kind of love is seeking our ultimate best. Which we can have confidence that we will see. It's just hard and painful to wait for that, and while we wait it's tempting to grow discouraged and take our eyes off of the One who's love is so perfect. I've realized how like an Israelite I am; forgetting that I am loved in this way, and having to be reminded again. It doesn't take living with cancer to put one through this cycle. However, for me, it took living with cancer to give me a greater glimpse of how deeply I am loved and held. I have never been more confident of this perfect love as I am now. This knowledge helps in my battle with the fears.
Okay, but the change. So, I had scans this week and they showed the same gradual progression of the cancer growing that the last few scan have shown. The brain metastases have however been stable, until this scan, so we opted to put off the change in treatment, but my labs started showing a decrease in my kidney function in December as well as some possible spots on my kidneys. In January I started having kidney pain and it has increased over the month. The kidney function issue is probably a combination of the chemo, and a tiny tumor that is pressing on an artery. Time to work on shrinking that, bad boy! So, we are bringing the Tarceva back in and I'm taking that along with Avastin .
Tarceva is a targeting therepy pill specifically for those with EGFR mutation. I was on it in the
beginning, but it only worked for 7 months. It's likely to work again since I've been off of it for so long. They are keeping me on the Avastin, which is a Chemo I get infused with every 4 weeks, and it doesn't make me sick. The Tarceva made me very tired last time, but the chemo has wiped me out so I'm hoping I wont notice that too much. Also, a rash on my face and back, thinning hair, and anorexia... I'm not looking forward to all this but I'm hoping I'll feel better then I have been on the chemo, and that it works.
There is a new EGFR inhibitor that has just been FDA approved that I could go on and I think it has less side effects. They took a blood biopsy to see if I qualify for it. This blood biopsy is new thing for them and pretty cool to have avoided the tumor biopsy, for now. We'll have those results in about 2 weeks, and if I test positive they will switch me from the Tarceva to Tagrisso (The NEW lateset and greatest).
They are still scanning me every 2 month and keeping a close eye on some new shading in the brain that could be new metastases. Full brain radiation may be getting closer. I hope not but if the brain metastases are eliminated, then I can qualify for a clinical trial. there are also other Chemo's they can try. I still have a few options left and hopefully when they run out there will be new ones available.
In the mean time, I cling to God's promises, and His faithfulness to keep every single one. I am comforted that heaven is waiting for us at the end of all this struggling. That anticipation is becoming ever sweeter. Until then, we plod on taking one day at a time...