It's been awhile since I provided an update on my dad's cancer journey. To be honest, I am always hesitant to share less than positive news. Writing this post is extremely difficult for me and if you know me in real life you know how hard it is for me to talk about dad's cancer. However, so many of you continue to reach out to me (I can't tell you how much your love and concern means to me) so I feel compelled to give you all an update and also ask for prayers. I wish I had better news...
(skim for bolded sentences for abridged version)
For many months now we've just kind of been waiting to see how dad continues to respond to the clinical trial, Opdivo. We were told from the beginning that dad's cancer is not curable, however it is treatable for now. So for the past year or so he's been going in for hours of chemo every two weeks, followed by CT scans every few months to check the status of the cancer cells in his lungs.
A few weeks ago dad's oncologist, Dr. Z, ordered a routine CT scan. We had to wait an entire week for the results which is always so nerve wracking. At last, the test results were in and the doctor reported the scan showed the cancer cells in his lungs were super tiny -- a ginormous blessing. For once (in a very long time) we were receiving good news. We were all so relieved and abundantly grateful to hear conversations about the possibility of spreading dad's chemo treatments a little further apart in hopes he can start getting stronger physically. The side effects of all his chemo have been brutal. He is constantly exhausted and in pain these days. Needless to say, we were all finally filled with some hope...
However, there was one more piece of information Dr. Z needed to share -- the CT scan also picked up signs of something in dad's kidney and ordered an emergency PET scan to confirm what he suspects is new cancer. The sliver of good news -- if the PET scan confirms kidney cancer, well...we can remove the kidney and hopefully get back on course. So we prayed for that.
The PET scan day came and went. And we waited for what felt like years for the results -- there is a mass in both kidneys and it appears the cancer has also spread to his bones. I really can't explain the wave of anger and sadness I felt when I learned this. I know God can do anything he chooses. So why isn't he choosing to heal dad entirely and bring him back to his vitality? I want my dad back. And I want him back in his energetic, hilarious, tan and full of life state. I miss his reports on how big and glassy the waves were he surfed the previous weekend. I miss seeing all the hard work he's put into his yard and garden. I miss his updates on the impressive residential projects he is managing and building at work.
But quickly dad reminded me of God’s eternal goodness and love for us. He doesn't want any of us to be sad or scared or angry. He wants us to enjoy and take advantage of all of the time we have with him on this side of heaven. And so I promise to do that.
We are driving home to Orlando next weekend to spend some time with dad. It's a lot of driving for a short amount of time we will have there, but I'll take whatever I can get.
As for next steps, Dad has an outpatient biopsy procedure on Thursday which will help inform our path. Additionally, he will begin radiation on his bones March 6.
Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and prayers.
|My sister sent me this sweet picture of Mom, Dad and Jackson last weekend.|