Monday, February 27, 2017

Prayers for Dad

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.
Photobucket

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48 comments:

  1. He is such a strong fighter. You must be so proud to be his daughter! Saying a prayer.

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  2. Hugs sweet girl. Lifting your dad up in prayers for strength and peace as well as your entire family.

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  3. Continued prayers for your dad and your family - LIke Ariane said above, he is an incredible fighter!

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  4. Prayers for you and your family. Stay sweet and strong

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  5. I'm so sorry for this news. Praying for strength for your dad as he continues to fight. Praying for you and your siblings especially.

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  6. Hugs and prayers for you as always, sweet girl! Trusting God's plan is so great in theory but in practice it's so hard to do. Praying for peace for you this morning!

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    1. This is so true. Praying for your family, Christina!

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  7. Prayers for your Dad and family during this extremely difficult time.

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  8. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Your faith is inspirational!

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  9. Praying for you and your family!

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  10. Praying for your Dad and family.

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  11. Praying for you and for your family - both for your father's health and complete healing, but also for His peace that passes all understanding for whatever lies ahead. I so understand feeling anger and frustration and desperation when God does not appear to answer prayers that have been lifted so many times and by so many people - particularly when the prayers are for a person who has given their life to Him. I wish had consolation or explanations for you - but all I have learned is that our human minds cannot begin to comprehend the greatness of God's plans for our lives. I pray that you can cling to your faith in Him even when it makes no sense to our human understanding. Love and prayers for you <3

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  12. I've read your blog for a year or so now and follow you on IG. I just wanted to say I am so sorry. Praying peace for you and your family and healing for you dad.

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  13. Praying for you and your family - so sorry to hear this report.

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  14. Sending up prayers for all of you. I learned recently of two other families going through this, and it just breaks my heart. But we serve an amazing God, and may He grant you all peace during this time. Safe travels.

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  15. Praying for your beautiful family! I am so sorry you are going through this and equally thankful you have such a strong faith. God is with you and your dad every step of the way.

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  16. My mom is also on opdivo, and I can relate entirely too well to the roller coaster of "she is doing better! no wait....nope, she isn't, there is a new recurrence..." She just had surgery last month to remove a kidney and adrenal gland (has also had recurrences in her brain and thyroid). I'm so sorry to hear that your family is also going through this, and I am praying for a miracle...a miracle of more time, of quality time, of precious memories.

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  17. I'm so sorry. Your family's unwavering faith is so inspiring and encouraging. I can only imagine how disheartening this all is, but I love how full he's lived up to this point -- I want to live like that!!! No wonder that side of him is missed!!! Enjoy every moment you get to spend down there!!!!! Thinking of you!

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  18. I'm so sorry to hear this. Your family is in my prayers.

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  19. Praying for you and your family!

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  20. I wish I could just hug you right now. I'm so sorry to hear the not so great news. I will continue to pray for your dad and for God's miraculous healing.

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  21. I'm so, so sorry. Cancer will take you on an emotional rollercoaster that no one wants to ride. Praying for you and your family to find peace and enjoy your time together, no matter what the future holds.

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  22. This is not what I wanted to read but nonetheless am sending a ton of prayers ya'lls way. Thinking of you! xo

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  23. Big hugs and many prayers. Not an easy journey but we just have to continue to rely on Him and let him guide the way. Stay strong and safe travels. 🙏🏻💜

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  24. Oh Christina, my heart is aching for you and your family over this news. I'm glad you're going to spend time with him, it'll mean the world to him and is the best gift you can give him at this time. Keeping you all in my prayers, xo.

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  25. Definitely praying for your dad and your family. I know that this weekend together will be such a blessing.

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  26. I'm so sorry to hear this -- your father and your family are in my thoughts, and I hope this weekend is jammed with a million precious tiny moments.

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  27. Thoughts, prayers and hugs to your family.

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  28. Sending love and prayers to your dad (and the rest of your family!) And wow, Jackson and Thomas look so much alike!

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  29. Prayers for your dad and family!

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  30. I am so sorry to hear this. I lost my mom to cancer when I was just 25, and 23 weeks pregnant with my first daughter. Cancer is such an ugly battle! Prayers to you and your family.

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  31. I'm so sorry for the bad news. I've had several incidents in my life lately that honestly leaves me questioning God a lot so I definitely can relate when you mentioned WHY GOD?! But you are exactly right and we just have to remember all the blessings God does give us. I'm continuing to pray for you, your dad and your entire family. Praying for healing, comfort and strength. Safe travels going to see him!

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  32. I'm so sorry to read this news. Sending love and prayers to you.

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  33. Sending prayers your way and for safe travels and a wonderful time with your dad this weekend!

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  34. Prayers for you and your family.

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  35. Praying for God's healing hand and his sovereignty.

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  36. Continued prayers for your dad and your family! xx

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  37. I'm so sorry to see this news. Praying hard for your family.

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  38. There have been a few things lately that have happened in my circle that really make me wonder why God allowed that to happen. It's hard. But thank you for sharing and I will be praying for your dad and peace for you and your family!

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  39. Christina, I'm so sorry that you are going through such a difficult time with your dad. I know we were all so hopeful for him. Hugs and prayers to you all. Let me know if you need anything. <3

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  40. This is my first time visiting your blog, and I'm glad I did. Of course, I'm sending up some prayers for you, your dad and the entire family. As Christians we know God's grace and favor in our lives, and the strength to cope with situations like this. But sometimes it's rough. We rejoice in the all good times while our loved ones are here with us, knowing that God has plans for each of us that we may not always understand. I wish you peace and love...RO

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  41. You are always in my prayers sweet friend - we pray for strength and healing for your Dad and for love and peace and understanding for you and your family to get through this difficult time. x

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  42. My heart aches for you and your family. Sending prayers your way.

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  43. Continued prayers for your Dad & family.

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  44. I am so sorry, prayers for your dad and family.

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  45. Oh Christina. I'm so sorry to hear this. As someone who has lost both grandparents and a father in law to cancer I know how unpredictable this journey can be. Soak in all the moments you can, even when they're painful. Remember to take video of your time together and record your dad's sweet laugh, smile, and voice. Years from now I hope that you'll sit with him and watch those videos together and reminisce about how far you all have come in this journey. Hugs!

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