Health Update #6 ~ The value of Hope.
The Value of Hope
I must admit that the last several months have been a difficult time for me. On Labor Day, I had a blood clot that lodged in my neck at the location of my port, and the side effects from the chemo have been stronger than I expected. In addition, my last appointment with my oncologist was discouraging as she shared a win would be if the cancer did not grow or shrink at all, but maintained its size. That was not what I wanted to hear from the oncologist. While I know that she was simply trying to limit my expectations, it was still hard to hear that a win was maintaining the cancer. To be honest, I have struggled over the past 2-3 weeks.
On this past Monday morning, I had my follow-up scans, which were followed by an appointment with the oncologist from Hopkins to review the results. The results were terrific! The scans showed that the tumor has shrunk from 3.6 x 3.4 centimeters at the beginning to 2.3 to 2.1 centimeters currently (the lymph nodes have shrunk as well). The cancer did not grow or metastasize at all. This was all very good news and encouraging.
It was hope, hope that came as the result of scans. It was an encouraging report when there has not been much positive news over the last 3 months. I will take it. I remain mindful that my true hope permanently is found in the life, death and resurrection of Christ, which will ultimately be fulfilled in eternity. But for now, I will take the hope that my cancer is shrinking and has not spread. Hope for more days, more family time, more fun, more ministry, and more opportunities to spread hope.
The plan is to continue with chemo for the next 2 months (the same chemo drugs since they are working, which are Cisplatin and Gemcitabin) and then to redo scans in December. At this point, surgery remains not an option, but we are hopeful that it will become one as the tumor continues to shrink.