On Friday, we spent 9 hours at the hospital for post-surgery visits. She had her follow-up with the surgeon's team, which removed the staples. She then had to receive 2 units of blood because her hemoglobin was remaining low (it was low all along, so this was not a surprise). She then had to get 4 immunizations because she no longer has a spleen. We are not sure which of these (or most likely a combination of these), but it set her back again to more new pain in new areas. The past 2 days have been pretty bad in the pain category for her.....
Today, we had a "normal" chemo day scheduled with the Oncologist hoping to be able to start chemo. They did blood work and then had the appointment with Dr. Colon (the Oncologist). Her blood counts are all looking good and based on that alone she could have had chemo today. However, Dr. Colon feels like (and we agree!) that she needs another week to continue to heal from surgery before starting chemo because healing will come much slower once chemo is started. Based on all of this, unless there are any major setbacks, we will resume the last 9 weeks of chemo next Monday and repeat every Monday until done. We did get a little concerned when we saw the blood-work because the CA-125 number was up, but Dr. Colon assures us that it is normal for it to do that when you have surgery. He said people that don't have any cancer will have a higher CA-125 after a surgery and it wasn't anything to be concerned about. He feels real good about where we are in the treatment process.
Some specific prayer points:
- For relief of some back pain Julie is having -- most likely where the epidural was given and because she is having to lay on her back so much.
- For relief of the new pains in her abdomen that we think is caused by new stretching since the staples were removed.
- For her appetite to be increased and for her to be able to retain liquids.
- For the overall healing of her body in preparation for the next half of chemo.
- For the chemo to finish doing what it needs to do.
- For Julie's emotional outlook. She has had some pretty emotional times over everything that was done during surgery and some of the adjustments that are mostly temporary. Of course, a lot of this is due to hormonal changes with the hormone producing parts being removed, but there are some other things that she is struggling with as well.
- For protection against infections -- her immune system will always be less now without a spleen and once she starts chemo, it will make it weaker again.
- For Sara's school -- her Hope Grant/Scholarship is at risk since we (not her) moved out of state. Thankfully, we have a great State Representative in GA that is working on her behalf to get an exception due to the circumstances.
- For ministry decisions that have to be made -- it is complex and involves a number of people and situations -- for now just pray as several people have decisions to make and we all want a clear direction from God to stay in His will. The ministry in Honduras will continue -- we are just trying to figure out exactly what that looks like going forward and it is impacted not just by our circumstances, but also changing circumstances in Honduras.
- For some unspoken requests for others close to us that I cannot disclose -- God will know who you are praying for :)