Thursday, July 27, 2017

Doctor Visit Today 7/27/2017

We had a great visit at Mayo today.

I had blood drawn today and thankfully I am in the normal ranges for all of my blood work.  Which is great because it means my immunity is still high enough to fight.    So day #3 of chemo tomorrow.

We are also doing the happy dance--and praising Jesus dance--cause my CA125 count went down!!!

This is the marker for ovarian cancer.  It went from 628 to 582.  The doctor says this is a good indication that the chemo is working.  The lower this number goes, the better, until it gets in normal ranges.

Keep your prayers coming,  we are praying for healing in Jesus precious, Holy name!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Making itThrough

I've made it through the 2nd chemo treatment with simple tiredness.  What wonderful grace and mercy I am experiencing at this moment.   So celebrate with me--I am taking the time any chance I get.

What we have been up to:

Over the weekend we celebrated my dad's 75th birthday.  He turned 75 on July 5th, and we had a great time laughing, eating, talking, and spending time just hanging out. 

Ben's parents, Ken and Margaret, drove over from Alabama and spent time with our family on Saturday and Sunday.  We loved seeing them and enjoyed our time together even though it was quick.

Leighanne and Hannah are beginning home school again.  We are starting a light week and then will ramp up next week full speed ahead. (Pray for Nana, Papa, and Aunt Sheryl since they will be helping the girls.)  

Austin began work at Chick Fil-A last week, and Jordan had his first day on his new job after college. Zach is continuing his schooling and work at TRF.

What's coming up:

I have my 3rd chemo treatment to Friday.  Please continue to pray for the chemo to be effective.

Other prayer requests:

Please pray for other families going through this cancer journey.  

Pray for our ministry in Honduras--New Beginnings Honduras.  Pray that God will grow our ministry in our absence.  Pray for the Robinson family who are fostering J and M.  Pray that God will meet their needs and bless them for standing in the gap for us.

Pray for our Partner ministry--Legacy of Hope.  Pray for God to strengthen and direct their ministry.

Pray for missionaries all over the world who are doing their work in the name of Jesus.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

7/18/2017 Update (PET Scan and Port Placement)

This morning is when we were scheduled to have the PET scan and I know many of you are waiting on a report of the results.  Late yesterday afternoon, after discussion with the Oncologist, we decided to postpone the PET scan from today to August 8th and postpone the port placement from 7/25 to 8/3.  The PET scan was originally critical due to the thought that we didn't know the primary source, but now that we know it is Ovarian cancer, the PET scan don't become as important until after the initial treatment of the primary.  The Port is needed because she cannot get so many treatments through IV over the long haul.  However, postponing it will only cause one additional treatment through IV.  Dr. Kasi assured us that neither of these things would in any way decrease his effectiveness on treating her so we made the decision to postpone them until we have insurance in August.  These decisions saved over $26,000.  There is no monetary value of Julie's life and we would never make a decision to save money that would limit in any way her ability to be treated, but the Dr. assured us it was not a problem and we felt like to be good stewards of the very generous gifts we have received to help with our medical expenses we needed to postpone these two items.

All this really means is that we have to wait until after August 8th to know for sure whether cancer is in other parts of her body, but knowing it at this time wouldn't help us in any way anyway, so we will be patient and wait.

With Much Love,
Ben

A quick note from Julie ...

Well I have made it past the 1st treatment.  I am thrilled to report that this time the only side effect I had was extreme fatigue.  I did not have any nausea.  Today I felt the best I have felt since surgery 4 weeks ago.  Ben and I even walked around the duck pond in our neighborhood 2 times.  So while I'm not planning a 5K anytime soon, it did feel great to get outside and walk around.

All of our kids came by yesterday for a visit, and brought me the sweetest gift.  A family photobook. Each child took the time to add their favorite pics, scripture verse and a sweet note to me.  How sweet and special they have all been.  I also got some extra goodies that will help pass the chemo time away.

And you folks out there--how precious you are to me.  I know of three t-shirt fundraisers, and the gofundme that are helping to help with our finances.  Yall--God does make a way!  And a big thanks for all the gifts that have been given to us through a variety of places.  We are so blessed to be loved by many.

Thanks for the words of encouragement, prayers, cards and belief!

We are believing for a miracle,

Julie

Saturday, July 15, 2017

7/15/2017 Update

Julie had her first treatment of Chemotherapy Friday morning as scheduled.  Her body has responded well to it so far -- we have no way of knowing yet how the cancer itself is responding yet.  She has not experienced any major side effects yet,  but Sunday is supposed to be the worse day.  As of right now she is scheduled to have the treatment every Friday for 2 to 3 months followed by a likely surgery to remove the tumors from the pelvic area.  Once we get the results of the PET scan that will be done on Tuesday, July 18th, there is a possibility of adjusting the drugs and schedule, but for now it will be a weekly treatment.  The doctor is giving a lower dose every week instead of a higher dose every 3 weeks.  She is not expected to experience the worse side effects until around the 3rd week as many of the side effects are cumulative in their effects.

The doctor's office also called yesterday to let us know that they have decided to postpone the genetic sequencing blood test until after our insurance becomes effective on August 1st because the cost of that one test was around $4,000.  He said waiting a few weeks on that would not matter because it was more important for decisions in the treatment of the tumors that are not in the pelvic area -- right now he is focusing on the ovarian cancer as that is apparently the primary.  Our doctor is being great about helping us manage costs when a slight delay in something has no impact on treatment, but he is also working with us to be aggressive on the things where time is critical.

Praise -- we also go the J-P Drain removed today.  Our family doctor in Honduras talked with the surgeon in Honduras and told us what we needed to do to get it out.

We are overwhelmed by the messages and notes of encouragement and prayer as well as the fundraisers and donations that people are doing to help us with the financial side of this.  We have received verbal estimates of most of the procedures that we have had or will have before insurance becomes effective, but will share the details once we getting more firm written numbers.  Because so many people have and continue to give sacrificially to help meet these financial needs we want to be completely transparent in how the money is being (or will be) spent.  Based on the information we have now, we believe the total that we will be responsible for will be somewhere in the $50,000 range.

Ben

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 12th Update--CT Scans

Today I had a CT Scan,  Dr. Kasi called with the results this afternoon.

He said the scans show that there are no tumors visible in any major organs.

What a huge PRAISE!!!

He says that it appears that the cancer is focused in my pelvic area.  This leads him to believe that we are dealing with ovarian cancer.

Now we still are looking at cancer in the abdominal wall and the pelvic area which is still very serious.  

I start chemo on Friday morning.

We will have the PET scan on Tuesday, followed by the port being put in on the 25th, and a biopsy on August 2nd.

BUT what a huge praise that the scan didn't show any tumor in my major organs.

God is at work!  

Dr. Kasi was more hopeful today.  His tone was more upbeat!  Sure made me feel better.

Keep Praying and Praising and Believing!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

After the 1st Appointment

We went to the doctor today.  It is serious.  Based on what we know, before scans, bloodwork, etc.  He believes we are looking at a Stage 4 Cancer.

He said we needed to be aggressive.

Today we did blood work.
Tomorrow we go for a CT Scan in the morning.
They are hoping to get us back in to see the doctor after the CT scan results come in and then get the first round of chemo to begin on Thursday or Friday.

Next Tuesday we will have a Pet Scan, and the following week my port will be put in.

In the mean time, we will see a general surgeon to remove the J-P Drain as soon as possible.

It hit me hard today.  When the oncologist said, "This is worrisome."  I broke down into the ugly cry.
After I got it back together, we started talking strategy and I felt much better.

So please be patient with me as I process this with our family.

Like I told my kids today, "God numbered my days before I was even born."  He knows the length of my life.

He is still very much in control, I am not.

I love you all!  I am leaning on the the encouragement of family and friends.  My life is in His hands!

In Him Who IS ABLE,

Julie

So today . . . 1st doctor appointment at Mayo.


I couldn't get to sleep last night.  And around 3 am I was up again.

I asked Ben, "What is this--the 1st Day of School jitters?"

I am not really nervous about this appointment.

I'm ready to figure out what's going on inside my body.

I'm ready to get fighting this thing that wants to destroy my good cells.

It's hard to believe that 3 weeks have passed Before we had ever heard the word cancer with a big fat exclamation point at the end.

I can't hardly wrap my mind around the fact that one day I didn't have cancer, and the next day I did.

Of coarse I realize I did and I just didn't KNOW it.

So many people have walked this same road.  They KNOW.

And I am just in the baby stages.  Just starting the journey.

One I didn't choose mind you.

And then I have to breathe in deep, settle back, and meet Jesus on this walk.

He's allowing this to be apart of my life for a purpose I don't understand.

He loves me--I can feel it.  I don't feel abandoned, I feel surrounded by Him.

I don't have to understand, but I do have to trust Him.  I have to choose to trust Him--even though I would never choose what lies ahead.

Today I was reading about knowing Him.  So today, I choose to walk this road with Jesus.  If this is the path of KNOWING HIM MORE, then I'm walking in it.

Mind you, I'm praying for strength, I'm praying for joy, I'm praying for healing.

This is where I'm going to try and be real--good and bad.

Today, I honestly have peace. Not peace that says everything is going to be easy, but peace that says, I am wrapped up with the love of my daddy in Heaven. I feel like God has his hands so wrapped around me that I can feel his comfort.

For those of you that are praying-- thank you,

I can feel them.  I'm sure the prayers of many are being brought to God, and He is giving me strength.

So while I never wanted to have to have a July 11th that included a 1st appointment at Mayo, I know I'm going with the arms of God wrapped around me, leading me, and guiding me.  I feel safe in Him.

***My plan is to post updates here.  I may choose to sometimes cross post on our New Beginnings Website, but this is going to be a personal place for me to journal what I want to share.

If you follow by email, you will get a notification of updates automatically.  Your choice--no biggie to me. 😉