Infusion #16

Yesterday, February 4, 2009, we spent 9 hours at the University Hospital. We took care of the check-in process at 6:30 and Lois started drinking the “glow juice” for the CT Scan about 6:45. By 8:30 the CT Scan was done and we began waiting to get blood drawn (they use Lois’ port) for the lab work. We met with Dr. Halfdanarson , the attending Oncologist we have been working with since June, and learned the CT Scan didn’t reveal much to him. The radiology team will look at the scan and finalize a report within the next 3-4 weeks and could come to a different conclusion.

Lois’ CEA number went up again. (CEA stands for Carcinoembryonic Antigen and is a type of protein molecule that can be found in many different cells of the body, but is typically associated with certain cancers.) The CEA number has gone from 4.8 in November, to 7.9 on December 24, 10.1 on January 21, and yesterday was 15.1. This indicates that cancer is growing somewhere – the logical conclusion is the liver – but we don’t know for sure.

We made no changes in the Chemo “cocktail.” There just isn’t enough data to make decisions. The Infusion Center was busy and we didn’t get the drips started until almost noon. Lois had her “fanny pack pump” hooked up and we left about 3:30 to drive home. Lois is tired and the neuropathy in her hands and feet is there all the time; she has the “chemo cold” – lots of sinus drainage, but those continue to be the extent of her reactions to the drugs. We are very thankful for this and recognize God’s generous gift of grace in this area.

Dr. Halfdanarson placed Lois in a new study which involves taking some of the frozen tissue from the tumor they removed last May and sending it to a lab in California. They grow cultures and then test different Chemo drugs to determine reactions and efficacy. We should start seeing information from that study in 6-8 weeks and may make adjustments to the Chemo “cocktail” based on that data.

The Oncology team and Infusion Center staff assure us we are doing everything possible to try to stay ahead of the cancer. Living in the ambiguity of knowing that cancer is on the move in Lois’ body but not being able to do anything about it –yet – is difficult. “But we trust in you, O Lord; we say, ‘You are our God.’ Our times are in your hands . . . “ (Ps 31:14-15)

Thanks for your continued love and prayer.

8 thoughts on “Infusion #16”

  1. Lois I think and pray for you often as I know that you do for me, We serve a great God that has and continues to give us extra time and I rejoice in that Dave

  2. God, pound those icky numbers down again by the blood of Jesus!
    Hate the thoughts of you suffering any pain, Lois, and know that you are indeed blessed by the low amount of chemo reactions. Thanks Father. Loved the meal we had together – even if the guys didn’t get catfish. We tried again last Fri. and they had plenty. Hope to see you both again soon. Had a nice visit via phone with Kari Beth this week. You can be proud she calls you parents! Love to you and all of yours.
    Donna

  3. Dear, dear ones,

    Thank you for sharing yourselves with us It helps to keep a picture of you in our minds and hearts–what it is like going to your sessions, going through it, not always hearing what you hope for, loving one another through the process of chemo, and keeping strong in the strength that God delivers.

    Here is a verse that is meaning a lot to me this week:

    My soul FINDS rest in GOD ALONE;
    my salvation COMES FROM HIM,
    He alone is my ROCK and my SALVATION;
    he is my FORTRESS, I will NEVER be SHAKEN.

    With our love and prayers,
    Esther

  4. Jim and Lois, I am sorry to hear of the numbers going up but God can reverse that in a second. It may come through new medicine or devine touch but whatever it is He will take care of you both. God bless you in the coming weeks as you wait for results of these tests.

    Sherry DeVault

  5. Jim and Lois, in the midst of these stresses and trials of both body and soul you are wonderful examples of grace in action which brings peace. Psalm 103 reminds us that “He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust…” and how He takes a personal interest in our lives, every part of us. Nothing comes to us that hasn’t already “passed muster” with Him first. He has provided a wonderful quote that has and is a wonderful blessing to us, and we pass it along to you, that, “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” You are both in our prayers, and our whole church here at Zion Van Wert in Ohio supports you also. Be of good courage, for the Lord your God is with you always. We wait to see just how He will bring glory to His Name through your lives. Stand firm and trust Him. We love you both.

  6. Dear Jim and Lois…
    God Is Good… even when we can’t see Him answering our prayers just like we want. We continue to trust God for your strength and endurance during this trying Time. His promise is that He will never leave you nor forsake you (me too). It is good that we can cast our every care on Him because He cares for us. I’m also reminded that He will grant us perfect peace as we trust in Him. Isa.26:3
    God bless… Love in the Lord. Bob & Eleanor

  7. Dear Lois and Jim,
    We continue to pray for the strength and guidance and faith to beat this stuff. Keep the faith. God is there and can change things in an instant.
    Don and Naomi Fuchs

  8. Jim and Lois,
    Thanks so much for sharing this with us, it allows us to know better how to pray for you. If we can do anything else for you….do not hesitate to call.

    In Christ, Doug and Joann

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