A Call to Arms

My apologies for taking so long to post with an update on what’s going on.  This post will unfortunately not be one with good news and reports but I am confident that what I am going through is nothing but a light momentary affliction which is preparing me an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:17). 

For the past seven weeks, I have been going through chemotherapy treatments that have combined three different chemos – weekly Erbitux, tri-weekly Cisplatin, and tri-weekly Taxotere.  Side effects have been difficult, but manageable and have not affected my work schedule.  The most noticeable side effects are fatigue, skin rashes, and hair loss (although i’m not bald yet!).  When I finished my sixth treatment cycle, my oncologist wanted to order some scans to see how the cancer was responding to the chemo, so last Wednesday I had a brain MRI, and a chest/neck/ab CT done.  

On Thursday my wife, mom, mother-in-law and I walked into the oncologist’s office confident that we would receive a good report of the cancer shrinking and chemo working.  Unfortunately, we did not get that report.  The oncologist showed us the radiology report and we were told that the tumors in my head are not responding to the treatment and have grown significantly.  There are 4 tumors in my head all of which have grown with the largest being 6 x 4.2cm in size.  The two large tumors in my lungs have remained stable in size, but new smaller tumors have appeared in different places within my lungs. Immediately my confidence was shattered and emotions of sadness, disappointment, and anger were prevalent.  As we talked about future treatment options we decided to schedule an appointment with a radiation oncologist to see what other options were available.  

As we waited to see the radiation oncologist I let the bad news sink in that the chemo was not working and something new and drastic had to be done.  The tumors were aggressively growing and a new immediate action needed to take place.  Despite feeling beat up and down, a small sense of confidence started to rise up that the radiation oncologist would be able to offer a new and effective treatment plan.  

When we met the new doctor she told us that there are a couple options that she could do to try and get rid of the cancer, but all came with very, very bad news.  She said that because of the placement of my head tumors, blindness in my future is inevitable.  No matter what way I am treated (or not treated) I will go blind.  She said because the tumors are wrapped around my optic nerve and growing so fast that without treatment I can go blind in as soon as 10 days.  One option she offered was to remove the tumors through a cyberknife treatment.  This is a non-invasive alternative to surgery that should be able to remove the tumors but once again would cause me to be permanently blind and would most likely be immediately following treatment.  Another option offered was to use proton therapy to try and get rid of the tumors.  In this case blindness may not be immediate, but would happen at some point soon in my life.    Once again my confidence was shattered and a new wave of discouragement set in.  

With all that being said, my ultimate confidence is not in any earthly doctor but is fully in the Great Physician who will never disappoint.  I’ve never been at such a low point in my life with such bad news staring me directly in the face.  At the same time I have never been set up so perfectly for a miracle.  Doctors have admitted their limits and say they cannot heal or cure me.  I have never so desperately needed a miracle.  

Currently I do not know what my next steps are.  I know that decisions need to be made fast and I am exploring all my options.  Blindness is not an option.  Death is not an option.  I will live a long prosperous life with perfect vision.  I write this as a call to arms.  A desperate plea for prayer and faith.  Prayer for God’s intervention and for a miracle to take place.  Thank you all so very much for your continued prayers and support.  You don’t know how much it means to Cady and I to receive so much love and care from you all.  Your prayers are priceless and we love you all.