A Different Direction March 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cindytripp @ 7:51 pm


I imagine some of you are wondering about my oncology appointment yesterday. I have had a hard time processing what this actually means, but I will do the best I can to explain. Perhaps then I may understand it also.

Two weeks ago I learned that there was a 95% chance that I had stage 4 lung cancer; a week ago I learned that the cancer had not spread beyond the lungs and lymph nodes and that the cells from the biopsy would be genetically tested, but the same statistic—95%—was still the likely outcome.

Yesterday the other 5% became relevant.

The genetic profile indicated that the cells are not lung cancer. All of the cancer is in both lungs, in the bronchial tubes and lymph nodes in the lungs and in the neck; however, the cells tested are not lung cancer.

The genetic profile indicates that the cancer cells are most like ovarian cancer cells (70% likely). The cells are NOT ovarian cancer cells but are LIKE ovarian cancer cells. I had a complete hysterectomy 26 years ago and have no ovaries.

Of the cells tested, 85% have a positive estrogen receptor. A week ago, I started taking an anti-estrogen drug, and I’ll have a CT scan on March 15 to see if the cancer is shrinking. If so, then I’ll be taking this drug from now on; if not, then chemotherapy may be the next step.

Confused? I know. This is bizarre.

When I asked if this was good news, the oncologist said that this offered more options for treatment and also a better prognosis. I still have stage 4 cancer (as evidenced by the PET and CT scans and also by the biopsy); however, it’s not lung cancer.

Last Sunday fellow faculty member Matt Brown responded to my email about the PET scans finding no new cancer with these words: “In my classes I’ve been praying for either nothing new, less than they thought, or no cancer at all.  We’ll keep praying that stuff out of here!”

I believe that those prayers are being answered in a way that only God understands.

I believe that He is doing something in my life through this experience and that I must trust that He knows the unknowns.

I believe that He will do with the cancer what He wills and when He wills.

I believe that I will learn more about Him and about patience and about grace and about mercy.

My life continues to be weird, but God is always good.


15 Responses to “A Different Direction”

  1. Carmen Campbell Says:

    Hey Mrs Tripp!

    I’m really praying for you, and I’m hoping the best for you!

    Love, Carmen

  2. Kathy Peabody Says:

    I just heard about this and I wanted you to know that we will be praying for you and your family. We know that God’s Word is true and that He will give you the peace that passes all understanding as you walk this walk. You are an amazing woman and God has used you to touch so many people. Rest in the knowledge that He is calling all of us to pray for you!
    Blessings to you all,
    Kathy and Rick Peabody

  3. Bari Jacobs Says:

    Continuing to pray. Love, Bari

  4. Jan Kolb Says:

    We are praying for you, and for comfort for you and your family. You are a wise, wise woman and have given me great advice on several occasions. I wish I had something wise to say to you, but all I can say is that you are very loved and respected, and we know God is in control.

  5. The Hodge's Says:

    Hi Cindy,
    My first response is “there are no surprises with God.” “Our God is greater, Our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other. Our God is healer, Awesome in Power, Our God, Our God!” I am going to continue to pray that He will reveal himself to you in a mighty way. I just ran a half marathon this past weekend and I prayed for you so much as I ran. I will send you a picture if I can figure out how to do it. Love you so much!

  6. Sonya Smith Says:

    Praise The Lord!!!!!!!!! We will continue to pray as God works in this situation. We love you and thank you for all you have done in our lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Randall, Sonya, Lauren, Lindsey and Lexie

  7. Tammy Gibbs Says:

    You are a remarkably strong woman. I have always been impressed with your desire to see others do well. You have gone the distance for so many others, as your students can attest to. Your Godly strength continues to prevail through this blog. My prayers continue for you and the family. I am happy to assist with the girls getting services at school.

  8. Lynne Cargen Says:

    Cindy – Hooray for genetic profiling! This is great news! I have been involved as a research advocate at VICC for the last five years. One of my fellow advocates has been treating metastatic cancer with hormone therapy for the last fifteen years! I shared your news with an advocate friend who works closely with cancer researchers and she said that it would be good to get a written report from your doctor including the test results and pathologist report. If I can ever help you track down information or answer questions please call. My job as a research advocate is to ask scientists the dumb questions (a job I can do all day long!). You and yours are in my constant thoughts and prayers –

    Lynne Cargen
    479-3186 cell

  9. Yes, yes, yes. We’re still praying for more encouraging news for you. We were talking to a former BA student the other day, and his response to your news was that if anyone could manage and defeat cancer, it was you.

    This week we’re praying for peace for your family, more encouraging news, and sunny days for you to enjoy.

  10. Terri Capps Says:

    As you said this information is ‘confusing’ and yet we know our God is not
    confused. Praise the Lord! He is holding you ever so closely and will never
    leave you or foresake you. You are such a testimony of His love and
    faithfulness. I am believing that our God will meet you in ways to extend
    His mercy and grace that you never knew before, and in the process will
    give healing to your body and soul.
    Happy belated birthday!
    Love you,

  11. Janet Walls Says:


    What a comfort to know that, however bizarre this new diagnosis seems, God is not surprised. He is in control. He holds you in the palm of His hand. I’m rejoicing that this new information presents more options for treatment and a more positive prognosis. We will continue to pray for complete healing. God is our healer, our redeemer, our Savior, and our friend. I pray you’ll be wrapped in His love in the days ahead.

    Janet Walls

  12. Praise God! I always have looked to you because of your strong faith in God. This is just one more thing I can add to your list.

    I continue to pray for you as I know you pray for me.

    Oh yes. Have a Happy Birthday tomorrow!

    Love you much,

  13. Don Dobbins Says:

    God’s love abounds, and He’s showing it clearly. How? Well, better prognosis, no lung cancer, and the outpouring of love and concern from those who know you well.
    I spoke today to a BA graduate who said he was never in your class but was well aware that everyone lucky enough to have been taught by you cared about you deeply. I and the rest of your fellow teachers deeply love you, too.
    Yep, prayers from this household are still being offered up.

  14. Christy Stanga Says:

    Cindy –

    You remain in our prayers. “Let go, and let God” is the phrase that comes to mind, but I know that would be much, much easier said than done. The testimony you are presenting to the world through this blog, and the one you are living out in front of your students every day is tremendous. You are teaching them trust in our heavenly father by your powerful example. Thank you. Much love and many blessings to you and your family.

    In Him –
    Christy Stanga

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