cindytripp

Another detour in the road November 19, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — cindytripp @ 2:34 pm

The road switched again for me yesterday (Tuesday, November 18) when I had scans to see if the direction we’re going in is the right one. The results indicate some of my cancer tumors have grown slightly, some were the same, and some were somewhat smaller; in other words, nothing was remarkable either way. Also, one or two other tumors not identified previously were visible for the first time, probably because they had grown enough to be seen on the scan. No “new” tumors were reported, however. These scan results—combined with rough side effects, negative impact on my corneas and vision, and elevated C-125 markers for the last few weeks while I was on the drug—make staying on this trial no longer advisable. I’ll start trial #4 after Thanksgiving.

I confess that for most of the day yesterday I was disheartened by the news, and I didn’t pay close attention to the details of the new trial other than my oncologist feels this is the next step. Right now I’m carefully reading the trial protocols and information about side effects so I can meet with my doctor on Dec. 1 to go over everything. I continue to be very confident in the care and support and medication I’m receiving at Sarah Cannon Research Institute from Dr. Skip Burris and others.

This morning I noticed again the verse that’s painted in our kitchen: “His mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23). Reading those words are such a relief for me because I know I’ll be fine. The way forward has already been prepared for me because nothing that has happened or will happen surprises God. My circumstances can be overwhelming at times, but then isn’t that always true of circumstances? Keeping my eyes on Jesus and His promise never to leave or forsake me is the only way for me not to feel overwhelmed.

I am deeply grateful for your prayers and love and concern.

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will for God for me [and you and us] in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

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Another update November 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — cindytripp @ 9:10 pm

It’s been 5 weeks since my last infusion of the trial drug, and 2 weeks since I was supposed to start cycle 4. Here’s what’s going on with me as of today:

  • I feel fine, more than fine actually. I have NO pain.
  • The cornea specialist told me last week that 95% of the blisters on my corneas were gone, which is exactly how long he had said it would take (about 10 days after I stopped drug).
  • He said improvement in vision should follow, and as of today my nearer vision is becoming clearer; I expect the far vision to improve soon also.
  • My C-125 marker has been on a slight increase over the last three weeks—103 to 127 to 161 on Nov 4. Normal is under 30, but I haven’t been there since early in the summer when trial 2 was still working.
  • I’ll have CT scans in a week (Nov 18) to see what the three large tumors are doing, and then I’ll meet with Dr. Burris to discuss treatment based on what the scans show.
  • Options discussed today are to reduce infusion dosage by a third or to modify the trial or to begin another one. My doctor and the drug company will make a recommendation based on what they think is best, both in terms of quality of life and of increased side effects. They are all concerned about how few good days I’ve had and about the cornea issues.
  • I’m acutely aware of the power of prayer in my life. Thank you, and thanks be to God.
  • It feels weird to post this, but several people have asked if what I said in the ThanksLiving upper school chapel on Nov. 4 was recorded. For those who want to listen, chapel talks are posted on our media website at media.brentwoodacademy.com.

Everything is another opportunity to “give thanks in all circumstances because this is the will of God for [me] in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

 

a plan! November 4, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — cindytripp @ 10:12 pm

I saw Dr. Burris today, and I’m encouraged. Information is information, and knowing facts is better than wondering. Here what I learned and what’s next—Note this disclaimer: what I think I heard and what was said are sometimes not exactly the same 🙂 :

1) Appointment tomorrow (Nov 5) with Dr Chang, the cornea specialist I saw a few weeks ago, to see how my corneas are doing. I haven’t noticed a change in my vision, but I’m also not experiencing the pain I was when this was first diagnosed.

2) If my corneas are somewhat better, then he and Dr. Burris will discuss whether in a few weeks and with a reduced dosage I could proceed with another treatment of this study drug.

3) If there is no change or if my corneas are worse, then they’ll either wait a bit longer to see if my corneas will heal or else they’ll consider looking into another trial for me.

4) Best of all, I misunderstood my cancer marker. It was 127, up from 103, which is not a significant increase. Normal is under 30.

5) The CT scans show a decrease in size of the three tumors they are following in neck, chest, and abdomen. If there are smaller tumors somewhere in my body, they are too small to be picked up by CT scan (that’s good). The cancer marker, however, is something that they want to reduce since an increased number has indicated increased cancer activity for me.

6) Finally, I was asked to speak in upper school chapel today to begin the ThanksLiving series. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to reflect on 1 Thessalonians 5: 12-22, especially verse 18: Give thanks in all circumstances because this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 

I could acknowledge that “giving” thanks requires more from me. It requires me to take God at His word and to believe that what He says is true. My circumstances may be hard, but God is good. When fear tries to overwhelm me, I should focus on one moment when thinking beyond the moment freaks me out. So I breathe in and breathe out, and even if I don’t feel like it, I can choose to focus on the One who knows my circumstances and who assures me I am not alone.

I am so thankful for your prayers. I feel those prayers every morning and throughout each day, and I’m always reminded of the faithfulness of God in my life.