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.