So, by way of encouragement, so that you all will keep praying, some news. One thing you might not know about chemotherapy is, well, do you know how it works? Do you know why your hair falls out and your mouth gets sores, and your blood count goes down? Half-point if you said "because chemo is poison." That's what my answer would have been about 2 months ago, so we should all get at least partial credit for being partially intelligent. :) In fact, chemo works by targeting cells in your body that reproduce quickly...which of course includes cancer cells, but also hair follicles, red & white blood cells, the lining of your mouth, et cetera. (And by "target" we mean "poisons to death," hence the partial credit.)
Last week James's white blood cell count was getting pretty low. So low, in fact, that the nurse had to clarify with the doctor that it was still OK for James to receive his full dose of chemotherapy. (It's already low, and then we're going to give you something to kill off even more...I'd ask permission too.)
But then we asked you all to pray, and pray you did. I think it's only fair to say the best outcome in my mind was that James's numbers wouldn't drop any lower, that he wouldn't get sick in the meantime, and that his numbers would be high enough to do his last round of chemo in two weeks.
Special shout out to any of you who prayed that God would do yet more, even increasing his white blood cell count. (Did any of you pray that audaciously?! If so, bless you!)
Today when James went in for labs the nurse came back absolutely shocked. Just dumbfounded. So amazed she had to comment. James's white blood cell count is now up to 5.5. That is not only significantly higher than last Monday's 3.3, but is even well above a healthy, normal person's (4.5 counts as "normal"). How does that even happen after a week of being pounded with cell-destroying poison?!
Friends, God is healing James, and those of us praying aren't just blessed to see it, but actually are part of this whole story in a rich, glorious way. So, thank you. Thank you for being part of our story.
Also by way of update - James had a CT scan this morning and will get the results (most likely) on Wednesday. They need to check to see whether there has been shrinkage, or whether there are any new tumors. One doctor said he expects to see things "stable." James's cough and heart rate have become somewhat suddenly and significantly better in the last week, so personally we'll be surprised with "stable," but I guess we'll see.
In the meantime, we continue to hope in our great and amazing God who hears and responds to the prayers of his children.