Thursday, October 23, 2014

Superman Rocks the Exam

Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting with James's oncologist, Dr. Gupta. After his traditional "ni-hao" greeting and questions to James about whether or not he is causing enough trouble (extra points for being extra troublesome), and James's ribbing about "feeling abandoned" by Dr. Gupta (who was a good hour behind schedule), we got down to actually discussing James's condition. The highlights...

*James is officially released from worrying about his weight loss. Were James not eating, or it was closer to 15 pounds (rather than 5) that he were losing, we could have cause to worry. Not necessary in James's case. At least for now. Yeah!

*Even with the weight loss, James is still encouraged to exercise as much as he wants. "Do whatever you enjoy. Exercise is a great choice," was the doctor's viewpoint.

*James (and we) should not be too concerned about James's low white blood cell count. Dr. Gupta was even OK with James going to the Indianapolis Carrier Monkey Children's Museum. (Praying that James stays free from illness is still a wonderful way to pray though!)

Going forward, Dr. Gupta's hope is that James will be able to tolerate a third round of chemo (mid-November) as he finishes up his radiation. "I would prefer to be a bit greedy." He believes that the third round will give James the best chance at cure/recovery/remission. We can ask that James's blood work comes back (at that time) to qualify him for that last round.

Dr. Gupta also hopes that through a combination of radiation & chemo James's tumors will at least shrink enough to qualify him for surgery. Given his age and his overall great health ("You are Superman, after all, James"), James would return to the surgeon who did his biopsy & port placement to have the portion of lung that is collapsed together with lymph nodes removed.  Surgery in effect "cures" James, so this is great news to have this as a possibility. (Certainly the radiation & chemo could destroy the cancer so that surgery is not necessary...or it could do next to nothing & we in effect start over with a different chemo drug.)

All in all, nothing bad to report (just a bit of cancer, as we like to say), and lots to be encouraged about. Without a doubt, we are experiencing the power of prayer in our lives. We know that there are literally hundreds of people praying for us all around the world. As a result, James is very nearly symptom free of chemo, and this week his cough has become remarkably better. We no longer feel overwhelmed, and I no longer need 4 cups of coffee (and a nap!) to make it through the day. So much to be thankful for as we see His grace pour into our lives, many times through you all...and certainly through the many prayers being offered on our behalf. We will all have quite the story to tell one day! Thanks for being a part of this - you're awesome!


  1. Jia U!!!! U are awesome Kristen! Great to hear this and will continue to pray, all the way with His mighty gracious arms carrying you all through this Victoriously!

  2. So glad to hear how you all are encouraged! A grateful heart is the best approach to this journey, without a doubt! I filled a whole journal during mine. We will be eager to know the results of the scan and pray that James will be a candidate for surgery. James looks better bald than I did! When you get back I could show you a picture! So much love. We miss you all. Els C.

  3. We are praising God for a good report! You all continue to be in our prayers, especially James. Surrending this journey to God daily/hourly/moments is what will release His strength and power in you.
    "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust." Psm 91:1-2
    God knows this journey you are on and will continue to walk it with you. What peace that brings us! He's got this! We are asking God for the same miracles He gave Dave, that his cancer will be gone in the next scans.
    Thank you for sharing the pics. What joy it brings us to see James great smile. Especially the one with the girls. Oh my heart! You all are so dear to us.
    Love you!
    Dave & Rice Bucket