We are in the middle of celebrating family Christmas, so it is a bit of a challenge to write in the midst of all the crazy. At the same time, I know that you all are anxious to hear what the latest is on James, so I will write something - maybe a little short, but hopefully I can minimize the disjointedness somehow too.
For the last two weeks James's cough has been getting increasingly worse, to the point that he now sounds as bad as when he first started treatment. Going into his latest CT scan we really had no idea of what to expect. Based on his previous, positive scan, we were fairly confident that it wouldn't be worse than, say, hearing "you have inoperable lung cancer" for the first time....but no confidence that things would actually be improved.
Long story short, James's radiologist said the scan is a "mixed review." James has a very bad case of "pneumanitis" which sounds kind of made up, but is basically inflamed lung. In James's case, his lung is inflamed from radiation. The doctor believes very strongly that James's cough is no longer a result of cancer. Awesome news.
James will be on a crazy large dose of prednisone over the next few weeks to take care of his pneumanitis. James's first thought was "oh my, I'm going to be eating like a cow again." My first thought was, "oh my, he's going to blow up like a hippopotamus." Yeesh. Please pray that the symptoms are manageable and that it really does take care of his cough. It would be wonderful to have James be back to his quiet self again. 😀
As to his cancer, James has no new tumors (awesome!!) and all of James's tumors are in the process of death/dying/disappearing. Yeah! Except one. Boo. But the doctor reassured us, "Well, it's only grown a few millimeters." (I'm not really sure how that is supposed to be reassuring, but I guess points for being kind.)
Next step for us? We will have a follow up appointment with James's oncologist, Dr. Gupta, next Wednesday. He has had a fairly aggressive approach to James's cancer, but we don't know what he will recommend. Perhaps surgery. Perhaps more chemo. Perhaps just waiting until James's PET scan at the end of March.
In the meantime, we are very, very grateful for how God has carried us thus far, and we are thankful that we can rest knowing that He will continue to be faithful. Thank you for your faithfulness in continuing to care for, pray for, and remember us, even in the waiting. You are a blessing and have comforted and encouraged us in more ways than you know. Thank you.