Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Here We Are Once Again...

Thank you all so very much for your prayers! We felt them mightily this morning. Instead of feeling dread, fear, or sorrow as we headed into this morning's appointment, we felt a tremendous sense of peace, calm, and expectation. What a tremendous answer to prayer! God is so faithful to carry us through this time...

We started out the morning getting an intro to the clinical trial that James would be on.  Initially James's oncologist wanted him in a clinical trial because...well, we actually didn't ask.  The truth is, there is no known cure for stage four lung cancer (that James, with metastasized cancer, now has). So we are in the somewhat experimental phase of treatment. 

As it turned out, after we talked for a bit with our favorite oncologist, Dr. Gupta, we were introduced to the research nurse who would walk us through the steps of signing up for the clinical trial.  Within five minutes we all came to realize that James is actually not qualified for the trial because his last dose of chemotherapy was within this last year. 

When the nurse walked out of the room to consult with Dr. Gupta, we actually felt kind of excited. We texted family to say that plans were changing mid-stream and that God is up to something great. =)  We don't actually know what is going to happen, but we are, in faith, waiting with expectation for what God is going to do. We are so confident of His love and kindness toward us that we are quite free from fear. It's a sweet spot of His grace.

Not joining a clinical trial is NOT the same thing as not getting treatment.  As Dr. Gupta pointed out, there is actually quite a lot that can yet be done.  So here's the plan. 

*James will have a CT on Friday to reassess his cancer and get a new baseline.

*Starting the week of June 20th, James will start "standard" care for stage 4 lung cancer which is a combination of 2 chemo drugs given intravenously once per week. One round of chemo is 3 doses (i.e., 3 weeks) with one week off.  He will have four rounds. After rounds 2 and 4 James will have scans to check progress. I think all four rounds will take us to the end of October. 

Dr. Gupta expects James to do quite well with this chemo - it generally has fewer side effects than the ones he used previously.  Additionally, James thus far does not need radiation which makes thing much, much easier. (In fact, he barely needs pain meds?!!)

Thank you, thank you, thank you all for all your prayers. God is working and we will continue to see Him working. 

Give Thanks!
*for the first time ever, Dr. Gupta twice mentioned God and God's plan in his conversations with us. May God open the door for us to share our faith with him.  (Wouldn't that be AMAZING?!)
*for God's hand of direction over James's care - not joining the clinical trial is evidence of God's leading and loving care. 
*the tremendous "peace that passes all understanding" that both James and I, together with our family, is experiencing.

Keep Praying
*that a door would be opened for us to share with those we come in contact with through this time...we are the only smiling faces in the cancer ward.  
*for James's healing - might God be pleased to show us mercy & display His power and greatness to all

So much love and thanks!
--james & kristen

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