Hello Everyone - thank you for praying us through yesterday! I am relieved to tell you that the results from James's PET scan are very, very good. Dr. Gupta, ever the effusive one, said, "It's a beautiful scan, really."
*the lymphatic tumors in James's chest and the one in his hip are not growing and are "better" and "clearer." I think I heard "smaller" too...
*the tumors are up-taking less dye, which means that their metabolism is slowing, which means they aren't (as) rapidly dividing, which means...their imminent death, maybe.
*there are no new tumors, which, really, is just a huge relief. James's chemo brain is really just a sleep-deprived chemo brain...not a brain tumor. And his left hip hurts from time to time, not because of a new tumor, but because he favors that leg over his tumor-affected right one.
Maybe we should have a group exhale. Ready? (Wheeeeeeeeeeeew.)
With this great (!) news, though, comes one of the biggest BUTs in our lives.
BUT - James does not get to stop chemo. Because the chemo regimen is working, it is now considered to be something like "maintenance chemo." The doctor explained it to us like a diabetic, who always needs insulin. I am thinking it is like someone in renal failure in need of weekly dialysis.
Thus, as long as James can handle the chemo, we keep at it. Three weeks on, one week off. Three weeks on, one week off. "This is a marathon," Dr. Gupta told us. Three weeks on, one week off.
I wish you all could have seen my face when he told us this.
Dr. Gupta did tell us that if things were looking good, and James was feeling good, we could take a break.
"What is that, like weeks, months?" I asked.
"Weeks. A few weeks," came the reply.
So...you all can keep praying! Continue to pray for the miraculous. It won't be long, and we'll be entering a realm beyond any doctor's expertise. Most Stage 4 lung cancer patients live weeks or maybe months past their diagnosis. Ever so slim a chance to make it a year. That's what happens when you're 80 and you've smoked your whole life. So of course a weekly chemo regimen that keeps you alive a few more months makes all the sense in the world.
But what to do with the 40 year old who is otherwise incredibly healthy? And what does treatment look like if God healed James, and all his scans started to run clean? (God has already miraculously sustained his life past the "normal" and "average.")
We don't know.
They don't know.
So we do, for now, what we do to treat everyone else.
Three weeks on, one week off....
I'm sure there's a prayer request in there somewhere, but I am not sure where it begins and ends. Thank you -- thank you -- for continuing to remember us.
You are loved!
--james & kristen