I think this past week has been the longest week of my life (and this is coming from someone who was on bedrest for months). Tony had a pulmonary function test, an echocardiogram, 3 doctors appointments and a bronchoscopy. All of that, and we still don’t have great answers or a clear direction for our next step.
When we met with Tony’s oncologist, I asked for him to clarify what has happened, since I am still so stunned by the speed and volume of tumor growth. He said that though rare, sometimes after a resection surgery, the growth factors that aid in the healing process can activate cancer cells in other parts of the body. The result is an “explosion” of cancer growth. It happens about 1% of the time. We are the unfortunate 1%.
These conversations with the doctor are hard, because there are so many unknowns. There is a likelihood that after the initial burst of growth, it can slow down. We won’t know that until we have further scans to compare the rates of growth. However, to get an overall sense of what our time may look like, Tony asked Dr Rushing point blank, if the tumors continue to grow this rapidly, how long does he have. “100 days”. Then he asked what are the odds of a cure. His answer……PRAYER.
Our hearts sunk, and yet, we believe in the power of prayer. We serve an amazing God, with plans that reach far beyond our short time on this earth. So we pray for healing. We pray for peace every step of the way, and in the moments when unbelief creeps in, we pray for faith.
The next steps are likely slow and irritating. We have a friend who reached out to the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. They may have an immunotherapy trial Tony could qualify for. Our oncologist thinks a trial may be the best hope for slowing things down and getting some response. One of the difficulties with a trial is that we wouldn’t want to do any chemo that could potentially exclude Tony from the trial, and so we wait, with no treatment in the meantime.
We are not throwing in the towel. We are not losing hope. We are preparing for the worst and JOYFULLY celebrating every day we have.
Please continue to pray with us, for peace, for healing, and for discernment of our next steps.