Hello everyone. It has been a while since my last entry. It has been a bit of a whirlwind since the last post I put up here. We thought Bri was going to come home. Everyone was excited and ready to celebrate only to have that change in a moment's notice. As much of a letdown as this was, we have been able to work through it with a lot of prayer, tears, anger, frustration and then more prayer. It sure is wonderful to encounter God during all this. I want to share some really awesome God moments that have taken place since we learned that Bri has another round of chemotherapy. First I will share with you all how my wife is doing.
I think most have seen picture and know Bri has shaven her hair off. She looks pretty awesome. I have done this many times and only wish my head looked as good as hers! She is looking forward to the different hair styles she can try as she starts to grow it out again. The first round of chemotherapy included a heavy dose of steroids, which caused swelling and water retention. Her cheeks got pretty swollen and she said she looked like a Cabbage Patch Kid. One of her nurses asked, "well who doesn't love a Cabbage Patch Kid? They are all super cute!"
Round 2 of chemotherapy is quite a bit more aggressive and much different than round one. I will say that Dr. Pollyea, who is the main doctor in Bri's unit is very positive. He keeps reassuring us that this will be put into remission and then cured. Once remission occurs, which we believe and trust God for this to happen with the current round of chemo, Bri will then have to undergo a bone marrow transplant. This is the step that brings the cure, according to the doctors. We, of course, believe that God is our Healer and gives the doctors and nurses the wisdom and guides them through the treatment plan. We have a bit of a road ahead of us yet. God is faithful to His Word and I just know that we will have our family back under one roof in the near future, praising God in even great ways. She has experienced some more side effects with this round, but they seem to run away within 24 hours of us uniting in prayer and standing firm in our faith.
I think it is safe to say that the past 7-9 days have probably been the hardest for Bri, simply due to the impact of being told she can discharge, and then being told otherwise. I was literally packing her stuff in her room when we got the news. I think it is also safe to say that she has rebounded is back on the saddle (can't believe I just typed that...been in Montana and Wyoming for a decade) and in a good place. Make no mistake, it is not easy, but God! We received some interesting and somewhat disappointing news on Wednesday of this past week. ALL has a possibility of entering the Central Nervous System through the spinal fluid. There have been at least three tests prior to one conducted on the same date as her bone marrow biopsy, day 29. This particular test indicated that there could be some cancerous cells present. On day 35 a preventative lumbar chemo treatment took place and another test to verify the results of the previous test. One of the nurse practitioners came to visit with Bri on Wednesday and told her that there were cells in the spinal fluid and this would require more lumbar punctures for treatment. Not a comfortable feeling. Everything I have read seems favorable when this occurs, from a treatment standpoint, yet it is risky, uncomfortable and kind of gives that scary shock factor feeling. BUT GOD! I can honestly say Wednesday was probably one of the most difficult days for both of us. I shed some tears, as did Bri. I remember going lying down to go to sleep and just praying to God for His healing to activate in Bri's body, in her bones, in her spinal fluid, in her blood and to protect our family from fear and disappointment. As I was lying in bed, I experienced this burning sensation through my body and fell asleep. I woke up the next day refreshed and encouraged ready to keep fighting. Well Bri calls me on Thursday afternoon and says that the other nurse practitioner stopped by to visit with her and nonchalantly tells her she called for the results of the CNS test and there were no cancerous cells!!! AMEN! Bri was confused and explained what the other person told her and she said, "yeah he was looking at the test from day 29, but some of the blood must have mixed with fluid, which happens sometimes." I told Bri I wanted to go to Mt. Everest and shout at the top of my lungs just how great our God is! I cannot begin to tell you how amazing I feel just knowing how God flipped that situation!
Another amazing God moment happened on day 32 as I was driving back to the hospital after getting Bri some breakfast at Atlanta Bread in Aurora. As you know, we were feeling let down after the previous day's events. I was praying for strength and peace for our family, listening to some Jesus Culture, some tears in my eyes. I happened to glance to the right and see this sign that says "Happy To Be Home." 10 feet further, same sign and so on about 6 times and then a huge banner reading the same message. Frankly, I didn't care that the signs were in front of an apartment complex as advertisements, I just know that was a revelation from God to comfort my feelings and reassure us that Bri will be coming home. We know, as the Gospel of Mark tells us, that we as believers and followers of Jesus "will lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." This doesn't tell us when, but it does tell us we have this authority. About a quarter-mile down the road, the song, "Healer," by Jesus Culture started to play. My iPod was on a rotation of Christian music on a playlist of 50+ songs. Further confirmation!! The first few lines of the song go like this:
Hold my every moment, calm my raging sea. Walk with me through fire, you heal all my disease. I trust in you, I trust in you. I believe that you're my healer and I believe that you are all I need. I believe you're my fortress, I believe you're more than enough for me. Jesus you're all I need.
My tears turned to tears of joy. I know Bri is healed and we thank God for His faithfulness to His Word. I know the cancer is dead and she is set free. I now know what people talk about when they say to cry out to Jesus. I challenge anyone to shout the name of Jesus repeatedly and not find tears of joy streaming down their face. I don't believe it can be done! There is power in His name! God Bless you all and thank you for your love and support of my beautiful and victorious wife!