It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything here! As Tam said on the last update, we have been pretty busy! Monday will be 3 weeks that Bri has been home. I cannot put into words how happy our family is to wake up to her every morning and pray with her every night before bed. After Bri being away for 72 days, I believe it is safe to say God has taught all of us how to love each other more, respect each other greater and appreciate every moment we have together.
When all of this started to take shape, Bri would experience strong pains in her back and hip a few time per week. It grew to being a daily occurrence, eventually becoming excruciating pain multiple times each day. This span was from about Mid-August to her diagnosis on January 5th. She has been so much better since being home. While there are still lingering effects of the high doses of chemotherapy, it is clear she is on the incline. Just in the few weeks she has been home, I have watched her go from taking a few seconds to get out of a chair, to her popping up and jogging around the house! Today, she opened the front door and said, "I am breaking out of here," and took off jogging down our sidewalk! Of course, I panicked and said she shouldn't be running (Tam will appreciate the humor in this)!
As far as treatment goes, we are prepping for Bri to have a stem cell transplant. She has had multiple tests, all of which she passed very easily. The current hang-up lies in her liver counts. Her levels started to bounce around over the past week and a half and the doctor wants to be sure everything is perfect to prepare an appropriate plan for the transplant to take place. This week should bring more details and a more clear picture of how the next few months will go for our family. The expectation is that Bri will undergo the transplant and remain hospitalized for about a month. The transplant itself requires more chemotherapy and radiation to ensure Bri's immune system will not kick out the stem cells. She then needs to remain in Denver for about 80-100 days after for testing and monitoring. Due to the amount of time Bri needs to be in Denver and the distance from Cheyenne to Denver, I have decided to apply for job in Denver with my employer and have recently gone through my third interview. More details to come this week!
As Bri and I were talking last night, we agreed that everything we perceive as a setback, in the natural sense, and every piece of what is perceived as poor news has been character building for us. God has continued to show His presence every step of the way. This experience has been one that has broadened our family's sense of our place in God's kingdom. All the love and support from friends, family and people we have never met is overwhelming. We appreciate it all more than any words can ever say. The beauty of this is we may have to wait until we get to Heaven to meet some of these people. How cool will that be?! We look forward to getting through this phase of our lives and being able to share this entire experience with any who will listen. Bri has been so strong through all of this and I know she has already been a blessing to so many. I love how God takes a situation that appears to be dark and dismal and uses it for His good! It reminds me of this scripture:
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)
I want to share the scripture below with all of you, as well. This has shown up about 5 times in the past couple of weeks in various devotionals and times of prayer. Our church had a guest pastor visit us last fall. He said for us to fully understand and receive all that Jesus intended for us to receive, we must see ourselves on the cross with Jesus. During this experience, we have found that we have to stay focused on the cross. No matter what happens, what news we get, what discouraging feelings, anything, we have the authority to remove all negativity and rely on the power of the cross. Satan and his demons, sickness and disease, negative thoughts, etc., are all powerless when we see ourselves on the cross with Jesus. What a blessing and display of love from our Father! All that being said, we trust our Lord Jesus to continue to get us through this better than ever, in His timeline. God Bless you all. Thank you for your continued support, love and prayers for our family!
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (I Corinthians 1:18 NKJV)