I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord : “Please, Lord, save me!” How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me. Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth! (Psalms 116:1-9 NLT)
After my MRI in August, these were the verses that brought me comfort. The Lord has been faithful and has answered our prayers. When we go to the hospital for my scans and appointments, we hope for the best but we are also prepared for whatever we might hear. We have been trusting in God's plan for us. We can give praise to our Almighty God because my scans looked really good! The swelling has improved and the tumor is smaller. I am to take my last round of chemo starting on Tuesday and will then be finished with treatment. The treatment I have been doing is based off of research that shows the radiation and chemo together is the best way to treat the tumor. The additional six months of chemo was a part of the research so that is why they do that also. Some hospitals will do 12 months of chemo but Hopkins does 6 because they don't want me doing more treatment, when it hasn't been proven effective. It would also increase the risk to my bone marrow and immune system. It also gives us the option to do chemo later if cells would start to grow again. Every cell has to be killed or at some point the tumor could start growing again. There is no way of knowing if all the cells are dead and I will always have part of this in my brain even if it is only dead tissue. It is much like a scar that you would receive from any surgery. This coming month, I will also be finished with more of the medications I've been taking and taper off the steroids completely. I will also be finished with my weekly labs because I won't be taking anymore chemo and my levels have been good throughout treatment. They will continue to monitor the tumor and I go back December 12 for another MRI and follow up appointment. I am still tired and I still have not regained full feeling and use of my left side but I'm hoping that will continue to improve.
It is hard to describe my thoughts and feelings. The past ten months have been full of uncertainty and treatment. It has been painful and sad at times. Now I find myself at the end of treatment and I am so thankful to be done but I am also aware of the uncertainty of my situation. I'm in awe of how God has brought us through each step of the journey and I know that we can continue to trust Him with every day. His goodness and love is unending and I know He will continue to give us strength. The night before my scan it is always difficult for the kids but they pray wholeheartedly and with the faith that God can do anything. Lucas wrote me a short note that night which said, "Mom I have a feeling that God is about to heal you. I hope, no, I'm sure that tomorrow you will be better." Childlike faith, faith that trusts and hopes without doubts. When we told the kids the results of my scans, Addy cried and Lucas said smiling, "It's what God told me last night when I was praying." This year we all have been learning and growing in our faith. Even though we don't always understand why we go through things like this, the why doesn't really matter. None of us are exempt from the trials and pain of an imperfect world. However, we can be encouraged to know that we are strengthened and never alone when we choose to walk in the Lord's presence here on earth!
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT)