Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ok...L.A. here we come...

Well, we met with Cedar Sinai doc today and decided that we would do the new chemo and full dose of Avastin at Cedar Sinai 2 times a month. Jeff should start them next week, I'll know the schedule tomorrow. I feel better about having him treated in L.A. just so that doc can keep a better handle on things.

Please pray the God's name is glorified in all things and that we don't miss what He needs us to do to carry out His plans for this journey...also pray that this treatment is God's healing tool (Jeff will have 3-4 treatments before having another scan).

May God bless you!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Should we stay or should we go now?

Well, after much prayer, pacing, and conversation with various people, including Jeff...we decided to stay home and have more chemo. The fact that the Cedar Sinai Dr. is a Brain specialist really made an impact. We can still keep the radiation on the back burner if needed later.

Thank you for all your prayers, comments and emails! Without my support system (God, Family, Church & Neighbors) I would not be able to do this!!!

Bless you today!

Monday, March 24, 2008

small wrench!

I heard from our Nuero Oncologist at Cedar Sinai in LA today, he wanted to know what our decision was for further treatment. When I told him what they proposed in Illinois and that we felt this seemed like a better option than more chemo, he quickly got back to me to say that he strongly disagrees with Jeff having more radiation, he believes that radiation is not the answer for us at all. He says that he just realized that Jeff only got half a dose of the Avastin with the last chemo treatments (Avastin is the medication they were giving along with chemo), he recommends a full dose with a different chemo.
Now I am really confused!! I think we might still go to Illinois tomorrow and sit down with that doc to discuss the differences in the treatments and then go to LA to talk with that Doc on Friday, I'm not sure yet. I am starting to think we may be staying home for treatment. The LA Doc is a Nuero Oncologist (brain Cancer doc) and the Illinois Doc is a Radiation Oncologist (Radiation Cancer Doc). They are not specific to the brain in Illinois and in LA they are. Please pray that God gives me direction. Thank you!

Illinois, here we come...again...and...again

Well, most of you have heard already but here's the scoop...
We returned home on Saturday night, but while we were in Illinois, we met with the Oncologist at the CTCA and he believed that more chemo wouldn't be helpful...Jeff has already done 2 of the best chemos available without much of an impact on the tumor, so we should try something else. He set up an appointment for us to see the Radiation Oncologist (Dr. Eden)
We liked Dr. Eden right away...Jeff was wearing a cap that read "Isaiah 41:30" and as soon as the doc came in he said "ooh, good verse!"..."thou shalt rise on wings like eagles..." Then he said "I'm Catholic, but I love Jesus!" (What a flashing red light from God...Thank you Lord!!!!) Then he looked at Jeff's scans and said that he believed there is a 50% chance that with Tomo Therapy he can either shrink the tumor, get rid of it, or stop it from growing!!! GREAT NEWS, however, there are two drawbacks for us...Jeff's memory might be affected more than it already is and we have to be in Illinois for 3 weeks (They would do 2 treatments a day for 3 weeks). But, we loved what we were we decided this might be a better option than staying here and doing more chemo. The first step is for them to do 2 scans which helps them be very precise on where to shoot the radiation, and then they need a week to calibrate the machine...this means that we are again departing for Illinois tomorrow, they will do the scans on Wednesday, and we'll be home on Thursday. Then we'll go back in a week to start the treatments. Part of the 3 week period Dalaynee and mom and Laur will be with us and we are going to try to come home on the weekends, that way we shouldn't get too homesick.

This hospital is unbelievable ...there are patients there from all over the country and a lot of them seem to be Christians. I can't tell you how many times I heard "If you have Cancer, this is the place to be!"

We thank our Lord for direction! And I want to thank many of you for your encouragement that we are doing the right've given me clarity!

You are all such a wonderful blessing!!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Illinois here we come...

Well, I got a call fro the CTCA and they have booked a flight for us on Monday out of Long Beach airport (which is 20 minutes away from our house) on Jet Blue departing at 10:30a and arriving in Chicago at 4:29p. They said there will be a limo at baggage claim to take us to our hotel...we have a room at the Radisson (which is 20 minutes from the hospital) for $40/night (very doable)...we are kind of excited even though we are not going for fun. We may be there 3-4 days for the consultation and we are praying for God to make clear for us the decision to receive treatment there or return and do more chemo here. The girl I spoke with in Illinois said that it's been in the 30's lately, but she said that's pretty nice! NICE! I live in So. Cal...30's is COLD!!! Anyway, we should be okay...Wednesday is Jeff's birthday, so it might be kind of nice to get away together over his birthday.

Thank you for your prayers about my hope...I do feel more hopeful with this consult. Please pray that this is God's healing tool. Also, that we get there safely and return home safely.

Thank you to all...we are grateful and truly blessed by all of you!!!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Quick information


I got a call from the CTCA in Illinois today saying that our insurance has been okay'd and that I should receive a call from the coordinator tonight to schedule everything (they are there until 9p our time) is almost 10:30 and I haven't received a call, so I guess it will be tomorrow. I know we are not their only case...but...don't they understand how anxious we are about this whole thing????? (Just kidding, kind of).

Immediate prayer request for me: Even though I have faith and know that God is bigger than this stupid tumor and can obliterate it, I am having trouble believing that He will heal in our case...and that is not a good place to be when you need to give your spouse hope! Please pray that I have hope enough to encourage Jeff! I am finding myself almost without emotion sometimes and I don't like it. I keep praying about it and can't seem to get past the numb feeling...please pray for me. Also, pray for Jeff...when he realizes that this just might be it, he is very scared...not of where he's is going, but just the unknown of this disease and of leaving me and his kids.

Blessing to all of you...Thank you!!!


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Small Positive

We went to the doctor at Cedar Sinai today and he allowed me to look at the comparison of the MRI's (Jeff didn't want to). It looks like the tumor has shrunk, but only in the back...the left side has current treatment has only affected some of the cancer cells, not all of them. The next step is to change his chemo med...they want him to have about 3-4 more treatments with the new chemo and then have another MRI to see where we are. They did say that the next 2 months are, pray, pray!!!! We are also still planning to check the CTCA in Illinois that I mentioned in my previous blog. The Cedar Sinai doc seemed okay with that idea too. CTCA is still checking our insurance and then they'll start requesting Jeff's records to review.

We are encouraged a little by today's appointment and as always will continue to trust our heavenly Father!!!!


Monday, March 3, 2008

Pushing forward...

Well, I just got off the phone with Christie Nelson, the girl I've spoke with before at Cancer Treatment Centers of America . And she is going to double check our insurance and then call me tomorrow to connect me with the appointment coordinator. She said we'd probably be going to the facility in Zion Illinois...they pay the round trip travel costs and we just need to pay for the lodging. Christie also said that, with Jeff's permission, they will check all his medical records before hand to make sure they would have options to present to us before we travel out there. I am excited...this all sounds good!!!

Thank you for all your thoughts, prayers and wonderful supportive comments and emails! We are so blessed by all of you!

Below is a devotional by Greg Laurie that a friend sent me...very appropriate!!!

When God Seems Late
"Then he told them plainly, 'Lazarus is dead. And for your sake, I am glad I wasn't there, because this will give you another opportunity to believe in me.' "
Sometimes God will not come through as quickly as we want Him to. Mary and Martha, two friends of Jesus, faced this dilemma. Their brother Lazarus was sick. It was a serious illness. So they sent word to Jesus.I think they probably believed that Jesus would make a beeline to Bethany to get Lazarus off his sickbed. But Jesus intentionally delayed His arrival. Mary and Martha were thinking of what was temporarily good. But Jesus was thinking of what was eternally good. This delay was for their sake. It was for them to learn a lesson.Meanwhile, Mary and Martha had probably been saying, "Jesus will be here. He will drop whatever He is doing and be here." But He didn't show up on the day they wanted Him to. And He didn't come the next day or the day after that. Lazarus had now passed from sickness to death. In their minds, all hope was gone. By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days.Here was the problem: Mary and Martha wanted a healing. But Jesus wanted a resurrection. He brought Lazarus back to life and, as a result, many believed in Jesus. Mary and Martha's faith was strengthened, as well as that of the disciples.Like Mary and Martha, we will say, "God, if you loved me, you would do this. You would take care of that." But God says, "Because I love you, I am not going to give you these things." God wants to do something greater in your life. Will you let Him?