Merry Christmas EVE!

I have really amazing news to share, and as I think back to the beginning of this whole journey, I just remember how hard it was to have to continually tell people more bad news. It is so good to be on the other side of that at the moment and to be able to encourage you with good news!

God is So Deeply Loving, Powerful & Present

Thank you so much for all of your prayers for the myriad of appointments that we have been through this month.  We truly felt God’s presence and peace through them all.  I’m not saying that they were easy by any means, but we didn’t freak out and had a sense that everything would be okay. Here are a few updates:

Brenden’s Tear Duct Update

Brenden’s tear duct procedure went pretty well. As you saw on the last posts, he did well with the anesthesia, and as some of you mentioned, YES, it was the hardest on us as parents. Thanks to good medicine, a 16 month-old memory and your prayers, I’m pretty sure that the little trooper doesn’t remember a thing from that day.

We would love your continued prayers for him because the procedure that he had on Monday 12/12, might not be his last. We are praying that it is, but when we met with the doctor at his post-opp appointment last Friday, the doctor explained that Brenden had a pretty bad clog (at 3 different spots in his duct) so there is a 10-15% chance that it could clog up again. What??? You say, I thought that this was it! (Well, that’s what I said.) If his tear duct clogs up again, they will need to do another little surgery where they put a tube/stint in his duct, and then yet another surgery to take it out. UGH!  🙁

Will you please pray with us that B’s duct stays unclogged and working as it should? Thank you!

My Colonoscopy Update

So after that bit about Brenden you might be thinking, what is the good news?  Well, we got our first gift of GREAT NEWS on Friday 12/16, when I headed to the Stanford Hospital for my colonoscopy. First I must thank you so much for your prayers that the prep would go down easier this time- it totally did, (it was no jamba juice- but I got it down without too much of a fight!). Okay, let’s just fast forward through that lovely procedure to the exciting news…After the procedure, when I was just waking from the drugs, the doctor told me, very matter-of-factly that THE TUMOR IN MY COLON IS GONE! It was so hard for Josh and I to believe him and even start celebrating because the doctor was so calm, you know, all business, all the time 🙂 Since it is often hard to read these doctors, we immediately started asking questions: Is it really ALL GONE?

Were you expecting this? (Because you don’t seem too shocked, or for that matter, excited, Doctor!) He simply repeated that the tumor is all gone, and explained that now there is just a sore/ulcer in its place which is normally what happens when a tumor dies. He also calmly said that this is an “excellent result from the chemotherapy.” To that I would most definitely add, this is an excellent result from GOD! I love how HE is encouraging us along this journey by reminding us of the power of prayer and how he loves to heal and give life and hope.

The next gift of good news came the following Monday when I meet with my surgeons. When they went over my CT scan images from earlier that morning, they showed me that my liver tumor is now about 75% reduced! It is crazy, but at this point, I wasn’t even that surprised. I’m so thankful and excited, but not shocked. This feeling of peace and hope is interesting to me because I strive to be very realistic about everything (and I often struggle with anxiety) but in this case there is no doubt in my mind that God has given me an incredibly reassuring peace about this journey.

Awaiting the CT scan.
I finally have a surgery date, and it is less than 2 weeks away! 

My Surgery is Wednesday, 1/4/12. It will be about 8 hours long, but the time is still TBD.

When I met with both my colon and liver surgeons they gave me the run-down about what would happen during surgery. Here is the cliff-notes version:

  • The liver surgeon will work on my liver first and this will take about 5 hours, as he will be doing it laparoscopically.
  • He will take out the small portion of tumor left and about 1 inch around that as well as my gall-bladder (weird about the GB, but I guess I don’t need it and I might as well not have it as it could possibly host cancer.)
  • My colon surgeon will finish up with a 3-hour procedure where he takes out the area of my colon that used to have a tumor and then reconnects the two parts of colon. This too, will be done laparoscopically, which causes the surgery to be longer, but the recovery to be much quicker.

Prayer Requests:

I will update you with more specific prayer requests as I get nearer to surgery, but in the meantime Josh and I would love prayer for:

1. Brenden and Eli to feel safe and comforted while I am at the hospital recovering (it will be anywhere from 5–10 days of recovery in the hospital).

2. Peace for Josh and I and our families about the surgery.

3. For protection from sickness for our family, so that I can be healthy going into surgery.

Before I sign off for the night, I need to give a huge THANK YOU & SHOUT OUT to an amazing group of thoughtful women in San Jose, most of whom I do not know, that blessed our family incredibly this Christmas.  (You know who you are, sweet elves!)

There are so many of you that have done so many thoughtful things for us. Words can’t really express how privileged we feel to know you (and get to know you) and learn from your example of generosity and compassion.

Here are a few pictures of the boys decorating for Christmas. Love to you all.

Eli