Thursday, October 23, 2008

One down...

I may have faked some of you out on my last posting when I said my chemo starts on the 22nd. Well, I was wrong... It actually started today, the 23rd, as if one day makes any difference. The bottom line is that I went in today and was given my first of many doses of chemo. I'm not yet sure how many doses I will have because the doctor is not sure how my body will respond. It's probable that I will receive the treatments through the end of the year. 

Overall, I'm continuing to recover from the illness and I'm really feeling well. All of my blood tests are normal and indicate that my organs are all working well. The last few days I've been feeling a little lower back pain and mentioned it to the doctor today.  Just for precaution he is going to set up another MRI for me just to check things out. He really wasn't too concerned about it though. 

Thank you all for your prayers over the last few weeks as we prepared to face the start of the chemo treatments. We are so blessed to have all of you encouraging and praying for us through this illness. Our prayer through this time in our lives continues to be focused on how God will use our story to encourage others. We pray that He is glorified and made famous by the work He is doing in our lives. How blessed we are to have a Savior who loves us and provides all that we need, including the perfect plan for our lives!

Russ and Robyn

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cautious optimism...

After a visit with the Oncologist on Tuesday we have reason to be cautiously optimistic. The doctor reviewed my CT scan results with us and there were no indications of cancer remaining in my body. That means I'm good for now but it doesn't mean the cancer can't come back. The type of cancer that I have has a history of hiding in a tiny cell form in the body and then returning later. To combat that possibility, I'm going to go ahead with chemo therapy treatments starting October 22nd. The chemo should increase my chances of killing any remaining cancer cells. This is all great news overall, but I don't want to let my guard down just yet. Once the chemo treatments are complete, (probably in January), I will have CT scans every 3 months for a year and then twice per year after that until I've passed the 5 year mark. That's when we can relax...

Don't get me wrong though when I say I can't relax for the next 5 years. I am actually more relaxed now than I was before I found out about the cancer. I believe that's because I've truly let go of controlling my life and am allowing God to run the show! I still have my moments of fear and lack of faith, just like every human, but I'm certainly finding comfort in knowing that God is in control. Overall, my mental health is recovering very well. I can only attribute that to the support and encouragement from all of you and my return to work where my brain is gradually being reengaged. 

Physically, everything is going better than expected. I'm beginning to feel as good as I did just before the surgery but I'm not back to 100% yet. I feel like I've recovered from the surgery but the radiation treatments have taken a toll on my organs. All the parts are working as they should but they still feel very tender and sore. I'm sure that will all go away with time. The really good news is that along with losing 40 lbs I've lost the need for blood pressure medicine! My blood pressure was never very high to begin with but it's good to be off the medication. 

All in all I'm really doing very well. I thank God for the recovery but I really want to give Him the glory for being so faithful. Not because I'm being healed and recovering but because He has never left our side. His presence in our lives is being felt through so many ways but primarily through those of you who have been so prayerful and encouraging to us. I've said this quite often but, it bears repeating, God is being glorified through all of you and glorifying Him through this event in our lives is what is important!

Thank you for loving and caring for us so well!
Russ and Robyn