Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Journey Resumed

Today, at the Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center in Tukwila, Susan and I both received the hope we had prayed for! In meeting with the oncologist, Dr. Chen, and naturopath, Dr. Reilly, it became apparent that my cancer is both aggressive and medically incurable. This is the nature of stage four cancer. But the good news is that even stage four cancer is medically manageable. So tomorrow, we begin to manage it with a resumption of chemotherapy. It looks like I'll be living with chemotherapy for the rest of my life. The strategy involves essentially the same battery of drugs as last time: 5FU Leucovorin (spelling iffy), the so-called "gold standard" drug for colorectal cancer, and Avastin. Since Avastin can raise blood pressure (as it did for me the last time) Dr. Chen said this time I'd be given a 24 hour pump to take home which administers a much slower dosage over a longer period of time, negating the unpleasant side effects of this powerful targeted therapy drug. Sounds like my bride will have to learn how to access my power port, a port surgically implanted in my chest in Sept. 2007 for the purpose of chemo infusions.

Susan and I continue to marvel at God's goodness in leading us to this cancer center in March of 2002! Their approach to fighting cancer is so totally patient-oriented that they literally become your coaches in the battle, and they recognize that every patient fights cancer in a different way, and they allow for this in their treatment plans. We left Tukwila greatly encouraged and comforted. The fight has just begun! And as we remembered the incredible outpouring of love and prayer that we've already experienced, we can confidently say that the battle before us has in a sense been already won! Our mighty God is faithful and merciful! And though the path before us will take some undoubtedly unforeseen twists and turns in the days and weeks ahead, still we can bank on the nearness of God which is our lasting good! (Psalm 73:28). Thank you all for joining with us in our journey of faith!


Anonymous said...

Your whole family has been continually on our hearts and in our prayers since we got your update Sunday. I had been specifically praying that God would give you direction. I am thankful that He is.

bookfrog said...

We rejoice with you at the hopeful news! What a roller coaster cancer can be! We will definitely keep praying for all of you as you walk through this - "through many tribluations we must enter the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22)

Victoria said...

I have a little poem for you:

"In heavenly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear,
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid,
But God is 'round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

Where ever He may guide me,
No want shall turn me back,
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim.
He knows the way He taketh,
And I will walk with Him.

Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen,
Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
Which yet I have not seen.
My hope I cannot measure,
My path in life is free,
My Father has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.

Love, Victoria Pann

Bryan & Susan said...

Victoria--Thank you for sharing. This is a beautiful hymn in our church hymnal. The text is by Anna L. Waring and music by Felix Mendelssohn.

Katherine and Tress--Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.