Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Difficult Day

The results of the CT scan were not the best. It appears that the lesions have spread further around the lungs, but the liver tumor appears to have stabalized. The cancer doc believes my inability to take Avastin has contributed to the spread of the lesions in the lungs, but Avastin caused internal bleeding so it was deemed unfit for me to take any longer.

In light of the scan findings, they've changed my medications to Erbitux which causes facial and scalp skin sores, and they've added a new drug to the fight something called CBT 11 I believe, a drug I've never had before. Yesterday, during my first infusion of CBT 11, I broke out in itchy red hives which necessitated an additional IV dose of Benadryl which took the hives away almost immediately! It appears that this new drug will cause me to lose my hair, a small price to pay when trying to stay alive! Additionally, I'll be taking home the pump for 48 hours instead of just 24, but only every other week. This pump administers dosages of 5FU over an extended period of time. The other weeks I'll be receiving only Erbitux and CBT 11 which means our visit at the cancer institute will be dramatically shortened on those days, and I will not be taking home any pump on those weeks as well!

There was some more disappointing news yesterday when the scales revealed a three pound weight loss, a loss attributable to a bout with diarrhea on Monday. We're controlling the diarrhea with a new battery of options including portions of the BRAT diet, immodium and possibly other medicines if necessary. The Monday bout may have been precipitated by the barium I had to drink for the CT scan, but who knows. So far, yesterday and today have been much better in this way, praise the Lord!

More bad news came in the blood work which showed my white counts were extremely low. Chemo is notorious for whacking the white cells along with cancer cells. So to counter this, they sent us home with five syringes filled with a drug to boost the production of the white blood cell. I will have to self-administer these shots in the fatty tissues in the stomach area, what fatty tissue I still have! I'll begin the shots on Friday evening. Please pray I'll be able to do this and not chicken out!

The good news in the blood work is that my hematocrit continues to hang in there at a pretty solid (for me) 34 reading! Praise be to God!

How have we been handling all of this? I can only say God has been gracious. I've had my moments of doubt and fear, but the Lord dispells them as I repair to Him in prayer. I read John Owen's great work The Glory of Christ this week and found it to be a balm to my storm-tossed soul. I discovered that I've allowed the trifles of life to cloud out the beauties of Christ as portrayed in the Scriptures. I'm meditating more on passages which reveal His beauty, might, meekness and willingness to suffer for the sake of His people on the cross, passages like Psalm 2:7-9; 45:2-6; 68:17-18; 72; Isa. 6:1-4; John 1:1-3; Phil. 2:6-8; Heb. 1:1-3; 2:14-16 and Rev. 17:16. I commend them to you for your own meditation and growth in the grace and knowledge of the Lord! The only way we will truly be fit for heavenly glory is by a deliberate preparation here and now. There will be no vain worldly trifles or pleasing earthly diversions awaiting us in heaven, only the blessedness of being forever with the Lord! Make sure you truly know Him now lest you be shocked and surprised in the coming day of judgment. Heaven will only truly be enjoyed by those who daily and diligently prepare for it here and now. Don't waste a single day in such preparation. Meditate on the above texts and cry out to Him that He may draw you closer to Himself!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. We're praying and we appreciate knowing specific ways to pray.

In our family we consider bald heads to be very beautiful... both our oldest and youngest males have no hair and they are the most handsome men I know. Colin mentioned to his mother the other day, "Grandma cut my hair and I want it back." I do cut the kids hair, but I hadn't realized that Colin was blaming me instead of the chemo for his hair loss! :)

We love you all and we are praying. Joy Ng

Dina said...

Oh my, what a post! Thank you for all the updates! Oh boy, much to lift up in prayer! Thank you for all your truths about daily and diligently seeking Him now, drawing closer to Him. Oh, Bryan. And Susan. God bless you both, I'm going to prayer now. Love, Dina for The Allens in Colorado.

Anonymous said...

Bryan and Family, May you truly know His Peace in the midst of this stormy trial. May He be glorified through your dependence upon Him. We continue to pray for you, for health and wisdom.

Jn 3:30, CAR

PS: Is 26:3-4-Perfect!

Victoria said...

I really love your insights into prayer and gratitude in challenging times, spurring me to growth. I hope that I will be able to pass it along as well. I continue in my prayers for your family.

Carolyn Young said...

Thank you for ministering to us even in your suffering. You are in our hearts and prayers as we continue to petition the Lord for your healing. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! Eph. 6:10

much love,
Carolyn, for the Youngs

Nanci Smith said...

continuing in prayer as well...what a godly example you both are to keep going in the midst of difficult trials!