Friday, April 12, 2013

Giving Thanks!

Yesterday we went to Vanderbilt for my scan after 2 cycles of ICE chemo.

The results of this scan were so important. Basically another failed chemo would not be good for my future. It would have put me in a tiny category of people that have disease that is not chemo-sensitive. It would mean that we would try other toxic chemo, radiation, clinical trials, or possibly have gone straight to a donor stem cell transplant....very scary. If ICE can get me into a complete remission, then we can move forward with an autologous stem cell transplant (using my own stem cells) which is much less intense and safer.

We didn't share this with a lot of people, but my doctors did not think that this chemo would work at all. They already had labeled my disease"chemo-resistant" and basically told us that we were trying ICE in order to "rule it out." We literally have a recorded session with my specialist where he said this. Talk about a downer....

Well before the scan I had a LOT of anxiety. (In the cancer world we call it "scanxiety" haha) I was trying my best to trust the Lord, but I could still feel a tumor in my neck and I was having pains in my chest that I assumed were growing tumors. Remember that I have never been in remission and have never had a scan that showed progress or good news. I had spun myself into a pretty dark place where my future was in jeopardy.

I prayed harder than I've ever prayed before and God heard me. He heard the thousands of people that have been praying for me.

As I sat in the doctor's office, I just knew the results would be bad. I had prepared myself for the worst and had options that I wanted to try ready to go for when she said, "the chemo's not working."

You can imagine my surprise when she walked in and said, "well I'm not a radiologist, but I looked at the scan and it seems to be almost all gone."

I was in a complete state of shock.

David and I both said, "really?!?"

So she showed us the previous scan I had done 6 weeks ago and the scan from yesterday and we could see an amazing result! The old scan lit up to show an enourmous amount of disease in my chest and neck. On the new scan, we could not see anything in my chest and only one small dot in my neck.


The amount of disease has decreased SIGNIFICANTLY!

The official radiologist report states that there is still some disease, but it has gone from "severe or intense" to "mild or moderate." We'll take it!

We are so grateful!

This means we will move on with another round of ICE to hopefully get rid of the small amount that is left.

If we can get a complete remission or "no evidence of disease" after the third round, then we can move forward with an autologous stem cell transplant and hopefully be DONE with cancer.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am. I want to shout from the rooftops!

I have felt for months that I was drowning. I have felt so out of control and like this disease was slowly taking over my body and stealing my future and there was nothing I could do about it.

I had begun to question whether God was willing to rescue me or not. Whether he wanted to save me.

I was in a pretty dark place.

God met me there and lifted me up. He gave me good news and showed me once again that I'm not alone and that He is bigger than all of this.

It is a miracle that this has worked as well as it has. God is so good to prove the doctors wrong! I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God took away that amount of disease, not the chemo. I know that it was your prayers that caused such a good report yesterday! If you share my story with anyone, be sure to give God the credit, not the chemo!

Now, we are not out of the woods yet. We have to get rid of the little bit that's left. But today I am praising the Lord and feeling so completely grateful that God would show me such grace.

To God be ALL the glory!

Now we move forward with new energy and strength and pray even harder for a COMPLETE remission! I know God can do it!

"I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will RESCUE you!" ~Isaiah 46:4


  1. Leslie, it's Donna Haynes, a NorthStar member. I have been praying for you daily and am so glad to have read your good news of April 12th. I will continue to pray. And to God be the glory! Love in Him.

  2. This is amazing, Leslie! I am so happy to hear this good news. :)

    Jeanette Soltys