Well, I don't have much time, but I wanted to give a quick update and share a little something from James!
I have been in New York this week and got a scan on Tuesday. I got the results today that my tumors have now decreased by 90%!!! 90%!!! I'm so excited!
The doctor said that most, if not all of the lymph nodes are in the normal range and one in particular they have been watching didn't even show up at all on the scan! Praise God!
There was a little bit of a complication that I would appreciate your prayers about. I got sick over Christmas with a very bad cold that settled in my lungs. At my last visit they did a chest x-ray and it looked fine so we went ahead with treatment. The CT scan is much more sensitive and this week picked up on some inflammation. This is no surprise to me since I have had a lingering cough since Christmas. Even though it's gotten better, it's still hanging on.
The problem is that this trial drug is documented and known for causing lung inflammation. So....they kind of freaked out. They decided not to treat me today because the medicine has the potential to make the inflammation worse. We are going to wait two weeks, take stronger antibiotics, and see if it's any better at that point. Since the scan was so good, they don't want to risk a lung complication that would disqualify me from the trial. So we're looking at the long term here! Please pray with me that my lungs heal quickly over the next two weeks! I believe I just got a nasty bug that caused this, but I'm glad they are thinking about the long-term and not just the short-term.
My living water challenge has been going well! I've found some ways to help keep myself in the word such as listening to podcasts on my phone instead of watching TV or opening my bible app instead of facebook when I have down time. I'm definitely still a work in progress! God has been showing me some amazing things in the book of James.
Many of you are probably familiar with the beginning of James one when he says to "count it all joy my brothers and sisters when you face trials of many kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness."
This verse used to irk me a bit honestly. I've been in the thick of suffering for a long time and honestly have not always felt very joyful. Jen Wilkin makes a great point though that "counting it all joy" and being "joyful" are two very different things.
Suffering is not meant to be a joyful experience. It's supposed to be hard. It's hard because we live in a fallen world and sin stinks! Sin messes up everything perfect and good that God prepared for us. When we face suffering and trials, it's ok to hurt. It's ok to cry. It's ok to not be "ok" all the time. I don't think Jesus put on a happy face when he was being crucified and said "I'm blessed!" he hurt and cried and mourned.
We count trials as joy because we know that joy is coming. We have hope that the trials we face on this earth are temporary. That there is light at the end of the tunnel and Heaven will be the opposite of earth. We also count it joy because it produces good and joyful things in us like steadfastness and perseverance.
My journey has been extrememly hard and it very well may not be over yet. It's hard and it's ok for me to cry about it. But I know that it is producing good things in me and that joy is coming. And it makes good news like this week's scan all the more joyful!
This journey has been more of a tortoise situation than a hare like I would have liked, but I am grateful for the perseverence. I am counting this experience as joy in my heart. Thank you Lord for providing us a way out of the darkness and trials of this life by sacrificing your perfect Son on the cross. Because He who was perfect suffered much, our suffering is only temporary.
Thank you Jesus.