"To God be the Glory Great things He has done!"
I honestly don’t think there are words full enough to express what I feel right now.
Here is a quick recap of the last three years:
Diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma April 2012
Endured 6 months (12 treatments) of ABVD chemo.
Found out in November 2012 that the cancer was still present making me a refractory patient.
Harvested my eggs in January 2013 and tried two doses of a newer smart drug called Brentuximab.
Cancer actually increased on this drug so switched to the hardcore, traditional chemo ICE.
After 4 rounds of ICE, cancer was still present.
Tried a drug called Bendamustine that put me in remission in August 2013.
Then immediately went on to have an auto stem cell transplant in September and October of 2013.
90 days after my transplant, the cancer had returned.
Underwent 6 weeks of radiation and finished in January of 2014.
Scan after that showed that the cancer in the areas radiated was gone, but new nodes in my abdomen had popped up.
Went to a specialist in New York City at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. Since the nodes were too small to biopsy, went on “watch and wait” for several months.
Successful biopsy in August 2014 and entered into a trial with the drugs Nivolumab and Ippilumab.
After 10 months on the trial, I just found out last week that I am in complete remission!
I go in a week to see my original doctor that we saw in New York, Dr. Younes. We will know more about next steps after that appointment, but we are hopeful the cancer will never return and we can move on, finally, with our lives!
I’ve written all of this out to recognize the fact that we’ve been on a long journey friends.
We've been on a very long, very hard journey. One that I wasn’t convinced at times would include earthly healing but would only offer heavenly healing.
And by we, I mean all of you with us.
I have been overwhelmed over and over again by the amount of love and support I have found in the people around me. My family, friends, church body, and extended network through friends and other churches have been such a blessing for us. I am beyond humbled.
The morning that I had my appointment to find out the scan results last week, I got up a little early and was praying to the Lord. The words that came out of my mouth were as follows:
“Lord, go before me today. Father please come behind me. Hem me in on all sides as I go today.”
I am confident that the Lord has answered that prayer in the last three years through all of you.
“You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” ~Psalm 139:5
We have had so many people praying for us and carrying our burdens, many that we’ve never even met. These people have been hemming us in for three years.
I can’t tell you what it means to me to know that complete strangers have prayed with us, cried with us, mourned with us, and are now celebrating with us!
You all have been my army, my prayer army, and I am firmly convinced that I’m still alive today because God has heard the prayers of His people.
Thank you friends, family, extended family, and loved ones for being my army and lifting us up when we were too weak to do so ourselves.
This burden has been so heavy and I’m truly grateful for the help to carry it.
The Lord has done a great work in me and because of Him, I can have hope!
I hope that cancer will never again be a part of my life.
I hope for ministry opportunities.
I hope for children.
I hope for trips and time with family.
I hope to love on broken and hurting women.
I hope to rescue orphans.
I hope to grow more in my faith.
Without the Lord, none of my hopes would be possible. And without all of you, the past three years would have been too much to bear.
We don't know what lies ahead, but we are living in celebration and victory right now and ask you to join us! You’ve earned it!