I hate that this occasion has brought me back to the blog, but yet…here we are. A little background information: Last week I traveled to Texas Children’s for my ‘two month out’ scans from my clear scans this past March. These would be the scans that would clear me for going to Camp Ozark and tell us that all was well; that there was nothing else to worry about.
Unfortunately, this was not the case. We received news last Monday afternoon that a 1 cm x 1 cm spot in my upper left lung was reading as active on the PET scan, which meant we would need to determine if the cancer was back in this area. My doctor put me on the schedule to have a lung biopsy this Monday, which gave me the perfect amount of time to head back to Baylor for about 5 days, finish my finals, move out of the dorm, spend Mother’s Day at home, and then head back to the hospital for the surgery.
I was a little anxious going into the surgery because of the careful and dangerous steps it takes to remove something from someone’s lungs. The doctors at Texas Children’s are more than amazing and the surgery was completed successfully with only minor bleeding in my lung. All in all, I am currently recovering with a needle size incision in my left side and a soar throat. Thank the Lord above for the current medical miracles that exist in our world today.
I spent the night at Texas Children’s Monday night. The doctor’s wanted to make sure my lungs were functioning properly after the surgery. We headed home without any news from the biopsy on Tuesday morning.
Dr. Dreyer called this afternoon to inform us that the cancer has returned in my upper left lung. With that being said, here are the next steps I will be taking in the treatment process: I will head back to Texas Children’s next Monday for a bone marrow biopsy to test my marrow and make sure it is still negative (just as it was when it was tested a year and a half ago). If my marrow is negative, it will allow for an autologous transplant. An autologous transplant is a process where the doctors use my own bone marrow by removing it from my body, recycling and cleaning it into new and fresh cells, and then placing it back into my body where it would clean the rest of my body from all of its bad cancer cells.
Before we move into starting the transplant, I will start my first day of chemotherapy after the completion of the bone marrow biopsy on Monday. I will be getting one chemo drug called Brentux. This drug is very tolerable and should not cause any hair loss or serious problems. With that being said, I will still be headed to Camp Ozark at the end of May, and then come back about 3 weeks later for one more session of chemo before finishing out my time as a counselor.
The Lord’s timing in all of this has been incredible. Had I learned all these new things just a month ago, I wouldn’t have finished my freshman year at Baylor, and working at Camp Ozark (something that has been a dream of mine for more years than you can count on one hand) would not have been in the picture at all.
My heart is heavy as I head into the next few months, but I will proclaim the Lord’s faithfulness on repeat.
I see God in the people of Texas Children’s. I see God in little brain tumor patients who do nothing but smile as they exit their PET scans. I see God in his timing. I see God in the beauty of the Arkansas mountains, which I am lucky enough to live under for the next month and a half. And finally, most importantly, I see God in those who support me; day in and day out. I see God in the growing support I have received while being a student at Baylor and those who remain by my side through it all. Let the battle come. I will fight on.