Let me just start this out by saying thank you to each and every one of you that has been praying upon our behalf! God has been so good to us, and we have been so blessed throughout this entire experience, dealing with this brain tumor. Your love and prayers are absolutely amazing, and I am constantly humbled when I hear things like “My friend’s sister’s mother’s brother’s bible study has been praying for you”. How amazing is that? All of these people that I don’t know, and they don’t know me, yet we are bonded together because of our love and faith in Christ Jesus. We know that he is the one to turn to in our times of need. So thank you so much for that. It is my prayer that God blesses each and every one of you.

Yesterday was a great day and a hard day. We have been so blessed to have a great doctor in my neurosurgeon, Dr. Liau, that it’s hard to find other doctors that measure up to her. She’s really a dream doctor. We have been blessed, again, with Dr. Neuwelt. He was amazing. I asked his nurse, before he came in, what he was like. She said that he is very nice, but tends to be in a hurry in his appointments. He is a surgeon, oncologist, heads up the Blood Brain Barrier research program at OHSU, etc….very busy man. So we were anticipating him just coming in with the facts, take them or leave them, and he’s out of there. Quite the opposite. He spent so much time with us, and was so genuinely compassionate. He was concerned about UCLA’s recommendation to do radiation for 2 reasons. One was because you can only do it once, so it’s better to save that option when it has progressed to a very aggressive high grade tumor. Two was because he thinks that the area that needs to be radiated will cause significant neurological deficits. He was telling us that he has a patient that is a few years younger than me, that did do the radiation, and she has a hard time doing math now. Wow. So his recommendation, much to our agreement, is to do Temodar, which is a chemo pill. To her credit, Dr. Liau sent me to him to get this second opinion, because she wasn’t so sure radiation was the way to go right now, either. That was just what the UCLA brain tumor board decided collectively.

So, the plan now is to start Temodar at the end of May. He wasn’t concerned about getting on it immediately because my tumor that is still there looks low grade on the MRI. Now we can go to Maui and not have to worry about any ill effects of being on chemo while we’re there. Praise God!! Temodar is very different from traditional chemo. It’s just an oral pill that you take 5 days out of every month. Side effects are usually just nausea and some mild fatigue, which they give you other drugs to offset those. I have quite the pharmacy going on in my house. So that is a huge blessing, especially when taking care of 2 little boys everyday. The nurse that was explaining things about Temodar said that typically patients that have low grade tumors go on it to “buy some more time”. Nice. Did you really have to say that? It’s very contraversial how to treat low grade gliomas, obviously. They are not usually that responsive to chemo and radiation because they aren’t an abnormal enough cell. When they become a higher grade, they are very abnormal and become fragile, subjecting them more to these treatments. It’s kind of a rock and a hard spot, but we’ll take the low grade anyday.

As we were leaving, I was so conflicted in my emotions. So thankful that my tumor is stable, but we also feel like we are back to square one, where we were 4 years ago. I again have a tumor in my head that is inoperable and capable of upgrading at anytime. It was hard not to just cry about that. We came so far in the past 4 years, and God has brought us full circle. We know there’s a reason, and we know that He will carry us through it. He’s carried us through that past 4 years, he’s more than capable of doing it, again. Since we found out about this tumor last October, I just know in my heart that God is going to use it in my life to help other people. I don’t know what that looks like, exactly, but I know He’s going to use me.

I was doing my devotions today, and came across a verse in Psalm 7:17. “I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High”. I read the study notes for this verse and it said that this is meant as a vow to praise. It said that many prayers in the Psalter include such vows in anticipation of the expected answer of prayer. I love the faith exhibited in that vow. It’s a vow anticipating…anticipating…anticipating. Not just kind of hoping God will maybe possibly answer their prayer. No, they’re ANTICIPATING that God will meet their need, and praising Him in all things, meanwhile. Oh how I want that kind of faith all the time! God promises us that with the faith of only a mustard seed, we can move mountains. I am just in awe of the power that we have in Him. With just that much faith, that’s what he can do for us! Why don’t we utilize that power all the time?

All of this touched me so much, because I know that God can move this tumor, as well, right out of my brain, and I want all the faith in the world that He will do it. I know that God is good and His timing is perfect. It’s so hard, as humans, to trust His timing. But because we are human, we can’t see the big picture, so His timing is better, as most of us usually see in hindsight. But for now, no matter the storms that come my way, no matter the trials I may face, He promises that He will see me through, so I will trust in Him, anticipating that my prayer for freedom from this disease will be answered!