Friday, October 31, 2008

Home from Hospital

Missy was discharged today (Friday), and is now home from her first week of chemo. She's taking a nap right now, so I've not talked to her yet. I'll update more sometime after I talk to her!

Thanks for your prayers for her!

Saturday am update: Just want to add that after I did talk with her last night, she said she still was not feeling sick at all from this chemo, just very tired. That's a good thing! She was very glad to be discharged a little earlier yesterday at noon too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

carry you

hey, friends, family, loved ones, and any other supporters.....it's michelle. i'm here with melissa in her chemo room, spending the night with her. she is doing amazingly well!!! she has been asking her nurses if she should "act" more sickly as she is administered the chemo. this question has brought about some laughter with the medical staff working with her. god is so good. we so appreciate all your concern and prayers.....

melissa is amazing. i have always called her "missy" since she was a baby and still do. she is my sister. i love her. i am blessed to have jenn, too, as a sister and best friend. we come from good stock. our parents, david and martha, are incredible people. they taught us what mattered most in life. the simple things.....faith in jesus, trust, loving family and friends. i look at what melissa has been facing and her response and i'm not surprised in the least. it's the values we were taught as children and the blessing of parents who prayed for us three girls and our futures, come what may......

so, now we are in the middle of come what may. and, we are really okay. we are trusting. we are believing. we are expectant. we are even joyful!!! and, we are definitely leaning on the everlasting arms. sometimes, it seems more than leaning on jesus. there are moments when it seems he is carrying us. i know that missy has felt that way. perhaps, you need to be reminded that jesus can and will carry you through WHATEVER you are facing. we are living proof.....





Monday, October 27, 2008

The Same Jesus...Then and Now

I recently came across these verses, and they are perfect for my sister right now...

Mark 5:25-29, 34

"And a woman who was there who had been ill for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better, she grew worse.

When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak because she thought, 'If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.' Immediately, the illness in her blood was healed, and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

Jesus said to her--

'Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering'."

A Week At the Hospital Begins

I've actually not spoken with Miss yet, so I don't know much about the appointment. I do know that while Missy was at the doctor today, they suggested admitting her today due to scheduling. It sounds like three other chemo patients will be admitted tomorrow, and they had one discharged today so it gives her a bit of a headstart.

She's happy to have a really nice, private room. Being her normal laughing self, she said that she should have just taken Doug there for his birthday instead of to the nice hotel they went to recently for his birthday getaway! She has the best attitude ever....again, therefore the name of this blog!

It sounds like she may be discharged Saturday, so her long week is beginning now.

Oh, and she does have the laptop with her, so she will still be able to check her blog and email!

Doug's parents are home with the kids, and our older sister Michelle will arrive there tomorrow to help as well. I'm sure Miss would also appreciate your prayers for her husband and family, as it won't be easy on her or them to be apart for the week!

As always, we appreciate your prayers!

Appointment this afternoon

Missy and Doug have the appointment with the oncologist this afternoon. Please pray that the doctor will put together the best chemo treatment plan for Missy, and for continued peace and strength for both of them!

Thank you!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Amazing Love

I am not even sure I know exactly what I want to say right now. I just felt it was important for me to tell you how much Doug and I appreciate the incredible circle of love and support that is surrounding us right now. Last night was definitely a scary time for me. As the evening went on the more at ease I felt. As today has gone on I have felt less nervous and fearful of another episode of last night's events. I know this peace that has been slowly replacing the fearful uncertainty is from the Lord and your prayers that are sustaining us. Thank you to our wonderful parents and siblings, our awesome friends, our neighbors, our church families at Indy First and Parkview. We love you, and we praise God that you have chosen to walk this journey with us.
My appointment is Monday afternoon. My oncologist would still like to keep the PET scan scheduled for Tuesday, just to get a detailed comparison with the previous PET scan. It is my understanding that I will be admitted to the hospital Tuesday, and the next level of intense chemo will begin. I will have more details after Monday.
I am resting in knowing that our God does not change. Although the circumstances of my life have changed, He is the same today as He was seven months ago when this storm began. I trust Him today with my whole heart, and I am believing that He is going to carry me through this.

All of my love and thanks,

Melissa

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Update: 10:45 pm

Missy just called, and she is on her way home. They did do testing to make sure there was nothing new causing the bleeding. Basically they ruled out issues of blood clots and pneumonia. The hospital explained that they do not believe she is in any eminent danger tonight.

They did do a CAT scan though, and it showed that her mass in her chest is increasing in size. They believe the bleeding may have just been caused by the growing mass, causing irritation on her lung. Additionally, because they did see the mass is growing, Doug and Missy believe that is confirming the need for more chemo treatment.

They will talk with their oncologist tomorrow to get the official confirmation on that.

Words on this blog can't even begin to express the thanks to everyone for their prayers! So many of you emailed or sent me a message in the past couple hours, and that was very encouraging! I know that Missy and Doug appreciate that beyond words as well!

*I apologize and need to correct myself...Missy's appointment with the oncologist will not be until next week. ~Jenn

PRAY NOW...WENT TO HOSPITAL

My mom just called me to tell me that Missy just started coughing up blood and is on her way to the hospital. I just called Miss as she is in the ambulance right now, and she is very scared. Doug is meeting her at the hospital. That is literally all I know right now.

PLEASE PRAY!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pray! Pray! Pray!

I wanted everyone to know that my PET scan is scheduled for next Tuesday, October 28th. My follow-up appointment with my doctor will then be Thursday morning, the 30th. LET'S KEEP PRAYING AND BELIEVING TOGETHER!!! God is so much bigger and greater than any disease...He is ABLE. Thank you!
(Please be sure and read the new post below too...)

Melissa

An Answer to Prayer

I cannot believe I allowed the entire weekend to go by without sharing some very exciting news. A few of our family and friends have known that we have been working on new health insurance, which definitely is something we wouldn't want to do without right now. When Doug completed his residency at the end of June, we were given the opportunity to purchase a continuation on the policy we've had for the past five years. We knew the continuation would only last 6 months, taking us through the end of December of this year. We have been a bit discouraged about this, as we have been told by several people in the insurance business that I most likely would be denied coverage due to my pre-existing condition. (I won't even share all of my thoughts on that craziness...the ones who need it the most may be denied?!) We have not talked about it a lot with other people, but this issue has certainly been weighing heavily on our hearts and minds. I am so pleased to tell you that God has been at work!!! We just learned this past Friday that we do indeed have a new health insurance policy! I made sure my name was listed as part of the family plan, and it was! God has given us an answer to a prayer that we have been seeking....Thank you Lord for taking care of us.

We love you our sweet family and friends!
Melissa

Monday, October 13, 2008

Summer Fun...August 2008

Caleb and Lauren's first bike rides









First time Caleb and Daddy played soccer in the new backyard







Audrey's first time eating grass

Such a Happy Girl!!











Has anyone seen Lauren??

And where is that box of Krispy Kreme donuts we just bought??


Well, after some searching of the house, Miss and I caught a glimpse of a donut box peeking from behind a chair. Then we saw a trying-to-play-it-cool ('cause I know I'm in trouble) Lauren, with some very sticky hands might I add. She had devoured 4 glazed donuts!





Friday, October 3, 2008

Doctor's Appointment

As Doug and I were sitting side by side in the waiting area of my oncologist's office I said to him, "This wasn't in my plans." I think that all of the time, but I don't often verbalize it. Then I realized that no one's life, even a Christian's, is never exactly as they planned it or thought it would be. Whether it's the diagnosis of cancer, broken relationships, financial hardships, loss of a child, or any other undesirable circumstances, we all can relate to this. I am so thankful that despite these unexpected turns in life, He is always with me and never leaves me.

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

As far as our appointment with the doctor, we discussed what the next plan of action is. Unfortunately there is not a clear cut answer. To explain it as simply as possible, the latest scan results showed growth in the area of the main mass. Which we can assume means the chemo was effective during the treatment time, but without lasting effects. However, it is not 100% certain that this is what is happening. There is a very small chance that this area is an infection, or even inflammation (remodeling of the necrotic area...okay, that is Doug terminology if you couldn't tell!) Obviously, the last and least wanted possibility is that it is in fact residual lymphoma. So, how do we determine what it is? We discussed the pros and cons of a CT guided needle biopsy. This does not always provide accurate results. (As we know from my first needle biospy in March.) They may not get the exact tissue they need or there is a possibility of a false negative. As far as going right into the intense chemo (during which time I would be hospitalized), the doctor does not think we should jump right into that. After much discussion and consideration, we (Doug and I with the doctor's guidance) have decided to wait four more weeks and do a repeat scan. We are praying that we will see change: preferably a decrease in size, which would indicate it is either infection or inflammation; or an increase in size, confirming residual lymphoma. A lot of info I know, but please be in fervent prayer with us that these next four weeks will allow time for change of some sort. We need a more definitive answer before we would move forward with any treatment. We are trusting in Him and praying that healing will take place. (Please be sure and see the pictures below. I hope they bring a smile to your face!)

Much love,

Melissa

Our Little Rays of Sunshine


Fighting the wild fires in our backyard

Audrey's first corn on the cob at Grandma and Grandad's

Little Sister and Big Sister

Princess Lauren Grace

Spiderman had enough of the Princess party

Always happy

So proud to wear Grandad's army coat








Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Follow-up Scan Results

Missy had another scan yesterday to check the status of her lymphoma. The results did unfortunately show that the tumor in her chest has been growing again. It is not as large as it was when it started, but it has grown almost a centimeter since treatments stopped at the end of August. During treatments, the lymphoma did in fact seem to be responding well, but if the chemo is really doing its job, the lymphoma should still be affected by the chemo now which it is not.

They will have their appointment tomorrow with the oncologist tomorrow at 11:15 to find out his analysis of the results and the present plans for further treatment. From what my sister learned today just on the phone, probable next treatment will he a stronger, higher dose of chemo. That will involve her actually staying in the hospital for five days of treatment, then going home for three weeks for repeated rounds. Again, this plan has not yet been confirmed by her doctor.

Her main concern at the moment is her kids. And still being new in town is not making that part any easier for them. Please pray for her and Doug as this journey continues for them. This was, of course, not the news they (or any of us) were expecting or hoping to hear. Please pray that they will have peace in their hearts, and that the doctor tomorrow will put together a plan that will definitely be effective for the cancer!

I'll give you the definite report from the oncologist when we hear tomorrow.

Thanks in advance for your prayers from all of us!!