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,



greg mcdonald said...


Something that I have held on to during difficult times is that God is at work doing something even if we cannot see anything! He is at work, and we are praying for Him to have liberty to do just that.

Your children are beautiful, but how could they not be! Your precious girls remind me of when you were little. We are only an hour from downtown Indy. Please let me know when you would feel up to it and your schedule allows a meeting.

You are continually in my prayers! I love you!


Svitak Family said...

Hi Melissa- Please tell your sister that I used the quote that is on your blog for my two boys. No I am not dealing with the stresses you are living with, but dancing in the rain is such a positive way of looking at life. I have had several friends dealing with cancer and have been praying for them. I will add you to my prayer list. You have a beautiful family and much to be proud of. I have faith that God does not give any of us anything that we can't handle.

God Bless - Your blogging buddy


Daniel & Sarah & Girls said...

Our praying has never ceased for you. We love you so much. You, Doug, and the Kids are on our minds and hearts daily.

You have touched so many peoples lives through your patience, grace, and Faith thru all of this and putting it on a blog.

I am grateful God gave Doug you and you are a part of our Family.

God is Great and he will see you thru.

Love Sarah

lisamichellearnold said...

what can i say......i love you beyond measure. our heavenly father is using you, even during this difficult time, to teach us new & valuable lessons. you have my heart and all of my unwavering support.....eternally!!!

Spring said...

You are on my heart daily. I will continue to lift you up in prayer through this valley. I am believing that in four weeks that darn thing will shrink!!! In Jesus' Name!! :) Our God is such an AWESOME God. You kids are so precious... I look forward to reading your posts, please know that I am praying for you and for His will in all of this. Love, Spring

The Burgess Family said...

Thanks for the update so we know what to be praying for.

SentimentsbyDenise said...

Melissa -
It was so nice to meet you tonight and talk to you and your husband. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
I found your blog through Becky's (she bookmarked it on hers)and I wanted to let you know again that I have committed to praying for you and your family during this most uncertain time. God is working - this I know!
May you have a blessed week!

Geron said...

Myself, Lydia, Cora and Cohen pray for you daily. We will continue to lift you and your family up.

SB said...

Just wanted you to know that we are praying for you and your family. You probably don't remember us. My dad, Philip Bowles, was the associate pastor when your Dad was at Richmond.

When my Mom went through her illness with cancer God continually brought to mind the words to the song, "'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus". I cried many times asking Him to give me grace to trust Him.

Anonymous said...

Hi...I have been following your story (I know Jenn from Stepping Stones) and I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration you have been to me. My mom is a nurse at an Oncology office and is always telling me these amazing stories...your story is definitely one I'll share with her.

I have added you to my prayer list and will be praying for you. He is using you mightily through this trial and I'm sure you have touched more people than you know. Thank you for your faith...and your willingness to share your story.

Amy said...

Just wanted you to know that we are continually praying for you and your family. We just hope over the next few weeks you are able to get a more definitive answer to make the decisions that need to be made.
Amy, David & Courtlyn Hoover

Steph said...

Melissa -

I want you to know I have been (and continue to) praying for you and your family during this time. Your faith is amazing and such a testament to others!

Steph (a friend of Jenn's from Stepping Stones)

StacyandChad said...

God brought you to mind this morning as I was doing my quiet time. I was reading this verse and immediately thought of you!

The Lord will send His faithful love by day; His song will be with me in the night- a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8

May you feel his faithful love today and hear his song tonight!

Praying for you,
Stacy (Stepping Stones friend)

mandy said...

Keep pressin' on and KNOW that God has a plan! Your kids are getting so big! Enjoy every moment...before you know it, they are in third grade!

PS love the new hair...(susan showed me pic)