I know there is probably some risk in posting this. I am not a doctor, and most of you who view this are not able to interpret this picture. Actually, our beloved Dr. Russell and the Radiologist even went back and forth on what the results actually are. So, I know that it might not be a good idea.
But, I needed to see it. And, I want you to be able to see it, too. Of course, it is nothing like it was before surgery. I’ll never forget how huge that tumor in the middle looked before surgery. Thank God for a successful surgery that changed our course dramatically.
But, my heart wanted it to be completely gone so badly.
The Lord has really guarded my heart from expectations. Even this morning, as I prayed, all I could say was “Thy will be done, Lord.” My heart means that. The Holy Spirit is really helping me to mean it, but it doesn’t change the emotions that are intertwined with everything that happens.
I want Clay to be healed. I want him to live. I want him to be himself again. Deep down, how could I help but to want the doctor to say, “We don’t see any cancer!” So, without admitting it, I guess that’s what I wanted today. Because what I heard felt like a huge disappointment.
I want His will.
Accepting that His will is different from my desires is the hard part. But, I will accept it. I will. With His grace, I will.
Our morning started with our most precious Pastors, Lee and Carla Shipp. They drove to our house for 8:45, just so they could pray with us before we left. And their prayers for us are so sincere and encouraging. Clay and I both freely admit that we would not be where we are in our faith if it were not for these two people. I love them more than I could ever express.
We picked up his mom, fought the traffic and got to the BR General for 10:00 am. And, guess who was waiting for us?
Kayla. She just wanted to see us before we went in and pray with us. I’m shaking my head while I type this. I just can’t express how thankful I am for the love of the Body of Christ around us. Unfortunately, my mom didn’t make any of the pics. She came, too. Mom and Flo waited outside while Clay and I went in for the MRI.
I love that they let me sit with him during the MRI. Clay used to get really nervous about the MRI machine and he would ask if I could please come in. Everyone so far has let me and it has been a special time for us. I just sit beside him and hold his hand, or his leg, while he lays as still as possible.
They give us ear plugs because the machine is so loud and the room is really cold. I realized today that it almost felt like I was in another place because I got so zoned out while praying. (Maybe I should use earplugs when I’m at home praying! Ha.) We were in there about an hour.
I prayed, again, for God’s will and for a heart that will trust and accept His will, no matter what it is. I reminded God that today would be a really good day for a miracle and that many people are watching to see Him work.
We left the MRI and walked right over to Dr. Russell’s office. While we waiting, he met with the Radiologist reviewing the MRI. When he opened the door, the first words out of his mouth were, “Everything looks OK.” Emphasis on the “OK.” I didn’t know how to feel. He told us that the tumor basically looks the same. The Radiologist believes that there is slight growth in the tumors, but Dr. Russell thinks they have stayed the same.
It’s hard to process information in these meetings. You just kind of stare at the doctor like you totally understand everything, but your brain is 3 minutes behind in the conversation. So, as my brain caught up, I finally said, “Can I see it?” He so kindly took us in his office and pulled up the images on the screen.
I needed to see it. But, I was disappointed with what I saw. It looks a lot like the MRI looked before treatment. My hope was that the radiation had killed some of the cancer….well, all of the cancer. But, it didn’t.
After some deliberation and discussion with our Oncologist, Dr. Russell told us that they are petitioning our insurance company to allow Clay to also start another drug called Avastin.
Remember the first time we met Dr. Russell? He called the doctor who is the head of the Brain Tumor Center at Duke. You know…He just got him on his cell phone real quick while Clay and I sat there waiting. Ha. I was super impressed by that. Anyway, that doctor told Dr. Russell that Duke has been giving Avastin with the chemo right from the beginning of treatment.
Well, our insurance would not approve this. So, Clay has not been given the Avastin. After today’s MRI, Dr. Russell thinks the insurance company will approve the Avastin. Dr. Russell looked at us and in the most compassionate voice said, “God is going to use this MRI to accomplish something else. It might feel like bad news to you, but I am not surprised or excited (meaning in a bad way) about the results.” Then we held hands and he prayed for us.
I love him. And I appreciate him so much. It took me a few hours to really process what had happened and I felt pretty numb when we left his office.
But, God, in His perfect timing, provided an opportunity for us to minister to someone else in great need. Our friends, Chris and Jenna Wilcox, were at the hospital having a chemo infusion today. We walked upstairs to pray with them and encourage them. Of course, they were sitting in the chemo room praying for us. And they were anxious to hear about our report. Jenna just smiled a huge smile, through her face mask, and said, “Well, it gives God a bigger opportunity to do a miracle. We’ll just keep believing!”
It’s amazing how ministering to someone else can help you with your own heart. We prayed for Chris and for Jenna from a place of acquaintance. We know how they feel. So, we know how to pray for them. And, we know that God hears our prayers. And, when we walked away, I was reminded of the purpose in the pain. I was reminded that God can use us and minister through us in a way that He never could before May 2, 2016.
Everything has changed. But, prayerfully, we will maintain a heavenly perspective and live every moment knowing that everything God does has eternal purpose. What we see on this earth, though it may seem very precious to us now, does not compare to what is waiting for us in heaven.
Thank you for your prayers. We will be sending a copy of the MRI to Dr. Weinberg, the surgeon at MD Anderson. We will be waiting to hear from Dr. McCanless, the Oncologist, regarding the Avastin infusion. We will have another MRI in 8 weeks. And, in the meantime, our hearts are focused on the goodness of God and we are thankful for His many blessings. We are thankful for hope.
We love you. Goodnight.