We spent Labor Day weekend over in Halfway, Oregon with Cindi, Dustin and the kids. What a fun time, relaxing, going to the rodeo, watching the fawns in their backyard, and enjoying Dax and Lexi! Bentli and Demi were in the rodeo on Sunday night, yep my city girls have a bit of country in their blood. Actually more than I think. They did the hide race with Dustin and our friend Trinity, no winners, but tons of fun and memories!
Doug and I took off from there on Monday for Seattle. It was actually not a bad drive, maybe I am getting used to it. Seemed to go by fairly fast. We went just the 2 of us, missing out PCA on this trip. What do I expect she does have her own family to spend time with, we did miss having her along!
Tuesday morning Doug had an MRI, labs and then we saw Dr. Benkers (neuro oncologist). As she walked in there is always these tremendous butterflies that over take me. The anticipation of what she is going to say to us. As I sat there, in my head I kept repeating, good news, no growth, good news, no growth. Then she spoke. . . It looks like the tumor has possibly started to grow. This is always where I pull it together, stay strong Jack, for Doug, girlfriend, stay strong. I looked over at him, with heart ache on his face, I took a deep breath. She continued with, his last pathology test we have been waiting for came back. His tumor is unmethylated, which means the chemo Temodar he has been on does not usually work on those tumors. We will need to change his chemo. We discussed the different chemo, she showed us the MRI, and the area where she felt was tumor growth. Punched in the gut, that is what I felt, again we were punched in the gut! She ordered a CT scan before we left Seattle to check for any bleeding. The new chemo has a side effect of possible hemorrhaging. So if he had any bleeding we would have to go another route. She said she would call me with results, and start date of the new chemo. I asked to say Hi to Dr. Cobbs (neurosurgeon), he came in, said he was hoping to see a clean cavity, and most of it looks clean, except right at the top there seemed to be a bit of possible growth. He agreed with the new treatment. Back in 2 months for another MRI. Off to have the CT scan!
CT scan was quick, and we were back on the road for Idaho. Both feeling exhausted, crazy all you do is sit in a waiting area, sit in a doctors office, sit and listen, and you feel like you ran a marathon. Doug and I discussed how we just needed a bit of good news, a little glimpse of hope. I told him right then, my prayer for the next 2 months was of hope,and guidance. For there to be a bit of glory to us. I promised him I would pray this prayer until the next MRI.
Wednesday Dr. Benkers nurse called me, she stated that Dr. Benkers was at a conference and would be calling me the next day. She said I can give you the just of everything. Doug did have some post surgery bleeding, therefore we can not start Avastin chemo, but we will start Etoposide chemo instead. He will need to have labs done once a week and another MRI in 4 weeks. That it might not be tumor growth, and just blood. Oh my gosh, nope not going there, not allowing myself to be joyous of that news, not until I hear it from the doctor herself.
Friday night I got the call from Dr. Benkers, she says she went over Doug's MRI and CT scan more thoroughly, along with the Radiologist. He does have some post surgery bleeding, not to be concerned about, just needs more time to heal and can not start Avastin. But needs to start Etoposide, in which I told her I got that afternoon. She was shocked we got it so soon, even saying patients never get it that fast. She then said we need to do an MRI in 4 weeks, that after looking over everything, this just might be post surgery change and not growth! AMEN JESUS! That is what I wanted to hear. A bit of hope, a bit of good news. At this point people, we will grab and take whatever we can! When I told Doug you could see a whole new demeanor about him. I said now, we pray that in 4 weeks the tumor is stable and still not growing. We celebrated that night, for us it was what we needed at that moment. Although our emotions have been somewhat of a roller coaster this past week!
Doug started Etoposide on Saturday night. It has not made him sick, thank you Jesus. It is a pill form of chemo that he takes at night before bed. He is also still on Celebrex and Valcyte, along with his supplements from Mt. Family Wellness.
We return to Seattle in October. We are believing in a good MRI, with no change in his tumor. I know the Lord is by our side, guiding us through this part of our journey. Even when I might question the travel, I still feel his presence standing firm with us.
I want you all to know, that this testimony that I am building is getting bigger and stronger than I ever thought. You also need to know it does come with some challenges. Daily I am asked how I am doing or stated to me, I don't know how you can be so strong. I am the first to tell you all, I have moments of weakness, days where I just put one foot in front of the other just to get through the day. I honestly think I am doing pretty darn good for the most part. I am cherishing each day as they come, make sure you all hear that part. . I am CHERISHING each day as they come.
Please don't wait for a love one to get sick to start cherishing them and the moments you have with them. If I am completely honest, I am tired of doctors appointments, phone calls, decisions, results and the unknown. But they are out weighed by the quiet evenings snuggling on the couch with my husband, the soft I Love Yous, the every minute I get to be blessed with Doug by my side, and the strong presence of the Lord in my life.
My faith gets me through some of the hardest days, along with the special people that answer the phone at all hours of the day! It is you my army of people praying for our family that makes my legs strong when they become weak. It takes Team Corta to fight this fight! I am believing, I am trusting, I am allowing the Lord to work miracles on my husband. I will give glory to God in every big and small victory we achieve!
Acts 3:16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
Love and Blessings to all