Anne was able to get her 5th chemotherapy treatment today despite having a neutrophil count of only 0.9 (it needs to be greater than 1.0 to get it usually). Fortunately, her white blood cell count was high enough (3.2) that Dr. Balcueva felt confident giving her the chemo. She tolerated it very well, as usual. He also started her on Neupogen, which is a drug that stimulates neutrophil production. She got her first dose today, then will get another tomorrow and then Wednesday. They'll check the neutrophil count again, and if it's still low, they'll keep using the Neupogen. Sounds good to me--she doesn't need an infection now because with neutrophils that low she wouldn't be able to fight it well.
She will be getting her repeat abdominal CT scan on the 16th or 17th of July and then we'll most likely be heading out to the Mayo Clinic again after that to meet with the oncologist, gastroenterologist and probably the colorectal surgeon as well. The response she's had to the chemo I think will have them rethinking things--while they thought about "palliation" I believe they need to think about "cure". They probably don't understand the power of prayer and how the Lord can work, but most of you do. Her response to the chemo has been nothing short of miraculous, and I thank you all for your prayers of intercession for us. God has been listening and working to rid her of the cancer.
Isaiah 30:41 says: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” This journey of ours is a lot like that. We have received our strength from the Lord. Right now, in fact, I feel like I'm flying on the wings of eagles, I'm so excited about the news we've had. To know that Anne is beating this cancer could not make me any more happy, and I thank God for all He has done and will do for us. Our journey will be tireless--we won't give up hope and give up on believing in His love.
1 Peter 4:12-13 says: "...don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through... Instead, be very glad-for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. " Yes, this is one heck of a fiery trial, but it has made us stronger. To know that Christ suffered for us, to make us forgiven to the Father, gives us great joy. We will be with Him some day to bask in His glory and spend eternity with Him. There is a hope and joy in knowing that God wants us to spend eternity with Him. I pity those who reject His truth and will never know what it will be like in Heaven. But despite this trial, Anne and I will not reject God. I just saw a movie required by my Centurions program: Tender Mercies starring Robert Duval. It was a bit slow, but there was one scene where his ex-wife comments after their daughter dies in a car accident: "Why did God do this to me?" Well, I hate to tell her, but God didn't "do this" to her, Satan probably did. But the response should be: "Thank you God for giving me this trial so I can grow in my faith and become a stronger Christian. I will continue to pray for your strength and love and protection." Trials give us perserverance, James says in his letter. I'd like to think that how we respond to trials shows God how truly serious we are and confident in His love for us. We should grow in faith rather than the opposite.