Today we are headed to St. Louis via the train! We’ve never taken a train before, so I am excited to see what it’s all about. I’ve heard mixed reviews on taking a train, but I guess we will find out soon.
We’re headed to St. Louis so that we can meet with Dr. Nancy Bartlett at Washington University to discuss Brian’s case, and hopefully get a little more direction on how to proceed with treatments. If I haven’t said it before, we are so far down the line of treatments that there are no clear options left. Any option would just be a trial to see how it works against Brian’s cancer. Somewhat discouraging, but at least there are a few drugs out there that we haven’t tried. Like one of our KU doctors reminded us at our last appointment…the fact that Brian is even still around, MUCH LESS able to work and function as a normal human being is a miracle. So for that, we give God the glory. It’s easy to say “well I guess we chose the right path of treatment” or “well at least he’s got age going for him”…but it comes down to the pure fact that God has sustained Brian and has continued to give him life, and for that, we are grateful.
Dr. Bartlett has dedicated her whole career to the study of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, so while she may not have any more knowledge than our KU doctors about the options that are out there, she may be able to give us a little better guidance as to how to proceed to the next treatment. I am praying for wisdom and discernment as she speaks with us. She will consult with our KU doctors and they will form a plan regarding our next steps for treatment. We have an appointment with the KU doctors on Monday, so we will hopefully get something going as soon as possible.
Watching Brian these last few weeks has been difficult, painful, frustrating, and has left me feeling so helpless. His itching symptom has come back with vengeance and it takes every ounce of brain power for him to remain calm and to avoid itching..but usually the day just ends with him feeling miserable and nearly out of his mind because of the itching. There’s only so much anti-itch cream and anti-inflammatory drugs will do. He’s even on an anti-anxiety/partial itch relief prescription drug to ease the torment of the itching.
No one wants to go through chemo or any type of treatment, but I’d say we’re both actually looking forward to starting something in hopes that it will knock the cancer back down and Brian will have some relief from itching. We also think his thyroid may have been affected while on his last drug, but we’ll have to see what the doctors think.
Anyways…back to St. Louis…..
We have been humbled by so many people’s generosity surrounding this trip. A friend from my previous church gave us points to use for two nights at a hotel in downtown St. Louis (just a block from Union Station..the train stop). And just yesterday several coworkers pooled some money together to pay for our meals while we are away. It’s easy to talk about generosity (which has been a big topic in our church lately), but when you are on the receiving end, it is both humbling and shocking. God is good.
Our appointment with Dr. Bartlett is at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, so we will have Thursday morning to just chill, hang out, (maybe swim in the hotel pool!?!) and maybe visit an attraction or two…maybe the arch or the art museum.
The reason we’re going to St. Louis isn’t fun, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to just get away for a few days. Work and life have been chaotic lately, so to have a day to just “chill” is more than exciting and anticipated.
So, that’s what’s new in our world. Did I mention we’re moving in 2.5 weeks, we’re launching a generosity emphasis at church this weekend that I’ve been creating print pieces about for months, we’re launching a new website this week for our church, we’ll be starting the development of an “app” for our church in the next few weeks and we’ve got several youth group activities planned for this fall?
We’re not busy at all….
So how can you pray?
• That God would choose to heal Brian fully from this awful disease on this side of heaven.
• That God would give us discernment into what treatment would be best for us to choose.
• That we would be courageous and unwavering in our faith as we continue to walk this journey.
• That we would be willing to walk whatever path God has for us to walk, and accept His will no matter what that looks like.• That God would give us joy on this trip and endurance during this crazy busy season of ours.
• And that we will have a successful move into a new rental house with lots of help and without Brian getting sick afterwards.