Another Good Scan
Dear praying friends,
Dr. Devore called me personally yesterday to tell me that my scan results were again very favorable – clear again for the fourth scan in a row. Again, that means that although we know by other means that there is cancer in my body, you can’t tell it by my last four scans. The tumor marker number is continuing to creep up, however. The oncologist still takes that to indicate some cancer growth, but not enough to show up on a scan. Remember that when I started this trek back last February, the cancer showed up on the scan spectacularly, in the lower third of the esophagus, surrounding lymph nodes, and a spot on my liver. So I’m doing quite well, which I attribute to the Lord’s grace and goodness through your prayers.
So we’re staying with the current strategy of an infusion of Herceptin every three weeks, and two-weeks on before a week off of taking the oral chemotherapy Xeloda daily. The Xeloda is wearing me down to be sure – about once every week to week-and-a-half I fairly shock myself with how much I sleep over the course of a day or two. Unlivable side-effects is what makes people quit a chemotherapy even though it is working well against the cancer. That’s what got me off of that Oxalypatin early last year. So prayers for my energy-level and stamina as long as the Xeloda is keeping the cancer at bay are appreciated.
I “think” I am experiencing symptoms of the cancer itself - trouble swallowing sometimes, along with a near constant feeling of pressure in my chest. Dr. Devore suspects (although he is gentle with me while suggesting so) that these experiences are psychosomatic. Whatever it is, it doesn’t show up on a CT scan, so if I’m going psychotic, you can pray for that, too. There have been cases in which psychosis has been an asset in some leaders’ achievement of organizational success, but none in which psychosis has been helpful in pastoral ministry. A sound mind is better, so pray that mine would be, stayed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.