This blog post is part of the continuing story of our family’s journey facing my husband’s cancer with the grace that only the Lord Jesus can give. If you would like to read the story from the beginning, go here.
During the first week of March, 2014, I had been under the weather for several days and spent lots of time in bed. All I had was a cold, but the Tarceva seemed to make everything worse. Just as I began to feel better, other side effects decided to make an encore appearance, including a mouth full of sores, a rash, great weakness, and fatigue. This was part of the deal, and while it wasn’t much fun, it was still worth it.
I never seemed to know from one day to the next, what kind of day it would be. Because of this we kept our schedule light and flexible. Usually, only scheduling only one, 2 to 3-hour appointment or outing in any given day. Sometimes that was pushing it. The Lord had brought us a little Real Estate business, and because Heather and I were working together, we were able to handle it just fine.
In April of 2014, I had another CT scan. A week later at my monthly oncology appointment, I spoke with the nurse while waiting for Dr. E to come in with the results. “Do you have other lung cancer patients?”
“Oh yes, tons of them,” then she quietly added, “But none of them are doing as well as you.”
I then asked about a patient that I had heard was on the same targeted drug as I, and had been doing well.
“She’s not on Tarceva anymore,” was all the nurse had to say with a sober look on her face.
I had never taken it lightly that I had continued to defy the odds, and that month after month I had remained stable. I can’t really accurately put into words my appreciation for the prayers continued to be offered up on our behalf. I frequently ran into people who had heard of our situation and prayed for me daily.
Dr. E came into the exam room and gave us the news that for the first time in over a year, something had changed. One, lone, lymph node had doubled in size. Dr. E said that she wasn’t concerned. It was possible that it wasn’t even cancer-related.
Heather was doubtful. “So, are you completely comfortable waiting three months for the next scan? Because I really want to make sure we stay on top of this.”
Dr. E reassured us, “I am certain that we can wait until the next CT scan.”
“Three months?” Heather still wasn’t comfortable with it.
“Yes, because even if Dan is getting resistant to the Tarceva, he will still have some protection. We will be able to get a better idea of what is going on after another three months. Then if there is a progression, we will have to reassess the treatment plan.”
Heather reluctantly agreed.
In late June, 2014, I had the long awaited CT scan. We didn’t feel very good about this one, after the change three months earlier. We were both feeling the tension of, “scanxiety.” It is amazing how you can push the cancer subject from your mind for months and then it rears its ugly head again every three months.
You can learn more about Dan Erickson, his family, and his ministry at his blog,”Dan’s Pulpit.” Follow “Facing Cancer With Grace,” to read our continuing story.