Thank you to everyone for all of your prayers and support throughout our ups and downs of yesterday. We literally felt and continue to feel all the prayers... yesterday ended so much better than I imagined possible. God used many situations to remind us that He hasn't fallen off His throne and His purpose for our heartache is so much bigger than we can comprehend (doesn't mean it's easy though and the "what if" monster still won't shut up, but it's more of a whisper now verses a shout). Abby handled the conversation about Andrew's surgery and the next steps great and showed so much spiritual maturity. This is the same kid that randomly texted us a scripture verse while we were in the fiery furnace yesterday, trying to decide with the surgeon what to do with Andrew while he was opened up in the OR (whipple or not), however, she had no earthly idea we were sitting in that situation. Then, later that night responded to the news about Andrew's surgery by reminding me of the lyrics to the song that was playing in the background "His plans are for me." While we are worried about how to minister to her she is busy ministering to us. We still need to talk to Andrew about how surgery went, please pray he has peace about it too. He has been super uncomfortable to the point he doesn't want to be touched or talk (it breaks our heart), so we haven't been able to talk to him much.
David spoke to Dr Liu in Denver late last night and it was comforting to hear that he is still very much against the whipple, just as he was when we met with him a few months ago, and was happy to hear that the surgeons did not move forward with the whipple. We are beginning to see the pieces of the next step sort of becoming a little more clear. We spoke with Andrew's oncologist here in Iowa yesterday evening and we came up with a plan for next steps, since we are not giving up on this fight. The next step is to get full genomic testing done asap in an effort to figure out what targets Andrew's tumors have that we can go after (that process is already underway as the tissue samples were overnighted to MD Anderson yesterday). Depending on what is found during this sequencing, we may start a more aggressive chemo which will be much harder on his body, he will definitely lose his hair, etc, or another type of chemo, or a targeted therapy, and at some point PRRT. Our oncologist said when her and the surgeon spoke yesterday after surgery, the surgeon said they may be able to go after the tumors again if we are able to shrink them (he didn't mention that to us, but we were elated to hear he mentioned that to her). We have learned not to hold on too tightly to what we think the next best steps/goals are because, well we aren't God (which is actually a great thing), so pray God makes the next step clear and we have peace about it (especially Andrew). I just hate all that our sweet boy has to endure, but I know God hates it too.
Yesterday, I was begging God to show me His hand in all of this and help me see how it can be in any way good and He answered by using sweet soldiers sending us messages about how our journey has bolstered their faith or their children's faith, serving as a powerful reminder that we don't suffer in vain (although, it's still crazy hard 😉). Also, reading your comments of hope (not giving up or being defeteated) and determination to fight along with us literally carried my limping soul yesterday, so thank you for that and please continue to join us in fixing our eyes squarely on Jesus and fighting on!
They are going to try to get Andrew up and sitting in a chair now, so I have to run, but know we love and appreciate each of you more than you know.