Precious Andrew’s Army, it’s been a few weeks since I have posted on the blog, for which I apologize. I just haven’t found even a few seconds to do so. This past weekend, David and I went to California for David’s 20 year high school reunion. It just so happens that some of my very best friends went to high school with David (or a high school near by). We had such a blast getting away just us two for 48 hours (I just love time with my man), spending time in our old stomping grounds that will always feel like home, and spending time with dear friends.
LOVE these girls! Check out the perfect shirt they had made for me. It says #But God on the front and all different titles from various blog posts on the back!
It's a tradition... lunch on the pier at Ruby's!
Dinner and lots of laughs with some dear friends!
My hot date ;-)
Two out of three of my Cali besties!
My Mother and Father in Love that held down the fort while we were gone!
Andrew started Afinitor three weeks ago now and so far so good, in term of its physical toll on Andrew. While he is a little more tired and has to do a super nasty mouth wash 3-4 times a day to prevent awful canker sores, he’s doing good! He is still joyful and full of energy (energy that can only be explained by God because there is a giant war going on in his body). He got his monthly shot in his butt this week and despite it being very painful he was still very brave. The shot has to go deep into the muscle (it’s a 19 gauge... very thick needle and the medication is very viscous, so it doesn't go in fast and it burns going in). The shot is supposed to help with pain and (hopefully) halt or slow the progression of his cancer. We won't know until early October if the Afinitor is working (it isn’t easy waiting 3 months to see if a particular medication is even touching the cancer) because that is when he will get another scan. We are still waiting to hear back from Iowa as to if the PRRT trial is open and available to Andrew. Without the power of the living God being unleashed through these medications/treatments it will all be in vain, so will you please join us in praying that the Lord would use these medications/treatments to wreak havoc on Andrew’s cancer and shut it down?
Love this picture! What would you guess they are watching?
Grace got to return to her happy (Gigi's Playhouse) place now that she is past her sternal precaution from surgery which includes staying away from germs. The lesson was on dinosaurs. They are digging for dinosaur bones of course!
God has taught me a lot over the past couple weeks, as to how I’m suppose to endure this journey, because one thing that is difficult to wrap my mind around is that there is a high likelihood that Andrew will battle this disease for the rest of his life. What I mean by that is, Neuroendocrine Tumor cancer is very different than many other cancers. With many cancers you are diagnosed, there is a protocol to treat that you start immediately, and you can hope that at a certain point and time (at the conclusion of the protocol) that you are NED (no evidence of disease) and you stay that way. Andrew’s type of cancer doesn’t come with a protocol and has no cure to date, which means the strategy is to knock the cancer down as long as possible and when it rears its ugly head again, you try and knock it down again, and again, and again. There aren’t many treatment options (although there has been a handful of new treatments over the past 5 years, compared to the one or two that were available for the previous 30 years), so the other hope is that your cancer will respond to the available treatments because the options are limited. There are Neuroendocrine Tumor patients that have received the news that they are NED; however, at this point the cancer returns 100% of the time. All that to say, if the Lord allows us to hang on to our boy for a long time we will likely be battling cancer the entire time; the cancer journey will likely not end for us while Andrew has an earthly body. Trust me when I tell you, we have full confidence and hope that God can miraculously heal our boy and that is exactly what we are praying for and to be honest, we don't even care how He does it (cast out cancer with a mere command, after all He created the world by just speaking it into being, so that would be nothing for Him, or if he uses Drs and medications). Here is where the enemy gets busy, speaking lies into my mind… lies like “He can heal Andrew, but He probably won’t” or as he reminds me of how “bad” his cancer is and the fact that so far the chemo we tried hasn’t worked, surgery didn’t go as we had hoped and prayed for “so it’s a sign of what’s to come, nothing is going to work.” Throughout this journey, which began on Feb 22nd of this year, I have asked God to give me some sort of sign as to where we are going, to prepare my heart for what’s to come, and there have been a couple of times that I felt like He spoke very clearly to me, but then I find myself questioning Him “God was that really from you or was that something I dreamed up”… you know the doubt or questions for clarity. A couple weeks ago, I was going through a moment or two or three of brokenness (periodically, when I find myself overcome with sadness, frustration, or fear I will have to wait until I have time alone, which is most often in my car, when I can listen to my playlist of songs that allow me to experience brokenness and weep and as the playlist goes on be built up with truth and hope) and I was pleading with God, asking Him to speak to me and help me see where we were headed. In His wisdom and tenderness He very clearly told me to just trust Him. At first that answer felt too short and simple, after all that’s exactly what He tells His people all throughout scripture. Maybe I was hoping for something “new,” but that is when God tenderly and very accurately reminded me that even if He told me what was ahead I would still have questions, I would still ask Him if I had heard Him right, to clarify, etc, so His answer of “trust me” was exactly what I needed to be reminded. It was in that moment I decided to hope on, hope for a long life for Andrew (if He has other plans for Andrew’s future His grace will be sufficient for that time), hope on until God says otherwise. I will trust Him. You know those are fighting words for the enemy, so the temptation bombs of fear will continue to fly with increased accuracy, so will you please pray that I/we can put on our armor for battle and hold on to hope, despite the whizzing of bombs past our heads and the smell of smoke in the air?
This about sums it up!
Praying God's favor over each of you! Praying you know how much God loves you and how much the Ross family loves you too!!!