Cancer Stinks, But God Is Bigger!!

We returned this morning from Houston.  The dreary weather kind of matches our dreary moods.  Unfortunately, we did not get the report that we had hoped for….that Greg had no new cancer sites in his body.  Instead, the tests revealed several new places in various bones throughout his body….hip, femur, spine and ribs.  Also, the tumor in is right thigh is significantly bigger…which we were already aware of.  We are very saddened by this news and are just trying to figure out what this means for our immediate future.  The first step is to make sure that there is no cancer in his brain.  Typically when all scans are done, an MRI of the brain is included.  It was inadvertently left off of his schedule and not realized until we met with the doctor.  So yesterday evening after seeing the oncologist, Greg had the MRI done.  We won’t know the results until early next week.  Assuming that the MRI is clear, this will be the plan:

1. Several years ago, Greg was diagnosed with glaucoma.  At a routine check-up a couple of weeks ago, the doctor discovered that he had a hole in his retina.  The hole has healed itself on one side, but the other side has not healed.  So, this coming Thursday, Greg will be having laser surgery to completely seal off this hole.  Whether or not this is related to the oral chemo or not seems to be debatable.  But, because of this (and because Greg’s response to the oral chemo seemed to be lessening), he will not be restarting this.  Also because of the glaucoma, some treatments will not be an option for Greg.

2. The following week, we will probably be going back to Houston for Greg to have the tumor in his thigh surgically removed.  We plan to have it used to harvest TIL cells for use in a clinical trial at a later date if needed.  Some of the tissue from the heart tumor was used to try to harvest cells, but unfortunately, they did not grow.

3.  Once Greg recovers from this surgery (1-2 weeks), he would begin a cycle of biochemotherapy.  This therapy involves the use of several different chemo drugs along with some immunological drugs.  He would be in the hospital for 7 days.  Days 1-5, he would receive different combinations of these drugs intravenously.  Days 6-7 are considered “recovery days”.  He would not be getting the drugs on these days, but would need this time for monitoring as his body recovers from all of the medications.  He would then be out of the hospital for 2 weeks, then return for another round of the same thing.  This could be done up to 6 times, depending on how well he tolerates it and how effective it is.  After two rounds, scans would be repeated to check for any changes.

So as you can see, we still have a long road ahead of us.  Although we are saddened by these changes, we find comfort in the fact that our God NEVER changes!  He continues to be in control and our faith and trust continues to be in Him…not in any treatment, test or man.  We know that everything that happens to us, as children of God are for our good and His glory.  That doesn’t mean that we like it, or that we understand it, or that we don’t experience sadness, grief, or disappointment over it.  It just means that as we have trusted Him for our salvation (eternal health), we also trust Him for our earthly health.  We believe that nothing can touch us, except for what He allows.  We believe that He is faithful and He is good!

This next week is shaping up to be quite a busy one, as we move Katie home from college on Wednesday and she prepares to leave for camp training , celebrate Jake’s 14th birthday on Thursday, have Greg’s eye surgery also on Thursday and celebrate Emilie’s high school graduation on Saturday!  We thank God for the occasions to celebrate in the midst of the hard things.

We would ask that you please continue to pray for our family about the following things:

1. That we would handle our circumstances in a way that pleases the Lord and points others to Him.

2. That the MRI that was done will show NO evidence of cancer in Greg’s brain.

3. That the current areas showing up on the scans would not get any bigger and no other new areas will come up while Greg continues to be off of chemo.

4. That the eye surgery would go well with no complications.

5. That Greg’s body would be completely healed of ALL cancer.

6. That the upcoming celebrations would not be overshadowed by our current circumstances.

Once again we want to thank you all for being so faithful to pray for us and for providing for us in so many different ways over the last several months.  We are so blessed to have each of you in our lives!

Trusting His Plan,

Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  John 11:4


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Faye
    May 04, 2013 @ 18:23:01

    My heart is saddened, too, that your family is having to walk through this painful, uncertain journey. I can only think that God must have a great purpose behind the scenes to allow it to continue this far. Your family, through all of this, has truely been a testamony to his love and peace, power and faithfulness. Thank you for the encouragement you bring to the rest of us in the midst of your journey!



  2. Gina Ramsey
    May 04, 2013 @ 18:47:38

    Even though it breaks my heart to read this post I have to say that you and Greg are such an inspiration to everyone who knows you. I love you both and know that God will give you what you need to continue this journey. I will have the whole family in my thoughts and prayers every day. Gina



  3. Me
    May 04, 2013 @ 19:00:24

    Hey at church. Can I call you later?

    Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless



  4. Kim
    May 04, 2013 @ 19:13:30

    I can’t imagine what you are going through. What a testimony of peace you are in the midst of this storm you are in. We are holding your family, especially Greg, up in prayer as you walk through this next process. Please keep us posted.



  5. rhondaboyle
    May 04, 2013 @ 19:34:35



  6. Bethany Johnson
    May 04, 2013 @ 20:51:45

    We are so sorry your news was not what we all wanted for you. Thank you for sharing words of faith from your heart. Read them often as you are certain to have many ups and downs ahead. We agree and will join you in your prayers requests listed.

    Love from, Bethany and family




  7. Dorcas
    May 05, 2013 @ 20:01:09

    I am so encouraged every time I read your updates…your strong relationship with God will be the Rock in the midst of the many changes. We will continue to pray for your and your family! We miss you all….

    Dorcas Miller



  8. Amanda Owenby
    May 06, 2013 @ 08:46:20

    Thought of you all this morning, Sandra. I was reading Joshua 9 and 10. It was a continual reminder, that even with the struggles and sins of the Israelites and all they did and went through, God was the same. He was the rock that didn’t change, they changed-they struggled and he just stayed there as the amazingly HUGE entity, waiting on them and for them and delivering them. Our lives seems to spin out of control and be wild and out of reach at times…and no doubt you especially feel this. BUT he is a rock and he doesn’t move and he is dependable. I can see that you see him this way as well. Praying for you.



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