I’ve been a guinea pig in every aspect of my life over the last seven years. We kind of love it, we kind of gravitate towards it, we kind of thrive in it. We love the experimental element of it, we love being on the edge of something unknown, we grow tired of the already and has been…but that was all true until today. Today we found out that the type of cancer I have is one in a million. No wait, one in a few hundred million, maybe even more. Turns out virtually nobody has what I have. The Mayo Clinic is not done testing and retesting my tumor, they’ve even begun to look and re-look at my original MRI scans. They’ve invited other doctors to check and recheck it all out as well because its all so rare and unknown. They know what it is, it’s a level four astrocytoma called a glioblastoma. The only hang up is that they are not supposed to be in your spinal cord. Mine is. Spinal cord astrocytoma’s act and look differently than mine does and they therefore are quite baffled as to what to do with it.
Here’s what we know, we know that if it’s in your brain you have a six-month to five year life expectancy more or less. But mine is not in my brain. We know that this type of cancer spreads rapidly in the brain, that within three months it can spread and take over all of it. We know that people over the age of sixty are usually given less than a year to live, that children are given a 25% chance to pass five years…if its in your brain. We know that my cancer is in my spine…which changes everything. It means that there’s no precedence for how to treat it, no expectation for how it will move, no cases on which to base things. It is good news that there’s no signs that it’s in my brain right now and it gives hope that my life expectancy is longer than what they’re saying. We know that I’ve got chemo and radiation ahead of me, we know that I’ve got lots of tests ahead of me to discover if its growing and if its anywhere else in my body. And most importantly we know that we’re going to fight this hard. We know that God has been faithful thus far not in just bringing healing to my body but even and especially in transforming this shit into something beautiful and life changing. There is no reason to think or believe that things will be any different as we move forward. We know that we can count on all of you to continue to lift us up in prayer and to continually show us what tangible love looks like. We know that this sucks and that we were hoping for an easier journey but we’re up for whatever life throws at us (ok, we don’t have a choice, but with our faith, our friends, and our family beside us we can move forward with confidence!)
Ugh, this sucks, our hearts are breaking thinking of the potential long term effects of this are. Short term we’ve got lots of meetings with doctors, lots of tests to be done, chemo to start, radiation to begin, and who knows what else! Thank you all for getting us this far already. Here we go for round two.