As I’m sure some of you already know from my post on facebook yesterday, we got the news that Kevin’s cancer has continued to progress and that he is definitely off of the anti-PD1 trial at UCLA. We were sad to hear this, but frankly, not surprised. Kevin has been feeling worse in many ways, and the tumors that we can see on the outside of his body have grown even to the human eye. We were actually quite grateful that there was no especially bad news in the scans, suggesting a sudden burst of growth or something. We have a few options that we are working on and we will let everyone know as soon as Plan E is finalized.
This brings me now to the title of my post. As many of you know, after Kevin’s last set of scans about a month ago, I wrote this post to share the confusing and exciting news that Kevin was not, after all, off the trial and that there was still a chance that the treatment was working, even though the scans had shown disease progression. We put a request out to all of you dear friends who read our blog and facebook for help getting the whole family out to Los Angeles so we could be together for the holidays, and the sheer volume of response was so overwhelming that it made me cry. And now here we are, in some ways, right back where we were a month ago, with bad news and trying to figure out what the next step will be.
So I’m going to throw something crazy out there. I STILL think this was a Christmas miracle. Yes, Kevin still has cancer. Yes, the cancer has gotten worse. Yes, things still look bleak for his prognosis. But the miracle is this: God heard our prayers and gave us the holiday season to be with family instead of trudging up to Washington D.C. to start getting ready for an extremely brutal inpatient treatment. We’ve had the last three weeks to be together and have lot’s of family fun time. We had Christmas morning at Kevin’s cousin’s house, and we have the rest of this week to enjoy a family holiday vacation before jumping back into the fire of cancer treatment.
Just days before our last LA trip, our physician’s assistant at Emory called us to go over the scan results. We both remember her saying that there were seven new spots on Kevin’s lungs. When we went in to see the UCLA doctors, they went over the same report with us and there was no mention of anything new. According to the report, the spots had been there before and had simply grown larger. This is very important, because the fact that the report showed no new cancer was what allowed Kevin to have one more month to give this treatment a shot and what gave us the opportunity to be together as a family for the holidays.
Now do I think that those reports somehow magically changed over the weekend, when our church in LA prayed fervently over Kevin for healing? Yeah, frankly, I do. Yes, it’s possible that our physician’s assistant made a mistake and incorrectly interpreted the report to us, but neither of us remember him having lung metastases before. And besides, she’s awesome and has lots of letters after her name. I am choosing to believe that God heard our prayers and changed His mind. You know He’s in the business of doing that, right? There is story after story in the Bible of God planning to do one thing, then someone prays, and then God does something else.
So, yeah, this all sucks. We had really hoped, even if we didn’t honestly believe that we would have good news yesterday and that Kevin could just keep plugging away on this trial. We still hope that we will find a treatment that will work. And we’re still sad and scared and trying not to worry and really, really exhausted. And our faith wavers on a moment to moment basis. And sometimes we get mad at God. And sometimes we just want to run away from it all. And sometimes we just hold each other tight and wonder how this whole things is going to turn out.
Yesterday, Kevin was saying that he really believes there is a story here. I mean seriously, at this point, if he makes it through, it will already be a miracle. I mean we’re going to be on Plan E, for pete’s sake! But I think he’s onto something. No matter how this plays out, there is a story unfolding. It’s God’s story, and only He knows how it will end, but it’s a beautiful, powerful story of how. much. He loves us.
And it’s a story of hope… that we never stop believing that God is working things out.
And it’s a story of grace under fire and of strength and endurance.
It’s a beautiful story, and I want to just keep telling it the best I can and pray for God to keep carrying us through to the very end.