We are home!
I completed all of my diagnostic tests at MD Anderson in only one day, rather than the standard five days, and we were able to come home last night and surprise the kids with our early arrival! Besides getting to see their sweet faces much sooner than anticipated, I was so blessed to be at Maddie’s first game as a Wampus Cat dancer.
We arrived at the football stadium a mere five minutes before her dance team took the field. I wish I could have taken a picture of the shocked look on her face when she saw me; it was such a fun and memorable night for us all!
We will leave for Houston again Sunday afternoon and I have to be at the hospital at 8:00 Monday morning for a few more tests and my first treatment. If all goes well, and I am fully believing it will, we should be home again Tuesday night.
My chemo regimen is a little complicated, and while I don’t want to get too technical, I will try to explain it for those who are interested.
As I mentioned yesterday, I have triple negative breast cancer, which means it tested negative for both hormone receptors and HER2. Only 10-20% of breast cancers are triple negative. Combine those percentages with the type of cancer I have, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, which accounts for only 1% of all breast cancers, and you begin to understand why my diagnosis is so uncommon.
However, the rarity of my condition enables me to qualify for several clinical trials. These studies are not experimental drugs, they are all FDA approved; however, they are still being heavily researched and are not yet available to the general public.
One of the reasons I sought treatment at MD Anderson was because I was hopeful I would qualify for this cutting edge treatment. It offers me my best chance for non-recurrence and a positive prognosis.
About 5:30 this afternoon I received a call from my doctor and she told me our insurance has approved my participation in all of the clinical studies for which I qualified. This is a huge answer to prayer! I am grateful to have the opportunity to improve my prognosis and possibly help someone else that may also receive this diagnosis later on.
One of the studies I am participating in directly involves my chemotherapy. I will be taking standard chemo which includes Taxol and FEC, which is a combination of the following three chemotherapy drugs:
- 5 Fluorouracil (also known as 5FU)
In addition, I will take three other types of Chemo that are part of one of the clinical studies of which I am participating. These drugs are Nab-Paclitaxel, Carboplatin, and Panitumibab.
Lots of big words there, but here’s what it means to me — I have a tough eight months ahead of me with the potential for many unpleasant and grueling side effects, but those drugs are offering me a chance to beat this and not suffer recurrence later down the road.
It is not being guaranteed, of course, but it does increase my odds for being completely cured, rather than just treated.
However, I want you to know this: I have studied percentages, odds, and statistics, and I do understand the potential this treatment has to cure me, but my real hope comes from the Lord.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. — Psalm 62:5
Without my unwavering faith in God and my firm belief that He will see me through this, the drugs by themselves mean very little to me. I am grateful for my doctors, am incredibly thankful to qualify for these clinical studies, and so very appreciative for the scientific research that has allowed these drugs to be developed, but my real hope, my only hope, is in Him.
I have been replaying a hymn over and over in my mind that I used to sing many times as a child and young adult in church:
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
Without God, we have no hope. The cures of man can only do so much. The Bible tells us in Matthew 19:26 that, “With man, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” I am standing on His word today.
My hope is built on nothing less.
We are so glad you got home so quickly especially for sweet Maddie’s first game. Yay, yay for clinical studies. Your faith is inspiring. The Lord will heal you. We are confident . Your strength and faith reaches far beyond your own family. Your story impacts our family daily. We are praying daily and looking forward to helping you in every way possible.
Donna Hurt says
So glad you got to be there for Maddie’s game. We are praying for y’all. We love you. God is truly awesome. I love that old song such wonderful words.
Trina Mitchell says
I’ve been singing this hymn for days… And I don’t typically sing hymns. 😉 God must have laid it on my heart for YOU!
Constant prayers for you, Tina!
Garry Moore says
Love you Tina and we are praying for you !
Angel Rencher says
And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in my weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Dianne Slayton says
Tina, I have had you on my heart since I heard your report. When I opened my devotional book this morning, the words I read brought you to my mind. I wanted to share some of it with you because as you said, your reliance on The Great Physician is what will get you through the next eight months.
Here is what it said: “DO EVERYTHING in dependence on Me. Self-sufficiency is subtle, insinuating its way into your thoughts and actions without your realizing it. But apart from Me, you can do nothing. Use your freedom of choice wisely by relying on Me constantly. Thus you enjoy My Presence and My Peace.”
Please remember that you are being brought before The Lord. If there is a specific thing you would like for me to pray with you about all you have to do is ask. You are strong in your faith and God will honor that faith. I love you sweet girl!
Anne Tucker says
Praying for your strength and peace in the coming days and for that of your family. I know there will be tough ones but you’re a tough cookie and have so much faith in the The Lord. He will honor that faithfulness. I am praying for complete healing!!!
Jeannie Hancock says
I don’t know if we have ever met, I am Lena’s sister-in-law, I just wanted you to know, we are praying for you and believing that God will give you a healing miracle. The kind of faith you have shown is a beautiful and inspiring thing, you are a precious example of a good, Godly woman. We will continue to hold you up in prayer until you and your medical team have beaten this thing, God bless you!
Rebecca Milburn Neitch says
Praying for you! You are an amazing woman to handle this the way that you are. Leaning on God is the best plan. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I ask also that you pray for me as well. I have a very aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis. I also lean on God for guidance and strength.