Round One is in the books.
We arrived for our appointment last Friday and got all checked in. We were there for an appointment with Robin, the APRN we see every 2 weeks or so. Because of a scheduling snafu, we didn’t end up seeing her but Corey was also scheduled for an infusion and injection that morning, so we went straight into the infusion center. I’m relieved to say, we did not run into our City Councilwoman, thus removing any chance of me sticking my foot in my mouth. Like, any chance.
They put us in a private room, you guys.
I don’t consider myself an overly sensitive person but I do have to admit that I wondered, “Oh my goodness, was I really that bad?” as we sat there alone. In our private room. “Hello from the other siiiiiiiiide…” kept looping through my head as I looked out into the brightly lit common area…
…and then I quickly decided to tuck my melancholy away and look on the bright side as they delivered us both good and not-so-good news. We were there to review the lab results from the end of Round One, as well as receive the first treatments for Round Two.
The good news was that the three proteins they’re watching most closely took a very good drop after the first 21 days of treatment. One of them took a 200+ point drop and one took a 100+ point drop. Those are some pretty significant drops! If this trend continues, there’s a good chance we’ll be able to reach remission in the 4-5 round range, as opposed to the 6-8 round range.
Understand with total certainty that we give the credit to the Lord for answered prayer here. With the lack of super severe side effects and the good results from the labs, we know He is walking with us each day of this journey.
The not-so-great news they delivered was that they couldn’t give Corey the bone-strengthening infusion because his kidney function is down. Remember, MM is a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow so it’s important to look after the health of his bones. Kidney problems are a major side effect of two of the five drugs he’s currently taking, so they’re having to juxtapose the need to keep his bones healthy with the need to keep his kidneys healthy. Because his bones aren’t in terrible shape, round one of this fight goes to the kidneys.
Understand again, and with the same certainty, that we still know the Lord is walking with us each day of this journey. We don’t only trust Him when the news is good. We trust Him in all ways and with an unshaken faith.
I was recently invited to speak at a women’s worship night at our church and I felt led right away to a really cool story (out of 2 Chronicles chapter 20) about the power of worship. The children of Israel were facing some pretty terrifying odds but they sought the Lord (instead of panicking), saying, “we have no power to face this… we do not know what to do but our eyes are on you.” Obviously the story hit home, because we’re facing some pretty terrifying odds ourselves, and we too know that we have no power to do anything about it. Skip forward a couple verses and the Lord answers them saying, “Do not be afraid or discouraged… for the battle is not yours but God’s… Stand firm and see the deliverance of the Lord!” Awesome! Then, after a period of focused and purposeful worship, the Lord delivers them without them ever having to lift a finger (OK, sword) in battle! I love how this story demonstrates how God can move on our behalf and deliver us from the most terrifying situations through obedient worship, and I knew this story would be perfect for the kind of event I was speaking at.
Sharing about our own personal journey was not on the agenda. I really did not want to share about this in such a public setting and wasn’t planning on it. At all. (Having you read this and having me tell this live and in person are so very different….)
But then I couldn’t sleep one night (Preparation H or tea bags, anyone?!?!) so I went downstairs and was kinda talking to the Lord and said, “I love this story about how you delivered your children without them ever having to leave the (literal or figurative) mountain top, but what about the times when you don’t do that? What about the times we find ourselves down in that valley, bloodied and bruised and fighting for our lives? Then what?”
And as surely as I felt Him lead me to the story in 2 Chronicles, I felt Him lead me to Isaiah 43 where He promises, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I AM the Lord your God… your Savior.”
That’s where He’s taking us right now. Yes, he can and sometimes does deliver us on the mountaintop without our ever having to actually step into battle. And sometimes He takes us through, and we see victory on the other side of a hard-fought battle. A couple things I learned in comparing these two stories are that His promises always begin with “Fear not!” and they always end with a promise that He will save and deliver us. Both are beautiful and both are certain.
I knew the Lord was asking me to share what He was showing me and I’m not gonna lie, it was difficult to pull the curtain back a bit and share something so personal – out loud and in person. But I also knew if the Lord was showing this to me, it was because others could benefit from the same truths. So I did share (while praying desperately not to display the “ugly crying face” to the crowd! ;)) and of course the outpouring of support and love and prayers was completely beautiful.
We’re in the through right now. There are battle wounds and there will be scars. The areas where Corey receives his chemo injections result in some pretty gnarly burns; his kidney function being down is definitely not a good thing. But the drop in the cancerous proteins is a huge victory, and we choose to celebrate that!
So here’s to the good news and the promises we receive in the through.
Today marks 30 days since we started treatment. There are still several months to go, but we are holding on to the promise that the Lord will be with us on the mountaintop when we celebrate victories as well as in the valley when we’re fighting with all our might. Thanks for being in the battle with us and for your continued support and prayers. We definitely feel them and they’re helping carry us…through.
P.S. I heard this song today while I was driving. I’ve heard it before but thought I’d share it, in light of the content of this post. I’m sure it’ll bless you like it did me. 💛