Hi y’all! I promise the usual Weekly Update post is coming! But before we jump into the giveaways… I have an update on my sweet daddy who you’ve been so faithful to pray for during the past two and a half years.
His multiple myeloma had been holding steady until November of last year when the main blood marker they measure tripled in a month (not a good thing) … and then doubled again a week later (really not a good thing). The team at Emory immediately switched his treatment plan (myeloma cells are smart & tricky and can actually change their DNA to become resistant to whatever treatment you’re using), and in just THREE weeks his numbers had gone from the 1200s to 27. Yes, twenty-seven. Near normal levels for someone without myeloma. The next time they ran the blood work it was 23. Even better. We were thrilled! A terrific Christmas gift to those of us (namely me lol) who had been holding our breath to see which emotions we would need to process.
And then this past week, the numbers came back again.
Yes. Zero indication of myeloma in the main blood marker they measure to track the cancer’s progress. Words like ‘remission’ were being said by excited Emory docs, and my family and I were first stunned and then, of course, ecstatic and having major praise time with God. When my dad was first diagnosed, we were told by the doctors here in Kentucky not to expect remission. And even though the Emory doctors were much more optimistic, my dad has responded better and more quickly than even they expected.
We are so touched by and in awe of God’s grace and mercy, of His provision, of His kindness toward us. We are so thankful for your prayers. We are rejoicing in this remission, but also continuing to pray for protection from general illness with his lowered immune system. He will continue on this course of treatment as long as he stays in remission & as long as side effects allow.
Here’s the thing, though.
This same week, I heard of a dear friend’s dear friend – a mother about my age – whose cancer prognosis is much worse than expected. Any new treatment is off the table and palliative care is all that’s being recommended. Another friend has a young son with cancer who is back in the hospital for infection again; he was diagnosed about the same time as my dad was. Today I heard the tragic news that Kobe Bryant and his teenage daughter were killed in a helicopter accident. He leaves behind a wife and three other daughters, including a newborn. Author Mary Weber has had a year of “scary and severe health issues” and after the discovery of prevalent toxic mold causing the illnesses, their whole house (that they’re still paying off) has to be torn down & ALL their personal belongings (including photos, etc.) have to be thrown out. Heartbreaking. Gutwrenching. As much as my heart rejoices over my dad’s news, my heart also grieves with these friends who are still in the valley.
Ups and downs.
We each experience them in our own lives, we see them in a magnified way on social media, and when we’re faced with a life-upending dose of bad news, we often experience ups and downs in the extreme.
Matthew says that God gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good… that he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. We know that my dad’s news could just have easily gone the other way. We know that we’re not deserving of this miracle. None of us are. It doesn’t mean that we have more favor than the dear hearts I mentioned above. Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth.
And the Truth is that God is good. No matter what. We live in a broken world full of ups and downs. But God is greater than our ups and downs. Greater than our highs and lows. He’s good in the good news. He’s good in the bad news. Same God. The God of the mountain is also the God of the valley. Even in the downs of my dad’s cancer journey, God has been with us every step of the way. And that deserves praise no matter what news we get – that the God of the universe has engraved us on the palm of His hand.
And one day… everything sad will be made untrue. He will wipe away every tear and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. “All of these things are gone forever.”
So all that to say (lol) – THANK YOU for praying. And please keep praying for his health and his cancer ninja skills. But above all, please pray that God will be glorified in the battle.