Today’s blog is from Christy, has cancer. We have been praying for her. Open Door Mission lovingly prays for our staff, guests, donors, volunteers and anyone in the community that asks us to pray. Every week we send out a “prayer request” list to staff. Prayer is an important part of the daily life at the Mission. It has been our privilege to pray for Christy… it would be a privilege to pray for you too.
We all have our favorite ice cream, right? Since moving to Gretna I have particularly fallen in love with the Butterfinger Blast from Sonic. Countless Friday night Jason and I would get the largest blast, two spoons, and share it. It was one of our favorite activities of the week, simple as it was.
Last July, when diagnosed again with cancer, Jason and I decided to a take more radical and natural approach to build my immune system by eating a strict vegan organic diet, made of mostly vegetables. Even though we had a life and death motivation, it was still difficult. One of the things I missed most was our Friday night Sonic Blast date nights. As committed as we were to the diet, I decided that if ever I got news that the cancer was shrinking, even the tiniest bit, I would celebrate with a Butterfinger Blast. My mom and Jason’s mom started to pray for a Butterfinger Blast day…they have been praying for 10 months.
Starting in late June, I have had many many scans done to see and monitor the cancer in my body, including an MRI looking for brain cancer consuming most of our anniversary day. The original scans showed a tumor in my liver, and numerous tumors spread through out my bones, including my spine, hips, ribs, and sternum. And in my lungs they saw over 100 cancer spots. I asked a doctor once how many tumors I had in my body and they said it was impossible to say because there were so many. Repeated scans in October and December confirmed unquestionably that the cancer continued to grow, showing no signs of stopping. These were crushing blows making it near impossible to hold onto any strands of hope. YOU however, carried us in to the loving arms of Jesus through your relentless prayers.
During those long dark days, God was doing something in the deepest places of our hearts that would not have been possible without unbearable pain. There were battles to be fought, victories to claim, and most importantly a full and confident trust that JESUS IS ALL WE NEED. Emotions aside, circumstances aside, fear aside…He was there, and always will be. My faith now is based on the truth of God’s Word, not how I feel or what I am walking though. It’s been a tough assignment, but we have learned what it means in the old hymn to Trust and Obey…for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus.
I had another PET scan. I have been on a higher dose of a different chemo since December and it was time to see if it was at all effective. Jason and I have never once gotten a scan result back that had an ounce of good news. We are relatively seasoned now to manage the disappointments and pain involved with these days. My sister Karen called me the day before the scan to remind me that the scan was only telling me what was happening in my body right now – it was not a scan telling me what the future held…only God knows and God is in control. It was what I kept repeating in my head as we waited for the results. Jason and I both noticed that neither one of us was over anxious as we waited, we truly were at peace, as much as we hated having to do this. Truly a miracle in our books.
We heard the details of my latest scan. It was a Buttterfinger Blast day. It still hasn’t really sunk in….but yes, the cancer has shrunk, and not just a little – a lot. EVERY SINGLE TUMOR has shrunk by 50% – literally cut in half. I have HALF the cancer I did 4 months ago. AND…some of the spots in my lungs have completely disappeared…AND the tumor marker number dropped from 39 to 33. The treatment is working, we now have control over the cancer. We understand that because of the amount of cancer I have, it can come and go, flare up, disappear, come back, etc…it will be a life long battle. But for today, we eat Butterfinger Blasts.
Grateful. Humbled. You will have to be patient with us as we still don’t have the words to express how grateful we are that God has chosen to give us this gift.
Will you celebrate our loving and powerful Savior by treating yourself or someone you love to a Butterfinger Blast or Blizzard, or whatever your local ice cream shop calls it? My Dad bought the pastoral and office staff Butterfinger Blizzards to celebrate, and of course us Curries had them too.
And by the way….we didn’t’ share this time…I ate the whole thing.