Friday, December 4, 2015


Sometimes, answering prayers doesn't look the way you want it to.

This week, Dan got a call from our doctor that his pesky abnormal T-cells are showing up in his spinal fluid. This has flummoxed our doctor (her words). He should be responding to those spinal taps of chemo, and the T-cells should be responding in such a way that there aren't those pesky abnormal T-cells.

So, this next round of chemo (which, God-willing, is the last) is going to entail Dan spending 3 (or more) days at the U of M hospital receiving a higher dosage of one of the CHOP+E drugs. How long he stays will depend on how well his body does at excreting the stuff. This dosage is supposed to get past the brain/blood barrier - so those blasted little cancer cells get good and dead.

Cartoon courtesy of the Awkward Yeti; props to the lovely Andrea for sharing [she is not an awkward yeti]
Most likely, Dan is going to need a bone marrow transplant sometime in early 2016. {Note: this is my understanding - from what Dan has relayed to me from his conversation with the doctor, so take it with a grain of salt} My understanding is that the transplant isn't necessarily to get rid of the cancer, but more accurately needed to reset Dan's immune system. Currently, the levels of the Epstein-Barr virus are undetectable (based on the blood work taken every 3 weeks); his red & white blood cell counts have been good (usually in the normal range - again based on blood work) - both major improvements from July 2015.

So, why the presence of the abnormal T-cell? This is the perplexing nature of Dan's case. If Dan still has his immune system, post-chemo...could this all happen again - even with the rigorous nature - even with the preventative spinal tap chemo? I believe this is why our doctor is strongly considering the bone marrow transplant.

[Look I've just written 4 paragraphs without talking about my feelings.]

My feelings. Well, the first feelings were dis - disappointment, discouragement, dismay, disheartened, disillusioned, distraught, distrustful (of God). I mean, wouldn't the miracle of this be that Dan was all better with only chemo? Wouldn't that show God's power the most? Wouldn't that show His love the most? Wouldn't that impress people the most and then they'd want to be friends with the God who takes care of his friends like so awesomely?


Hi. I'm Jessica, and I think I know best.

The truth is - I want that. I want that path of least resistance. (Who wouldn't?)

...and yet...what I really want most for Dan is COMPLETE HEALING. I want his whole body restored. I want him to never be sick again like he has been (the entire time I've known him). ...and, that just might take more than some horrible chemicals. Maybe it requires a complete overhaul. Maybe it requires someone else's blood.

[cue storyline that coincides with the Gospel.]
[but I won't.]
[for now.]
[because I just saw the connection and have nothing ready to say.]

...and just so you know, I have been struggling lately. This news hit me really hard...mostly because I didn't expect it...and it really hit my faith - mostly because I was putting parameters on God - His will and His love for me. If I do that, I will be disappointed every time. That's not who God is, and that's not how God loves. So, to be where I am today, has required some acts of faith - to choose to believe that God can work good in any situation, and to trust that God can work in lots of ways - and most of them are never what I expect.

Oh! and also that God's timing isn't my timing (which, as I said to my brother the other night, is the story of my life - so you'd think I'd stop being so surprised by it's reality).
[Hi; I'm Jessica, and I think I know best.]


PJ Colando said...

Hi, I'm PJ and I agree with everything Jessica (you) said because Larry and I love you and believe in your team as well as believing in God.

Gail Washtak said...

Hi, I'm Gail and I also agree with your comments. God has given you the wonderful gift of being eloquent and humble as you share the journey that you and Dan have been on. Please be assured you are in my prayers. You also had Gramma Faye's prayers for a short time. I remember when I told her that Dan was being treated for cancer. She seemed surprised and of course, sad. I am confident that she prayed fervently for Dan until her end. I love you both. God has a plan.