Ever since we started this blog we've tried to keep everything as open and honest as possible with what we are going through, what we are feeling, what our needs are, how you can pray, etc. Over the past several days, Kate and I have not been at peace with her going through radiation and chemotherapy treatments. The effectiveness of the treatment (chemo especially) is not well known and the potential long term side effects are very scary. Kate and I had a special time of prayer together on New Year's Eve to lay out our concerns before the Lord, asking for wisdom and confirmation from Him if we should stay on this course.
I'm embarassed to admit that we did not have prayer time together before she started treatments, only individually. If fact, we hadn't prayed together as a couple for a long time. This is my fault as the spiritual leader of my family, however, today is a new day and God has awakened me to do this more often. Praying with your spouse is a privilege and a very wonderful thing!
The chemotherapy drug Kate is taking, Temodar, has really only started to be used in the past few years. A very real risk of taking this drug is developing leukemia. On the radiation side, each daily dose she receives is significantly more than a general x-ray. Potential long term side effects include vision problems, cognitive disfunction, and secondary brain tumors, among other things.
If you've been following our story for sometime, by now you realize there are no "standard" protocols in the medical community for treating cancer, especially brain cancer. Doctors only prescribe approaches they think "might" work, and even then each doctor has a different opinion. It sure seems like a big guessing game with my wife as the guinea pig.
None of these treatments deal with the root cause of why Kate developed brain cancer in the first place, they only work to try and slow the tumor growth (if any remains). It seems logical that if you don't correct the root cause of the problem, then you are likely to get cancer again. From my research, I think the answer lies with one's nutrition. That is why we have radically changed Kate's diet to cut out processed sugar, reduce animal fats, reduce preservatives, increase Omega-3 (polyunsaturated) fats, increase fruits & vegetables, use purified water and purchase more organic foods.
If cancer was simply a genetic problem then I would expect all countries to have nearly equal cancer rates. But they are not, only Western countries have high rates of cancer. The obvious discernable difference in my mind, which has been researched and published extensively, is our dietary habits. Hence the reason why I am so passionate about improving my wife's (and family's) diet. I hope you will take this information to heart as well.
As we continue to make decisions regarding treatment, here are some immediate prayer requests:
1. If there is any reason why Kate should discontinue the current treatment plan and choose another plan, that God would make it abundantly clear to us.
2. If we continue with the current treatment plan, that Kate would be protected from long term side effects. Also, that short term side effects (fatigue, nausea, vomitting, constipation, loss of appetite, hair loss, etc) would be minimal and bearable.
3. That Kate would continue to have opportunities to minister to others.
4. That our marriage would continue to grow stronger through this trial.
5. That we would continue to say "yes" to people who want to serve us during this time.
6. That we would grow much closer to God and avail ourselves to spend time with Him, in the Word and in prayer.
Finally, a friend sent us a devotional email this week that was written by a well-known pastor (John Piper) and I wanted to share the high points with you. You can find the entire text of the devotional at: http://www.desiringgod.org/
Don't Waste Your Cancer
1. You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.
2. You will waste your cancer if you believe it is a curse and not a gift.
3. You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.
4. You will waste your cancer if you refuse to think about death.
5. You will waste your cancer if you think that “beating” cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.
6. You will waste your cancer if you spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God.
7. You will waste your cancer if you let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest affection.
8. You will waste your cancer if you grieve as those who have no hope.
9. You will waste your cancer if you treat sin as casually as before.
10. You will waste your cancer if you fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.
Thank you for your prayers and support and encouraging blog posts. We appreciate and cherish all you are doing for us. May God double the blessing back to you.