Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's the news Doc?

After his surgery on Monday in February we were anxious to here the report from the pathologist. Again, I will spare my time in re-typing the news and post the e-mail we sent out.
Just as my dearest Christian mentors from my youth told us, "It is by God's mercies that we are blessed to even have the best treatment and the best doctors to take care of us."

Yesterday we visited our doctor with the update of the pathology, blood, CT scan, and treatment report. We give praise and thanks for a remarkable report.
The pathology reported that the stage is Seminoma. This is the best stage for TC, 95% of the cancer is Seminoma and is highly cureable down to a "T". Again, Dr. Case went over the blood work and scan with us...not sign of spreading, and no other cancer markers on the blood work.
Now what do we do with what we know? Here is where our minds were spinning. Thank goodness for our questions being written down and a recording.
1. We can do nothing and watch.
There is an 80% that he is cured with just the surgery, This would mean there are no microscopic cells anywhere. We won't know this until down the road for many years. This would entail for the first year, every 3 months of ct scans and blood work. This proceeds and is lessen through the years.
2. Radiation treatment
He would receive treatment (not sure of the amount until we meet with the radiologist on March 7th at our consultation) only targeted in a small area for a precautionary of any microscopic cells that may be there.
3. Chemo treatment
same as above but with chemo treatment. We plan on meeting with a specialist in this area as well for a consultation.
What have we decided????
Well we left not knowing yet....Why? Each one of our above choices depends on our choice of our future family plans. Radiation and Chemo have a great impact on natural fertility for a few years. We found he had TC because we were wanting a family and had been unsuccessful for several months. Thank you to a simple checkup on Chris' part. Talk about devastaing news then and no faced with 3 unknown paths. Now you really have to plan out your life and family. All at the same time keeping Chris' health on excellent terms and mostly in the will of God. He is the master planner.
At this time, while we are still looking at our options, we planned our next CT scan, blood work appt. in 3 months
Here is where we ask for prayers. Specifically for wisdom in God's will for us. As King Solomon asked God for wisdom to rule, we ask for wisodm in our future family planning and treatment route. We know God will provide and lead us just as he did with Solomon, "God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand of the seashore." I Kings 4:29
We know God is bigger than any of this. He is smarter than our research. He is the all knowing. He is wiser in medicine than our fabulous doctors, He is the mighty physcian. He is our creator. He is our God.
If he wants us to bear children naturally within the next 3 months He will, and He will beat the odds we are faced agaisnt in this waiting time. If we conceive with the help of science he will make it known.
We are asking for patience and a peace that surpasses all understanding in the midst of our climb up to the summit.
Chris amazes me with his confidence, words of wisdom he speaks to me, his arms of comfort, and his internal fire to keep going. I know there are times he faces weariness too.
yes, I too, as the supporter, have shown weakness, I have had meltdowns, "I just can't be strong right now",or " I can't do this anymore." Then I hear, "God won't give you more than you can handle." Letting that soak in my mind helped me to realize He has has that much faith in Chris and I to handle all of this....I need to have the same in him!
It is okay to cry, it okay to be weak and turn it all over.
II Corinthians 4:17 and Habakkuk 3:19....
"Learn to trust Me when things go "wrong." Disruptions to your routine highlight your dependence on Me. Trusting acceptance of trials brings blessings that far outweigh them all. Walk hand in hand with Me through this day. I have lovingly planned every inch of the way. Trust does not falter when the path becomes rocky and steep. Breathe deep draughts of My Presence, and hold tightly to My hand. Together we can make it!"
In Him,
Chris and Danielle
_____________________________________Waiting for the RESULTS!______________________________

Since then it has been about 3 weeks. We met with the Radiologist and have done several amounts of research and talking to some of our doctor friends that are in residency to get their prospective on treatment.

The radiologist gave us a complete break down of the procedure's short term affects and possible, but not likely, long term effects. A total of 17 treatments. This number is exceptionally low compared the dose and amount of other cancers that are treated. TC has been basically cured by this standard treatment and stage Chris had. Receiving treatment would take the percent to a 1% of the TC from returning vs. 20%.

Chris and I feel we will do treatment, but when God places it on our hearts that it is time to proceed. This may sound crazy to the medical profession, but when we returned from the radiologist we began to baby plan, treatment timing, and trying to play "God" this was not comforting at all. Stress and restlessness took over our every thought and resentment resided in our heart for what we were going through.

We both can stand firm in the continuation of wanting to fervently seek God's will for us. More of him and less of us. More of us waiting and listening than planning and asking.

That's it friends... This is where we lie on this 22nd day of March.

p.sThe race isn't over, we may seem as if we got in under control, but we don't always. I will admit this journey hasn't been the easiest, or the most clear, straight and narrow path. I fell last week in my trust. Then I realized the race isn't over at mile marker 10 (half marathon speaking) and there is no turning back with 3 miles left. Where would I go to get to the finish line? "Get up with the support of your running buddies, the water, the goo, the fans cheering you, and the best fan is at the end ready to embrace you. Don't be afraid to ask for prayers as you fight through the pain staking half-marathon." To my life group buddy who is praying for me this week...I can sense the prayers moving in my life yet again, and it feels right, perfect, and it feels good to be home again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

We will get through this

I have been informed by some of my dear friends that I needed to update my blog. Yes, I do! So much has happened in our lives since January 3, 2012.

Chris was told on Jan. 3rd that his company Pearson will be relocating to Indiana. If you want to go great. If not, than you will need to take the severance package. We decided to look for a new job and turn to prayer immediately that day. Tell me about brining in the new year. Blind sided for sure. The ironic thing is I had been praying for Chris in his job area through a book I was reading, The Power of a Praying Wife. There is a line that basically says if the work Chris is doing is not in line with your plan for him may you open doors that no man can close. This was his open door for us.

Ask me 4 months ago if I would have been okay if this job situation arose, I would have to say "umm no!" It was the selfish answer, the controlling human nature answer. I/We were in the midst of planning out the future plans for our little family. Being with out work in the job market today was not part of it.

Max's sermon at Oak Hills Church, "You will Get Through This," came in handy for a second reason. Family planning since June was not happening and becoming overwhelming, confused, saddened, anxious, and not filled spiritually with the right mind set. We were thrilled to hear this sermon was going to start in 2012. We came to find out another prayer request was added on our list: 1. Family planning 2. Job loss.

We held strong and faithful in our job search, destination, and God's direction for us. We didn't limit the possible new job opportunities from San Antonio to around the world. Where God wanted us was going to be determined by the doors closing by man and the door that was left open was God's perfect plan for Chris.

We waited and heard nothing in January. We kept holding strong to the sermons, verses, and in prayer.
In the meantime Chris (and I) were attending doctor's appointments we may wanted to squeeze before insurance ran out.
Chris decided that this was the perfect time to schedule a visit for himself to be looked into for reasons of family planning. We had no idea that our life would be changed forever on February 7, 2012

Below are the e-mails that we have sent out to inform everyone of the news. I believe it illustrates the power of prayer, the promises that God has told us about are real and are still alive today. The first one was sent out February 8th.

Family and Friends,

(Some on here are new to the news. We found out on Tuesday that Chris was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I have attached an email that he sent out prior to this one for those of you who are just finding out.)

"This is the day the Lord has made! Rejoice and be glad in it" Psalm 118:24

In all things we have found many reasons to praise God for all of his Glory. Each day seems to be easier to tell others. We do find ourselves thinking of everything that is, was and could be. Thinking of the "what if", future questions, plans, and just sitting on the news. One of us will end up noticing the silence between us and quickly bring up another conversation.

In the meantime, we are still reading the prayers you all send us, the verses to read, and the devotionals. Do know we are blessed beyond riches to have you in our lives. We were talking Thursday night about the people God has placed in our lives through out the years that are part the little intricate woven threads that make up the beautiful tapestry as a whole. From the family we are blessed with that are rich in prayer, through friends that are our sisters and brothers in Christ and believers, to mighty prayer warriors that can send out the message, to the those that have experienced similar trials, and medical profession family/friends. God has foreseen your friendship in his mighty plan and knew we would need you especially now. I don't know about you, but I have always given thought to why are our friends our friends. We have millions of friends to choose from, but only the "selected' are meant to stand with us. Why is our family our family. How does he know! I smile as I can picture God with his gigantic drawing board of the family tree.

I want to share this with the rest of you for any of your own trials you are going through too. It may be it family/marital/relationships situations, finances, death, birth, illnesses, weariness we are praying for you as well. I received this in an e-mail from a mentor/and a friend's mother. She just knows what to say in every situation (even through her prayers)

II Corinthians 4:17 and Habakkuk 3:19....

"Learn to trust Me when things go "wrong." Disruptions to your routine highlight your dependence on Me. Trusting acceptance of trials brings blessings that far outweigh them all. Walk hand in hand with Me through this day. I have lovingly planned every inch of the way. Trust does not falter when the path becomes rocky and steep. Breathe deep draughts of My Presence, and hold tightly to My hand. Together we can make it!"

Anyhow, I have been extending this email beyond what I intended.

Chris will have surgery on this Monday morning, 7:30am at the Physicians Ambulatory Surgical Center at North Central Hospital . The surgery is blocked off for 45min-1hour (out patient surgery) We have to be there at 6am.

We have had many people wanting to be there with us. I am not going to turn you away if you feel in your heart that you want/need to be with him/me. I know it will be a testament to others around seeing the power of faith . Our house will be an open door for those that would like to come by anytime next week.

We are so thankful for everyone who is bring meals throughout next week, so please come by say hi and eat dinner with us!

I am trying to send this to all we can think of. Please send it on to any others you may feel is not receiving this. Sorry if we left any one out.

Much gratitude,

Danielle & Chris

Psalm 30: 2-4

LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead;

you spared me from going down to the pit. Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.

----------The next email is the day after his surgery on February 13, 2012. Prior to the surgery our doctor moved quickly to set up CT scans, blood work and to meet with a fertility clinic all in the same week of the 7th*------------------

"I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Show the wonder of you great love." Psalms 17:6-7

He sure did hear the many prayers being lifted to the heavens. It was the symphony to his ears!

We are back home and settled into his 'surgery' chair. With an early wake up call at 5:00 we arrived at the hospital at 6:05, "late to your own party" Mr.T expressed has he welcomed us to the 5th floor at North Central Baptist. We were surrounded by our family, my girlfriends, his best friend (one of many), special women from our church, and his sister's best friend came to support her too! It had to be the biggest prayer party I think this surgery center has ever seen. What a testament that was alone. Chris enjoyed seeing a picture of everyone who came right before he was wheeled to the OR. He also was able to read the texts that 'dinged' on our phones too! It sure was a beautiful "ding" every few minutes. The pre-opt nurse fell in love with him as he shared that we had been praying for her and the doctors too. They shared some jokes together about the medicine he is about to receive, I left him in good hands with a few laughs as I entered the waiting room.

Dr. Case reported nothing but positive news at this time. His blood work returned with a positive outlook. There were no "scary" cancer markers present, and his CT scan showed no spreading. We found out about the CT scan on Sunday. His doctor called just to inform him of his results b/c he heard Chris was curious. We felt very blessed to know our doctor took the time out on Sunday to help ease the worry as we went into today. Dr. Case will discuss more about any further treatment after the biopsy. He did say the cancer/tumor was smaller than he thought. Chris may receive 1-2 further treatments, if any. He of course would like to look at the results before he gives the 100% affirmation. We will meet with him on Monday, February 20th, to go over the results and the next steps.

We are still strong in this recovery and week of the biopsy "take courage! It is I, Don't be afraid...Everything is possible for him who believes" Mark 6:50 and 9:23

About an hour and half later two of us were called back to visit Chris, "wife and Brent." Again, he was in good hands with nurse Heidi, who was from New Orleans...She was representing the Chase family ;) Brent and I shared many more laughs has his medicine was wearing off. Yes, it is on video!

I was scanning Mark 9:14-32 " The Healing of the Boy with and Evil Spirit" as I was looking for this verse above. I was thinking about all the earnest prayers being said through out this week, days, and hours. There were prayers for complete healing from the Mighty Physician, God. He doesn't have to use medicine and instruments to heal his children. The disciples questioned Jesus and asked," Why couldn't we drive it out?" Mark 9:28. All Jesus needs is his spoken word and his hands. He healed the little boy in the bible as well as the 'evil' in Chris' body, for "this kind can come out only by prayer." Mark 9:29. The road isn't over, but our specific prayers are being heard and answered already. It won't be easy, it won't be quick, it won't be painless...but we will get through this (Thanks Max for this sermon series at the perfect time in our life.

Now the healing process as we are home and resting. I will be his nurse, by doctor's orders, for the next 24 hours. Nurse Nellie at your side ;)


Danielle and Chris

"Feed his soul with Your Word so his faith grows big enough to believe that with You all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

His faith was a shield of protection that was put into use to move his mountain- Stormie Omartia

My Roomies were there Left to Right ( Amanda aka Taryn, Dabney, Me, Lauren, and Miss Sharon aka Kara)

The waiting room was filled with prayer warriors just for Chris!
My strong warrior husband and I
It has been over a month since this day. A lot of decision making and prayers are still taking place BUT all are praises to our Creator, Healer, and Physician.
This has been a long blog. It has been a lot to take in on your part I am sure. I intend on letting you know the prognosis of his ex-TC and let you know where we are now in our life with this journey in a few days. ;)

I must have some more suspense to keep this blog life entertaining for you and myself as the writer.