These are photographs I have taken of the "magic bullet" pill Ibrutinib that I will be using as my next cancer treatment. It is classified as a small molecule inhibitor or specifically as a Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) Inhibitor. This treatment is a different approach from traditional chemotherapy that I have taken on several occasions in the past.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Dear Family and Friends:
The last year has been a challenging one - many infections, a broken foot and torn meniscus in my knee, and worsening of the leukemia. I also developed ITP (autoimmune destruction of my platelets) and we learned I have diastolic dysfunction of my heart, probably from years of infection, chemotherapy, radiation and IV medications. However, I continue to fight and trust in the One who has brought me this far!
I was told in late 2014 that it was estimated that I probably only have a year to live if I do not do some sort of treatment. The decision to proceed to treat was a difficult one because of being told it will "be a challenge for me to survive further treatment", I am stepping out in faith and have agreed to begin a new treatment on Monday (if the medication arrives here from Tennessee). I am traveling back and forth to Nashville, Tennessee to see a leukemia specialist, Dr Ian Flinn, who specializes in the type of leukemia/lymphoma that I have. He authors many of the medical journal articles on this type of leukemia and has graciously agreed to coordinate my care with my two wonderful, local physicians, Dr Stienstra and Dr Reddy, both whom have cared for me for most of my 18 year battle with leukemia/lymphoma. This treatment is a very new drug, only FDA approved in 2014, so Dr Flinn's experience with it will be appreciated by my local doctors and me.
These words in Romans 4 have been especially encouraging to me as I sort through the medical "facts" presented to me. They pertain to God promising Abraham and Sarah an heir despite their very aged bodies. And as my broken body proves more and more challenging to keep alive, I return to these verses in Scripture, over and over:
"AND NOT BEING WEAK IN FAITH, HE DID NOT CONSIDER HIS OWN BODY, ALREADY DEAD (SINCE HE WAS ABOUT A HUNDRED YEARS OLD) AND THE DEADNESS OF
SARAH'S WOMB. HE DID NOT WAVER AT THE PROMISES OF GOD THROUGH UNBELIEF, BUT WAS STRENGTHENED IN FAITH, GIVING GLORY TO GOD, AND BEING FULLY CONVINCED THAT WHAT HE HAD PROMISED HE WAS ALSO ABLE TO PERFORM."
From these Scriptures, I gather that:
I must remain strong in my faith, not side-tracked by obvious facts, bad reports, fear or doubt
I cannot "consider" or look at my body and all that is wrong within it
I cannot waver at God's Promises - I must remain steadfast, unshaken and bold
Unbelief cannot be allowed to enter my mind or spirit
My faith must be strengthened daily through prayer, study of His Word, listening to His Word being taught
My praises belong to Him
I must remain convinced that He is going to take care of me
We value and ask for your continued prayers for me. Keep looking UP!