So these past few weeks have been seriously crazy busy, but all in a good way. Last week I had chemo round four, and with all your prayers, I had very mild side effects. Plus my MAMA came into town for the week and was my chemo partner—got to meet my infusion nurse and my oncology nurse, and now she is more aware of this “cancer culture”. Mom was an incredible help while I was busy with so many things--work , school, and end of year activities—camp meetings, LAX banquet, preparing for Promotion Sunday….mom did so much from cleaning out my Tupperware drawer (hate that thing) and my refrigerator, to folding mounds of laundry, shopping, and chauffeuring the boys to their different events and sports’ practices. She lives far away in Oregon, but there is nothing like a mom’s heart when she visits. And my mom is ah-mazing—almost 75 years old—strong, active, beautiful, full of life and energy.
On Monday, June 10, I had another CT scan to check the size of the tumors and compare to my images from when I was first diagnosed. Because my blood counts have been solid and my tumor counts looked low, they wanted to scan me to see where we are in my stage of treatment. Here are the ah-mazing results in a nutshell:
My oncology nurse called today and they have the reports with all the details, but haven't seen the actual images. But in essence her words were, "This is a hallelujah, best news report. Chemo and prayers are working!" Those were her first words, then she went on to tell me that the tumors on my liver have shrunk a lot, and the mass in my colon shows "normal"--no indication of cancer in the lining or mass. More details when they get images. No cancer was detected anywhere else, so it has NOT spread.
They will view the images with the liver and colon surgeon and decide on the next steps. I have chemo round five on Monday, and an appointment with my oncologist on Thursday of next week, so I should have a new plan of treatment by then. If the surgeons think the tumors are small enough they will schedule surgery and then I will have more chemo after I recover from that. Her final words were, "You are the road to treatability and survival!"
Honestly, this is not just because of some chemo drugs in my body--it is the mighty power of prayer from all of my warriors. I have learned so much through this journey and my outlook is still positive and energetic. I have never loved life, my family, my friends, and my God so passionately. Thanks for battling with me.
But I want to end this post with the highlight of my week—an ah-mazing experience of sharing Promotion Sunday with all my Oasis teens. On June 9, we graduated the largest class ever at Canyon Springs Church. The youth band led worship, we had four ah-mazing student speakers, and I was blessed to deliver the message on the importance of a rock solid foundation, community, and mentorship within the church. I had a team of volunteer parents and leaders who took charge of all the decorations, the programs, the luncheon, and the behind the scenes help. The seniors and their parents gathered at the Sellers’ home for a beautiful luncheon and three more student speakers spoke from their hearts about their faith journey. Everyone out there—I want you to know this and believe it—there are tons of AH-MAZING teens out there who are living out their faith in incredible ways. Don’t just listen to all the news reports about the decline of test scores, and the increase in crime in teens. Focus on the good, and believe in these teens who are following a narrow path with Jesus at their center. I am so incredibly blessed to work at a church where I call all my teens “my kids” and where we have a true family.
All of these praises in this post come because I believe in an amazing God—creator of the universe, mighty Healer,yet intimate—He knows my name, my heart, my desires. He wants nothing more than to connect people to each other and to Him. Amazing. Just amazing.
Kirsten this is ah-mazing!! How wonderful this news. I truly needed this bright moment. No doubt your docs will be talking about YOU and your recovery for years to come, as will the nurses to help give hope and peace to the next cancer warrior they encounter.
Kristen's story is amazing. Her faith is strong ..she is a role model for so Mandy of us. Prayers for your continued recovery. Karen Mangold
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