Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What we're facing...

I have been dreading writing this post for a couple of weeks now, but I want all of you to know what is going on right now and I thought this would be the best way to make sure everyone knows all the information I have about this ugly monster that is rearing its head in our lives again.
Just to recap: As most of you know, about a year ago (almost exactly), Aaron was diagnosed with Stage 3 Melanoma. He had surgery to remove a cancerous mole from his back as well as 2 lymph nodes to determine whether it had spread to those lymph nodes. One of the lymph nodes came back with less than 10 cells testing positive for melanoma. So the good people at MD Anderson performed a 2nd surgery on him to remove all of the lymph nodes from his left side. They all cam back free and clear of cancer. He also underwent 4 weeks of immunotherapy infusions to further combat any rogue cells that may have been lurking in his body. We got through that and put all of this behind us. He goes to the dermatologist every 3 months to get checked for moles, and he also has to have regular CT scans to look for any masses in his body. Which brings us to the last 4 months...
Back in April just after we moved to California, he had a CT scan at UCLA Medical Center, which is where his doctor at MD Anderson referred him to. They found a couple of spots on his lungs that had not been there before (both were 4mm in size), so they said it could just be an infection, so we'll do another scan in 3 months to see if they are still there and whether there has been any change. Which brings us to the last 2 weeks...
On August 9 (Tuesday) he went in for his CT scan. On August 10, he went in to go over the results with his doctor. The spots in his lungs have grown, one is now 7mm and the other is 12mm. Panic immediately set in (for us anyway, not for the seemingly incompetent staff at UCLA Medical Center--don't even get me started on them), and my mom flew out on Thursday and Aaron's mom got here on Friday. My mom stayed that weekend, and Aaron's mom is still here to help with the boys and whatnot while we go to appointments and make decisions. Aaron had a brain MRI last week that came back normal, which means nothing has spread there, thank God. But the big indicator of what our next move is will be the biopsy he is having tomorrow morning. The biopsy is on the actual spots on his lungs and will determine whether it is an infection or we are dealing with cancer. We are obviously praying for the former, but with his history, it's most likely the latter. He already has an appointment scheduled to begin chemo infusions on Friday. I'm not sure why they are beginning the infusions when we may not even have the results of the biopsy by then, but maybe they just want to be ready for it. We're not sure when we'll have the results of the biopsy. I assume they'll tell us tomorrow when we go for the biopsy. The chemo they will be doing is Yervoy, and there is also a new drug that was just approved by the FDA (you've probably seen it on the news in the past week or so) to treat melanoma. It's called Zelboraf, and they are talking about doing that too. You can click on both of those links to learn more about the treatments.
Another possibility is that if the biopsy comes back saying it is cancer, we do have the option of returning to MD Anderson in Houston. We have already been consulting with his doctors there and we want to be treated by the best. I think what will happen is that if they have a different plan of attack than UCLA does, we will go with theirs. We're not sure of the logistics of getting back to Houston right now, we are just trying to make one decision at a time.
Please pray that we will be strong but at peace during this time. The scary part of the biopsy is that the outcome is already decided. It's not like a test you can study for and either ace it or fail it. God already knows whether there is cancer in my husband's body, we just have to wait and find out ourselves, and then be ready for battle if needed. We are ready to fight and we will win. I will accept no less than a win. Thank you all for your support and constant prayer. I know God is hearing those prayers and He will take care of us in our time of need. We love you all, and we could not do this without you.
I will try to keep this updated frequently so that you all know what is happening. I will post on Facebook any time I do an update on here so if you are on Facebook, you will see there when there is something else to read.

22 comments:

Debra Wilson said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Laura. Will be praying for a positive outcome and peace in your lives.

I love you.

Debra Wilson
(Auntie)

Kalyn Ferrell said...

Laura, you and your sweet family are in our prayers. If you come back to Houston know that you have a room waiting for you at the Ferrells.

Love,
Kalyn

Anonymous said...

Our prayers continue! May you find peace, courage, strength---whatever you guys need! We love you!

~Tom and Wendi

amyoutlaw said...

I'm so sorry. Lmk if there's anything u need while in Houston (should you need to come, hopefully not)

Becky Isaacs said...

I love you guys so much. You are definitely in my prayers. Never underestimate the power of hope and prayer. Love you!!

The Groves Family said...

Oh Laura- I am so sorry to hear that yall are having to go through all of this again. Your family is in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Laura,

I love you and am praying for you and your guys!

Nissa

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura - You and your family will be in our prayers and continue to be until you get your "win".

Debra Svoboda Nahas

Ginger Neely said...

Oh Laura, I'm so sorry! I was just thinking about you guys this afternoon, wondering how Trent likes his new school...

The Neelys will be praying for your family and for Aaron's complete healing. May I ask our Prayer Warriors to lift you up as well?

Grace and Peace,
Ginger

Anonymous said...

Laura,
We are praying for you and your sweet family. Keep the faith, God has promised he will never leave us or forsake us hold on to that and know how much you are all loved. Please let us know if we can do anything. Love you lots,
Travis and Tammy

Anonymous said...

Oh Hun......I'm so sad to read this! You and all of your family will be in my prayers. Just remember that you are NEVER alone! God will be with you ALWAYS (I'm reminded of the "Foot Prints" poem/story).
You will get thru this! Luv ya!!!

Jessica Stelzer. <3

Latechia Matlock said...

Laura,

I am praying for your family! Love you girl! We know that God is the ultimate healer! I love your positive attitude! Knowing you I know that you are affraid as any of us would be! I am praying for your precious family! Please PLEASE let me know if there is anything I can do! I love you girl we are like family since we grew up most of our lives together! Accept no less than God's healing with what ever is goin on with your husband.

Love,

Latechia, Maison & Jackson

Anonymous said...

We will be praying for your husband and your family Laura! #gunsup!

Danny Stanphill

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry to hear about the battle your family is fighting. I will be praying for your husbands health, your strength, your childrens hope and the doctors wisdom. I know God will give you each the love and strength you need to make it through. Best wishes and many blessings ~ Jessica White Ploch

The Q. Family said...

Lots of prayers for strength, courage and healing coming your way sweetie!

David C. Hess said...

Laura,

My cell phone number should be on your hubby's speed dial. Please don't hesitate to call me. Needless to say the entire DoD team back here has you all in our thoughts and prayers!

Plus, he knows I have his back and will help him (and you) get through this! Hang tough!

Dave Hess

Deonne said...

Praying for Aaron and for your sweet family, Laura.
Love, Deonne

Arthur said...

Thoughts and prayers are with you!!!!

Stay Strong

Jennifer Peacock said...

Laura, I am praying with all of my heart for you guys!

JENNY LORD said...

Oh Laura, I am on my knees this morning praying for your family, especially Aaron. God is the ultimate Healer and I pray that He heal Aaron on this side of heaven. But no matter what, I pray that God reveal Himself through this entire trial and that you continue to praise Him regardless of what the outcome may be. I admire your strength and your faith. I am praying for you, as Aaron's wife, that as you fight this along side of him, that you be strong yet genuine in your fight and always praise God for His faithfulness. May He receive all the glory through this and strenthen your marriage, your family and your faith. Much love to you!

Derick "Tac" Sager said...

Aggie Prayers coming from League City, Texas.

Derick

Scott said...

Aaron, Laura, Trent and Drew, you are in our thoughts and prayers throughout each day. I know with confidence that you will overcome this. You have strength from faith and and the love of your family and friends. Go to work Berger and rid this from your body! Stacie and I will always be there for you and your family. Just say the word and it's done. Love Scott and Stacie