Afflicted with Pain and CT Scan Update

But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
    may your salvation, God, protect me. - Psalm 69:29

Please continue to pray, dear friends and family. This is the first time since undergoing surgery, that Mrs. Barbara has had persistent and relentless pain. She has pain medication, but there are fears related to side effects of those medicines and the body becoming tolerant, dependent or even addicted, which have led to difficulties in managing the pain. Pray for wisdom from the Lord to help her work through her pain management.

CT Scan Results:

Here are the main take-aways from this first CT scan since starting the immunotherapy trial...

  • There is continued growth of previously measured areas on the scan (lymph nodes and tumors/lesions) - they expected this. It may be indicating that there is an immune response around and at the tumors/nodes. The immune response would cause slight swelling as it floods the area with white blood cells and immune system fighter cells. The hope is that with the next scan in 6 weeks, there will be no additional growth and things will be "stable".
  • No new areas of growth
  • Lungs are clear, no lesions/masses or enlarged lymph nodes in the chest
  • Nodule on the capsule (covering) of the liver, but NOT inside the liver
    • Capsule of the liver has nerve endings which can be irritated by the nodule
    • Nodule is positioned where it could be rubbing rib cage which could cause pain
  • Lymph nodes by the spine are enlarged...This was expected with this treatment…means the immune system is revved up and activated
  • Cancer itself wouldn’t have caused this much increase in size. Dr. believes the swelling and increase in size may be due to the immune response in the area around the lymph nodes and nodules.
  • Largest node is size of a raquetball and causing a pinching of the RIGHT ureter which is causing urine to backup into the kidney (hydronephrosis – slight swelling of the kidney). This is another cause of abdominal pain and low back pain…referred pain from the kidney

The plan going forward is to continue with her treatment in the trial. Her immune system is responsive, and so far, what they see, is what they expected. The main goal at this time is to get her pain under control. It has been around 7-8 out of 10 at times, and that is not acceptable. She is under the care of a palliative care specialist, who works closely with the trial doctor to help her with side effects and pain management. I  met him yesterday. He is FANTASTIC. Another doctor with the heart of a teacher, who genuinely wants her to feel better and won't stop working with her each week until her pain is under control. He did a great job explaining the pain medicines they are trying and how they work together to keep pain managed. Those fears of addiction, tolerance and dependence were all discussed and explained in detail.  They are also, proactively, bringing in a urologist to assist with any needs related to the hydronephrosis. It is possible a stent may be needed if the pinching of the ureter does not stop or begins to affect her kidney function. Continue to pray that the trial medicines are indeed working and that her body's immune system continues to wake up, recognize the cancer and attack it all while affording her the least amount of discomfort. Continue to pray for her vision, that it would at least stop deteriorating, if not reverse and improve! Your prayers, words of encouragement, and support are greatly appreciated and always noticed! Thank you for joining us on the Pilgrimage to Healing! My hope continues to be that all who come here to be updated on Mrs. Barbara will also be blessed by her journey.

Heavenly Father, I hate seeing my Mother-in-Love in pain! I feel helpless. The human nature in me wants to fix it for her, and so much of it is out of my control. Lord, I know I have to lift her struggles up to You. I know deep down that You have this...that you have HER in your loving arms. I pray she feels You more than the pain. In Jesus Name I Pray. Amen.