Kate McRae's Journal
Written Oct 3, 2013 5:50pmI have been studying the book of Esther and yesterday the idea of rehearsing what God has done in the past so that you might better trust Him for the present kept repeating itself for me. I continued with that thought lingering as Kate and I went to her oncology appointment in L.A. I felt hopeful, and encouraged.We were once again reassured right away that Kate's scan looked clean, there was no visual evidence of cancer. A weighty relief. Kate was already expecting that news, so she just continued reading her book, seemingly unaffected. The newer spots, after reviewing them, they were confident were simply "incidental findings". Benign, nothing to be worried about. But they will continue to be watched to make sure there is no growth.
If only we could have stopped the day there. But rather came the long term gloom. Or nightmare really. What they feared the cumulative dose of radiation would equate to in the long term. Takes my breath away every time, more like a swift kick to the heart. We reviewed all of the "potential" long term in some detail. Enough so that Kate held my hand and squeezed it every few minutes. Her gentle way to comfort. I'm crying regarding her, and she is too busy comforting me to think much about herself. Love is beautiful.
After a long list of ugliness, the idea of Kate going on a study to see if a particular drug could prevent some long term damage was brought up. We would have no idea if Kate got the drug, or the placebo. The study is still in its infancy. So we will be praying, hoping maybe this could be a breakthrough... for those kids with such ugly brain cancers that it takes something just as ugly to beat it. Oh please God.
So the day that should have felt reassuring ended up feeling like a big discouragement. Sometimes you find out you are winning in one area to realize that means losing in another. But I remember what I was reminded of early that morning. Rehearse what He has done already, thank Him... and as I thank God for His mercy in Kate's life, it requires me to be more expectant for the future. Hopeful. The disappointment and heartache is brutal, but covered in hope.
We will investigate the study more to decide if we believe its how we want to proceed with Kate.For the meanwhile, I think I will have the kids sit down tonight and themselves rehearse what cancer cannot take. Kate needs the encouragement, and frankly so do I.
Written Sep 27, 2013 5:19pmKate's oncologist is out of the country, but we were fortunate to have the hospital call to relay her MRI results anyway. The waiting is excruciating. The lady was sweet commenting it was a good day as she was able to read the radiologists report. Stable. No sign of active cancer! One of the sweetest, life changing things we get to hear. Thank you Jesus.
I always hold my breathe a bit as I read over the final report. There have been things hidden away in all the medical lingo that I have learned about only because I read the report. Not that they are trying to hide anything, it's just I tend to err on the side of wanting to know everything. And so my enthusiasm was slightly dampened when I read for the first time of a spot on Kate's spine, thought to be benign. And a place they are watching in her brain. It was unsettling. Therefore the delay in posting. We meet with Kate's oncologist next week, where I hope to get a little more information on these "benign" spots. But I am pretty sure it will just continue to be something they monitor with her every 3 month MRI's.
So 2 years and 8 months after a nearly fatal relapse, God has mercifully blessed us with more life, a little bit more hair, and a little bit more strength in her leg. It's a slow process, the healing, but it keeps it real. Knowing not all things are easily won. So she keeps fighting and we keep waiting, but living in the inbetween.
Thanks to those who continue to pray... and who continually cheer Kate on. And please pray for protection from the endless list of long term effects from two bouts with cancer and its treatments, the territory we would now be entering. We have seen a few glimpses, but pray they will only be that, glimpses of a possibility that never transpired.
Thanks for celebrating God's mercy with us today... and choosing to be part of Kate's story....
Written Sep 5, 2013 12:06amWe had our appointment today at the hospital. I say our, but mean Kate's. But it might as well be mine it feels so close to my heart. Kate was in good spirits today, always making the idea of more appointments more agreeable. She is so resilient.
Today we were checking on growth, and all the endocrine "stuff" that can be affected by brain cancer and its treatments. I thought to stay quiet on it, as I want to guard her privacy. But she seemed okay with talking, with sharing. So here I am.
We continue to have growth... which seems nothing short of unbelievable to me. She's small, and darn cute, probably from the toll the cancer and treatments took. BUT she is still growing, on her own. The Dr smiled. Shook his head a little. And began a list of quirky jokes. I assume his heart is light in regards to what he is seeing, if he is joking. And I love that. I love every single time I hear something was preserved that might have been stolen. That God preserved one more thing for now. That He gave her one inch this past 6 months. That inch felt like a foot. So tonight I'm grateful for the simple things like growing, that can become not so simple when fighting cancer.