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I 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.