Deb Joseph

First post: Jul 26, 2018 Latest post: Apr 10, 2019
          I was diagnosed with what they call Lynch Syndrome back in 2011 when I had uterine cancer. This is a condition in which genetically I am missing a protein that assists in keeping my cells form turning into cancer cells. This obviously puts me at a much higher risk for cancers.  I have known this and been getting aggressive screening which is really all you can do for this condition.   Psalm 139:13-17  says:  "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them."  Even before I was born, God saw this woven into my genetic make-up and He didn't change it. For that reason, I believe that He ordained this to be part of my story.

          I keep getting asked how my summer is going, but honestly I'm not sure what to say.  It's not what I would have expected or requested, but I have seen God work in amazing ways and who doesn't want to experience that!!  Mid April I started experiencing pain in my right side.  After a week of it not improving, but instead getting worse, I went to see my doctor and he was not sure what was going on.  Another week went by and by the end of that week my pain was still present and not subsiding.  The doctor had suggested getting a CT scan if it did not improve  and so I called to have them set that up.  The results showed that there was a mass of some kind pressing against my ureter and that it was causing my kidney to not drain properly causing hydronephrosis.  I was admitted on May 1st and they put a stent in to help drain the kidney, then they did a CT guided drainage of the mass which was a an accumulation of infected fluid.  A drain was left in to continue to drain anything that would accumulate.  I then was sent home to have iv antibiotics for a month.  The doctor decided that it was a ruptured appendix and she went back in June 15th to remove the appendix.  The pathology came back indicating that there were cancer cells in the appendix.  Had the appendix not ruptured I would not have known that I had cancer until it had spread. Once again I was so thankful for God's mercy.

          The recommendation was to have part of the colon that connects to the appendix removed as a precaution, since cancer cells can spread within that area.  I was to have surgery July 18th for this.  God obviously had another plan that He began to orchestrate.  A couple friends that I work with tracked me down cause they had not seen me since I had been off.  During the conversation they let me know of a co-worker who had just gone through appendix cancer.  I went to talk to her and she told me  that she was referred to a specialist at the University of Cincinnati  as appendix caner is not very common.  I realized that that was what I needed to do, to get a second opinion, at a place where doctors see this more often then doctors do here in Fort Wayne.  Furthermore, this doctor is on the cutting edge of research and cancer treatments.  I watched as God opened the doors to get me into my doctors here and then get me an appointment With Dr Sussman at the University of Cincinnati  in less than a week. We all know that doesn't often happen!! A verse that God had given me a couple weeks before during this journey was Exodus 14:14 "The Lord will fight for you, You need only be still. "  I saw this playing out as I watched the appointments and the plans fall into place.  I was humbled by the goodness of God and how He would "fight" for me even when I did not even know I needed to "fight".  

AJ and I went to have a consultation with the specialist in Cincinnati and provided him with all the information.  Again, another moment of seeing that the timing was perfect as he said that a board of doctors meets weekly and they would be meeting the next day and he would include my case in that meeting.  

          The concern during the consideration of my case was that my appendix had ruptured and there is no way to tell if any microscopic cells had escaped into my abdomen that could seed there and grow.  Because of this the doctors in Cincinnati recommended that I have chemo for 3 months to try and wipe out any of these cells and then return to Cincinnati for surgery to remove the right side of my colon after that.  The chemo entails getting a  port placed which will happen this Wednesday and then have  my chemo  infusion for 48 hours on a pump that I can carry with me.  I will have that Thursday - Sat this week and then for another week after that. I will then have 2 weeks off and then continue that rotation for 3 months.  

          The reality is that walking through this is not fun, obviously,  BUT the even greater reality is that God is truly in control and not at all surprised by this.   I am so thankful that I have a  this hope and I can walk confidently through this experience.  I am so grateful for so many family and friends who God has provided to pray for me and encourage me.  I know that my confidence in Him comes from looking back and seeing His faithfulness in the past.  Thank you for taking time to read this and for your concern for me and my family. I pray that through my story and the lessons God has and will teach me, that you too will be encouraged and be able to stand back and see the goodness and kindness of my God!

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