Over the past two months Marlene has noticed tenderness in her abdomen. In late October she saw her family practice doctor who ordered some tests, beginning several weeks of testing. On November 25 she met with her oncologist for an overview of the tests, which indicated stage 3 (quite developed) grade 3 (very aggressive) ovarian cancer. He referred her to an oncologist who specializes in ovarian cancer. On December 5 this specialist reviewed the tests and suggested a plan for treatment. The suggested treatment has been quite effective in prolonging life (the average length of survival is 5-6 years) though this cancer tends to come back in 12-24 months. The typical treatment plan is to give three large doses at three week intervals, followed by a 3-4 week pause prior to surgery to remove the female organ, followed by another three large doses at three week intervals. So this brings us to late April/early May.
We are happy that they are able to begin the treatments soon — the first treatment is scheduled for Thursday, December 17. This will mean that Marlene will likely be very tired over Christmas and New Years. But waiting to begin until January would be very difficult. We’re hoping that the chemo will begin to reduce some of the abdominal tenderness.
We are finding that we have our days when all of this seems very heavy. So, we do have some difficult conversations and seasons of crying. But, we are also finding that we have a deep sense of gratitude too. We’re grateful for 49+ years of being on a wonderful journey together. We’re grateful for each day. And we’re grateful for God’s precious promises, giving hope and peace for the journey. And we’re grateful for the prayers and words of encouragement from so many already as we begin this journey.