Paula’s Story

Site created on January 12, 2019

Welcome friends. Thank you for visiting this site to support Paula, Bob and their family. As they prepare to fight Paula's ovarian cancer we can support them most importantly through our prayers.  Paula has chosen Philippians 4: 4-7 as her anthem during this journey. It is her hope that as we pray for her each day we will join together in reciting these words and find peace in their meaning. "Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ." (NIV)  

It is with great love and respect that I will be sharing Paula's news here, on Caring Bridge. Paula is blessed with so many family and friends so we thought this would be the easiest way to share information, taking the burden off of them.  Please feel free to write comments on this site which will be shared with Paula and Bob.

Thank you for your love and support of our dear friend at this very difficult time. 
Sarah Tellefson

Newest Update

Journal entry by Paula Fuessle

Hello Family, Friends, and Pipeliners;

It has been a while since I have updated. A lot has happened and it sometimes takes me a while to digest and process. I'll try to keep it simple. 

My last lab report was good except for the one indicator, CA125, which is known as the tumor marker. It had jumped up quite a bit. Dr. Fuh at Washington University, had talked to me in November about a clinical trial. At that time they were not accepting new patients and I was put on a wait list. She was touching base with me about the fundraiser and I told her about the higher CA125. She said she would reserve a place for me in the same trial. Dr. MacZura at the Springfield Clinic moved my CT Scan ahead by several weeks. Things were moving fast. At this time I began getting a feeling in my gut that this was not the right path for me. Everyone else seemed to to think it was. 

Now, I am a person who likes order in my life. I like being in my home and keeping to a routine. The idea of traveling every Monday for 3 weeks of a month for a long period of time was not appealing to me. I thought that these reasons might be why I did not feel comfortable with stopping the treatment in Springfield which has been going so well. Bob and I have learned to manage most of the side effects and life is good. It seems very normal now with some exceptions. We knew that if both doctors told me it was my best option to join in the clinical we would do it and make that a part of the "new normal" as we have now done many times.

The night before the CT, I called Pastor Jason. I explained the situation and he repeated it back to me to make sure he understood--impressive, but that's the way he is. He offered to pray with me over the phone and we talked over what we would pray for. Thankfulness, as always, and  few specifics. Jason prayed that I would receive a clear directive so that I would know for certain what to do. I had even written down questions for Dr. MacZura and Dr. Fuh but wasn't even sure I had the nerve to ask them should they tell me the clinical trial was my best option. They are both top-notch in their fields and I respect them both. Jason also prayed for miracle healing and peace.

I slept well and I did feel peace as we traveled to Springfield for the CT.

The next day Dr. MacZura called me and said that the CT imaging showed very little change since my last one in early January. She used the word "stable". We were ecstatic to hear that! Due to the stable condition and that I am feeling so well, both she and Dr. Fuh agreed that I should continue treatment in Springfield for a few more rounds (each takes a month). Travel due to the increasing danger of the coronavirus played a role also.

If this isn't a direct answer to prayer, I don't know what is. I was in fact a little worried that would not be tuned in to the Holy Spirit and would miss the answer. No chance of that! I didn't even have to ask questions. It was all decided. Bob and I kept thanking Dr. MacZura and we could hear her smile over the phone. I am so fortunate to have such a knowledgable, skilled, and caring doctor.

Yesterday, March 24, was the "little chemo" and everything went well. My next treatment is April 7th which will start the 6th cycle. I pray that these drugs are doing their jobs and there are signs that they are.

There have been many answered prayers during these past 14 months of my cancer sojourn. We have also felt some prayers were not answered or "not yet".This prayer with Pastor Jason and God's swift, clear, and loving answer is so sacred in my heart now and I will never forget that moment of feeling so full to the measure of God's everlasting love. (See Ephesians 3:19.) Thank you, Abba Father!

I'd like to leave you with a passage that has been a stronghold for me in the past weeks. 

...but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 5: 3-5 (NIV)

Thank you all for your prayers, acts of love, and expressions of hope and love. Stay safe and take all the precautions you can to be well. I've been in training for quarantine for 14 months now so if you need any tips, I'm your person. ;)

Rejoicing with a Quiet Heart,
Ovarian Cancer Survivor

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