Monday, July 03, 2006

Prayer request for my mother

July 2, 2006

Dear Family & Friends,

Some of you haven’t heard from us for awhile, but we often think of you and the encouragement and prayer support you gave us during Carol’s cancer treatments. You have a special place in our hearts for having shared that experience with us in such a personal and beneficial way.

Carol has been doing remarkably well since that time, but now we are facing another challenge that we want to make you aware of. She has developed a sizable tumor on the right side of her brain, and her medical team has determined that it is cancerous and will require surgical removal. The surgery date has not been set yet, but it will likely be mid-week (about July 5). We will know more tomorrow when we hear from the surgeon’s office.

This situation arose rather quickly, following a few weeks of minor symptoms (i.e., mild headaches and low grade temperature). She has also had some visual disturbances and occasional disorientation while in familiar surroundings. Her most recent blood and cancer marker tests revealed nothing abnormal, but her symptoms, coupled with her need for an updated contact lens prescription, prompted us to visit our optometrist, who discovered an abnormal visual pattern and encouraged us to see an ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist determined that her problem was neurological and consistent with stroke activity rather than with the eyes themselves. A subsequent MRI revealed a 4cm x 6cm tumor in the area of the brain most closely related to sight and memory.

The tumor is most likely linked to her previous breast cancer episode, although it does not have some of the typical characteristics of metastatic cancer, so it may be a new cancer unrelated to the breast cancer. In any event, it must be removed very soon.

Currently she is on anti-seizure medication as well as a medication to help shrink the tumor. From what we understand, radiation therapy is beneficial in shrinking a tumor in many situations, but in Carol’s case the tumor is too large to qualify for pre-surgical radiation therapy.

The surgery and potential side effects are deeply concerning to us, but the surgical team is optimistic and we know that ultimately Carol is in the hands of her Lord. Even at that, we are experiencing a great deal of fear and grief. Please pray that we will bring honor to the Lord through this situation, and that His grace and peace will govern our hearts, minds and actions. Pray also for the medical team as they do their amazing work. Ask the Lord to bless them not only with great skill, but more importantly with His divine favor and grace upon their souls.

I should add that Carol was hospitalized Friday night and was given a full-body CAT scan that detected no other cancer in her body. That is a great praise. She is now home and feeling well. The strong medications she is on have her a little more loopy than usual (she’ll forgive me for that comment, I’m sure), but otherwise she is doing well.

With deep appreciation for your prayers and concern,

Dennis McBride

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