A touch of hope has returned to the sails of our souls this afternoon.
As April and I accessed the waves of pain and doubt that violently rocked her soul these past few weeks, we began to fear that her voyage to health would soon break against the rocks of failure. On Saturday, August 3, 2019, an MRI revealed that the storm that enveloped her body had grown in both size and location. Seeking to clarify the shape and intensity of April’s cancer, the medical team at Mayo performed both a CT Scan and a bone scan yesterday, August 13, 2019.
Those tests renewed our hope in her current treatment plan, revealing both good and bad news. The tumors in her lymph nodes appear to have shrunk a few millimeters, some of her bones have grown stronger, and some of tumors in her pelvis have decreased in size. Conversely, the scans revealed that the spots in her liver have grown slightly and are indeed cancerous, that some of the tumors in her back, hips, and chest have increased a millimeter or two, and that three potentially cancerous spots have appeared next to her lungs. In short, some tumors have decrease a have few percentage points and some have grown between 1% to 5%. Essentially, the tests reveal that April’s cancer formation has shifted little since our last Mayo visit in June. For the treatment to be considered a failure, the cancer has to grow by 20% or more. This afternoon April is sailing a safe distance from that rock of disaster.
Though we and our doctors wished April’s cancer had decreased in both size and intensity over the past two months, the report of an essentially unaltered storm offers us more medical hope than when we began the day. Her hormone treatment could still be working. The drugs power her body to health require time to beat down the winds and waves of her aggressive disease.
For the next two months, April will continue to battle against the winds of her cancer with the help of the hormone blocking pills. In October, we will head back to Mayo for another round of tests to see if her cancer has grown or shrunk. The additional eight weeks should definitively answer the question of whether or not the hormone treatment will meaningfully aid April in her quest for health.
April has defined today as being a “gray-day.” Going back to May 17, all previous major scans had contained only the black discouraging news of metastatic cancer and tumor growth. In a little yet very meaningful way, this gray report has pushed the needle a mark more towards hope. We are thankful for this success.
We thank you for joining with us in prayer these past few days. Going forward, we hope and pray that we will have some days of gloriously clear, and bright news.
Before her next trip to Minnesota in October, April will see a radiologist. Her Mayo and UVA doctors believe localized radiation should prevent additional bouts of intense back and leg pain. She will also have an outpatient surgery to remove her ovaries to ensure that her body will no longer produce estrogen and progesterone.
April and I have found living life in two-month increments to be taxing. The tests she endures are physically and emotionally exhausting. As our five-year-old said the other day, “I don’t like cancer.”
As we seek to keep our hearts from being tossed by every wind and wave of medical news, we ask God to help us to see with eternal vision. In Mathew 8:26, Jesus rebukes the disciples for having, “little faith” because they saw the world through only their physical eyes. They were consumed with the waves instead of their powerful savior. They should have known (and we should know) that Jesus is far more real and powerful than any storm. Jesus is our salvation and our guarantee that all of our life is under God’s all powerful, all wise, and all good care. Because Jesus reigns, we have no reason to be afraid even if our boat is swamped by the waves of cancer. We pray and ask you to pray for us that the eternal realities of our savior and of our salvation will be more real to us than the medical images we can see and touch.
We thank you for joining with us in prayer over the last few days. Please keep praying for April’s healing. Your notes and messages have been a blessing to our souls as we geared up for and walked through this last series of tests and doctor’s visits. Thank you.
We hope to have more good news to share with you in two months.
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can reach us via snail-mail at : P.O. Box 637/ Amissville, VA 20106
You are also welcome two reach out to the elders of Amissville Baptist Church, Mark Hockensmith and Bill Brown, at: 540-937-6159.
Though April and I welcome inquirers and emails, calls, and texts of support, they can be overwhelming at times. We appreciate your patience with our responses.
We plan to also keep posting updates here at witkowskiblog.com
Thank you for your love, prayers, and never-ending support.
Sustained By Grace Through Faith,
Peter and April
6 thoughts on “Memo: April’s Breast Cancer August 2019 Update”
Prayers continue daily. Although my cancer was in 1993, I remember very well how physically and very emotionally all those tests and scans were. It was an emotional roller coast ride for 9 months for me and my family/friends. God be with you to ride you through each and every storm and bumpy road.
You never ever forget how taxing cancer is but you do ALWAYS know how faithful Our God is. He will provide the way as prayer warriors like me pray fervently.
Love and trust in Jesus – Ann Peacock
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Thank you for the encouragement Mrs. Ann.
Fervent prayers of hope for April & all the family. Praying everything starts a steady shrinking of all tumors. God Bless you all. My Son has Multiple Myeloma, no cure but treatable. His hope is for God to spare him from side effects of chemo shots in the stomach every week & help him to continue serving the Lord as Director of FCA in the Shenandoah Valley for a long time to come. God Bless!
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Thank you for praying for April’s healing and we join you in praying for God to spare your son’s health for His glory.
Peter and April, you probably don’t remember me from FBC Eastman, but I remember you well. You and your precious family are in my prayers. You are my brother and sister in Christ. Love you both and your precious children….Kathy Lewis
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Thank you for praying Mrs. Kathy😀