April and I arrived at last Wednesday’s juncture worn out like a pair of well-trod shoes. The last few months of chemotherapy treatments have extracted a toll on April’s body and on the souls of our entire family. Though we long for rest, the results of Aprils latest scans revealed the need for a new treatment plan…for more action.

What’s Next

According to April’s UVA team, her breast cancer has managed to squeeze past the safeguards provided by her chemotherapy regimen. It has made noticeable gains in the lymph nodes around her breast. A combination of scans and blood work also strongly suggests that April’s ER+ PR+ and HER2- cancer cells have also started to rebuild themselves within her breast and bones. Thankfully, the tumors in April’s liver remain stable. No new tumors have reached her lungs. Because the cancer has not penetrated her vital organs, the side effects of the new breast cancer growth remain minimal. But as we learned last spring, her cancer will not play nice for long. Last March, April came far too close to the edge of ruin. As the windshield wipers aimlessly swept back and forth on February 3, 2022 following the conversation with April’s UVA oncologists, we determined to do our best to avoid another debacle similar to the one of last March.

Over the past week April and I have repeatedly talked through the various treatment options with April’s UVA and Mayo oncologists, exploring both the standard of care path and the experimental treatment path. Choosing the right way forward has proved difficult for all the paths lead into dense woods with undiscernible futures. Because oncologists have only used hormonal therapies for a little over five years, little data exists regarding what doctors should do after treatments like Ibrance and Letrozole cease to work. With each change in treatment, the discussion moves from estimates and scientific studies to guestimates and anecdotal reflections. After weighing the few things that we could measure such as the physical effects travel against the backdrop of educated guesses, April and I decided to embark upon a standard treatment path composed of two drugs, Fluvestrant and Abemaciclib. The first consists of a shot administered monthly and the second a pill taken twice daily. Together, the drugs promise to keep April’s cancer at bay for another five months. They also threaten only mild side effects such as stomach issues, headaches, and some soreness at the injection locations. In short, the new treatment plan promises to work as well as the chemotherapy but with less side effects.

Though our shoes our worn, we hope this new path will lead us to a period of relative rest.

Reflections

That said, we continue to live in a world of varying shades of uncertainty. The path forward could twist this way or that with little warning. Though we remain confident in our choice, our hope resides not in the path but in the Lord above.

In many ways, our spiritual journey remains centered upon truths we have shared before. Suffering whether cancer or otherwise is the typical lot of the believer. Though April’s youth makes her illness less common and her suffering and that of our family more intense than others, the suffering itself is not an oddity. Jesus declared in Matthew 7:24-27 that the storms of affliction would crash against all of us. Or as James the brother of Jesus says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the test of your faith produces steadfastness.” Because we know our suffering is not beyond the knowledge of God, we also know that our God can see us through this time. We do not know where April’s cancer battle will take us. But we do know that we do not have to worry about tomorrow for the God who cares for the lilies of the field cares for us. He will see us through today and tomorrow. Our heavenly Father knows all that we need. When we remember this, we have great hope. When we forget the love of God and gaze only upon the path, we fear everything from the next turn in the treatment path to what a nurse might think of us. The battle forever and always begins and ends not with our circumstances but with our heart. Oh for more steadfastness.

Prayer

  • Pray that the new medicine would hold the breast cancer at bay for the next 5-6 months.
  • Pray that our weariness would be replaced with faith that would lead to steadfastness.
  • Pray for God to grant us the wisdom needed to determine our children’s educational future.
  • Pray for God to give us straight paths and provide for us the best housing arrangements.
  • Pray for our children to repent and believe in Jesus Christ.
  • Pray would be obedient in the mundane stresses of life.

Contact Info

EMAIL US AT: BIBLEFIGHTER@GMAIL.COM 

SNAIL-MAIL: P.O. BOX 637/ AMISSVILLE, VA 20106

CALL US AT: 540-937-6159.

SUPPORT US AT GOFUNDME.COM: APRIL WITKOWSKI MEDICAL FUND

SUPPORT US AT PAYPAL: ID: PAWitkowski

11 thoughts on “April’s February 2022 Cancer Update

  1. I pray daily for April, you, your children & all the family! You all have such faith & I know the Lord will see you through all these trials! God bless all of you!

    Liked by 1 person

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