A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Updates on my BIL - God is a God of HOPE! :-)

Please make sure you read the 2nd Post too! :-)

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 1/22/2018
Our break has come to an end. Scott and I meet with Dr. Mogal on Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Mogal is a surgeon in the cancer center at Froedtert. He will explain in more detail what the surgery will entail, expected length of hospital stay, etc. 

We already have Scott's chemo scheduled. He will begin on January 29th - February 2nd. He goes at 8AM every day, and we're unsure about the length. He will have to get 2 chemo drugs and fluids for sure. I would guess that it will be a minimum of 2 1/2 hours. That's just my guess from prior experience. It may be longer.

He will have a 2 week break and then have another 5 day chemo. I believe Dr. Charlson will do a scan after the 2 rounds before surgery. He needs at least a 3 week break from chemo before he heads into surgery.

On Saturday, all 6 of us were able to go and see Scott's Mom Karen at the rehab hospital in Waterford. I'm glad that she was able to give all of us a hug! I'm glad the kids finally got a chance to see their Nana.

I think that's all the news I have for right now. We're trying to remain positive. We will never lose faith that our good and gracious Father in Heaven knows exactly what we need. His plans are always perfect, even if we don't agree with his plans. 

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 1/24/2018
Around 3:00 this afternoon, Scott and I met with Dr. Mogal. We went into this meeting prepared with all of our questions and ready to talk about his upcoming surgery.

We were shocked when he threw us for a loop that we weren't expecting! He began by saying that he feels as if he can remove the cancer from Scott's pelvis. He went on to say that he wonders if it's worth the risk of opening Scott up again, since his liver still has active cancer in it. 

He said that the left lobe of Scott's liver is looking pretty good. He noticed that the left lobe has gotten bigger (possibly to compensate for the right lobe, which has active cancer).

Here's where we were very surprised. He said that they are reviewing our case to see if it's possible to resect the part of Scott's liver that has disease. If you are newer to our story, I'll explain a bit. From day 1, about 2 years and 9 months ago, we have always been told that there is too much disease in both lobes of his liver to do a resection. Today, he said they are investigating the possibility. He just put a lot more hope in us, and a reason to fight even harder! 

Our hopes are high, but it's definitely not a sure thing that this surgery will be happening. We have a long road ahead of us!

Dr. Mogal said we would meet with him again in about 3 months. In the meantime, Scott will be doing 3-4 rounds of chemo. This means 1 round = Days 1-5 receiving chemo and days 6-19 will be a break. Day 1 he gets Cytoxan and Topotecan. Days 2-5 is just Topotecan. They are both IV chemo.

Scott will have a scan after these 3-4 rounds of chemo to see how everything looks in the liver and peritoneum (abdominal cavity). 

After the chemo and getting his scan results, Dr. Mogal will meet with us (probably in late April) to discuss surgery and if it's a go or not. 

These months ahead are full of uncertainty. Will the chemo help to shrink the tumors, will Scott be sick, will surgery be possible, is this an answer to our prayers about Scott's (untouchable) liver? Only God knows these answers. What we are certain of is that no matter what Scott's future looks like, his end result will be in heaven, whether it's soon or years from now. The same goes for each and every one of us who believes in Jesus as their Savior. What a blessing to all believers!

I am thankful for Dr. Mogal and the hope he provided us with today. It is a hope that I pray will keep Scott's attitude positive and help him continue this long and hard fight. Here are 2 beautiful passages about hope.

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Scott's MRI Results

Heartbroken, but never defeated

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 
Today, we heard the news that we have prayed so hard that we wouldn't hear after surgery. The MRI showed that the findings from the PET scan was indeed a reoccurrence of cancer in his peritoneum. The "nodule" is about 2 cm. It is located just above his bladder in his pelvis.

Dr. Mogal is a surgeon at Froedtert that we met in August 2017 after Scott's hospital stay for a bowel obstruction. He feels comfortable doing the surgery to remove this cancer. 

We have decisions to make, but we think he will start chemo at the end of January. He would probably do a couple rounds of 5 day chemo, with a break between cycles and then a 3 week break before surgery. Nothing is set in stone until we meet with the surgeon next week to discuss everything.

This is not the news we were hoping to hear, but God will continue to be with us in this fight. 

Unfortunately, we didn't get to go visit with Karen tonight. She was having a rough day, and Gary suggested we bring the kids to see her another day. We only got 2 minutes down the road when he texted me. We were sad to have to turn around, but we continue to pray for Karen's healing, comfort and peace. 

We trust in God's plan. We don't always understand his ways or like them, but God is good ALL of the time!

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7