This morning we heard back from one of Erin’s Surgeons that both the cancer and plastic surgeons are available for surgery on November 30th. The problem is that they are waiting for an opening in the operating room. As of right now they are telling us that they think something will open up that day and for us to keep our schedules clear for surgery. Evidently the week after Thanksgiving is not a popular time for surgeries and so they are pretty sure something will open up on the 30th. However, if that is not the case, surgery could potentially be pushed back another 2 to 3 weeks. Please join us in praying that surgery will be able to happen on November 30th. This will give Erin plenty of time to recuperate and enjoy Christmas with our family too. As always thank you for your faithful prayers and we will update you as soon as we know more!
Since our last post we have had a full week of various appointments, but finally have some direction in Erin’s fight with breast cancer. On Thursday last week we met with Erin’s cancer surgeon, her oncology doctor, and a genetic counselor.
First stop the the cancer surgeon. We found out right away that while Erin doesn’t have a fast moving form of cancer, there is too much of it to just perform a lumpectomy. The surgeon told Erin that right now her only choice is a mastectomy on the breast where the cancer is at and that she had the option to do a double as a preventative measure. After conferring with the surgeon and asking many questions, Erin decided she definitely wants the double mastectomy for both prevention and peace of mind. The doctor then set up an appointment for us to meet with a plastic surgeon and recommended we do the double mastectomy and start the reconstruction all on the same day.
Later in the afternoon, we moved over to the oncology office where we met with the oncologist. This was one of the best meetings we had as she was able to really explain all that is going on to Erin and calm some of the worries that Erin has had. The oncologist said the she really believes that surgery will remove all of the cancer and that even though there is no 100% guarantee that they won’t find anything else. However, she will be very surprised and doesn’t think Erin will need chemo or radiation at all.
The last person we met with last week was the genetic counselor who asked a lot of questions about Erin’s family. After that she drew some blood for genetic testing to see if there is any inherited genes that might have caused this or might be cause for concern about more cancer in the future. Given that there is no real history of cancer on either side of Erin’s family, we aren’t expecting anything significant to come back on the tests but we will wait to see.
Yesterday, we met with Erin’s plastic surgeon who explained the whole reconstruction and recovery process to Erin. It looks like all in all there will be about 3 surgeries over a six month period to complete reconstruction. Thankfully only the first surgery that coincides with the double mastectomy requires a hospital stay.
Over all, both Erin and I are doing better in processing everything, now that we have somewhat of a plan for what is going to happen next. Please keep praying as we are now waiting for the cancer surgeon and plastic surgeon to figure out when they can get together to do the surgery. It looks like it will be over 5 hours of surgery and so getting a time they can both work together for that long takes awhile is what we have been told. They are trying to get things scheduled during the beginning of December, but not sure yet. While they assure us the cancer won’t grow much during that time, it’s still a big fear for Erin. So as always pray that things move a long quickly and in the meantime for her to have peace from God.
We still see how God is working and taking care of us and are constantly amazed at all He is doing. We are also, so thankful for all our friends and family that are praying for us and have offered to help our family. You’re encouragement has blessed us more than we can express. Thank you and keep praying!
The past week or so has been crazy busy for our family but we are so thankful for the way that we have seen God working and encouraging us. This past weekend Erin and I had the privilege of going back to Chicago to take place in a missions conference at Bethel Community Church. It was great to catch up with many old friends, make new friends and share with many for the first time about our new ministry with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. We were truly blessed by our time with our Bethel Family and also very thankful to my parents who kept Maeven and Judah this weekend!
Yesterday, Erin and went to one of the health departments here in Madison County where we began doing some testing and filling out the paper work for a program to help with Erin’s medical bills. While paper work always takes forever we are praising God that Erin was accepted into a program that should cover most if not all of Erin’s tests, treatments, procedures and whatever else she may need. It almost seems to good to be true, but we are so thankful to see God providing for us.
Today, we took Erin to the St. Joseph East Breast Center where she had an MRI and some more testing done. The MRI is always a stressful time, but Erin did well and I was allowed to go in and read to her for the 4o minutes or so she was in the machine. When the MRI was completed we waited for a bit to meet with one of the doctors that had gone over her previous tests and now the MRI. The good news is that all over Erin’s cancer appears to be localized to the left breast and has not yet spread from the ducts to the tissue and lymph nodes. The doctor we met with did say that Erin has an early stage breast cancer that is slow moving, which is great to hear. She did however say that even though it’s slow moving and early there does appear to be a lot of it. She then proceeded to talk with us about some questions that Erin had and what Erin is thinking about doing as far as lumpectomy vs. a double mastectomy.
We will be going back to the breast center this Thursday to meet with the oncologist for more consultation and genetic testing, and with the surgeon who will be working to remove the cancer. It is looking more and more likely that in the end Erin will have the double mastectomy and so we also have an appointment on Monday with a plastic surgeon to begin talking about what reconstruction will be like for Erin.
Nothing is set in stone though and we still have lots of time to pray and lots of decisions to make. Please continue to pray for us to have wisdom in all these big decisions that are looming in the next few days. Erin is doing much better since first being diagnosed, but still has a lot of emotional highs and lows. Please continue to pray for her to feel the presence of God and be at peace during this battle with cancer. Please pray that while waiting and making decisions this cancer will be slow as the doctors have said and not progress any more. We also ask that you praise God with us for this program that Erin has been accepted in to that will help with most if not all the medical bills. Pray with us that it is not too good to be true. Lastly, please continue to pray for our monthly financial support with FCA. I have already had to cancel and reschedule some potential support appointments. Pray that I will be able to get and take the appointments we need for support raising and that the finances will come in. More than anything though, please keep praying for Erin!
Since we shared with you yesterday about Erin’s breast cancer diagnosis, we have been overwhelmed with all the kind words, offers of help, and most importantly prayers that we have received. It so awesome to know that so many people from all around the world are faithfully praying that Erin will be healed. We know that we have a great God and can’t wait to see how He will work in Erin’s life and how we can use this situation to point others to Him.
One of the biggest questions that we have received so far is about what our next steps will be. This afternoon Erin was finally able to confirm that she will be going in for testing starting next Monday. I am not sure on the extent of everything they will be doing next week, but do know there will be an MRI and genetic testing at some point. Once we get those results we will then figure out what the best course of action will be.
So, for the next 5 or 6 days we are pretty much waiting and praying. We ask that during this time you please keep praying too. Please pray that as we wait that we will stay busy and focused on God working and not allow our minds to wander into all the what if scenarios. We want to take each step of Erin’s battle one step at a time and depend on God to be there along each step. The last thing we want to do is look to far ahead and be overwhelmed with all the what ifs that may never happen.
It will probably be sometime next week before we have another update to share, but in the mean time please pray. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me (Andy). Thank you so much for your faithfulness
This afternoon we will be heading back to the doctor for one more test for Erin. She is having a more in depth MRI on her brain and hopefully after this the doctor will be able to totally rule out M.S. We thank you for your faithful prayers over the past couple of months and ask you to join us again today in prayer that all will go well. We serve the Great Physician and Healer and we know Erin is totally in His care. Pray for her health, calm nerves, and peace no matter what the outcome. Thank you so much for your faithfulness!
Yesterday afternoon, we went back to Erin’s neurologist to find out the results of her MRI and hopefully get some answers as to what has been going on with her body these past few months. After some discussion the doctor told us his “working” diagnosis is that she has fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and a herniated disc in her neck. The good news is that none of this diagnosis is life threatening. The bad news is that the two major issues really aren’t curable, but they are treatable. For the next three months Erin will be trying a routine of meds and physical therapy to help ease her symptoms. If all goes well we will go back to the neurologist in three months and continue on the same track. If all does not go well, there may be some more detailed MRI’s in the future. We are thankful to finally have some answers and very thankful for your continued prayers through this difficult time. Please keep praying for Erin as this looks to be a long tough road ahead.
Here is a copy of our our August prayer letter that was sent out this week to all our mailing list. If you have trouble reading it, please click on the pdf link below it. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support!