Monday, June 11, 2012

The Video

When I was first diagnosed with cancer everyone was so sweet and encouraging to me. People said things like : "if anyone can beat this it is you" or "you are so strong" or "you got this". I kind of felt exactly that way, like I was going to kick this cancer's ass. But as time went by my heart changed a bit, I still wanted to live and still wanted cancer to go away. But I wanted my story to be about more than a girl who is a tough chick. I wanted God to get all the credit. I wanted this story to be about Him. So I started praying.....

 At the time Daniel Davis was living with us. He is a brilliant photographer and ask us if he could take pictures of our cancer journey. We agreed still not knowing how God would use them. Daniel began working for the story team at our church Austin Stone and the idea to do a video began.

These pictures are real, raw, and kind of scare the crap out of me. I don't remember most of these images or when they were taken. I was sick very sick. I don't look "cute" in them (and we all know that we want cute pictures up on the internet of us). I was smack in the middle of doing crazy treatments everyday. I had gained 15 pounds, my body was freakin out, and our family was in survival mode. I was nervous about this video. Nervous at how it would be received.

But we prayed and believed that God had a story to tell. That His name was going to be lifted high in the midst of trial and suffering. Please friends!! Post, email, share, tweet, Facebook this video. We have been praying that God uses it somewhere for someone for months now. The story team at The Austin Stone did an incredible job and we want people to see it.

Thanks again for everyone who is praying for us. And please continue to pray for those who are fighting this fight alone with no hope of the Gospel.

* Daniel Davis also did an incredible job taking pictures of the night I lost my hair. Feel free to share this one too.

Strength from Adam McManus on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Updates, Game Plans, and Coffee Enemas

Greetings Friends,

It's time for your favorite cancer update.....

I met with my oncologist team earlier this week and we had some great chats. We looked at my labs and talked about how low they still are. My white blood cell count is in the 2.5 range which is yucky and explains why I am so tired, but it is high enough to keep doing chemo. In August it dropped under 1 and that is when we pulled the plug on the last 2 treatments. This is good news. My doctor is impressed that my body has handled these treatments so well and I FEEL LIKE CRAP! It was good hearing that he is happy with everything, because I have been struggling lately. Struggling with how bad I feel ALL THE TIME. Honestly, I have wanted to quit. On a side note, I need to give a shout out to God for protecting our family's health over this year. I have a weak immune system and with 3 little kids should have gotten sick many MANY times, but we have had ZERO sickness. It has been incredible.

"Your liver looks like a 80 year old alcoholic". My doctor thought that that was funny, I was quite horrified. But he reassured me that my liver will bounce back. And that my liver is not cancer-sick it is chemo-sick. Does that sound better? Cause it is. It means my liver is struggling because of the treatments, pain pills, and other drugs. NOT because cancer is spreading. GOOD NEWS! It also means that I get to start a new "fun" regime. *Disclaimer: If you have a weak stomach go ahead and skip to the next paragraph. Two words my friends: Coffee enema. It is exactly what you think it is, and it is going to save my liver. Who knew??!!!

The end is near. After looking at labs and chatting about coffee up my bum, we decided that my body is starting to just "BE DONE". So we are going to finish with chemo AUGUST 1st!!!! Which is beyond awesome! Stage 3 Melanoma is a mean cancer and has a high chance of spreading again (60-70% reoccurrence rate) which is why we have been doing this treatment for a YEAR! We are praying that every cancer cell in my body is destroyed and DOES NOT GROW AGAIN!

On October 3rd we are do a big MRI, the kind where you lay in a plastic tube for a couple hours. On October 8th we'll go over the results. Hopefully that day we will hear the phrase NED, which means NO EVIDENCE of DISEASE. Which means I still have cancer, but it is NOT alive in my body. We talked about this for awhile. Apparently cancer survivors really struggle with the "after" treatment. I have been in "fight-mode" for over a year and then on October 8th, I just what? stop? Nope, cause I am still fighting, but it will be more of a mental battle not the physical one. Every headache, sneeze, restless night of sleep will be a struggle. "Is the cancer back?" "Has it spread again?" That will be a struggle and I am sure I will write about it more later.

So only 9 more weeks to go.....

I want to give a shout out to everyone who has prayed with us over this last year. I have felt every prayer and needed EVERY single one of them. We couldn't have done this journey without of prayer community. You guys rock!

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