Monday, July 15, 2013

Dear Friends,

The last four days of our lives have been an absolute whirlwind of news and emotions. God has done so many marvelous things in our hearts, and I can’t wait to share these things with you. For now, I want to give you the background since many of you have asked.

Two weeks ago while visiting our family in Atlanta, Andrea discovered a large growth above her left breast. It was so obvious when we noticed it that it was impossible to understand why we had not seen it before. When we got home we visited a doctor friend who encouraged us to get an ultra sound and a biopsy. I was out of town speaking at a camp when Andrea found out she needed a biopsy.  Our doctor friend called me at camp and said I needed to come home. When we went in for the biopsy last Thursday, the ultra sound showed that this growth was close to the heart and the doctor determined we needed to go immediately for a CT scan before the biopsy. We were not prepared for what the CT scan would show.

Two hours after we arrived at the hospital for a rather routine biopsy we were listening to the doctor explain that Andrea had a large growth (12 cm) inside her chest cavity. It was pushing against her larynx, her trachea, and surrounding all four main arteries coming from her heart. The reason we suddenly discovered the growth above her breast was because the tumor behind her chest was so aggressive it had gone through her top rib and began to manifest itself. The doctor assured us then that it was cancer but knew nothing else.

The doctor proceeded with the biopsy and immediately sent us to an oncologist. By the end of last Thursday we knew about the large tumor in Andrea’s chest, we knew she had some form of cancer, knew that it was very aggressive, and that it needed to be dealt with immediately. There were many things that were still uncertain—such as what kind of cancer.

Our doctor told us that we should pray first for complete healing and then for lymphoma. We had never thought we would be praying for a certain type of cancer, but lymphoma would be the best of the four possible types because of its response to chemo. On Friday the preliminary report from the biopsy showed that the cancer appears to be lymphoma. We praised the Lord for this good news.

This is where we are right now. What we know for sure is that this tumor is aggressive and because of its location must be dealt with immediately. Andrea needs to be on chemo by the end of this week. We also know that lymphoma responds very well to chemo and are encouraged by what the doctors are saying. What we don’t know is exactly the type of lymphoma she has, who her oncologist will be, and where she will be treated. We hope to find all that out early this week.

We are asking the Lord to go before us and prepare the way.  He knows exactly what we need. We are doing well. We trust Him completely and do not fear. The Lord has already done such a deep work in our hearts it is overwhelming. I genuinely can’t wait to share all of this with you. He is changing us through this in a magnificent way.

The best is yet to come.

Pastor Josh
Psalm 103