Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Update from Today (from Justin) Aug 4th

We had quite a day. First, thank you Alex, Becca, and Lisa for watching Ava, with help from Ariel. Without you guys, we COULD NOT have gotten through this day. It's one thing to do all this, and its another thing altogether to try and do this and worry about your child. We did not have to worry and for that we thank you.

Its funny that Libby says I do stuff. I have done nothing, but just sit in the waiting room and cry as they cut my wife's neck open to take a chunk of this thing. I cannot even type that sentence without crying. Today was so SOBERING. To go to another oncologist and hear the same news; It was hard. The prognosis of Hodgkin's Lymphoma seems right to all Dr's involved. One hard memory from today: sitting at the Norfolk office of Dr. the waiting room was full of cancer patients. We were surrounded by people, some sicker, some further into treatment, some quieter, all people with cancer. We have cancer. Most nurses read our charts with looks of surprise. All of their looks seem to think, "How did this happen?" I will not join with people in those thoughts; I cannot. We hope to meet other patients and maybe council couples in our spot someday. But for now, we have to get to work.

Here's new information from today, along with some answered prayers, that we MUST ENCOURAGE you with, because you are the people who are laboring in prayer for us, and THAT MAKES THIS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT SITUATION. I can't honestly convey how much praying is changing this. We literally FEEL prayed for. If we didn't, I don't know what we would say or how we would do this. Simply put, it would not be possible. Libby looks forward to turning her computer/phone on and getting your messages. I cannot thank you enough.

  • We Love our Oncologist, who we met today. He was caring, compassionate, loving, encouraging, and fostered a team mentality with his staff and us. He comes highly recommended and explains things in an empathetic way, but a detailed way. He is nice and smart. He treated Libby great, and LISTENED. This is a true answer to prayer, that Libby would leave that office pumped about him and his care. He confided in us that he is a cancer survivor himself. ITS A NEW DEFINITION OF JESUS FOR ME. He has "walked in our shoes", and will now be leading the medical side of things. Pray for him.
  • He was incredibly thorough, and gave me information that I can start memorizing; tonight! (Be careful if you are researching this stuff, try something like, where you can find peer reviewed medical journals, etc.)
  • He ordered more tests... this made us feel great. Although it means more appointments, they are tests that we didn't know about that can affect Libby now and in the future. (She will have 6 major things done before treatments begin, and after tomorrow's PETSCAN, we will have completed two of these. We have had a host of other things done, as you know, but these were all leading to diagnosis. The 6 major things are dealing with what kind/stage of Lymphoma.)
  • He told us what to expect if his suspicions are correct: Chemotherapy, and depending on the biopsy results anywhere from 4-6 months, 8 at the most, and a host of other combinations of treatments depending on specific results of today's biopsy.
  • ANSWERED PRAYER! Libby did great during surgery today to remove a piece of it. She was completely under during the procedure. I feel that God blessed the surgeon and the situation and it all felt prayed for, but was hard to see her go through.
  • PRAISE JESUS I COULD SCREAM THIS !!!!!! This Dr. said the specific kind of Chemo treatment we are looking at doesn't lead to fertility issues. In fact, he said if it did, we could end up in a Journal. I hate journals.
  • Finally, our sense of "urgency" was finally spoken to today. Just like us, you are probably thinking the worst or trying not to. The Dr. revealed today that this has probably been going on for a year, and if it is what he suspects it doesn't grow tremendously fast. He said we will act promptly and consistently, but not emergency "quickly", if that makes any sense. We see him again on the 24th, and in the mean time, we will be getting the other tests and praying, while staying healthy and positive. Libby's body needs to be healthy and ready for this treatment. Her parents Tim and Krista, as well as her sisters are coming in this weekend, and I know this will be good for her soul and body.
Prayers: Please lift up these requests to the Lord.
  • There is a spot on Lib's rib on her right side that seems abnormal to Dr's. Please pray that this goes AWAY, because we want this thing to be contained in one area of her body, and therefore be easier to kill.
  • Pray for strength for Libby, who after having surgery today, is going for another test tomorrow afternoon. A PET SCAN.
  • Please pray quick results to the Biopsy, We were told we have a 50/50 chance of getting them Friday and therefore knowing what this is. They could come Monday morning as well. Pray the results are conclusive, and therefore treatment will be outlined, and we can start tackling this thing.
  • Pray for this River House - I want to move Libby there!

What can I say? Surprise. Reality. Shock. Love. Anger. Nervousness. Tears. Memories. Ava. Jesus. I really don't know what else to say. Tonight, I am thankful that Libby is resting beside me, and is not in pain. J


  1. Thank you for sharing Justin. I will pray specifically for what you have asked and for you as you begin this journey with your prom date. God bless you guys and and know that we're here if you need us.

  2. Praying for your family daily. Any hopefully an encouraging note: A non-believing friend of mine read your blog via my facebook page, and the next day asked to come to church with me. I am SURE the 2 things are related. You are suffering well, and it is beautiful and life changing to see. LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!

  3. Justin, thanks so much for the update. You do a wonderful job explaining everything that is going on and what specifically we can pray for. I will pray for patience while you are waiting for the bx results. I know that waiting is not fun. I am soooo glad you liked your Dr. That is so important. I am so glad you will be together with the whole gang this weekend. Have fun and know we are all thinking and praying for you guys!! Love, Aunt Deb

  4. Thanks for the update Justin.
    Just want you to know that i am reading your blog and emails and praying hard. as someone who is thinking about your family consistently and praying hard it is great to have details and stories of your journey. i'm so glad that you both liked the new dr. he sounds perfect for the job :)
    i have always heard how as Christians we should keep our relationship as consistent and constant as possible, but for me, sometimes this is hard. i come to Christ in times of hardships, in need of healing or when i'm having a hard time. basically...i can be selfish and cry out only when i think i "need" it. when i heard about libby, the only thing i knew to do was go to God. i've been praying hard and seeing God through your blog and your inspiring attitude towards all of this. maybe i am being selfish again and crying out because of libby, a cousin who i love, but i can say that it has been amazing to see God again daily in prayer and in worship. i'm not sure if that all made sense but i just want to let you know that God and i are tight right now and i know your family has had a part in that. so thank you.

    i will be praying.....

  5. Thanks for the update. We are praying for your family and for God to lift you up in this time of need. I know many people will be inspired by you both and like you said you can share this journey and minister to others in your situation. We will continue to pray and keep checking in...

  6. Honestly, sometimes when I log on, I still cant believe that it's my sister and brother that I'm reading about. ??? Things happen so fast....but you guys are changing update at a time, things are turning for the good and God is being glorified. I'm so thankful for today's appointments (and thankful they are over with) and I'm packaging up this week's surprise to mail out tomorrow. I love you you so much it hurts. We're still praying without ceasing... Thank God we are family.

  7. Thanks for the update. Everyday is one day closer to Libby being lymphoma free. Your Dr. Lee sounds is so important to have confidence in his care. Tell Libby that I have prayed more in the last week than I have in a long while...sorry Jus. Promptly but consistently sounds like a good plan that will match up well with patience and determination. I really liked the river will be a great place for your family. I love you all.

  8. thank you for updating and giving specific ways we can pray. you are on my heart daily (almost hourly) and i'm glad to be able to 'keep in touch' through the blog. love you Libby!

  9. I really appreciate the specific ways to target our prayers! We prayed for you off and on all day yesterday. I am glad she pulled through okay, and our prayers will continue, of course. Love, The Schwinds


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