First off, I'm quite surprised at how excited I am to shout that word. But yes, I visited the doctor on Friday to review my latest MRI and he told me, for the very first time, that he is seeing "SHRINKAGE!"
I've put together this simple PDF you can take a look at. It shows the brain tumor when it was first discovered in 2009. In September 2014, (the second image) you can see the intense bend of the midline, which turned out to be the cause of my giant seizure in December just before Lori and I's wedding. The doctors told me I "HAD" to do something or they'd essentially fire me as a patient. So after hearing about a new kind of treatment, I went to Philadelphia and stayed with my sister's family to undergo Proton Therapy Treatment, an advanced form of radiation. Directly after Proton Therapy I had another MRI taken (image three). And in the fourth photo, the same highlighted area of the tumor is smaller and lighter. Essentially... that portion of the tumor is shrinking.
Also, it's interesting to note the black space between my brain and skull. That area is filled with Cerebrospinal fluid which protects the brain. Each of our brains is surrounded with this fluid to allow our brains to expand and shrink based on tiredness, altitude, sodium intake, blows to the head, drunkenness, etc... In the previous photos the cerebrospinal fluid is very thin. So it's fantastic to see my CSF levels have also returned to normal.
While I give credit to the Proton Therapy Treatment center in Philly for their help, I want to thank you.You, yes, you are responsible for this. I want to thank you for your solitary prayers, your prayers around the dining room table, your prayers in the classrooms, your prayers on your knees before climbing into bed. I want to thank you for your lasagnas delivered in trunks, and mysterious envelopes filled with money and labeled, "Groceries." YOU are the reason I am getting better. I am so thankful to be surrounded by people who truly love me and desperately desire to see me healed of this cancer. And you know what? IT AIN'T OVER YET! YOUR PRAYERS ARE BEING ANSWERED! SO PLEASE DON'T STOP!
I remember thinking that God had the capacity to instantly heal me. But if he did do that, my life would have never gone through what has actually happened. I wouldn't have gotten divorced. I would never have married Lori. And our three kids wouldn't exist. That thought, in and of itself, is enough for me to be so thankful that God intervened in my life WITH cancer and WITH divorce. God knows the horrible moments he has planned for us, can also be the same moments that will eventually save our lives. I give God the glory for my story, through all of my ups and downs.
Pray we can continue to move forward and/or wait for the best treatment routes to show themselves. There are so many exciting things happening in cancer treatments these days, including immunotherapy and using measles, malaria, polio, and even HIV to treat cancers. My mom has always told me that I just needed to stay alive enough years for our medical establishment to catch up and find a cure. And it's looking more and more like that cure is finally knocking on the front door of the medical community.
I love each and every one of you! Thank you for your continued prayers on my behalf. We serve and love a God who heals in extremely unique ways, sometimes in a single touch, and other times through the 'system.' But in the meantime, let's RAISE THE ROOF and thank God for the healing that HAS come and the healing that IS to come! I stand in faith that I have A LOT more life to look forward to! Such as... my beautiful, sweaty, and tired family after celebrating the girls shared birthday with Lori's family in Chicago yesterday. THIS is what life is made of, so please know, I will be intent on pursuing moments just like this.