Amazing!!

That’s what Dr. Linahres said about where we are in this journey with leukemia… “Amazing!” It was an important and encouraging reminder for us, something that we very much needed because of the struggles and side effects that we are dealing with every day. Daily living is a challenge, but Dave is alive and still here with us to face those challenges. I don’t think we realized how amazing that is until our last appointment with the doctor.

Dr. Linahres explained to us that it defies all the statistics and it far exceeds the doctors’ expectations. She is sad that he must live in a wheelchair, but she is thrilled that he is here to live in that wheelchair. The fact that the brain chemo was effective in putting Dave back into remission, and that remission is continuing, is more amazing than we realized. She didn’t expect him to be here today, and he is! I actually think that “amazing” is as close as we’re going to get to this doctor saying the word, “miracle.” But that’s exactly what we are living every day, a miracle. We are living God’s continued miracle of more time with this wonderful man, and I am very thankful. At one point the doctor told us about only two other similar cases of spinal cord damage that she was able to find in the research. When we asked if those patients had regained any mobility, she was forced to tell us that she couldn’t say whether Dave would regain anything because those other two patients didn’t live. Did I say we are living God’s continued miracle? We are!! We most definitely and very gratefully are!

Once again, God used Dave in big ways during the appointment. It was supposed to be about how he was doing (and he was actually in terrible pain on that day), but he still asked the doctor about her vacation with her family and what she did with her boys. He enjoyed asking questions about their trips to Sea World and the beach, and then he stopped and told Dr. Linahres that he prays for her. Not just for wisdom in his care, but he prays for her as a wife and being a great mom to those two little boys. He told her that he prays for her boys and her husband. He told her he prays for her connection with God. She couldn’t believe it. This man who is suffering so much and fighting for his life is praying for her personal life. It moved her to tears, our stoic, Russian, very intelligent doctor. She was touched by his kindness, his prayers, and his genuine interest in her life. It was a very meaningful moment.

For those of you keeping up with “the plan,” a significant decision has been made regarding the brain radiation. After careful research and consideration of Dave’s very unique circumstances, as well as collaboration between the team of oncology radiologists and the hematology team, the decision has been made to not move forward with radiation to the brain or the spine due to potential further damage of the spinal cord. We are comfortable with that decision and actually relieved. We are happy to not have to deal with the potential side effects of memory loss or even more serious brain trauma. So we are completely, now more than ever, in God’s hands with our future. And we are at peace with that. God doesn’t need radiation to keep leukemia away, and we know that.

Our amazing God is doing amazing things in and through this amazing man, and we anticipate amazing things to come. We don’t know what they will be, but we continue to trust that we are safely clutched in the wonderful hands of our great and mighty God.

Treating each day as precious even when the day is difficult,

Carol

Kayla Stoecklein