“The mercies of the Lord endure forever”
Bronwen, James (our elder son from the USA) and I have just returned from Christchurch where we saw the oncologist this morning for the results of the CT scan taken yesterday. The news they gave me overwhelmed me.
The radiologist and oncologists can find no sign of cancer in the liver. The primary in the rectum also appears to be clear. The liver has returned to normal size and is in “pristine condition”. The Oncologist showed us the original scan and also the present scan so we could make comparisons. When the first scan was taken, the metastases were right through all segments of the liver and the cancer was larger than the remaining functioning liver. Now there is no sign of disease at all in the liver. The oncologist stated that she can count on her fingers the number of patients she has seen over the years who have shown such dramatic response. The official report states, “Radiologically, a complete response.” The Research nurse who oversees the trial I have been on said that this is the best result she has seen. Both she and the oncologist used the word ‘miracle’.
I need no further treatments but will have another CT scan in 4 weeks to confirm the result. I will then continue to have scans every 8 weeks and follow-up visits to the Nelson Oncologist every 3 months.
While we are extremely grateful to the Lord for this result, we also realise that treatments can knock out 99.9% of cancer cells but there may be one or two that are still floating around in the body that have developed an immunity to treatment. Eventually these cells have sons and daughters that multiply with increased vigour, so vigilance is still needed. We are also not going to presumptuously rush back into our old lifestyle. My body also needs time to recover from the hits it has taken from the chemotherapy so we will be taking things quietly for some months yet.
The Lord has graciously given me a new lease of life. I need to discover what the Lord would now have me do with that extra time. He certainly used strong measures to get my attention. I don’t want to waste my remaining years by missing the point of why my pathway has taken me through “the valley of the shadow of death”.
There were tears of gratitude to the Lord when we got back to the car after the appointment. There is also a deep sense that whatever means He used, it is purely His mercy and His grace that has given me this outcome.