Living with the Enemy!

Life has many turns in the journey. There are easy times when it seems that there are no cares in the world, others become an uphill climb. The road of life twists and turns. Most are good and fun, but any life is not without its hard moments. Usually hard times come for a season and then life evens out again. But what do you do when the enemy moves in, sets up camp, and plans to stay– maybe forever?

That is where we are now. Learning to live with enemy-Cancer. For about 23 years on and off Glenn has had some sort of cancer appear in his body. Of course the first major cancer was 24 years ago when by God’s grace we discovered he had a tumor in his kidney. Renal cell carcinoma is often called the silent killer because you don’t know it is there until it is too late. Glenn had his kidney removed and was tested each year for 7 years. There was no evidence of cancer. After 19 years you begin to feel secure. God has helped you beat this thing. I am forever grateful for those 19 years. We raised our girls together, grew older together, and enjoyed life.

But then one day you find that what you thought had been eradicated from your body has been silently growing inside again. This time the procedure is not so easy. To take out the cancer they have to rearrange your insides. The surgery is major and you are no young thing anymore. Glenn had a procedure done called the “whipple” which took out parts of his gastrointestinal system and rearranged it. I am happy to say he recovered well. But this cancer has not gone away. It returned 2 years later as a tumor in his lung. Now we find it has camped out in what is left of his pancreas and made itself at home.

We made a trip to MD Anderson this July and stayed for about 2 weeks. We learned a lot. For one thing at present there is no other cancer at this time in Glenn’s body except the tumor in his pancreas. Good news. This type of cancer does not normally go to the brain or the bone. More good news. His tumor, however, is too large to be resected. Cyber knife radiation is too dangerous in this area due to the number of blood vessels and arteries. Cryo oblation can’t happen because the tumor grew to large before detected. Bad news. The cancer is already in the blood stream which we knew because of the tumor in the lung. Treatment option: treat systemically with votrant. Votrant is supposed to encapsulate the tumor and cut off the blood supply and for any new cancer cells out there it would keep them from developing blood supplies.

The news was not all that we wanted. The cancer is sticking around. Glenn will be taking medicine to keep it in bounds and take enzymes to aid in digestion. He is also going on an insulin pump to help keep better control of his insulin. Glenn is in relative good health and is still teaching 1/4 time for the university. We have trips planned and life for the large part is good. To go forward you must make peace with what is and trust that God is in control. We are thankful for each day. We are thankful for each of you that prays for us.

Life at best has always been uncertain. We often retain a false sense of security in this world. But when the enemy moves in and sets up residence you begin to appreciate the fragility of life. Our hope is in God and right now I am thankful He is in charge.

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