Dear Praying Friends,
As this email will be going to some that do not know what has transpired I will have to repeat some things that you may already know, please bear with me.
Next, I am now in Cork and Bernadette is up in Dublin with Missy (Priscilla). Hopefully they will be coming home tomorrow (May 24th). I have not read my emails for two weeks and so they piled up. I quickly went through them but it is going to take some time for me to answer them so please be patient.
The biopsy revealed that Missy has Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She is stage 2be. The b stands for the fact she has had significant weight loss and the e stands for the fact that the cancer has entered the lungs.
As it stands now Missy will have 6 months of chemotherapy and then that may be followed up with more chemo and radiotherapy (radiation therapy). Each round of treatment will be 28 days. 15 days of chemo followed by 13 days for recovery.
For those of you that do not know, chemo attacks and kills fast growing cells. The cancer is fast growing and so it kills cancer, but chemo also kills the blood cells and other cells. Thankfully, the blood recovers, but it means that there will be a lot of time when Missy will have absolutely no immunity and will be extremely susceptible to infection. We need you to pray that Missy will not get any infections during the treatment.
The tumor (by invading or by pressure) has completely blocked the superior vena cava. The svc brings blood back to the heart. Missy is getting blood thinners to clear the clot that has built up at the blockage. The surgeon has said that the vein will heal itself but we need you to pray that there will be no complications with the blood clot (we do not want the clot to enter the heart when the tumor starts shrinking).
The treatment for the cancer is very severe and can cause many side effects, some not too bad, but some are severe. Missy can actually get cancer from the cancer treatment! We need you to pray that Missy will not get any serious side effects from the cancer treatment.
One of the side effects for the treatment is hair loss. This is almost a certainty. For those you that have never met Missy, she had very long hair. I have attached a picture to give you an idea. For Missy, to go bald is very traumatic; it would be for any 15 year old girl. Also, Missy is a very good pianist and will loose her year of study as she is just not well enough to do the exam. This is quite upsetting for her. These are some of the things Missy will have to deal with besides the cancer and cancer treatment. Missy has a lot to deal with emotionally, so we would ask you to pray for her emotional stability.
When Missy was in the ICU she was on ventilation, because the tumor was inhibiting breathing. While on ventilation Missy was sedated but not completely. Missy was unable to talk but was trying to tell the nurse something so the nurse got a pen and paper for her. Missy then feebly wrote, “Thank you”. When the nurse showed that to me my heart was full of joy. Missy later signed to me to phone Mom and tell her that she was ok and the she loved her. It is wonderful to see Missy still has a sweet spirit. Please pray that she will continue to have a sweet spirit and that through this she will grow spiritually and grow closer to God.
For our whole family this has been a great shock, but especially for Bernadette. We were planning to go to Canada for three months to raise support but that has been cancelled. Please pray that through this our whole family will love God and others more.
Although this is a life threatening disease it can be completely cured. Please pray that Missy will be completely cured and through this she will be a blessing to others.
Thank you for all your prayers and support.