Saturday Night Update

Let’s start with some good news today – Susan finally got the fluid drawn off of her lungs!  Her platelet level rose to 48K, and they felt that was good enough to get the procedure (and not risk having a bleeding issue).  They drew about 850 mL out.  This should help her breathe better and maybe alleviate some pain.

The brain MRI she had yesterday showed two small lesions on the right side of her brain – we knew about these from the CT she had a few days ago.  It also revealed a small lesion at the base of her brain, which may solve the problem of what is causing her swallowing issues.  This has stumped the docs all week, but now we may have a root cause.  They can radiate this area, and are making plans to start that tomorrow.  This could help her begin to swallow again, talk better, eat, drink…well, lots of things.  It would be so great to see her have some relief there.  Even though this is yet another spot, it’s better than not having an answer at all to the lack of swallowing.  And this is a treatable thing.

I left during the day today to take the kids to their 3 basketball games.  Martha stayed with Susan, and Dana (her sister) arrived from Hawaii this morning.  Along with Brian (her brother) and Dianne (her sister-in-law), and my parents, they have all been so amazing.  I almost made it back here today with the kids, in-between games, but we decided at the last minute to wait for them to visit until Sunday.  They need to see their mom, so we will make it happen tomorrow.  But I’m pretty anxious about this – they will see a lot with their little eyes, and for the first time in a week, see first-hand how she is doing.  It will be tough for them to see mommy in the state she is in, but they need to spend some time with her.  Please pray for that time, and the conversations that will happen before and after.  Sometimes you have to just wade in and not try to shield them too much, and trust that God will help them understand and process.  And give us the right words to explain, support, and comfort.

So, on the table for tomorrow – radiation treatment on the lower brain area for the swallowing and bring the kids to see Susan.

By the way, if it sounds like we are treating symptoms here, it’s because we are.  Everything they are doing right now is to deal with a symptom of the disease.  Pain meds, breathing treatments, radiation to her back and neck, blood transfusions, platelet transfusions…if you’re reading between the lines, you know we are managing symptoms here, not attacking the cancer itself as a whole.  Right now we know that it’s in places in and around her lungs, her bones, liver, and now brain.

We hope at the beginning of the week (tomorrow/Monday) to talk to the docs about where we go from here with systemic treatment (chemotherapy), what the options are, what the priorities are going to be.  We are well aware that some of these conversations may be very difficult.

Susan is snoozing now, and I will be too in about another five minutes.  Thanks for sharing in our journey, praying, and sending your encouragement our way.  We love you all.

Jerel

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44 Responses to “Saturday Night Update”

  1. Janna Daugherty Says:

    You have folks in Greenville, NC praying for you all as well!

  2. Bonnie Owens Says:

    Thank you for keeping us updated. I know it is not easy, but it allows us to pray specifically for your needs. Many hugs and prayers to you all!!

  3. Katie Robinson Says:

    Praying throughout the day, every day. Sent the shout out for 1000 pray-ers to lots of people we know, so many new voices bringing her name before Him. But He also knows her well, and I love hearing about her peace that can only be from Him. Exodus 14:14 encouraged Susan early-on, so worth reviewing: “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” We love you guys!!

  4. Michelle McConnell Says:

    I’m not sure we’ve ever met but as a mother myself I commit to pray for you, for your children, and for Susan.

  5. Kara Says:

    I wish I had words to express how much we all love you and how much we want to help. Even just to be there with a hug for encouragement. Keep the faith. We’ll be praying for all the above, especially for the issues and conversations involving those three precious children. Love, prayers and tears,
    Bennett and Kara

  6. Julie Jost Says:

    The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. (Luke 18:27)

  7. Susan Rosenblatt Says:

    Susan & Jerel,
    I read tonight’s update and will certainly be praying for your family as your children prepare to visit tomorrow. I know it will be a special time for you all albeit a hard visit as well.
    As I was reading the update, I couldn’t help but think of Ephesians 3:20 that says, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power, that is at work within us.” Our Great Physician is able to do anything, and I will pray that for complete healing…
    In His Grace,
    Susan

  8. Whitney Gray Says:

    Jerel, I’m praying specifically for you tonight and tomorrow, as you talk with the kids. I’m praying that you feel God’s presence, giving you strength and peace.

  9. Beth Says:

    Praying for you kiddos especially today. Thanks for letting us know.

  10. Joan Rogers Says:

    We will pray for strength and peace as you help your beautiful children understand that God has you all in the palm of his hand. I pray Susan has some relief from pain today and that the symptoms can get under control so she can fully enjoy the love around her. Praying always and sending love!

  11. Jenni Marsh Says:

    Jerel.. your willingness to continue to give of yourself to all of us who are reading and praying with you is so kind – thank you. Yoday I will be praying for all five of you… for your ears, your eyes and your words that the time together will give more than you ever expected in the way of peace, undertanding and strength.

  12. Charlene Says:

    We are praying for all of you!

  13. Julie G Says:

    I am thinking of you all and praying for you. You are touching, in a profound way, many people you do not even know.

  14. Debbie Jonas Says:

    Praying for Susan, you, and your precious children today. Praying for love, strength, and peace for your family today.

  15. Jamie Hayes Says:

    Jerel,

    I know Dianne from the hospital and wanted to let you know that my husband and I are also praying for Susan, you and your children. I know that God is watching over you during this difficult time and I pray that your time together today as a family is beautiful and pain-free for Susan.

  16. John Says:

    Thanks Jerel. Depending on our Lord with you.

  17. Daniel Chipps Says:

    With prayers and hope of the Christmas miracle, The Chipps of Omaha are with you in prayer and support!
    Much Love,
    Daniel, Lisa, Matthew and Allie

  18. Catherine Warner Says:

    Continuing to hold all of you in our prayers. Will particularly be interceding for Christopher, Bailey and Luke today as they spend time with Susan. We are trusting God for extravagance in his mercy and healing for all of you.

  19. Holly and Bill Worsley Says:

    Jerel and Susan,
    Bill and I, and SO MANY people that love you all, are in constant prayer for your whole family. We are especially asking God’s grace and mercy for your precious children today! In His Grace, The Whole Worsley Family

  20. Pam Cockrum Says:

    Jerel,
    Jeff and I pray every day for you, Susan and the kids. We will continue to keep your family in our prayers and hearts.

  21. sherrie cockram Says:

    Alll my thoughts, all my prayers.

  22. Kristin Brown Says:

    our family is praying for Gods hand to be on christopher, luke and bailey today. 3000+ views must be an awesome reminder of how surrounded by love and lifted up in prayer all five of you are today!!!

  23. jill Says:

    You don’t even know me; Robin D let me know about Susan about a month ago. I’ve been praying. I’ll continue to do so. My heart hurts with you in the circumstances, but hopes with you in Christ our Savior! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Is 43:2).

  24. Geoff Ables Says:

    Jerel and Susan,

    Thank you for having the strength to share this. Your lives continue to bless those around you even through this situation.

    Our family is praying for you.

  25. Laura & Mike Grace Says:

    We are friends of Dianne and Brian. We have just learned of your blog and are amazed at the strength and courage you both have shown through this difficult journey. We pray that your family will feel full and blessed by the love of God and family as you all have a chance to visit today. We will continue our prayers until all is well with your precious family. We have our hearts and best wishes wrapped around you all.

  26. Laura & Mike Grace Says:

    We are friends of Dianne and Brian. We have just learned of your blog and are amazed by your strength and courage. Our hearts and prayers are wrapped around your precious family today and everyday until the health and well being of your family has fully returned. We will be thinking about your visit today and hope that each and everyone one of you will feel full and blessed by spirit of the season and love of the family surrounding you. May God’s grace be with you all.

  27. Beth Says:

    The Kemp family sends special prayers and hopes your way – enjoy your loved ones everyday!

  28. Jim & Jeanie Says:

    Hurting for you. Sending love your way.

  29. robin Says:

    I just wanted to let you know that you and your family are in our prayers. I just found out about your blog from my friend Krista who is friends with Dianne. I am from Indiana and I am sending your blog information to my other friends. I am sure they will be amazed by your strength and grace and be blessed by your words as well. Ps. 55:22

  30. Andrea Rieves Says:

    Thinking of you and hoping the day went well. Praying Susan is getting some rest and relief, and praying for you all to find strength and comfort in God.

  31. Charlotte Lennartz Says:

    Jerel and Susan,

    Praying for you constantly.

    Love you very much!

    Steve and Charlotte Lennartz

  32. Susan Says:

    We are praying for you daily and pray that God will give you grace and strength to face each day.

  33. Susan Says:

    Susan and James Sanders

  34. Barbara Says:

    Susan and Jerel, You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers as you continue on this cancer journey. Please feel the love and support that I have come to know from the Community School family, and am sending your way. They are supporting and helping me in my cancer journey, and I know their goodwill can do the same for you. My very best wishes to you.

  35. Carol Gentry Says:

    I got your name through my daughter in law in Huntersville and I know your lives are difficult right now. The good thing is the prayer chain is getting stronger and has reached Kansas and I’m sending your name to others here who will pray too. Amazing things happen when prayers go up and I know God has plans for your family. Hopefully it is to spread the good news of never giving up even through trials and with a positive outcome that everyone wants for your family! Sending love and prayers and God’s healing touch!

  36. Johan Immelman Says:

    Dear Susan and Jerel

    I was made aware by Dianne Chipps Bailey of the challenges you and your families are going through, and especially you Susan. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you as you stand in faith on the Word of God and fight the good fight. Remain in God’s blessing and lean on His love for you.

    Johan Immelman

  37. Walter and Peggy Wilson Says:

    Jerel and Susan,
    Our son, Andrew, sent us your link. I hope it helps in some way to know that our prayers are with you and the children. Strength and love radiate from your postings. You are an inspiration and a blessing to so many. We wish you love and peace for this Christmas.
    Walter and Peggy Wilson

  38. Connie Says:

    You are in our thoughts and prayers—-Peace!!!

  39. Sandra Walthall Says:

    I am praying for you and your family.

  40. Steve Mann Says:

    I pray for Susan and the family everyday. I hurt for each of you and pass my love along during these difficult times. May the love of God continue to bless and enrich your family.

  41. Shannon Moody Says:

    Jerel: I was up at 5:00 this morning unable to sleep so I was catching up on facebook where I read all of these posts. Unfortunately I have my own experience with the hideousness of this disease. I have been thinking of you guys all day and praying. No one should have to go through this – ever. I thank you for being so honest in your posts and letting us know just how to pray. It has been a long time since we’ve seen one another, but know this old friend is praying for all of you. Blessings. Shannon

  42. Beth Searcy Says:

    Susan (and Jerel):
    I am honored to be praying for you. Your blog is inspiring in its authenticity, and I appreciate you sharing your journey with others. You do not walk alone, which is a Truth that is so obvious both in your reflections and in the myriad of postings.

    I am a friend of Dianne’s, and now, a prayer warrior of yours. Sending courage, strength, and hope…

  43. Krista Says:

    I am a friend of Dianne’s and am sending prayers your way. Your obvious strength and faith are an inspiration. Wishing you renewed courage and hope to face each day.

  44. Barb & John Markham Says:

    Praying for the miracle that we know God can provide.

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