Thursday, June 13, 2013

Christine Update

Some of you might remember my friend Christine that has a brain tumor.
She's been doing great and her little girl is just precious.
But I received an update and thought I'd pass along the news so the prayers could continue.
Her last update is here. If you want to read the whole story search my blog for Christine.

Christine Neall's Brain Tumor Update #25
It is now 2 years since the discovery of Christine's brain tumor and
the 22nd of June will mark 2 years since the surgery to resect the
tumor.  How grateful we are for every day of life and for God's mercy
in granting the last two years of life together with our precious
children (now 1½ and 3 years old).  At times, during these past two
years life has seemed so normal that we have often forgotten that we
are living with a malignant brain tumor.  However, every 3-4 months we
are brought back to reality as we travel back to NIH for another MRI
and checkup.

When Christine was first diagnosed we soon realized that the "cancer"
roller coaster has many ups and downs and they often came in quick
succession.  We have been grateful that the past two years have had
many highs in providences, hopes and encouragements.  However, we just
returned from another checkup this last week and the roller coaster hit
another downward loop.

Before this, every MRI had shown that what was left of the tumor was
stable and there was no indication of growth.  However, the MRI this
time showed an area of the tumor bed that showed some subtle changes
from previous MRI's, although they are not exactly certain the true
nature of it.  In short, the radiologist cannot tell if it tumor
recurrence or if it is just scarring from the surgery two years ago.
Something has changed, but they are not sure what.  One good thing is
that the tumor has not shown any contrast enhancement which would
indicate clear tumor recurrence and progression to a higher grade
tumor.  For this we are very grateful.

But I suppose it was just the uncertainty of the report that left us
with a big question mark and a nagging feeling of potential tumor
progression. They want to keep a close eye on it and want us back in
just 3 months this time.

To date, Christine has not had any official treatment for the cancer
in the form of chemotherapy or radiation although we have found some
natural things we pray might be beneficial.  The doctors continue to
encourage chemo and radiation though they think it is OK to continue
to watch till the next MRI.  It is not that we are totally opposed to
chemo and radiation, but we would be most grateful to be able to avoid
it and so far Christine being pregnant and then breastfeeding has
removed the option from the table.  The question is, "What should we
do now?"

We are grateful for the many prayers of God's people in our behalf and
we are encouraged every time we hear of someone else who prays for us
"every day."  It seems we encounter this often and we are amazed and
humbled at the care and support we have received.  We again solicit
your prayers for God's healing and continued guidance in our lives.
We have clearly seen him leading throughout these past two years and
although the road ahead is uncertain, we continue to trust the Hand
that never misjudges or makes a mistake.  Below is a quote that gives
us courage.  We have a prayer hearing God!

Rob and Christine Neall

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