Brooke’s Cancer Journey Post from May 23, 2018

Health Update: I’ve been living with cancer for over 3 years now… Stage IV cancer for 18 months.
I’m so grateful that I’m feeling great these days, despite my Stage IV Cancer Diagnosis. I am so encouraged with how I’m able to live my life to the fullest, make very special memories with my family, continue in ministry work, have energy most days, and function well in my daily life. Most days I forget about the cancer, until I have to take the 3 pink pills (Xeloda) in the morning and evening.

I continue on Xeloda, an oral chemo, for 2 weeks on, 1 week off. The side effects are definitely present, but manageable.

My next scans are Tuesday, July 17 at MD Anderson. It’s been six months since I’ve seen the care team at MD Anderson (I’ve been seen by Lexington Oncology in the meantime), and I want to stay connected to my oncologist there (Dr. Layman) in addition to my oncologist here (Dr. Stillwell). I pray that Xeloda continues to be effective to hold back the cancer, but I am thankful for the options MD Anderson can offer me if that is not the case. I have many more treatment options available, not to mention clinical trials, so I’m encouraged.
My last scan was very good and thankfully I’m responding well to chemo.

I thank God that I am feeling so good these days. I’m meeting more and more women who are surviving…even thriving… with Stage IV cancer. Women with careers, busy families, and full lives. I think as time goes on you will begin to notice there is a “new face” of Stage IV Cancer. There are many of us that are living with the disease as a chronic illness we will manage the rest of our lives. The reality is at any time the chemo could stop working and we are on to the next treatment…and eventually options could run out, but in the meantime there are new cancer developments.

Ultimately I know where my hope lies. Psalm 139:16: “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them”
God has already written every one of my days…HE alone numbers my days. What peace this brings me!

Great hope floods my soul when I look back and see God’s faithfulness along every step of this journey (and my entire life). He provides and His mercies are new every morning! His grace is sufficient for today, and will be more than enough for each day ahead, whatever it brings!

One truth I’ve discovered through this journey is that most of my fear/anxiety/worry comes when I imagine difficult days ahead (for me AND for my family)…but I realized that when I imagine the difficulty, most of the time I imagine it without the grace to match it. That’s not reality, as the grace God grants always matches the difficulty of that day. I would prefer to “store up” the grace before the difficulty, but it doesn’t work that way. The grace is there when I need it, not necessarily on the day when I envision all the worrisome possibilities. My job: trust that the future grace will be there, and be encouraged by looking back and seeing how He’s always been faithful to provide it in the past. #Godisfaithful