The Hum Drum of Cancer Life

It’s been six months since God decided he had other plans for Markus’ life. And it is a remarkable thing that in that time, all of which has been spent fighting off a deathly illness, there is a sense of normalcy that sets in. We’ve been reflecting on that a bit as the chemo routine has continued post-surgery on Markus’ arm. He’s had two treatments since surgery and both sets have been uneventful in that they are very similar to pre-surgery.

Next week Markus has another follow up appointment with Dr. Clarkson, the orthopedic surgeon who removed the humerus bone. We are anticipating that Markus will be able to lose the sling he’s been wearing for the past 5 weeks and begin a more rigorous physiotherapy program to build back the muscle in his arm and shoulder.

Last week we also learned a bit more information about the pathology report (the info has come in bits and pieces…we think because of docs being away on summer vacation). In the last blog we wrote how Dr. Clarkson was disappointed that he didn’t get all of the cancer cells when he removed the bone. This time the news was more positive! Of all the cancer cells in the bone and tissue they removed, 95% of them were dead. This means that the chemotherapy cocktail that Markus is on is working extremely well! They were hoping for a 90% kill rate at this point, so to see it that high is super encouraging!

At this point we know that they will complete the chemo program before moving on to other forms of treatment. Markus’ last chemo treatment (a five-day set) is scheduled to start on October 7. After that they will do a full set of scans and then recommend either surgery on his liver, or launch right into radiation, with surgery on the liver at the conclusion of that. God willing, all the treatment will be complete before Christmas.

As we look towards the end of this part of the journey new thoughts begin entering the mind. What will the “new normal” look like? How often will Markus need to be checked to see if there is evidence of a return of the cancer? Will Markus be able to start his business next spring? The hum drum of cancer life as we know it now will be different, but we know that cancer life will certainly continue for many years.

If you are a praying person, we ask that you pray for a couple things:

  • Please pray that the remaining treatment (chemo, surgery and radiation) will kill off the remaining 5% of living cancer cells in Markus’ body.

  • Please pray that our minds do not become too anxious about the future, about the “what if” scenarios.

  • Please pray that we can continue embracing this suffering by entering into a deeper relationship with God, and that by embracing it we would be enriched and renewed.

“I have refined you but not in the way silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.” (Isaiah 48:10)