For the past week we got a taste of what normal feels like. Markus has been keeping himself busy with odd jobs in the Sumas Prairie as farmers continue cleaning up and move cows back to their farms. His older brother Micah is finished his first-year schooling for his apprenticeship, and with the highway open again, Markus’ younger brothers are back to school again. What a blessing to have a bit of routine in our lives, even if it’s only for a brief time!
Last week was the 25th and final radiation treatment on the tumour in Markus’ spine. We are thankful that there were limited side effects, and that the daily trips into Vancouver are over for now. Today Markus starts the third round of chemo to attack the tumours in his lungs. He’ll be at the hospital all day for the first injections, but then will be able to take the remaining doses over the next four days at home. We’re thankful that he’s been able to take them orally as it means a lot less time in the hospital.
After this round Markus’ energy levels will decline considerably and bottom out in about 10 days. During this time he is really tired and has a challenge to keep any food in so we’re hoping that after the tenth day he will start to rebound in time for Christmas. We are looking forward to a couple weeks together as family, with Sara and Aidan in town as well.
At this point the scan to see if these three rounds of chemo are shrinking the tumours is scheduled for January 4. The doctors have let us know that there are a few scenarios that could result, depending on what things look like on the scan. The best-case scenario would be that the tumours have taken a huge hit and shrunk considerably. Then Markus would probably proceed directly into more radiation treatment, this time on his lungs. Another possibility is that the chemo is working, but the tumours have only stopped multiplying and growing, or maybe shrunk a little bit. If this is the case, they will likely want to do a few more rounds of chemo before initiating radiation. Lastly, and what we pray doesn’t happen, it is possible that the tumours have continued to grow. We pray for God’s mercy, that He would not lead us into that situation, but we know that if He does, He will give us the strength to endure.
In this time of Advent we prepare and anticipate the birth of our Saviour Jesus into this world. We also prepare and anticipate Jesus’ second coming, when He brings an end to all the suffering we endure here. What a day that will be! While we wait for that day, it is a great comfort to know that He holds on to us dearly.