Lorelei begins a third round of RICE just as a fellow cancer warrior enters heaven.

Lorelei and I went up to ICIO this morning for lab work and to finalize the date for her bone marrow biopsy this week.  She was excited about a week with only three "cancer" appointments. (MRI for back pain had already been scheduled for Wednesday.) Then they hit her with news that took her totally by surprise. The nurse said "Your platelets are low but should be better by Thursday. You'll check into the hospital on Thursday morning."  She said "For what?" Nurse: "Another round of RICE Chemo." Lorelei teared up and the nurse could tell we were shocked. This had never been mentioned. The only thing we knew of was the Wednesday Sep 12 MRI and all the tests at OU on Tuesday the 18th.  We'd made big plans for these days in between and they would all have to be changed.  I think that's one of the most frustrating things about cancer for Lorelei; not only is your body not your own, but your schedule is not yours either.  However, Lorelei took it like a champ.  She said "Well, I was planning to go see Bradley Wednesday evening after my MRI since it will be the last chance we get to see each other before my transplant. We'll just move my MRI to Thursday while I'm at the hospital and I'll go to Tahlequah right now!" I was impressed. When she took charge and told them to move her MRI the tears went away. I am amazed at her resiliency and her ability to DECIDE to control her emotions.  I wish I were that strong.

After I prayed over Lorelei and she departed for Tahlequah. I learned that Laurann Gately (http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lalaislove) had passed away. Laurann entered heaven at 10:40am. That was about the time we were driving home from the hospital and talking about the "inconvenience" of cancer. We'd read Jan's post on Laurann's Caring Bridge journal while we were in the waiting room of our oncologist.  Both of us knew that today would likely be the day Laurann would die. But the reality of it hit me hard. I think it was wonderful that God allowed the timing to be such that I am alone with my thoughts and working through my emotions. These are mine to deal with; not Lorelei's. We've known Jan Pace and Laurann Gately since the beginning of Lorelei's cancer journey. It was very helpful for me to meet a mom whose daughter had the exact same disease as mine. Both girls had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at age 17. I confess that at first I found comfort in knowing that Lorelei's disease had been caught at stage 2 and not 4. But when Lorelei's cancer failed to fully respond to the ABVD treatment and we might have lost her if we'd gone the route of radiation instead of a transplant, my anxiety increased. There's nothing anyone can say to me to guarantee that I won't be in Jan Pace's shoes in a few years. And taking those anxious thoughts captive is my job right now. Please pray for me as I wrestle with this. God has a plan for Lorelei and my fears serve no purpose in it. We pray she will beat this awful cancer and have a long life. But the truth is, none of us even knows if we have tomorrow.

I don't understand God's timing here, but as it is scheduled, Kevin and I will board a plane to San Diego for our son-in-law's promotion to Chief in the Navy this Wednesday.  We'll return Sunday. That means Lorelei will undergo this round of chemo (Thursday through Sunday in the hospital) under the care of her brothers and sisters. (Thankfully she is 18 now so she can sign her own paperwork.) It also means we will both miss Laurann's funeral. Maybe God knew I couldn't handle being there. It is what it is.

As the plan looks now, it appears Lorelei should be set to begin the transplant process on Monday Sept. 24 or some time that week. Lorelei's transplant oncologist hopes she'll be in (or close) to remission as they begin the transplant. This third round of RICE will help to insure that. The PET scan on the 18th should confirm.

2 Corinthians 5:8 (NIV)
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Shauna Walker wrote:
Oh my sweet Andrea...I am daily reminded of the story you told us about our children being God's and not our own. I stand ever amazed at your ability to gracefully fight these battles with Lorelei. I am saddened by the loss of Lorelei's friend, and I will pray even more for your sweet girl! I know that God has reached so many people through her story. You and Kevin have done an amazing job of raising God's child :) Love you all so much!

Mon, September 10, 2012 @ 2:37 PM

2. Susie Munday wrote:
The Decker family never ceases to amaze me. I continue to stand as a steady prayer warrior!!!!!
Eph 3:20 in the Message

Mon, September 10, 2012 @ 5:48 PM

3. Lori wrote:
Standing in th gapfor you, Sweet Sister in Christ!

Mon, September 10, 2012 @ 10:54 PM

4. Carrie Helm wrote:
This breaks my heart for yours. I know we've never met, but each night during prayer I get a wave of nausea when I think about the pain and anxiety you must feel. Please know that you, Lorelei, and all her friends and family are in my thoughts and prayers daily and nightly. Thank you for sharing your story through this webpage so that I can pray more specifically. I know I'm not the only stranger with Lorelei on the heart.

Mon, September 10, 2012 @ 11:22 PM

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