And Then There Were Four... (week six)
The waiting is the hardest. Rachel had a CT scan on Friday and they would not give us the results until we had reviewed with Dr. Chen today. After the long four days, we finally know where we stand. Rachel has four small lesion (the largest is 13mm) remaining in her liver. This is good news. This is progress. I can honestly say that this is the first genuinely good news we have received since all this started. Dr. Chen looked at the results and said “yeah. 6 down to 4. That’s good.” Simple, unadulterated good news.
That being said, we are learning in this trial that the sweet often comes with some form of bitter (though this is minor in comparison). There were concerns that came up as a result of the scan. Prior to the scan, the clinic did blood work to check kidney function to make sure Rachel’s body could handle the contrast fluid for the scan. We just found that those test results suggested either Chronic Kidney Disease or Acute Kidney Failure. Now, we did the same blood work two days prior and the numbers were normal, so it is very unlikely that the test the clinic did was accurate…but still. Best case scenario, the test was contaminated in some way, and the clinic still moved forward with the contrast fluid that would strain her kidney’s further even though the results of their own test showed shockingly high creatinine levels (suggesting her kidney’s could not filter the blood effectively). Worst case scenario we had a major, unexpected problem with her kidneys that was likely made worse when the clinic administered the contrast fluid. Either way, I was stressed out. Dr. Chen is re-ran the test yesterday to verify that Rachel’s kidney function is fine, and she’s good to go.
Two truths exist at this time:
1. God is sovereign so we need not worry; and
2. I will be having words with the clinic’s quality department.
Another piece of good news is that Rachel’s White Blood Cell (WBC) count was very low last week and we were sent home with daily shots to stimulate growth of new WBC’s. We just got the results that her levels went from 1.9 to 11.5, which is really good! Your prayers are effective, keep it up.
Through all of this, God is showing his providence in a thousand little ways and a couple big ways peppered in for flavor. This week held one of those big ways. At my work, one of our clients is Holland Partner Group, a large property management and construction company that operates in six western states. I have grown professional and personal relationships with many of the leadership team through my work with them and, from those relationships, our story made it to the owner and his wife, who are both believers. I’ve never really interacted with Clyde outside of hallway greetings and holiday parties, but I’ve admired the organization he’s built from the ground up and the values he expresses every chance he can. I met Rena three years ago in the elevator on my first day at Tecology. She told me her first name and we talked about what I would be doing at my new job. I asked if she worked there and she said “no, but my husband does.” That was the first and last conversation I had with her until this week.
Anyways, after catching up on our story, Clyde reached out to my manager (the owner of Tecology) Daniel and asked how Rachel and I could use help. Turns out, they have a beautiful, comfortable three bedroom apartment on Lake Union in Seattle that they were not using for the next couple months. Before we knew it, they had dropped off an extra set of keys and a book on Psalm 91 for encouragement. A few days later we were standing in the living room looking at an incredible view of the harbor on one side and the Seattle skyline on the other, feeling blessed.
Hardship produces relationship. With each other, with God, and with others. We have learned this beyond a shadow of a doubt.
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”