Great News!


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Today started out like a normal Pittsburgh visit. David was with his dad this trip, so Richard and I flew to Pittsburgh from Kansas instead of our normal drive from Virginia. We went to Dozen so we could buy some cupcakes to send back with Mark and David for Austin’s birthday. I’ve decided that as part of her 16th birthday, there should be a series of 16 gifts. The cupcakes were gift 6. Since we were going there anyway, we decided to have breakfast there. The cinnamon rolls really are simply amazing, and we enjoyed talking to the shop owner for a minute about his socially responsible practices. A nice morning.

We went to the hospital and met up with Mark and David. David was working on a report for school, and everyone was in pretty good spirits. Partially due to the news that David’s wish from Make-A-Wish is going to be granted this week. On Monday, he will fly to LA to meet Gordon Ramsay. The meet & greet won’t actually take place until June 1st – Austin’s birthday. The Make-A-Wish folks didn’t know it was David’s sister’s birthday. It just worked out that way. A cool thing.

David goes in and gets weighed first at each visit, and then depending on the visit, he may or may not get blood drawn. Today was a blood-draw day because he had an MRI this visit. They go hand-in-hand. They draw 10 little vials of blood, and he smiles and talks to the nurse the whole time. This time and the last time, they were unable to draw all of the vials out of one vein. So they have to stick his other arm to finish the task. Nobody’s fault; it’s just one of those things. Anyway, David doesn’t flinch. He just sticks out his other arm so the nurse can complete her task. I remembered that we had gotten some new band-aids with crazy sayings, so I pulled them out as a since he had to get stuck a second time for the blood draw. He picked a bandage that said “Ninja Fight”. Silly stuff, but it passes the time.

As he was waiting for the blood to drain into the tube, the doctor came in. She never comes in that early, so it was a little odd. She had an observer with her today, a young man who looked barely older than David. She was more jovial than normal, and shortly after entering the room she announced, “I have really good news.” I’m pretty sure that is the first time we’ve heard a doctor say that since all of this began, so she had our full attention instantly.

She didn’t keep us waiting. She told us that David’s tumor had shrunk. And not just a little bit, but an amount we could see. We asked to see the MRI, and the mass looked about half the size it had been in January when we began the study. Half! We were, needless to say, jubilant! Well, I think I was in shock as much as anything else, but it was cool. Very cool. We asked a few more questions and the doctor did the normal neuro check. All good.

He got to go downstairs for the vaccine and tell one of his favorite nurses, Kim, that his tumor had shrunk. She gives him the vaccine – which means she sticks him twice with a needle – and he still likes her. She was very happy to share our good news!

David and Mark left to drive back to Virginia, and Richard and I headed off for the airport. It felt like we should be doing something more… shouting from the rooftops… something. Instead, we went to lunch and praised God for the miracles He has performed.

When you get good news you should be happy. And today I was definitely happy. I was also so overwhelmed that I almost felt sick. Relief like a storm rolled through me. Pushing its way out through any path it could find. My throat closed. My eyes watered. My mind couldn’t hold the joy. Such intense feelings that were positive, yes, but in a sort of mind-boggling way that still has me reeling even hours later.

I know this isn’t over. But we’re making some real progress here. It feels like we are on the path to life. For David. For countless others who could benefit from this drug once it finishes the study and then clinical trial. The battle is not over, but it finally feels like we have a weapon to wield. I will keep posting more about this as we move forward but this is cancer research at its finest. This drug has kept us out of chemo and given David great quality of life over these last several months. And now the tumor is shrinking. Yeah, I feel like shouting from the rooftops. But instead I’m writing this blog. And hoping that you’ll share this news with everyone you know. We are on the cusp of being able to treat cancer without the barbaric chemo that has been the standard for so long. PLEASE encourage more spending for cancer research – especially vaccines – and if you can, please give a little yourself. You never know when this may affect you. My prayer is that they will have an excellent treatment before anyone reading this ever has to deal with a cancer diagnosis.

Thank you all for your prayers for David. We all feel the love with every passing day, and I know that it has made a huge difference in how he has handled this illness so far. We are so appreciative of the prayers, and hope you will keep ‘em coming!!

One thought on “Great News!

  1. Amanda – I was so excited when you sent me a text about the shrinking tumor but now that I have read your blog……………emotion has overwhelmed me. I am crying tears of joy for all of you.


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