I was just telling a friend a few weeks ago, "I'm so done with this waiting period, but it must not be done with me yet. There must still be a richness, something to gain, in this last while." 

Well indeed.... the miracle was still percolating! On Thanksgiving night, something so remarkable happened that it brought me to my knees in grateful tears. When I looked into the mirror and turned my head, my eye actually moved! I couldn't believe it! I ran to the kids saying "My eye is moving, right?" Sure enough. They all confirmed it! This is the eye that the doctor said was permanently damaged.

I saw that doctor earlier this week. He was amazed! The last time he saw me about a month ago, the nerve damage in my eye was actually getting worse, not better, which led to his conclusion of beyond repair. The pupil size was decreasing and the lid was starting to droop. But Monday, he observed my pupil back to normal, lid no longer drooping, eye muscle movement back to almost 100% function, and double vision starting to clear (I was able to read the visual chart!) Remarkably, the nerve is starting to repair itself. 

A bright ray of hope, which led to the lingering question: Did this mean that the radiation was effective in shrinking the tumor???

The 3 months of waiting ended this week. I had the MRI Tuesday and saw the doctor this morning. The results are the best we could have expected, even better than the doctor had hoped for! He wanted to at least be able to stabilize the tumor, to slow or stop the growth. As it turns out, we actually ended up with significant shrinkage. Most of the tumor in the roof of my mouth and sinus are gone, and behind the eye it is considerably smaller. As the doctor said, after seeing the results and witnessing my eye function coming back, "This is a happy day to celebrate! Maybe you do have something "else" on your side!"

But of course...it's called the prayer of a massive group of loved ones. Thank you all!!!

So medically now what? Well, in 6 months I will have another head MRI and a chest scan (because this cancer often moves into the lungs), in order to track the continued shrinkage or progression of what's left. And moving forward, we'll repeat those same tests every 6 months. Dr. Holland said, "If you had 1 year or 20, would you be doing anything differently? If so, do it now, and then just let the worry go and live your life." And so I will. Good advice for us all.

As I sit with this fantastic news, I find myself almost feeling a bit in shock. It will take some time for it to sink in and feel real, because I honestly haven't allowed myself to get too excited about a positive outcome, just in case. I have been pondering if there is anything I would do differently. The next few weeks/months will tell. The question most present for me in this moment is, "Now what?"

I continue to do what I need to do to aid my body in healing from the radiation and chemo. Some of the side effects they say will be permanent. We'll see. They've been known to be wrong before!

I remain so incredibly thankful for your love and support. And today, with all of you, I celebrate life. Yours and mine.

Much love,
Lorena

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