About an hour ago, Andrew's oncologist called saying that Andrew has a myeloid leukemia type cancer that is extremely rare! How rare? She was only able to pull from 10 cases for information. Instead of a chronic case, this is an aggressive acute case of cancer. There is no data on remission rates or survival rates because of the rarity of cases to go on. Dr. Morgan said that this will be a fight and that if left untreated, he will lose his life. Since this cancer is so rare, the chemo protocol that Andrew will begin was based on what the cancer most resembles. So it is with great sadness, that Andrew will be going into the hospital for the next 10 days for chemotherapy. We will meet Dr. Morgan tomorrow to go over things, then Andrew will get an echocardiogram to look around his heart, get a spinal tap to see if the cancer has spread to his brain and then be admitted to start his intensive round of chemo. If all goes right, he will be discharged and then we will wait to see if the cancer has gone into remission or is getting eradicated. When Andrew's is in remission, he will be able to get a bone marrow transplant that will potentially save his life. That's if we find a donor! Of course, like his intensive chemo 3 years ago, he most probably will be back because of low counts and fever caused by the chemotherapy. He will have nausea and bouts with vomiting that will be a definite.
As I got off the phone with Dr. Morgan, Jennifer and I just wailed and wept in sadness and grief over our son and held each other. We made some conference calls to tell my immediate family and our church leadership, because we are just too drained to call individually. Even in the midst of my aching and grief, there is a space in my heart that has a modicum of peace knowing that God will take care of things. But there was a lot of doubt and fear that overcame me. I wept in sadness, because Andrew will be bed ridden for quite sometime. Guys, he looks great right now and he is just being a kid, but we know that there is an insidious disease trying to destroy his body. I am so sad, because he was, ironically, having so much fun the past few weeks. Now it will come to an abrupt end.
As many of you know, Andrew just got his license yesterday and has taken advantage of this reality by borrowing his mother's car and conveniently chauffeuring his friends around Hinsdale. It doesn't hurt that he does not have to take finals! Jenn and I decided that we wouldn't tell Andrew, Emily and Bry until we meet tonight around 8:30 after Emily's cheerleading. Please pray for comfort and support as we break the news to Andrew and the rest of the kids. Pastor Michael from our church will be at the meeting to support us and pray for us.
Here are some specific prayer requests:
-Please pray for comfort from all the chemotherapy Andrew will be receiving the next ten days.
-Pray that the chemo would be effective in eradicating the cancer, so Andrew will be healthy
enough to get a bone marrow transplant which will potentially save his life.
-Pray that his sister Emily, who has the best chance to be a match, will be a COMPLETE BONE MARROW MATCH so she can donate it to her big bro.
-Pray for our family logistically, as we still have two beautiful girls to attend to and other household duties. Also pray that my car can get fixed as it has failed emission tests and we will need two cars most definitely now.
-Pray for Emily (14) and Bry (9) that God would watch over them mentally and emotionally through this hard time.
-Pray that God's grace would be recognized by my whole family in the midst of some crappy circumstances!
-Pray for Jennifer and myself so we can be strong for Andrew and the girls.
Jenn and I have a special requests. If there are any Bible verses or other thoughts and words of encouragement you can share, please make them in the comments section. I know that we are not alone, but it it's nice to read that you guys are out there. I feel like our family will be leaning on you all more this time around!
I am comforted knowing that the prayers of God's elect is on a hotline with our God! Please continue to pray for Andrew in earnest until he is cancer free!
So my dear friends and family I end this post with a verse from the Bible from 2 Corinthians 5:7:
"We live by faith and not by sight."
So that's what the Park Family will do, walk by faith and not by sight, trusting that Christ is in control, whatever the outcome.