We want to first let you know how encouraged we are each day by your notes, texts and Facebook posts. We also want to encourage you to never forget the single most helpful thing you have done (and are continuing to do) is pray! Let me just remind you of the power of prayer.
“Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:13-16)
“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14 )
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.” (Psalm 107:28-30)
So please…keep making time to #Pray4BabyBennett!
Update from our meeting today
Today we met with the team that will be taking care of Bennett. Dr. Sarah is his oncologist and Dr. Langham is his surgeon. We are thrilled to have them working on our son. Megan made an instant connection with Dr. Sarah and Dr. Lagham is “They Guy” for child liver tumors. He literally wrote the book on how to deal with these. We are not only in great hands in terms of The Lord fighting for our son, but we are also in great humans hands as well. Thank you, God!
So what was the news? Here are the answers we got.
- Dr. Langham confirmed that chemotherapy is needed to first shrink the tumor. It is just too close to a major vein and is currently the size of an orange. Trying to remove it now is a greater risk than is necessary at this point.
- So…Monday, January 6th, a biopsy will be done and port for administering chemotherapy will be installed. It can’t be done any sooner due to holidays, pre-operation tests and the need to recover from his RSV a little more.
- We will know the results of the biopsy by the middle of next week and begin treatment as promptly as we can.
But here are some of the questions that we now have.
- The spots on Bennett’s lungs are inconclusive. They are either spots left from a past infection or they are small tumors showing that the disease has spread. They are too small to biopsy or even find in surgery. They will just have to be monitored.
- Bennett’s AFP (alpha-fetoprotein) levels in his blood were expected to be high…over 100. A healthy person’s AFP levels are between 10-12. High AFP levels are a classic sign that a tumor is indeed malignant. But the test showed that Bennett’s AFP levels are 14. This is either really good news or really bad news. It could be good news because that means there is a possibility that this tumor is actually benign. The doctors believe this is a slim chance…but not a 0% chance. So this is what we are praying for! But it also can be bad news. The reason is that sometimes tumors are still malignant even if the AFP levels are low. These tumors are very aggressive and normally do not respond to chemotherapy well. They are running another test on his blood to confirm his AFP levels to make sure there was not a lab error.
So there are four different scenarios that could play out.
- The biopsy could show that the tumor is benign and they go back in and take out as much as they can and then get rid of the rest through other non-chemo treatments.
- The biopsy could show that he has hepatoblastoma and the new AFP test comes back high. This would lead to normal treatment. Shrink the tumor and then remove it.
- The biopsy could show that he has hepatoblastoma and the original AFP test was correct. They would still do chemotherapy first to try and shrink the tumor. But if it doesn’t respond well after two rounds, they would then begin looking at a complete liver transplant.
- The biopsy could show he has another form of liver cancer other than hepatoblastoma. If this is the case, we are looking at a similar route as an aggressive form of hepatoblastoma. They told us all the other forms of malignant liver tumors are just as difficult to treat with chemotherapy as an aggressive form of hepatoblastoma.
So even though we are still having to wait to get going…we have some direction, and that feels great. And while it’s never fun to hear doctors talk about aggressive tumors and possible liver transplants in your son’s future, I had to remind myself that only one thing changed today…my knowledge. That’s all. The disease did not get worse since yesterday and while this is all news to us…it’s not news to God. We are still trusting His plans because we believe this to be true…
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Thank you again for lifting up Bennett without ceasing. Pray this thing is benign. If it is not benign, then we are praying that chemotherapy will knock it out and make surgery easy. Join us in this prayer and also for the doctors to continue to have great wisdom. Amen!