Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Futher Update

Yesterday Brad and I met with Dr. Shawna Blackman and Dr. Reardon about the possibility for surgery on Brad's lungs. After discussing Brad's past 2 years of medical history and looking over Brad's most recent CT scan, it was decided that we would first need to see if Brad could tolerate chemotherapy. The problem with the chemo that is recommended in this case is that first, it would be unlikely to control the disease (thus being the reason we have not chosen that option for Brad sooner) and second, the chemo would effect his heart and most likely cause fluid to build up on the lungs. Brad said that it would be very difficult for him to voluntarily chose a treatment for himself at this point that would negatively effect his resperation. He said that he couldn't imagine having any more difficulty breathing than he has already.

Dr. Blackman and Dr. Reardon feel that surgery would not be wise if the tumor growth on the left lung continues to grow & so far we have not sucessfully found any treatment to stop the tumor growth. Dr. Reardon stressed that he only does surgery if it will accomplish one of two things: either extending a person's life or increasing their quality of life. He said that at this moment he could not look Brad in the eyes and say that it would do either of those 2 things.

Dr. Blackman will be discussing with Dr. Lehane about chemo options for Brad. Dr. Lehane, being Brad's main oncologist, would be the one to determine a chemo plan for Brad, should he believe that Brad's body could tolerate some form of treatment at this point.

So, we are waiting to hear back from Dr. Lehane to see what he suggests for Brad. If he suggests chemo and if Brad choses to try that treatment, then we will see if the chemo reduces the tumor size in his lungs. If it does, then Dr. Blackman and Dr. Reardon will consider doing surgery.

While the information we heard was not surprising to either of us, it didn't make it any easier to hear. We know that no matter how desperate the situation gets, God can always intervene and take the cancer from Brad's body. We continue to gather strength from this knowledge. No matter how impossible everything looks....we will cling to this fact. God can make a way. Miracles happen every day and I will continue to pray that we receive one.

Until then I am continuing to focus on all for which I am thankful.
-I am thankful for sleep. Although we have both been overwhelmed with emotions, we have been very blessed with sleep each night. Thank you God for watching over us each night and for helping Brad sleep.
-Despite the emotional high/lows in our home, our children have been very strong and stable. In other difficult times, the kids have been very upset and very clingy to me. They have been very connected to their Daddy recently. Each morning I wake up to the sight of them climbing into bed with Brad to give him hugs and to cuddle with him. In the afternoon they play games, read stories and watch movies together. It is wonderful. Nothing could make me happier than to witness them expressing their love to their Daddy in this way. There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing a father playing with his children.
-I am thankful for our friends, family, & church who never fail to amaze me with their abundant support.
-I am thankful for a lessened cough. Brad felt a little better today and coughed a little less. We were able to spend some time together in meditation and relaxation which also seemed to help.
-I am thankful for time. God did not promise me today, but we were given it as a gift. I so appreciate that time that I have been given to share with Brad and our family.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. We love you all.

28 comments:

debralynne said...

Continuing to pray for you guys. You are such an inspiration to all of us! We love you!

Camille, Blake and Pierce said...

You will never know how much strength you give to all us with your thoughtful words and prayers. We are praying for you.

da momma said...

You are an angel! And you know they surround yall daily! Hug eachother for me! We have hope in a miracle and faith in the the God who can perform!

Matt, Kara, and Hank (plus Teej) said...

thank you for keeping us updated. it really helps me make my prayers specific. as if God needs me to tell Him what to do! maybe it just helps to calm my own nerves. my prayer for you this night -

dear God, i thank you for the wims family and for the things i am learning through them. i thank you for their continued hope and perserverance in the face of continuing difficult news. i pray that they all four rest well tonight. i pray that brad wakes in the morning feeling better, breathing more easily, and in good spirits. i pray that their family will actually be able to forget about this huge problem for parts of the day tomorrow and just enjoy the day. i pray that Your presence will rest within their home and bring indescribable peace and joy. i ask that You touch brad with your healing hand. Lord, i know that all we need is a crumb from the table, a nod of Your head, a statement from Your glorious lips, and all will be well within brad's body once again. so i ask for such a blessing. Lord, i understand that above all Your will must be done, but if there is any way that improved health for brad can fit into that will, then please let it be. it's in the perfect name of Jesus that i come to You in prayer, amen.

Rachel said...

We've not yet met -- I'm Rachel Lacy (married to Curtis Lacy and sister-in-law to Brandon . . . I understand y'all knew each other in college).

I just wanted to let you know that we are praying and praying and praying for Brad!!!!

Matt, Kara, and Hank (plus Teej) said...

That is a lot of 'ifs' to be dealing with. Which makes the faith in God you are both showing us all that much more inspiring, motivating, humbling, and touching.

Father God, You are our Creator, Sustainer, Healer, and Almighty Lord. Thank you for the blessings you are providing to Brad, Jenny, Zeke, and Kaelyn. And thank you for the blessings you are providing to the huge circle of people who are following their story. You are awesome God! God I humbly, yet boldly and with expectant confidence ask for you to heal Brad. Give him easy breathing, restore his physical strength, remove his cough and any discomfort, eradicate the cancer from his body. We KNOW you can do this Lord. We are on our collective knees crying out to you for our friend. Our brother. Thank you Lord for always hearing our prayers. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Anonymous said...

Brad and Jenny,

I am continuing to pray for you and your family. I am in tears as I write this and pray that God continues to BLESS you and your family. Your words continue to encourage me and I know that He is watching over you daily!! Take each day as they come and hold each other tight!!
Much love,
Regina Sugg
Class of '97-former AFC member

Lisa said...

Praying that God gives you wisdom to make these hard choices. I love the way you love each other. Praying fervently...

erin said...

Jenny, thank you for the detailed report. I think and pray about y'all a lot. We love you.

Anonymous said...

Brad & Jenny-
This morning as I read your update, I remembered a devotional Brad gave 10-12 years ago in the AFC centered around the song "I've got confidence, my Lord is gonna see me through" He spoke with such assurance and faith, He sang with the same conviction. My prayer is the same assurance and faith still abides in your hearts with an even greater measure.

Blessings,
Matt Springfield

Anonymous said...

Thinking and praying for you EVERY day. Jenny thanks so much for all you post. You are a strong family. love, Pat G.

AlisonB said...

Thank you for the update - continuing to hope and pray. Wishing you and Brad a restful and peaceful day today.

Anonymous said...

All of you are in our prayers. We love you soooooooo much. Your entire family has been such an inspiration to all of us.

Brad, As I scroll through the pictures I can still see that infectious smile on your face--the one with the twinkle in your eye.

Loves, hugs and prayers to you all.
Linda and Harold

Sarah said...

Jenny, you are amazing. Thank you for sharing yourself and your family with all of us-especially when I'm sure it is the last thing you want to do right now. I know that you know, but we are praying and praying. We love you guys and send hugs to all of you--great big, Brad type hugs!

Brooks Inc. said...

Jenny-

I walk around during the day with you and Brad's names on my lips constantly crying out to the Lord on behalf of your family! We love you all. Thank you for updating...May the Lord's stregnth contiue to pour through you all!

Becky

Nellie's Nuggets said...

Praying for all of you. I have not the words, but the Holy Spirit intercedes for me before the throne of God. We love you!!

Perks said...

Much love to your family...

Praying for that miracle with you!

Linda said...

I love you both so much and pray each and every day for God to work his Will. Thank you for your updates...

HollyLamb said...

Thank you for the update. We are still here, praying and begging God for a miracle. Love you guys.
Holly Grisham-Lamb

Angie Campbell said...

We are loving you, and praying hard for a miracle.

Dorothy / Bubba said...

Dear Jenny & Brad
We have had a special prayer at our congregation for you and Brad, both Wednesday and Sunday, you are on our daily prayer list also. We will continue to pray for blessings for both of you, and your family. God's Peace, Dorothy & Bubba Kay

Anonymous said...

Jenny,
You have taught me more about faith and spiritual strength in the last few months. Your blog has taught so many about God's Glory. You will never know how many you have touched, but I for one have been deeply touched by you. Much love, Cindy Rieck

Kate said...

Jenny and Brad - we are constantly in prayer for healing and strength for you. We think about you both every day. Thank you for keeping us updated when I know it is hard to find the words. Love you, Katy & Mike

Anonymous said...

Brad and Jenny, our prayers, thoughts, and petitions to God are ever with you. I am in NY with Kami and James. She had emergency surgery on Monday to remove an ectopic pregnancy in her right falopian (sp?)tube. She is doing well. We just wanted to let you know how special and inspirational you are too each of us.
The pics are great! It was so good to see all the family together. Ashton is so tall!!
Still praying for a miracle. Much love and hugs, Kim E

Anonymous said...

Praying for you all daily. Your faith inspires me. Prayers for comfort, strength, & peace.
Darla from the Lakewood family

Anonymous said...

We'll be singing "Spirit, Touch Your Church" on Sunday (aka... the Aggie Song for Brad). The Wims have blessed the Hankins in so many ways and we cherish every memory we have together. I'm so proud of you for pulling closer together each day as we prepare for the miracle! -- Brent

Justin and Julie said...

Thank you for your devotion to the Lord- you are a light to so many, to people you have never even met. I will pray for a miracle, for Brad and your family... I will also pray for God to grant you peace, laughter, and wisdom to make important decisions in the days to come. You are loved!

Karen said...

I worked with Brad in Channelview several years ago.......he always loved coming to the ARD meetings I held (ha!).....I just wanted you and your family to know that I appreciate your updates and keep you all in my prayers. Your strength is amazing, and we all know that it comes directly from God. Thank you for so generously sharing your experiences with us and strengthening our own faith. We will continue to pray for God's will in all things.