Testing, testing, testing 4

face masks

Well I have taken over my little corner of the Cancer Center, I brought some work to do but find myself writing instead.

James is on his third test out of four today. Glad to get all these done quickly and out of the way! (As if he hasn’t done enough over the last four months.)

This morning he did a full lab workup, a bone marrow biopsy (which I got to WATCH! I was nervous that I might get nauseous so they had me sit down. But still, I’m actually extremely proud of myself. They used a drill and everything. Intense. James is a trooper.) He’s currently in his PET scan and then we have a heart echo later this afternoon. All these tests will be used to figure out exactly what stage the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is at. We are believing for excellent results in Jesus Name!

So far, they think it is Stage 2 because it is in two different clusters of lymph nodes in his chest. The inflammation mass in his lungs is actually a side effect of HL. Which of course makes me wonder why it took so many hospitals to get a diagnosis? Anyways, we need to confirm that the inflammation mass is in fact in the mediastinum (chest lining wall) and not IN HIS LUNG. If the mass is in his lung, this would bring things to a Stage 4.

Regardless of what stage, the prognosis is the same. This would just change how aggressive treatment will be. From what we hear (even in the natural), HL is EXTREMELY curable. Not just treatable. CURABLE. So we will take that and also know that by Jesus’ stripes that James IS COMPLETELY HEALED!! And we will gladly welcome modern medicine to do all things to stand.

Monday morning he will get his chemo port in and instead of waiting a week we will go ahead and start chemotherapy the next day, on August 30th.

Here are a few things we are believing for: NO NASTY SIDE EFFECTS from the chemo. This includes hair loss (which with this particular chemo it affects everyone differently. They say most people’s hair only thin), nausea, fatigue, and pulmonary function/heart function long term.

James will be going through the ABVD regimen. This has been the most common treatment plan for HL since the 1970’s. It is made up of four different doses of medicine (which also helps bring down the chance of side effects) for each. The ABVD stands for:

  • Adriamycin® (doxorubicin)
  • Bleomycin
  • Vinblastine
  • Dacarbazine (DTIC)

We are very optimistic about how this will affect him throughout treatment, although we know it is still 4 very powerful drugs.

On another note, our 1 year anniversary is coming up on September 25th (yay!! They say the first year is the hardest, and dad gummit… we sure didn’t fight or worry about co-existing!! We were worrying about EXISTING!!) SO in any case, we know that it will only go up from here! For Labor Day weekend (3 days after his first round of chemo) we have a trip to New York planned. Not sure if this will still happen, but hey, that’s why you buy travel insurance! I wouldn’t trade this last year for anything. I’ve been waiting my entire life to meet this amazing man, and we have 100 more years to go!! Like we said in our vows “Any day with you, even on our worst day, is better than any day without you.” <3

Thank you so much for your encouraging words and response to this news.

Our pastor from Grace Revolution Church came to our house and prayed with us and said “This is NOT a set back, but God will use this as a set UP for your future”. Although we know this is NOT from the Lord, but an attack from the enemy, JESUS is bigger. John 10:10.

Anyways, we will have more updates as we go. If they get to be too much then just tell me and I won’t talk so much! (Guilty… always guilty).

OH! The “worst” part about our Cancer Center is that you are supposed to wear masks when you come into the office. Now, I don’t know if you remember the 2 days James and I spent in isolation in the hospital, but I have major flashbacks when I wear the stupid mask! PLUS, being pregnant, it makes me super claustrophobic and gives me hotflashes… sooooo that’s been entertaining!!





John 10:10 –  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

4 thoughts on “Testing, testing, testing

  • Kerri-Ann Griffith

    Natalie I’m praying for you, your husband and your family. I truly know what your going through mom was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma last October and has been doing Opdivo treatments since January. She’s doing well but not out of the woods yet. My fiancés father also has chronic leukemia. Lauryn and I are here if you ever need to talk
    Ps…I’m so excited about your pregnancy! Go mama!
    We love you!

    • nataliegorecasey Post author

      Love you KA! I didn’t know that about your precious mamma. We will be praying too!! Love y’all so much.

  • Christine Devitt

    I love how even in tough situations, you always find the light. I will be praying for y’all. Love you and keep your eyes on Jesus ( not that you need me to tell you that )


  • Vicki Michel

    HI James and Natalie,
    I want you to know that the prayers of the Michel family are with you. I know there’s a battle before you but I do know Jesus will walk every step with you. And He will hold you in His healing hands until the healing is complete.
    Natalie, for years James was like my third son. “Jimbo” as we called him was my youngest son’s best bud. His mom Renee was one of my very best friends when our children were growing up. I was always so thankful that she shared Jimbo with us so much. Time goes by, kids grow up and we lose touch. But Jimbo always has a special place in our hearts.
    We will be praying and if there is anything we can do for you, please let us know.
    Love, Vicki Michel

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