we just got off the phone with our oncologist (and bless his heart for calling us after hours at 8pm and talking to us for like 30 minutes until we had no more questions).
he said that it looks like the latest immunotherapy drug did not work for rebecca, and that there's been aggressive growth in her lungs and liver, with additional spots on her lymph nodes, pancreas and kidneys. he said that the double vision was in fact caused by a stroke, which means the condition could be lifelong for rebecca (although if she wears a patch over one eye she can see alright and it turns out she makes a cute pirate so that could be worse).
he - for the first time ever - told us that he's worried. we've been through all the standard western treatments so we're off that chart. what he recommended right now is trying the tarceva that worked so well back after solas was born. although the cancer figured out a way to block the tarceva, he's seen the tarceva work again if a person takes a break from those kinds of drugs (which we just did with the chemo and the opdivo). and there's an infusion that can accompany the tarceva that increases its efficacy. so we'll start the tarceva tonight (already did, actually) and we'll know if it's helping within the next three or four days. in the meantime, more small strokes or one big one is a concern. apparently when you have cancer you're just more susceptible to strokes and blood clots.
so. we're busy crying and assuring each other of our love and wondering how-to-be in this moment, with this news - this totally impossible news. how do i swallow it and where does it go? can i set it down? and what would that even mean...
(it's a lot of news i would prefer not to get or share. and a goofy band called ok go made a goofy video called this too shall pass that helps me remember that this too, indeed, shall pass. it helps me fill my cup of emotions with joy. tonight i offer it as a toast, my cup to yours, not knowing if you'll like the brew or not...)
our dear dear friends seneca and amutabi are with us tonight, which is a gift from the universe to cushion this process. kinda like you're a gift to us from the universe. please continue in your prayers -- and know it's just as easy for the Divine to work a miracle right now as it ever was.
and also know in your prayers this will work out. that rebecca's soul - that all our souls - are impervious to harm from this world. that suffering, pain and even death come to us all, but everyone comes in first at the end of this race. know that. and know that we're also holding that to the extent we can, to the extent that letting a river sweep through your hands is holding a river.
blessings and love and faith to you from this world where things fall apart
from this world of secret joy
from this, the gateway drug to eternal life
blessings and love and faith
with gratitude for all life for all Your cycles
we pray for restoration of rebecca's eyesight
we pray for her body to be clear of all tumors
we pray to be instruments of Your will on this earth
we give thanks for the ongoing health of baby solas
we give thanks for the communities and networks that hold us
in the name of jesus, healer
in the name of mary, mother
in the name of mary, partner
in the name of brigid, flame
in Your name, nameless One
we offer these prayers
we offer our surrender