Major Response

We are very relieved to say that the treatment is working! Yesterday the doctor told us that the brain fluid is still clear of the leukemia. This is very good news! She also shared that the results of the bone marrow biopsy and blood work show a barely detectable amount (“only a whiff”) of the Philadelphia Chromosome, which is the ugly culprit in Dave’s particular leukemia. When we asked the doctor if she would consider Dave in remission, she said it is more like a “major response.” For now we are happy with major response and we will continue to pray for what the doctors would consider remission. Actually, major response is really very major in these circumstances and something to truly be celebrated. Thank you, God, for giving us more time!

At this point, Dave is going to Cedars for chemo once a week. Each treatment brings with it the inevitable tension and stress. They have been tough. The day before treatment, we can feel the dread beginning; not much is said during the drive to the hospital. We listen to music that reminds us how big and amazing and loving our God is, and we resolve again to depend on Him so we can do what we must. It requires discipline, a decision of the will and of the mind, to focus on the right things and not obsess over the scary, daunting, and sad.

In the last week, Dave also switched to a new chemo pill (Ponatinib) because the leukemia figured its way around the old medication he was taking. This leukemia is tricky, persistent, and devious. But God. But our God is bigger, stronger, and smarter! We rely on Him and trust His purposes.

Please pray for:

  • new chemo pill (Ponatinib) to eradicate the Philadelphia Chromosome  
  • brain chemo to keep the brain fluid clear of leukemia
  • protection against further spinal cord damage
  • increasing physical strength for Dave, weakness is increasing
  • great wisdom for doctor’s decisions
  • patience required in many different directions
  • stamina and strength (we are very tired)
  • renewed clarity of God’s purposes in this journey

There are probably 100 more prayer needs, but we’ll leave it at that for now.

Thank you so much for your continued care, encouragement, meals, cards, and gifts; but most of all, thank you for your faithful prayers. God is listening to our nagging prayers for Dave and He is answering. We will continue to depend on Him and to submit to His plans and purposes.

Today we are grateful for Major Response!

Carol Stoecklein