PET Scan

Father, thank you for your mercy and grace. Thank you that your are for us, walk with us in all of life and that you are sovereign over all. Thank you all for continuing to walk with us and pray for us.

This past week Theresa’s coughing got progressively worse and her chest pain has returned. She is pretty fatigued, feeling like she is doing continual exercise with her rapid heart rate. She feels the fluid around her heart is increasing as well. A discouraging week.

She had the PET scan, which shows metabolic active cells taking up the nuclear tagged sugar molecule. Many processes in the body take sugar, but cancer cells and inflammatory cells take it in much more, so this scan shows areas of increased uptake that are very active metabolically. The test is coupled with a CT scan to help place the results anatomically.

Her PET scan showed persistence in the active metastatic cancer around the heart, the pericardial sac – so the chemo didn’t get rid of it. It also shows the lymph nodes in the center of the chest up to the neck being very active, and increased activity in the thyroid. So Theresa’s symptoms correlate with what was seen on the PET scan. No metastasis were seen in the liver, abdomen, bones and joints. The effusion around her heart is growing, now at a moderate level.

Some patients with metastatic breast cancer have a CA15-3 blood test that is useful in showing if the cancer is stopped, stable, or growing. Theresa’s CA15-3 has been increasing since February when we started tracking it again, confirming that her cancer is growing. Though it is possible the chemo she had, did slow it down.

Because of the possibility of an inflammatory condition going on, either the cancer, or another process, a complication of her treatment medications, her oncologist felt she should be on high dose prednisone for now. Theresa didn’t want to go back on prednisone as you can guess as it causes insomnia and puffs up her face. But if it is possible that it controls her symptoms, then it may be worth it. We will try to see her oncologist next week to see if there is anything else we should consider.

As you can guess, this news coupled with Theresa’s increasing symptoms has been very disheartening. And as you can guess, the tears, staying just below the surface, make their way out. There is anguish of soul and pain of dreams not attained. Yet we are reminded this is not our home, that this “tent” we live in will be exchanged for a “mansion”. There is no comparison to living in a tent when you could enjoy the comforts of a house. And God tells us the same is true when we transition to our home with Him. We hold tight to his promises, staking our lives on them, which is also confirmed by the spirit’s work in our hearts and lives.

Continue to pray. Thank you for continuing this vigil for us. will continue to keep you engaged.


  1. Toni says

    My heart just goes out to you. Thank you, that in all you are going through, you give hope and encouragement to others. Bless you as you continue this journey. Prayers for your family.

  2. Beverly says

    Out prayers go up again for you. May the Lord give grace and mercy to you, the sweet comfort of his presence which can eclipse our deepest sorrow, minute by minute.
    Lord, please hear our prayers for healing for dear Theresa. In your name, Jesus.

  3. Sherrie Conrad says

    Love, hugs. & prayers for all of you!! Thank you for the updates that help us know how to pray. May God bless you with many bright moments today.

  4. Candace Horch says

    I continue to pray and believe Psalm 91 for Theresa. I am asking God to give her oncologist a new plan and meanwhile give her comfort and hope and peace to you all.

  5. Bill and Doris says

    Dear Dr Paul,
    We are so sorry that your dear Theresa is traveling this path. We know how hard it is to watch your soul mate begin that journey without you. We wish you strength and love and peace. Please know we are holding you in our thoughts and in our hearts.

  6. LaVerne Haslett says

    Father, we come before your throne with all honor and gratitude for making a way to access your presence…as in your presence is all healing…spirit, soul and body. We send your word to you Lord because your word says you wait to perform your word. I’m reminded today Lord, of the prayer Paul prayed for the Ephesians, those that had put their trust in you…encouraging them in their journey as Christ would grow in them. Eph 3: 14-21 “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadeth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Lord, I speak words of life today to Theresa and Paul, that your amazing grace cover them like a canopy giving all encouragement and hope in your promises…for abundance of your Spirit poured out to them…giving fresh revelation in the knowledge of you….a spirit of wisdom and revelation that only you can give….to refresh, renew and encourage…that they know the hope of your calling, the riches of the glory of Christ’s inheritance in us…for your glory, for your kingdom in the earth as it is in heaven….Amen.

  7. Donna Rao says

    Sending continued prayers for comfort, and healing. You are all in my thoughts.
    Hugs and kisses, Auntie Donna

  8. Sherri says

    Praying that God will surround you and the family with comfort, healing, strength and loving friends during this time.

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