The Final Herceptin dose

Father, thank you for your faithfulness and lovingkindness. Thank you Jesus for walking with us and indwelling in us. Thank you all for your continued love and support.

Thursday Theresa had her last Herceptin treatment. We must have misunderstood what was said this summer by her oncologist. We had understood that it would be another year from June but in fact it was a year total of treatment. Theresa was congratulated at her oncologist office by the nurses for making it through the year. Theresa wasn’t sure what to think as we were focused on 6 more months, when in fact she was done. It is taking time to let this settle in our thinking. After her infusion, we went up to Olympia and she had the seroma aspirated, and after 60cc’s were removed, the mass under her right arm felt much better. If it returns she will need a drain for a few weeks to finally heal that area. I also talked with her Orthopedic surgeon about her frozen shoulder. He relayed that the surgery for frozen shoulder was a one time thing and if done too early in the inflammatory phase, it could freeze up again and there was nothing more that could be done. So he wants her to wait until the inflammatory stage is over, which is when the pain settles down almost completely, which could take 3 or more months to happen. So the difficult nights and long days with a toothache in the shoulder will continue for a bit longer. As has been the case after each treatment, Theresa is pretty fatigued right now. She spends a good part of the day in her recliner on her iPad. What is great this time, is that when she starts feeling better, she won’t have a treatment which will put her back down in bed and fatigued. It can only be up hill from here with gains maintained. She will follow up with her oncologist every 6 weeks and at some point will have a restaging evaluation. Theresa was started on Tamoxifen this past week as well, to suppress her estrogen as 15% of the cells were sensitive to estrogen. Her hot flashes have gotten more intense.

Last year, on Theresa’s birthday, she was in the surgeons office discussing Stage 3 surgical treatment of her cancer, a few hours later after her CT scans, finding out she is stage 4 and not many weeks to live. Now she has a birthday we were convinced we wouldn’t celebrate, and now with the hope of many more ahead. A lot has happened in the past year. The mirror shows part of the story with scars, disfigurement and short gray hair, but what has occurred inside both physically and spiritually tells a more beautiful story. The cancer is gone for now and in its place is a healing body, a grateful spirit and daily thankfulness for the gift of life. Life is a gift bestowed upon us, too brief and fragile to not fill it with the abundance God provides with His intimate communion with us through His son. Whatever life throws your way, God offers to walk with us, help us, fill our cup with overflowing, give us rest, restoration, and His peace. Life is too short to grab, take, be consumed about lifeless things and worldly ideas and philosophies. The abundance that God offers transcends the difficulties and struggles of life allowing us to give thanks and live obedient to Him irrespective of our circumstances. And best of all, to those who accept this gift, He offers an even greater gift that this abundant communion will never end. In fact, He tells us what ever the most awesome things we can dream and want to spend our time doing in eternity, what He has for us will be exponentially greater.

It is through the difficulties of life, the battles that scar us, that we see for ourselves that the words written are alive and written for us. They are trustworthy and the only constant to stake your life, your existence on. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. He is the ONLY constant that exists, and He offers abundance to those who anchor their lives on Him.

If you would continue to hold up Theresa in prayer as she endures the next three months of shoulder pain. Thank you all for walking with us.


  1. Glenn Palmer says

    Thanks for the good report and the spiritual insights.
    I will continue in prayer for Theresa to stay cancer free and for healing of her shoulder. Also that all the side effects from the treatments will be gone!

  2. Mitch Dietz says

    Paul that is great to have such a good surprise. Believing Theresa would have to endure 6 more months of treatment – only to find out you were finished. I’m so happy for both of you! Blessings on you and your family. I continue to pray for you.

  3. Becky Joseph, RN, FCN says

    Thank you for sharing your precious journey…I will pray for you. May God be praised and glorified thru us all.

  4. Margie Briscoe says

    Paul and Theresa, you and your beautiful family have been in my prayers. This is such a wonderful report. Will continue praying for abundant life physically and spiritually and that this frozen shoulder be healed. So grateful you both know the Great Physician.

    Much love to you all,
    Margie Isensee Briscoe (your cousin!)

  5. Julie says

    “Bless the LORD, Oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name.” –Continued prayers for healing, comfort, and no pain.

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