What is this?

What is this? I don't really know, other then a continuation of my updates and writings that I was sharing previously on Caringbridge of this journey through cancer and now widowhood and single parenting.

Maybe it won't end up being anything at all, or maybe it will be a glimpse into my heart, my life, my current situation, my testimony.

Whatever it becomes, I am touched that you are interested.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

We have a plan

Whew, what a roller coaster ride the past 2 weeks have been. 

We were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Aria Zanne on July 2nd.  Among all the chaos of our circumstances God blessed us by allowing me to go into labor naturally at 38 1/2 weeks, only have 8 hours of labor and deliver a healthy baby.  

Brandon's biopsy was supposed to be that same day, so we had to reschedule.  However, upon arrival to Labor & Delivery Brandon was feeling ill and had been fighting a fever the past 12 hours, so his oncologist told him to go get checked out in the ER, so against everything he wanted to do, he headed to the ER while I was in labor.  Thankfully we hired a doula who was there by my side for the 3ish hours Brandon was getting blood work, a CT scan and xray.  He made it back in time (with wheelchair escort service and a lovely hospital gown) for my epidural to kick in and for the birth.  Huge thanks to the team at Exempla Lutheran Hospital for working so hard to get him looked at and back up to me in L&D.  In the end they could not find any signs of infections and released him with some meds.

On Monday he had the biopsy, and they were actually able to get samples of both the neck and the abdomen.  There was confusion about a third location in his back, but it turns out that was some sort of miscommunication.  The preliminary results of the neck were not obviously cancer, which got our hopes up really, really high. However, Tuesday evening we got the news that it is indeed a recurrence of the colon cancer in both locations.

Today Brandon met with the oncologist for the plan.  He will start chemo on Monday (14th) and will be the same regiment as the last time, except using the modifications that we figured out along the way last time.  And, the plan is for 8 rounds of treatment (last time was 12) then a PET scan that will HOPEFULLY, Lord willing, reveal remission.  

He will go in on Monday, get chemo for a few hours then get hooked up to a pump to come home with til Wednesday disconnect, then in on Thursday for a white blood cell booster shot and repeat every other week.  This time we will start off right away with an anti-nausea med called Emend that was a huge help, a 10% reduction of the chemo, half dose of the Avastin and some additional new concoctions the doctor has found to help other patients. 

Our oncologist spoke very optimistically of getting Brandon back into remission based on how he responded last time and how long we kept it at bay.  This is very hopeful for us all, as this doctor never said that the first time around.  

So, please join us in Praise and Prayer:

-God allowed us to find this early.  His next PET was not til August, and of course the earlier caught the better.
-We are blessed with a beautiful daughter to bring joy to this difficult time.
-My lupus has been under control after birth, against all odds
-The support of our families has been absolutely unbelievable.  

-Pray that Brandon responds better to the treatment then last time, allowing him to still be active in life during treatment
-Pray that the 8 treatments are more then enough to return to remission!
-Pray that God fills us with the strength we all need to get through this together, it will not be easy.


  1. By Debbie Johnston — Aug 10, 2014 8:22am
    In labor with your first baby while Brandon has tests done on his own, is unimaginable! So glad he was able to be there for the remaining labor and birth! God's timing is perfect. Praying for your family as you adjust to treatments, a new baby, etc. Thinking of you often!

  2. By Terri Givens — Jul 11, 2014 11:25am
    Thanks for your journal entry. I am praying with you. Most every weekday I have a morning prayer time. Brandon and the whole family is in my prayers. Congratulations on your precious sweet baby!

  3. By Lara Tugbiyele — Jul 11, 2014 10:19am
    We will be praying for the three of you. We love you guys!

  4. By Robb Paolasso — Jul 11, 2014 5:40am
    I love you two and you are in my prayers. What a strong awesome God loving couple you are. Such sweet examples I would do anything for. You both inspire me so much. If you need anything please let me know.

  5. By Bonnie Hayslip — Jul 11, 2014 2:50am
    You just amaze me daughter in law! Beautifully written. You and Brandon are touching many, many lives by your faith in God. Unshakeable faith! I can't keep my eyes off my beautiful grand baby, Aria Zanne. She is a gift. She brings joy and laughter in the middle of the storm. A beautiful gift from God. When I walk in your home, there is peace. God is going before you and Brandon and Aria. I had tears as I read this. Some see bars, and some see stars. You see the stars! That comforts me as his mom.
    I am so thankful God brought you and Brandon together. To share life with. Now you are a family. And what a great wife and mother you are. You take care of Brandon and Aria even though you suffer from Lupus. You remind me of Esther in the Bible. You have blossomed into a beautiful woman of God. I am touched by your life and how you handle everything with patience and grace. I just adore you like crazy.

  6. By lavonne elam — Jul 10, 2014 11:09pm
    You are in my prayers!!! I hahave a special bond as a mother with Bonnie, as I too have a son fighting colon cancer!!! I have used Brandon's miraculous healing as my hopeful point in my prayers for my son. So now, I join with everyone in trusting God for another miracle for each of them!!! My prayers are fervently cojoined for both young men!!!

  7. By Amy & Jimmy Lilley — Jul 10, 2014 6:44pm
    You and Brandon, and now beautiful baby girl, Aria, are being held close in our hearts, and the Lords shelters you All in the shadow of His wing!!

  8. By Joanne Creek — Jul 10, 2014 5:49pm
    Brandon and Christina, Although I have not made many comments concerning the difficulties you are facing please know that my silence only means that I am in deep, deep prayer for you daily.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!