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Cancer Update: Is treatment working?

Thank you so much for sharing!

Hey everyone! We have another little update we wanted to share with you all, thanks for being on this journey with us. The last few months the Ham’s have had quite a few changes to our lives. I’ve decided to go full cancer killer and have radically changed my diet which obviously affects what food we’ve been buying and cooking. I’ve also been going down tons of rabbits holes from books to podcasts to youtube videos and so much more. Sometimes it feels like the rabbit holes can be too deep or distracting but we’ve decided to go all in so if one aspect doesn’t feel appropriate to my condition I just move to the next. In many ways of course it’s overwhelming but at the same time helps to make me feel a little power over this situation.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts I’ve been doing mTor infusions every week and after doing 11 infusions of this cancer treatment, it was time to do a CT scan and see if this stuff is working. Once that date was on the calendar, the fear set in and I tried my hardest to stay distracted, hopeful and prayerful about what the scan might show. In the last 2 years I have had 2 extremely scary scan results where doctors are shaking their heads and looking at me in disbelief. All of those feelings from the past and uneasiness about the future play a part in what some have called scanxiety, which is totally a real thing. This scan of course could have gone any possible way. My last one showed literally more than a dozen tumors of various sizes (a couple the size of softballs) growing rapidly. So we had to really stop ourselves from going into those dark thoughts.

I did the scan and then it’s just waiting time… A few days later, Robert and I went over the results with my oncologist at our usual weekly appointment. If the results were good, then we stay on the mTor drug that I have been getting by IV each week. If they were not good, it would mean potentially switching to a different (harsher) chemo or whatever my oncologist recommended.

The scan results showed… shrinkage! Glory, hallelujah! After my surgery, they did a scan to get a baseline of the tumor(s) that were left. The surgeons were able to get almost everything, but there was one that was tough to get so they left that one to be taken care of by systemic treatment. It measured 5.9cm at the baseline scan and now is 3.5cm! It shrunk by almost half! There are also no new growths, which is a huge praise as well! I had so many pop up in such a short amount of time, that this is wonderful news. It was really hard for us to not just break down and hug our doctor, but we waited until we got into the hallway. Definitely some tears in there, but on the cancer floor it seems to be an appropriate reaction!

I truly believe that the drug is working, but also all of the proactive health decisions I am making at home and YOUR prayers are what is holistically helping me in God’s perfect plan. I am so grateful and can’t thank you enough for all the sweet messages, prayers and well wishes you have sent my way.

In His perfect timing, I feel so much relief as we head into the holiday season where I can be wife and mom, my favorite job titles, and help make this season special for my family who have been through so much this year. I did make a vegan, raw pumpkin pie which my fam was not that excited about – haha. Blessings to you all, let’s continue to beat the crap out of this 2020!

If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, here are the links to previous blog posts that tell the story ;).

Life Changed in an Instant, Again

Leading up to Surgery

Hospital Stay and Return Home

Recovery, Healing and the Unknown

Kristi Hylton

Tuesday 15th of December 2020

Hi Melanie! I learned to crochet a few years ago from you! I have thoroughly enjoyed your crochet tutorials. I was diagnosed with kidney cancer in October, so I know the scares and scanxierty that you’re going though. Mine was caught early, Praise God! However I do know the anxiety and all that surrounds it. You worry for your babies. I have a 17 year old autistic son. I worry if something happens to me how will he handle it? We all are on the road to this thing called life, and hopefully can encourage each other along the way. Just wanted to say hi and let you know what an inspiration you are to me! Hang in there! God’s got us!

Olivia Pedersen

Tuesday 15th of December 2020

Dear Melanie We do not know one another and we are both physically and generationally separated. Our common thread, if you will excuse the pun, is the word 'quilt'. My reason for writing is to express deep gratitude to you for, not only teaching me a new skill at the great age of 63, but for teaching me more about who I am. Your youtube video entitled 'beginners quilt: part one' popped up on my screen by chance, just as the pandemic began. Your instructions were clear, encouraging and joyful. Within weeks I had made not one but four quilts. Each time I made one I learned something new about myself. I wanted to list these new discoveries to show you how your teaching offers so much more than just learning to make a quilt. I learned patience: I had to unpick stitches because of mistakes and go back to the beginning sometimes. Each time I did this I felt less attached to the mistake-making and more accepting of the desire to do a good job no matter how long it took. I learned how to connect with my son. I included him in the design of the quilt and together we moved squares around on the dining room table and argued about the merits of the different colors, he in London and me in Atlanta. It was delightful piecing together our differences in taste to make a whole. I learned how to listen Carefully, deeply, to every instruction you gave and then I reviewed your video again and again, painstakingly. I learned how to problem solve When things did not go according to plan and everything seemed scattered and in disarray, I took out the instructions again and painstakingly put things back in order. I learned about my own creative capacity This is the gift that keeps giving. It is not just quilt making, it is knitting, drawing, writing, cooking, making up songs for my grandkids. It seems to be flowing out of me in a jumble of colors -not unlike the quilts. I learned a little more about love I am learning that love can manifest in so many different ways. Sitting with the quilt on my lap as I hand stitch the edging, I am thinking of my grandson Sid and my huge love for him. I cannot see him and do not know when I will be able to hold him but as I wrap up the quilt for the final time and seal the parcel I am aware that every single hour I was working on it was an hour that I was wholly with him. Finally, this letter cannot be complete without me expressing admiration for your courage as you battle cancer. You are a wonderful example of how to face life's challenges with optimism and grace. yours very sincerely Olivia ps I have photos of the five quilts I have made but cannot upload them onto this comment site.

Theresa Mantz

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Prayers for you on this journey.. I have been thru this myself this year not the easiest thing to go through. I had chemo and radiation kicked my butt but am getting back to myself.. Prayers for a complete recovery..

Pat norRis

Sunday 6th of December 2020

Would love to know how you have changed your eating. 2020 has not been the best for me either!

Amber p

Sunday 6th of December 2020

I just discovered your YouTube channel yesterday and came to your blog to finish up a beanie for my son. Just wanted to let you know I'm praying for you! And Katherine Wolf from Hope Heals is actually from the state I'm in, Alabama. Such a small world! Thanks for sharing and thank you also for your crochet tutorials.

Amber p

Sunday 6th of December 2020

I say she's from here.. not 1005 sure actually, but I believe her husband is at least. =)

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