This is another one of those difficult posts to write, and I hoped it would be a long time until I did another update on my health – but here we are. 18 months ago, I wrote this post about how we had found a mass on my left kidney, the mass and kidney were removed. At the time, it was decided that the tumor was benign with some high risk features. We kept up with consistent follow up scans to catch anything else that could crop up. In February, I had a CT and MRI that were both completely clear.
Fast forward to several weeks ago, I started to feel some pain in my lower abdomen and generally feeling unwell. I thought it was a UTI which it was not, so after a week of not feeling good I felt something wasn’t right and went to Cedars-Sinai (where I have all of my follow up care) emergency room. Turns out I didn’t get to leave the hospital that night, I was admitted and spent 2 nights in the hospital while they ran tests. Turns out my tumor came back in multiple locations, very rapidly. Ugh…
I am having major abdominal surgery on Monday to get as much of the tumor(s) as possible and then once I’m well enough I will start an MTOR inhibitor drug treatment to get rid of what’s left and keep it from growing (that’s the idea anyway). The kicker is that what I have which is an Epitheliod Angiomyolipoma or PEComa is part of the Sarcoma family of cancers and is very very rare, in fact our doctor said it was more likely we would win the lottery than have this type of cancer (yes please). It behaves differently than a typical cancer which is why it was so unpredictable, and now that it’s back it’s officially cancer (no longer “benign”). Of course the Covid-19 crisis makes this even more complicated to navigate.
The Ham’s are in the valley, friends. There are lots of unknowns, unanswered questions and uncertainty about our future. We are literally living one day at a time. Even in all this we’ve seen God provide in ways that were unexpected and feel His presence as He has directed our steps over these last few weeks and months. Having my husband with me all day at the hospital, in all of my appointments, and be the stay-at-home dad has been a huge blessing. He has been so caring and supportive. My mom has also flown out to help with the kids and some of my work. Of course the rest of our family and close friends have been a huge help as well during this time.
I don’t want this post to be doom and gloom, I honestly feel a sense of peace and positivity. I feel confident in my doctors and that with some surgery and targeted medication I’ll be good as new. But could I ask a favor? If you are a praying person, would you pray for us? The last time I shared health news I was overwhelmed with positive thoughts and messages and I appreciate that more than you know as I step into this fight. Also, sharing blog posts, watching my videos and shopping from my Amazon store are great ways to tangibly help our family.
I’m not totally sure how the next few months will go, likely a mix of recovering from surgery and rest, doctors appts, drug infusions and work sprinkled in when I can. I’m also not sure how much I will update on all of the nitty gritty of my health journey here, but if ya’ll are curious at all let me know and my husband and I can try to write out updates more often.
I saw this quote from Hope Heals and it rang true with me. “Don’t waste your stay in the darkness. Unearth the hidden treasures stored for you in the secret places.” As we all experience some sort of “darkness” in 2020, my prayer is that we will grow, learn and find our treasures that will get us through.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer in supplication with thanksgiving let your requests made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7