August 20, 2015
Thank you for your prayers for our family. Today, we received the news that we were dreading to hear. Chris and Michelle came home from the oncologist with the results. I will let you read what Chris has posted on CaringBridge.
“This morning we met with our oncologist to get the results of the MRI and PET scan. The MRI of my head came back with no issues. The PET scan on the other hand showed lots of issues. The scan showed the main tumor under my left armpit but also showed that the cancer has spread to bone in my right shoulder, bone in my upper spine, several spots on my ribs, a spot on my left lung, two spots on my liver and bone in my pelvis. There may be several other spots that I missed mentioning. It is advanced stage 4.
Obviously anyone familiar with cancer, especially melanoma cancer, knows that from a medical standpoint this is about the worst news possible. To be concise, the Dr. wanted us to know that this is not curable at this point. They are not going to do surgery.
The goal from this point is to prolong physical life as long as possible. Thankfully, there are some new melanoma cancer treatments that are recently available as of last December. They have shown much success at slowing or even causing the cancer to retreat for a time. Next Wednesday I will get a port placed and Thursday I will start (if the health insurance company approves it) a combination of Nivolumab and Ipilimumad.
Those are the “facts” but here is the reality. God is good and merciful to those that trust in Him. This news today has brought much tears and sorrow to family and friends. But all this sorrow is temporary. The reality is God has already had the last word on this cancer long before I was born. When Jesus rose from the dead and became the first fruits of the resurrection this cancer was defeated. It torments us for just a short time but soon will be swallowed up by eternal life. Even though it is a time of sorrow, our family is enveloped in peace that only comes to those whose faith and trust rests in the Lord.
Also, people ask how they can pray. It is our upmost desire that God would be glorified in this. Please pray that God would continue to give me and our family an unfeigned faith in Him.”
Needless to say, we shed many tears as they shared the news with us and their family this morning. We do not know how God is going to work in this and through this in the days ahead. It will not be easy but we know God will give grace and comfort and peace. It has already been evident.
I leave early tomorrow for Jeffers MN where I will begin a conference on “Experiencing the goodness of God.” As Chris said in his first post after finding out he had melanoma, “May God’s will always be done for it is always good.” Please keep us in your prayers. May God work in this conference. I pray souls are saved and Christians encouraged. I really believe in what is said in Psalm 107:8, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Your Friends in Christ,
Monte & Jeneen Leavell