In any event, the surgery is now over. The Doctors said it went very well. They did a complete hysterectomy. Her female parts are currently being biopsied to confirm that the ovaries were indeed the originating source of the cancer as had been indicated by the chemical signature of the cancer cells. We will have the results next week.
But the good news is that the Doctors saw no visible signs of cancer whatsoever in her abdomen. Thus, other than the spot outside her lung that was originally detected, the cancer does not appear to have spread anywhere else beyond the ovary.
The most recent scans show that the lymph nodes adjacent to where the cancer was originally removed from the lining of her lung are still inflamed. A biopsy of this area will be performed as well. But the Doctors were clear that, while this could be cancer, it could also either be scar tissue from the earlier surgery to remove the lining, or else just residual inflammation from the original infection involved in fighting off the cancer. Again, we will know more next week.
The bottom line is this. If any cancer is still present, then it is only microscopic. No mass was found, either by scan or by exploratory surgery. Clearly, the chemotherapy cocktail given to my sister, which the Doctors described as “aggressive and effective”, has already destroyed whatever mass or masses were in the process of being formed. Thus, the chemotherapy did its intended job splendidly in that it stopped the cancer from spreading further than it had already advanced.
After the pathology reports are all back, we will know more about where we go from here. The Doctors tell us that, in all likelihood, after she has recovered from surgery, three more rounds of chemo will then be in order. The purpose of these will be to "mop up".
As you can imagine, our entire family is very encouraged as we rejoice in this victory. So, on behalf of my entire family, let me offer a great big "thank you" to everyone who has uttered prayers on our behalf. I extend this same appreciation to the multitude of people who have been so faithful to inquire and/or to offer much needed words of encouragement.
For us as a family, of course, the most important affirmation is that our God has clearly been at work! Ovarian cancer is often called “the silent killer”. But our God exposed this masked marauder and allowed him to be engaged and hopefully defeated.
It is a blessing to live in a time and a place where we have the level of health care available to us that we do. We do not take lightly the blessings of hospitals, medicine, and technology, as well as that of gifted Doctors and Nurses. And we thank God for working through these things to restore my sister's health.
More importantly, it is a blessing to have a God who loves and cares for us in ways that even the most advanced health care administered by even the most gifted of Doctors and Nurses cannot provide.
For that, we give Him praise and glory; and along with the Saints of the ages, we boldly proclaim:
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.