update on Rachel

We definitely appreciate your thoughts and prayers for us today. The countless number of emails, facebook responses, texts, etc. has been overwhelming and have been much needed support for us.

Today was a good day considering the circumstances – and we feel much better about treatment and the future then we ever have since the diagnosis in June. The doctor we met with today (Dr.  Harbour) is most likely the expert in dealing with this type of cancer and has developed research and clinical studies that are being used worldwide. He helped us understand the severity of the tumor and also has given us more insight on what is going on in Rachel’s eye. The tumor is large – about half an inch (remember it is on the eye) and is literally sitting on the top of the optic nerve. This is where the major problem lies in determining if any type of radiation treatment will be able to remove the tumor.

Dr. Harbour noticed that Rachel’s body has actually been fighting the cancer and building an immunity against it which was unique int his situation. Because of this, this tells us that this has been a problem that has developed over time and her right eye has been compensating for the vision loss in the left eye.

The doctor believes that a radiation plaque therapy will kill most of the tumor (picture for those that want to see – but it is gross) and what it doesn’t get can possibly be eliminated through laser radiation (because of the size of the tumor, a laser would destroy the eye if that was the sole treatment). This surgery will take place in two weeks in St. Louis. The surgery will start on a Friday and she will have to have a gold plate inserted into her eye with radiation and it will remain on her eye for 4 days. After the weekend, the plate will be removed and she will be released to come back home. During the surgery, the doctor will biopsy the tumor and conduct some very important gene research. This will be able to help us know if the tumor has an aggressive behavior to it where it will most likely spread, or if the tumor will not have a tendency to spread.

If she receives a clean bill of health, there will still need to be some follow-up appointments made. 3-month, 6-month, and 1 year appointments will be made and then we will determine how often testing needs to be done. If there is a chance that it may spread, she will have to return on a more frequent basis and have more testing done to monitor it.

After surgery, Rachel will most likely have impaired vision in that eye, however, since her right eye has been compensating already, there may be a chance that it is never really noticed.

We are obviously thrilled that her eye will be saved, and now the prayers will return to focusing on making sure that the cancer does not spread in her body.

Thanks again for your support – we will keep you updated on this journey.

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5 thoughts on “update on Rachel

  1. Terry and Rachel,
    I am praying for you and will continue to lift you up for God’s healing power. He is an awesome God and will walk with you through this trial.

    Love you,


  2. Lissa Workman says:

    Terry & Rachel,

    Troy and I have been praying for you guys and are so happy that this round of news was better than expected. We will continue to pray that it is not agressive and that Rachel’s obviously strong body continues its fight against the tumor.

    Lissa & Troy

  3. Joe Skillen says:

    We’re glad to hear the good news.

  4. laurie dixon says:

    hey terry, i used to watch owen on wed. at asbury til u guys moved on to the other church. sending you my prayers. i am undergoing a stemcell transplant right now in omaha ne. for non-hodgkins lymphoma. i can relate to the worry and frustration and hope all at the same time. i know she’s gonna pull through this.

  5. Brooke says:

    This is fantastic news Terry! Thanks for posting the details…I’m sure this is a sigh of relief that her eye can be saved.

    We are praying for you and send our love your way.

    Brooke and David

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