Update on Susana (per request)

Susana has completed a total of 3 rounds of chemo therapy, but Mission Hospital has only given her 2 of those 3 and since Mission has her on a different protocol than they had her in Miami, they are counting her technically as having completed 2 rounds rather than three.  So, she completed her second round last week, and she came through with flying colors!  She didn’t have any negative side effects, nausea, pain, etc.  The whole time she was in the hospital, she was like a happy little butterfly.  They even began her chemo sooner than the normal three week interval because she was doing so well.

Now, we are at Duke Hospital where she is getting ready to have what is called a stem cell harvest procedure.  We arrived last night, spent most of the day at the hospital today even though it is all outpatient, and will probably be spending the week here as she gets this procedure.  Here’s how it works:  (spoken in a non-technical way)  She will get a tube surgically placed in her chest tomorrow (she will be under anesthesia for the procedure, and it really won’t hurt her, maybe just cause some discomfort temporarily).  Then on Wednesday, they will attempt the stem cell harvest.  The goal is to collect a certain number of healthy non cancerous stem cells from her bone marrow.  These cells will be extracted by a machine that will  basically draw them out while putting everything else back.  These stem cells will then be frozen and saved for a later time when she will really need them, like after her 4th or 5th round of chemo, which will be so high dose, that it will destroy her bone marrow (and hopefully every micro fiber of every stinkin’ trace of a tumor)  Since her bone marrow will be destroyed by this super high dose of chemo, that is when they will re-infuse those healthy stem cells that will be collected this week.  Does that make sense?????

So, today they needed to give her blood and platelets because she was low and they need to have her super healthy so that they can do these procedures.  She will get more platelets tomorrow morning just before getting the tube placed in her chest.

So, here is what we need you all to pray for:  Please pray that the tube is inserted without any complications under the anesthesia.  Then pray that they are able to collect all the stem cells that are needed in just one day.  If they don’t get enough on the first day, then we have to stay another day, and possibly another.  Basically, we are here until they collect the amount of healthy stem cells that are needed.  So, please pray for God’s favor that they get all the stem cells they need on the first day.  That way, we’ll get to go home.

Susana will then begin her 3rd round of chemo as soon as her body is healthy enough to begin.  After the next few rounds, they will do surgery and try to remove the tumors as much as possible.  Then they do the stem cell transplant (re-infuse the healthy stem cells).  Then, they will do radiation therapy for a period of time.  And finally, they will do a special antibody therapy.

So…that’s the update.  She has been doing great ever since we got to Asheville.  The doctors continue to give us good reports stating that she seems to be doing really well.

The good reports are nice to hear.  Seeing our little girl run around the hospital play room gives us joy.  Watching her play with her big sister brings a smile to our face.  But you know what?  The moments still hit us at times like a ton of bricks.  Our daughter has a stage 4 aggressive cancer.  People die from this often.  Our little girl is essentially fighting for her life…and we are fighting with her.  That reality hits sometimes and it just breaks us.  Those are the nights that Maria and I sit on the bathroom floor and weep and cry out to the Lord for healing for our little girl.  Those are the moments where our faith is sitting in the midst of the fiery furnace and all we can do is look for the Son of Man who comforts us in that furnace.  And when we come out of that furnace, whether for a brief moment or an extended time, our prayer is that we are changed and our faith is proved genuine, which will result in praise, glory, and honor given to Jesus Christ.  That is our prayer.

As much as we want to “claim” total healing…we cannot.  The bible simply does not give us permission to do so.  The only thing that we can claim, and we continue to claim from the bathroom floor as well as from the roof tops, is that God is good.  He is faithful.  He is loving.  He is strong.  And He never changes.  His grace is enough…even from the bathroom floor…His grace is enough. – Cody

12 thoughts on “Update on Susana (per request)

  1. Your last paragraph is one of the most powerful things I have ever read. Thank you for that…I’m going to be “chewing on it” for a long time. Prayers for all of you..

  2. Thank you for the update. Heard about your family via American Family Association. Will continue to pray, pray , pray.

  3. Cody & Maria, My heart breaks thinking of the pain suffering you are enduring. I cannot even begin to imagine it. But then I rejoice because I know you are totally depending on the One who has control of it all. He is going to see you through this because of your faithfulness and the encouragement you are to all of us. I pray you feel all of our arms around you as we approach His throne on your behalf. Hugs & kisses to all of you. Even Casey. 🙂

  4. maria and cody.
    we too are rejoicing at all the good reports and the joy of hearing her having few if any ill effects from each round of chemo. we delight in hearing of her playing in the playroom at the hospital and can almost hear her and her sister’s squeals of delight, running and romping and having fun.
    please know that while she fights for her life, and while you are fighting with her, that we too are fighting with you.
    we are standing with you all in prayer, going boldly to our Father’s throneroom, knowing that He is not the God of the clenched fist who holds blessings back that we must struggle for, but that He loves to pour out His blessings in abundance.
    YOU ARE NOT ALONE…NOR WIL YOU EVER BE ALONE IN PRAYER FOR SUSANA.
    we love you guys!
    mike

  5. I WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOUR WHOLE FAMILY, MY FRIEND MIKE MORTON TOLD ME ABOUT YOUR SITUATION AND I AM ALSO AN EX RADIATION THERAPIST SO I UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON WITH TEARS AND PRAYER I AM WITH YOU, G-DS WORD IS TRUE,I HAVE SEEN HIS MIRACLES, I WILL TELL MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST,AND THE POWER OF MORE PRAYER WILL BE WITH YOUR BABY GIRL,YOU JUST KEEP LOOKING UP AND KNOW WITH ALL YOUR HEART THAT HE WILL NEVER FAIL US…WITH LOVE YOUR BROTHER IN CHRIST, ROLAND

  6. I will say a special prayer today for Susanna and lift her up to our Holy Father. Its amazing how God works in our lives, how when we think we are down for the count,, God can do amazing things as you have testified in your work in Haiti and with Susanna. I will continue to pray for all of you. God Bless you in your journey!

  7. WOW—-What a phenomenal testimony you share in the midst of a storm. OH that I could have that kind of faith. I pray that your entire family will be leaning on the rock of our salvation. You know that you are sheltered in the cleft of that rock and we are ALL praying for a recovery that will leave us saying WHAT A MIRACLE!!!! We serve a mighty God and He knows what is best. We all just have to trust, obey and believe.

    God bless you!!!

  8. Praying for you in Arkansas, that you continue to feel God’s grace and goodness. For your little one, strength and happiness for the journey God has set before her. And finally, that you always know joy and smiles as you watch her play and be a sweet little girl. Many prayers and much love from someone who doesn’t even know you.

  9. So happy to hear of Susana’s progress. I spoke with your Dad (Cody) about how much I enjoy your blog but was concerned that we hadn’t heard much about your beautiful little girl lately. How relieved I was to get this update. God truly is good-ALL THE TIME!! Thank you for your beautifully written and very spiritual messages. Keep up the good work!!

  10. We are continuing to pray for Susana and your family! May God hold you in His loving arms as you go through this fire. Blessings and prayers!

  11. Praying so that when Susanna is ready she can go INTO ALL THE WORLD with us and overcome the enemy through the blood of the lamb and the word of her testimony! Until then, may God hold you in His arms and bless you in and through this time.

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