Expect the unexpected

My shower was quick but I allowed the warm water to stream down slowly rinsing the suds from my hair. Just two appointments today, a routine blood workup, probably a couple of vials for Guardant for the cancer study and then the usual Complete Blood Count and Extended Metabolic/Electrolyte panel. Then consult with my oncologist Dr. Hani Babiker to discuss the results of Friday’s CT and MRI. Tommy and I should be eating breakfast by 10:30AM. Tomorrow was the big day, an Electrocardiogram and then our first meeting with Dr. Stauffer, the surgeon who would perform my “out of the box” surgery to remove my tumor and clean up some other questionable’s deep within my stomach area on August 17th, just nine days from today.

The bloodwork results came in in record time and as I reviewed the results in my portal only one value stood out….white blood cell count was 4.1. It had never been that high before. In fact, three weeks ago it was 1.2 and below the mid range. Oh well, everything else looked ok to me.

Dr. Babiker entered the room and after hello’s were exchanged he pulled his chair close to the sofa where Tommy and I sat. He told me he was sorry I had been feeling weak and tired. (Tommy had shared this information with him via text a few days before.) And, I am also sorry to tell you this is most likely the result of the spreading cancer. He referred to the CT and MRI reports as showing no reduction in the size of the tumor in my pancreas and even a slight growth of the lung tumors, but more concerning was the addition of more leisons on and near the liver.

He shared that surgery was no longer an option.

This news took both of us by complete surprise. He further explained it would be a difficult surgery that would require five to six weeks of healing for a healthy person. There was no way to know how far the cancer had spread and to endure this kind of surgery and then not have a good outcome, it just would not be wise.

He was thinking aloud as he offered options of chemotherapy and immunotherapy and even attempt to create a vaccine from my own cells to fight off the cancer. But, that would take time. I didn’t have to decide today, but I would need to decide soon.

As I write this I am filled with disappointment, but, also gratitude. As my Joseph sat beside me and tried to verbally confirm what we were both hearing the doctor say, his voice quivered. He needed to understand precisely what was happening so he could report to our children the complete and utter reality. I am thankful to have walked beside this godly man for 39 of my years on the earth.

He walked me to my car and hugged me before I got into the car. It was certainly not the news we expected today yet we both know God is in complete control. We drove directly to church and prayed, cried and laughed as we sat in the empty church we both agreed was the place we had always come to celebrate, to mourn, to seek answers and to praise.

No matter what is ahead we can handle it because we believe in a God who has shown us repeatedly miracle after miracle and grace upon grace with each new day.

Today I pray for discernment. For God to guide me to make the best decision. I pray for an answer.

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    -God is with you always Judi! He will continue to protect you and find the way to free you from yet one more trial.
    Keep your faith 🙏 strong! Tell Dr. Babiker you are a fighter. (Get hold of H.Asbun. You LOVE LIFE! FIGHT JUDI)
    Your are my mentor and my rock! I love you!
    Best regards to Tommy and your family!

  2. Dearest Judi,
    My heart is broken reading your recent post.
    I have never known you well, but I know your strength, generosity and abundant kindness. JT brought us together, God has kept us together. Charley and I have been blessed by your example.
    Prayers will continue….

  3. I am praying for you, Judi! Praying for wisdom, discernment, hope and another miracle! God is with you ❤️

  4. Your grace always knocks be over! Your strength and grace are an inspiration. Praying always for you..cancer is an awful disease, but brings out the amazing in so many people I have known. You are the star in that group of people.

  5. Dearest…sweet, kind, beautiful Judi…after reading this update on your oh so very eloquently written words, my heart is feeling your sadness, pain and uncertainty as you make decisions on what to do with your health, your body…your life. To hear this news I can only imagine…after all of this time, was indeed a shock. But knowing our God is in control of all things…brings me great peace for my life and certainly yours. We have no guarantees as we well know…so we take each day and pray for another one. It’s all we can do really. My prayer for you is that God continues to bless you and heal you…for a day without you in it, is a day I don’t want to experience. I love you so very much and will hold steadfast to my prayer. Stay strong my sweet friend. Please stay strong for you, your family…and all of us who love you dearly. You don’t even know this…but you are my rainbow in my darkest days. I love you.

  6. Judy,
    The Danner family continues to pray for you and your strength, faith, gratitude are characteristics that we all desire to have in life. You exemplify such grace through the trials and tribulations since your diagnosis. You have touched so many of us through your journey. We continue to pray for your continued strength and influence on the science that will find a cure for pancreatic cancer. We love you! Cindy

  7. Judi as I read this blog tears form in my eyes as I felt such a “pep” in your step..so to say .. For the new surgery.. I pray 🙏 that you’re okay ! I wish I had the right words to say but I’m not sure I do.. except to tell you that I love you 💕

  8. Judi, thank you for sharing. Your faith strengthens my own… so thank you. Continued prayers for discernment. I know your own personal fight is helping so many who receive their own cancer news. Love, Holly Tyrrell

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