Chemo Scheduled for Friday (Update #7: Emily Whiting)

Here is the latest update on Emily:

  • The official pathology report came back today – which means we are now able to set up chemo.
  • At this point, the plan is for Emily to have surgery on Friday to put in her port. She then will be admitted and begin chemo that night. It is an in-patient chemo – so we will be at the hospital for about 4 days. We will go home for a couple of days, then back to the hospital for a few more days. After 3 cycles like that – she will get a two or three-week break.
  • The oncologist showed us the CT scan results and she is not very concerned. She feels that the nodules in Emily’s lungs aren’t anything to worry about at this point. They are going to treat her cancer as if it is localized for now but will take another CT scan in ten weeks.
  • As you can imagine, since they are doing it as an in-patient, her dose of chemo is powerful. We pray that it kills the cancer that is in her body.

Here are some things for which we are thankful:

  • We are thankful for the gift of pain. Without the pain in her knee, we never would have discovered this cancer.
  • We are thankful the pathology report only took six days. With bone cancer it often takes longer. We can’t start chemo until that report comes in. It came today while meeting with the oncologist. Thank you, Lord!
  • We are thankful for the doctor that took the X-ray and knew it likely was cancer. He discovered my blog has following Emily’s story ever since. He has been so kind with his words, prayers, and generous with his actions.
  • I’m thankful that when we moved from Rochester, of all the places in the world God had us move, He brought us to, arguably, the best cancer hospital in the world (see these articles: HERE, HERE and HERE).
  • I’m thankful for all of those who are giving through the GoFundMe campaign – to take away some of the financial burdens that face us. We are overwhelmed by your generosity.
  • I’m thankful for all the old friends in Rochester who have been emailing, calling, and texting. It is nice to be cared for from such a distance.
  • I’m thankful for new friends in Houston who are caring for us up close. You can tell on Facebook comments who is from Houston because they say, “Praying for y’all”  Our Rochester friends say, “Praying for you guys” or something like that. 🙂
  • I’m thankful for a brave daughter who wants to face this head on, and although afraid – she still has a smile on her face.
  • I’m thankful for a God who cares more than we do and isn’t nervous like we are.
  • I’m thankful for people in Rochester, NY and Lynchburg, VA – who are caring and loving our two daughters who want to be with their sister but can’t be right now.
  • I’m thankful that our hope isn’t ultimately in great doctors or diagnoses, but our hope is in God. But we sure are thankful for how he uses meds and doctors!
  • I’m thankful for Sue’s BFF from high school and her daughter who flew down here from Albany for a week to help however we need it.
  • Here is a crazy story that makes me smile and be thankful: The picture of Emily pointing to the calendar was at our first meeting with the surgeon (last week). As we talked about needing to start chemo and what that will look like – Emily was concerned about two dates: December 14 and December 31. Why December 14? Because it is opening night for the next Star Wars movie. Emily bought her ticket a long time ago. She was praying that chemo wouldn’t start until after December 14. I laughed… she said, “Dad, I’m serious!” So I began praying it wouldn’t start until after the 14th. It is starting the 15th (thank you, Lord). She also has a plane ticket to fly to Rochester on December 31 (for one week). She is supposed to go to the Passion conference with her sisters in DC and then spend a few days with friends in Rochester. Obviously, we thought that was not going to happen now. But today they told us it will be between chemo rounds, and they may let her go. If her numbers are good and she feels well, they are open to her going! They said after the first round her body won’t be too weak yet to fight off sickness like it will be later. When I took the picture with Emily pointing at those two dates, I never imagined God might answer that prayer! Please pray that she can still go to Rochester. She’d love to see friends and experience the Passion conference with her sisters! And thank God with us that she can see Star Wars on opening night (no, that’s not silly… that is a gracious God who loves to give good gifts).

What you can pray for: the long-term requests are the same (go one blog post back), but here are some other requests:

  • Pray that Emily can have peace heading into Friday. Today she visited for an hour with an 18-year-old girl who is nine months ahead of her. Same diagnosis. Same knee. Same surgery. Same chemo. She heard her story. She now walks without a limp! Amazing! But she was able to see one of the rooms she will be living in. The reality of the next nine months hit her today.
  • Pray that all the details will be worked out so that chemo can start Friday. A couple things need to fall into place.
  • Pray for Sue and Emily as I need to be gone two days next week. It should be two days between treatments, but I hate to be gone so early in this process.

Thank you for your interest and prayers.

To contribute – go here:

  1. Emily is in my prayers, you and Sue are in my prayers, Ali and Morgan are in my prayers. I’m praying that Emily will get to Star Wars and the conference, and that y’all will lean on God for strength and have a solid, firm faith through all of this. I read something somewhere that, for the person who has cancer, it’s like running up a mountain with a puma right on your heels, and your goal is to make it to the top because that’s where you’ll be safe and you cannot stop moving, ever. Keep your eye on the prize, Emily!

  2. Sobbing right now….a weird type of empathy/happy sobbing…if that’s possible. God is so, so faithful. Emily, you are an encouragement. We continue to pray and expect God’s best. We love you guys!

  3. I was just thinking the other day when you posted the picture of the freak snow in Houston that reminded you of Rochester. I said to the Lord that its good that y’all moved to Houston in God’s divine providence so that you could be close to one of the best if not very best cancer treatment hospital in the world! Your updates are great and appreciated and we continue to pray and hope to come check in on you all in the near future. Be our God of Peace, understand, Love and Healing continue to be with you all. Uncle Paul.

    • Thanks Uncle Paul! It is great that we have some family up in the Dallas area. I appreciate your prayers and encouragement. We’d love to have you come visit!

  4. Praying for you all everyday! Praying for God’s peace that goes beyond our understanding. And for healing that comes from our great physician. I love to hear how great is our God especially when specific prayers are being answered. ( These two dates) Some of my favorite verses to cling to are Isaiah 43:1-4! Emily you are precious in His eyes and HE LOVES you!
    Hugs and prayers from New Jersey !
    Love, Ronnie Sue (Uncle Nick’s sister)

  5. Ok…3rd time’s a charm…have not been successful in posting this yet. Please tell Emily that she has some fervent prayer warriors in the Oesterlings, some Rochester to H’ville transplants who say both “you guys” and “y’all” due to our confusion . We’re so thankful Emily was able to go to the movie before the chemo began. We’re also rejoicing in how God orchestrated your move to TX. What a wonderful God we love and serve who takes care of us in both big and little ways! Tell Emily we’re praying diligently and will continue. We love you and your precious family! ( Give Sue a big hug from me please).

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