Beginning Her 16th Week of Chemo (Emily Whiting Update #27: 8/21/18)

Every chemo week, we give Emily a sign that sits in her hospital room and then at the house to help remind her of Truth. This week’s sign says this: “Worry: Glancing at God while gazing at circumstances. Trust: Glancing at circumstances while gazing at God.”

What Has Happened Since Our Last Update:

  • Emily has had two weeks off and is now getting ready to go into two straight weeks of treatments (chemo #16 & 17 out of 18).
  • Morgan left for college. 🙁 It was great to have her home all summer.
  • Emily & Sue continue to go down to MD Anderson for rehab 2 or 3 times a week. She is progressing well.

What’s Next:

  • Today (8/21) begins week #16 of chemo (out of #18). It is a methotrexate treatment, which means she will feel really sick tomorrow (Wednesday), but begin feeling better on Thursday. And, if things stay on schedule, she will head home on Saturday.
  • Some exciting news is the treatments that cause Emily’s hair to fall out are done. So now her hair will begin to slowly regrow! That is an exciting thing for us. It will take a long time, but she’s ready to get her hair and eyebrows back.

What you could pray for:

Our recent praises:

  • We are thankful that Emily was able to begin this round of chemo. Her numbers kept falling through the week last week, but her platelets rebounded and were great today!
  • We are thankful for the joy Emily has. Today is a lot of sitting in the hospital and so many nurses stop by to say ‘hi’ to her. The oncologist on-call today told her that she has a great reputation with the staff. We are thankful for that.
  • Emily always wants to help others who are facing what she has gone through. And today, a 22-year old with osteosarcoma checked into MD Anderson for her first chemo round. So the nurse came and asked if Emily would meet with her and give her advice. She has some unique challenges that Emily will definitely be able to help her with. We’ve spent a lot of time with her mom today, and this week, Emily should be able to encourage and help her. Pray for Georgia, if you think of it. I’m sure it is overwhelming.
  • Emily still isn’t throwing up. About 30-36 hours of nausea but no throw-up. We will take it!!
  • Emily has registered for college classes online. She is set to begin Monday!
  • Emily rarely needs her crutch anymore. She uses it during and after chemo because she is so weak, but other than that, she walks everywhere. It is slow, but it is progress!

Our long-term requests are the same:

  • That God would be glorified in and through Emily and her Osteosarcoma, and that we all would submit to His glory being our priority – whether in life or death and whether the news is good or bad.
  • That Emily and our entire family would grow through this (we believe God is always out for our good – which ultimately is to become more like Jesus).
  • That God would heal Emily and she would live a full, long life serving and pleasing Him.
  • That Emily (and all of us) would have peace and joy. This did not take God by surprise and He is for us.
  • That we would be sensitive to how God wants to use this in all of our lives.
  • That the cancer has not spread at all.
  • That the God of hope would fill Emily with joy and peace as she trusts in Him so she will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

Our short-term requests:

  • Emily and Sue plan to head back to Rochester for a bridal shower for Ali in September. Pray that the timing can work out to get Emily there and that her counts are strong enough to go.
  • Pray that Emily can get out on Saturday and begin the next round on Tuesday (8/28).
  • Pray for Emily’s body to stay strong. The further she has gotten into treatments, her body is weakening and it seems her numbers take longer to recover. Pray her blood numbers to stay high.
  • Pray that Emily would be able to walk down the aisle for Ali’s wedding without a limp. We were praying for mid-September, but that isn’t going to happen. She keeps working hard and we are setting our sites on October.
  • Please pray that Emily will continue to grow in Trust (glancing at circumstances while gazing at God) and not Worry (glancing at God while gazing at circumstances).

Some Photos to Get a Glimpse of the Last Couple of Weeks:

The night before Morgan left for college, we enjoyed an Astros game.

Brooke (the girl on the right) had a party celebrating her 22nd birthday and the end of her chemo treatments. In the middle is Madi – she is a cancer survivor who has hung out with Emily a bit through this process.

Some cookies for Brooke’s party.

Brooke used her chemo bottles as light fixtures at the party. 🙂

Sue with a Chewbacca head on. Anything to entertain Emily…

After getting her labs, meeting with the oncologist, and doing an hour of rehab, we had a couple of hours to waste until it was time to check-in to her room. So we went to lunch. I took Emily to a place I’ve always wanted to take her to – The Hobbit Cafe.

Everything inside is based on the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Even the menu items.

Some of the nurses have become great friends to Emily. This is Megan and she is one of the best!

This is Emily’s meeting with the oncologist’s PA, Whitney. She has been wonderful through this entire process. She wasn’t happy about Emily wearing a North Carolina shirt (she’s a Duke fan). But once Emily explained she bought it at Goodwill because she liked the color, Whitney got over it quickly.

This is soon after check-in. Making the bed… Nurses stopping in to say ‘hello’ – getting things ready. As you can see on the clock, it was 3:00 PM. Fluids didn’t start until 6:00 PM. They will run for eight hours, then the chemo begins. It takes about four hours for the methotrexate to get into her system. So that should finish around 6:00 AM. Tomorrow, she will be heavily medicated and sleeping most of the day – while feeling nauseous and getting up regularly to pee. For the next few days, she will receive a liter of fluids every 2 hours – 24 hours a day… until she is discharged.

For those who made it all the way to the bottom… congrats! 🙂 And thanks!

We deeply appreciate your prayers for Emily.

  1. Wish I could get to the Hobbit Cafe, too! Jazzed Emily was able to enjoy that. So happy she’s almost done with chemo! I’ll be praying her numbers stay high, no throwing up, no mouth ulcers, the chemo flushes quickly, and she feels better quickly after discharge. Definitely praying she walks without a limp for the wedding.

  2. I made it to the bottom! Good news from your family. Emily is through so much of this journey. So nice that she serves others in live, to help them on their journey. Thanks for sharing Emily and your family’s story with all of us. We are praying and learning as we follow you. Love you all!

  3. Continue to pray for her and your family. I am amazed at her strength, attitude and perseverance! I look forward to see what God has planned for her.

  4. I made it to the bottom. Praising God for Emily’s joy, inspired by her Trust, & encouraged by the definitions of trust & worry. May this journey glorify God & strengthen you all in a way that has residuals for every person you touch with God’s story for your lives. May your ministry have a substance with this that it couldn’t have had without it. May you be endued with power from on High, & have fruit that will remain. What Satan meant for evil, may it be for your good & may you soar in leaps & bounds, seated in heavenly places, where Christ dwells. God bless

  5. Congratulations to all!! Soon this will be a memory and your blessings will out weigh this year of trial. Your daughter is one tough cookie. I admire her grace and courage. Plus she has a cool scar. I have a barbed wire scar, which one can’t see, unless you are married to me. I didn’t know how to stop a scooter, which I was driving. Drove it straight outta the driveway, across a county road, down a ditch and landed on a farmers barbed wire fence. I meet nice people. Scars fade with time.

  6. Praise God for all He is doing through Emily and your family! I love the quote on her new sign, great reminder for all of us. Emily is one beautiful young woman whose peace & joy and love of the Lord is so evident in all of her pictures. I continue to lift Emily & all of you in prayer to our awesome God!

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