1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…
Each time I sit down to share a quick update, I can’t help but want to type something other than what needs to be shared. The few verses above are far more beneficial knowledge than anything I could hope to write about Bethany. Our hope is in our risen Savior, and for Him we live.
Thank you for taking time to read about Bethany’s progress and praying her. Below you can read about her latest test results, but please don’t miss what’s more crucial and life altering.
In His grace,
Bethany has been diagnosed with PTLD (Post Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disease/Disorder). This is a form of Lymphoma particular to transplant patients. It is cancerous, and it is curable. The scope and pet scan Bethany underwent on Thursday and Friday showed masses in her stomach, small intestines, a mammary lymph node, and one spot in her large intestines.
The initial treatment regiment is to remove all of Bethany’s anti-rejection medication. The purpose of these medications was to suppress Bethany’s immune system so her body would not reject her new liver. The problem now is that Bethany’s immune system is too suppressed. This has allowed these cancer cells to run free. We hope by allowing her immune system to be active again that her own body will fight back and kill off the lymphoma.
Bethany will have another MRI on Wednesday to see if the growths are receding. If they have not, then we will begin more “aggressive therapy.” This therapy will include two medications. One of these medications will target a particular cancer marker, and the other medication is a type of chemo therapy. Neither of these should have severe side effects. These treatments will initially run for 6 weeks; after which we will do another pet scan to verify Bethany is cancer free.
Bethany is still in a lot of pain because of these tumors. She is receiving pain medication which is helping. Yesterday, she began to run a fever (102). Her doctors have now started her on iv antibiotics to combat whatever infection has taken up in her. Our initial hope was to be able to return home on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, but with her running a fever and being on antibiotics that might not be possible.
How to pray:
- The main cause of the lymphoma is the overgrowth of the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) in Bethany’s system. Please pray that Bethany’s own immune system will fight this off. This would be the best thing.
- Pray also that Bethany’s system does not begin to reject her new liver since we have remove all of her anti-rejection medication.
- Pray that Bethany will be able to eat and drink without pain. Currently, even the smallest amount food or water will cause Bethany great pain.
- Pray that Bethany’s fever and infection will go away.
- Please pray for the rest of us as we juggle schedules and attempt to stay well rested.
- Praise God that we were able to stay on top of Bethany’s health. Thankfully, we have found these growths so soon. If they had gone unchecked for even just a few more weeks, we might not have had as many options.
We’ve received many kind notes and emails for Bethany. Thank you so much! We appreciate and love each of you. I apologize for not sending out this update sooner. We have been very busy establishing a proper treatment plan for Bethany and also trying to plan a schedule for the rest of the family.
As I have more information or other prayer request, I’ll update everyone. In the meantime, remember, HE IS RISEN! And your response can be, HE IS RISEN INDEED! Because He is risen, we know we too will rise! Praise God our Lord and Father!
In His grace,
Taylor, Angela, Bethany, and Jonathan