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We got a call late last week that our Doctor wanted to consult with us. Never good… Here’s the short version about this latest development with Abby:

  • 8% of the population has a specific genetic variation…
  • That variation is NOT a factor in getting Leukemia…
  • However, if you get Leukemia and you have that variation, you are FOUR TIMES more likely to die during the first year of treatment from complications or relapse.

One effect of this gene variation is increased toxicity from specific drugs. Our doctor is going to help us monitor this particular aspect so that we can keep those complications to a minimum.

Our kind Doctor said it was “not a death sentence, but no, not good news”. I asked her if that took Abby from her previous 70% chance of survival down to around 20 or 30% and she replied “it’s hard to put a number to it…” but did not offer another figure.

For the next couple of weeks, Abby is in “interim maintenance” an easier period of chemo, which is kind of laughable if you saw how many drugs and chemo she is still getting. On Jan 16, she begins “delayed intensification” which is the hardest part of her entire treatment. Given today’s news, you can guess how much this 60 day period concerns us since we almost lost her a couple of times already in lesser intensity therapy periods.

We are already planning to get some help during those two months of “delayed intensification” because based on history, we will probably be in the hospital the majority of the time dealing with significant complications. Would you:

  • Please pray for us to have wisdom, strength and health to take care of Abby Put Abby on any prayer lists or groups and prayer for her healing
  • Pray that God will be glorified no matter what the outcome
  • Pray that God will make provision for the increased needs and expenses coming up

We know that God can safeguard Abby no matter what – four times, ten times, a hundred times “more likely…” whatever. God is bigger than genetics, cancer or any other difficulty we face.

We also know that Abby is in a win/win situation: she wins if we get to keep her here; she wins if she gets to go be with God and wait for us there. However, it goes without saying that we would be unspeakably sad to have to let her go, so we pray for her healing, and ask you to do the same.

Looks like Abby gets to be home for Christmas, and that is WONDERFUL. She went to see Christmas lights last night, and will get to see them again tomorrow night. Our wonderful friends, Carol and Scott, are picking up our three little ones in a LIMO and taking them to see Christmas lights! We have received Christmas gifts for the children from Scott’s office and co-workers. Carol and Scott have just been SO kind and generous to us. We are so thankful for them. They have really gone above and beyond to be a blessing to us.

We also received Christmas gifts for the kids from our wonderful church family, who also continue to bring us meals and help us however they can. We are truly blessed with incredible friends and Christian family. Our own families of course have done much for us too during this difficult time. We could go on and on about people reaching out to help care for Abby. One particular friend, J.N., knows how deeply grateful we are to him. He’s not about getting public praise, but he has been a life changing blessing to us.

If you have any questions, leave a comment, and we will be glad to respond. Thank you for your prayers. We pray that no matter what happens, everyone will see God clearer and be drawn to Him. God hasn’t gone to sleep, He’s not busy somewhere else. He cares for every tiny little re-growing hair on Abby’s head, and every missing hair on my head.

Our faith is unshaken, and God has already been more than glorified through our trial.

Blessings,
Brent (and Michelle)
www.brentriggs.com
www.riggsfamilyblog.com

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