I’m so sorry I have not updated in a while, my site would not load when I would try to get on here to update !!! We are praising God for an awesome miracle of health! Brandon’s cancer was contained to the colon, despite early CT scan that showed lymph nodes that were swollen and likely involved. We are so thrilled that all the lymph nodes came back negative and after meeting with the oncologist, she recommended NO CHEMO!!!
i hate to walk through what-if’s... but we are so incredibly thankful that we got to the doctor when we did. It was truly an appointment made by chance, but we know it was more than that. God is in details.
I have been reading a lot about colon cancer in young people, Google can be a dangerous place, but I truly think that there has to be a reason that colon cancer is increasing in young people at such a rapid rate. I believe It has to do with the way the food we are eating interacts with our genetic make up. The food we are eating is so different than the food our parents grew up eating. We all know this, but it truly has become obvious to us that we must face it. Our doctor at Mayo clinic said that although chemo is available, it does not increase the overall survivability for stage two colon cancer, and a more beneficial treatment would be changing his diet.
I could not believe she gave us food as our treatment, I was so thrilled!! After talking to one of my best friends who is a nutritionist (who I trust so deeply, and she got Brandon off gluten and some dairy for the last year), I was already recommending that to Brandon. Even if they recommended chemotherapy, I was hoping we could use diet to help control it, but this doctor told us exactly what I was praying for! If you are curious, her exact recommendation was no processed meat and no red meat (no bacon, sausage, or any other similarly processed meat). Heavy on fruits and vegetables, low on sugar. After talking to a nutritionist and several other friends, we have decided to stick with salmon and occasional fish, and occasional organic turkey and chicken. For my husband who LOVED meat, this is drastic, but he is on board.
He used to scoff at spaghetti squash and cashew cream, but he is now on board ;) Cancer will do that. I don’t mean that lightly, it has truly allowed us to re-evaluate what is important and again we realize that our lives are not worth living if we are not running after Jesus.
God continues to show me that his plan is unfolded through the prayers of his people. Don’t be afraid to pray, friends. You might not get the answer you’re hoping for, but you give God the opportunity to show you his infinite grace in your life!!
In yet another transition and move for our team, God has continued to draw us near to him. Thank you so much for loving us and praying with us.
Brandon is still recovering, he is super sore, he is not able to lift more than 10 pounds (No children... but dishes?!): He is doing awesome, and I think we are all still processing this quick transition. We went from surprise diagnosis to surgery the day after we arrived in Minnesota to recovery and great news!! All signs pointed to a more serious disease, and we are so thrilled to report that God allowed Brandon to be free from this cancer! He has three small nodules on his lungs that they believe are just residual from the environment, very possibly his 15 months in the oil refinery overseas... but we are going to be watching them closely every six months and following up with scans and colonoscopies every six months.
It is crazy to give this awesome update. After walking the other side of this road with Briar, it’s humbling and awesome to get the answers we so deeply wanted, and this time we have on this earth will not be wasted. This past week, a little boy that went to preschool with Finn passed away suddenly. Another teacher at the same Preschool in Kentucky lost her husband to cancer this week. There is so much pain in the world. I wish I had the answers. We cannot see the purpose to much of it on this side of heaven. I don’t have the answers to why, but I truly have a solution. We can cry out to Jesus, we can trust him even in our deepest valleys. The hope in Christ is never ending, and I know most of you know that deeply, and feel that in your own lives.
Thanks for walking with us. It has been an honor to see the body of Christ come together and pray and give and extend gracious words of encouragement. Thanks will never be enough. I had our College Bible Study offering to show up at my house from all over the United States to help with whatever we needed. I had friends that I knew for only weeks or months sending me a gift cards to help release the burden. I received childcare and meals from new Virginia friends ( I have truly barely lived here). The outpouring of love has felt so awesome. It also reminds us how privileged we are to have a body of believers and friends. It reminds me that some people aren’t so lucky and lights a fire in my heart for those people... to see and know the love of Christ and his church.
I can’t forget our families, who dropped everything to be here. My parents came and took care of three kids at my house... mind you, I’m an ONLY CHILD... so I believe this was probably more than they have ever had to deal with, and they did it with grace and joy. My in-laws dropped everything to fly to Mayo clinic with us. They helped with the baby, came to appointments and supported us in so many ways. We truly cannot express the thankfulness for the support we received. It is not lost on us what a blessing that is.
If you read this far, you’re a real friend!
All our love,
Brooke, Brandon and all the Whitis kiddos
please forgive all the tense changes and grammar... I’m a former teacher who is tired and has a house to clean.