Another week has passed and the ball is definitely rolling. As usual, there are ups and there are downs. After having a very experienced radiologist examine Daisy’s scan results, Dr. Slavin has concluded that her lung spots are metastatic cancer. So heavy. The upside is that he said it can be a good indicator of whether the therapy is working or not. He has chosen to go ahead with Oncothermia, twice weekly shots of a substance called GcMAF that stimulates her macrophages to destroy cancer cells, and a vaccine. This vaccine will be comprised of her actual tumor which was cryopreserved after her last operation. He will mix those cells with dendritic cells from Britt and Daisy will get that vaccine over the course of 6 months. This coming Tuesday Britt will undergo the collecting of cells similar to what Daisy did at UCLA. He is looking forward to being able to do this for her and considers it an honor. I agree.
This is the plan for now. All these therapies, or “modalities”, as Dr. Slavin calls them are nearly painless for Daisy and she can play and be around people all she wants which is a huge change for her. It’s so fun seeing her gain strength and her step quicken. She is learning to hold her head high when curious people look too long at her (she has ditched the beanie in the heat) and she gets this expression of dignity that is amazing.
We are loving absorbing the culture and just being where we are. As we choose joy in the situation it’s important to talk together at the end of the day of the highs and lows. We get to rejoice over the highs, laughing and agreeing, and commiserate over the lows, affirming, sometimes praying over it, then moving on. I’ll share some with you!
The Israeli people continuously fall in love with our plucky girl. Two different times on the beach kind people have bought her popsicles, and at our favorite cafe they keep bringing out treats after almost every meal. Last time they brought out a giant piece of watermelon! We have made many friends both on the beach and elsewhere. We have been invited to two Shabbat meals and even have plans for Rosh Hoshanna! (Jewish New Year) Daisy has a play date with a little girl from London who spends summers in Israel named Alba, and her mom is taking us to a secret beach where turtles are laying eggs! Britt has made friends in the water with some really nice surfers and we all have bumps, bruises, and rashes from too much fun at the beach.
The best of the best by far is the time spent together. We understand that it is a gift to have the time to play cards at the cafe, to watch the sunset every night, to laugh together in the elevator and try to hold it in when strangers come aboard, and to take 7 wrong turns in a row and laugh about it. This time is a gift. We are slowing down, listening to each other, praying in accordance, and learning many lessons together. We have few distractions and a very clear purpose. For that we are grateful.
2 Corinthians 4
"We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people there will be great thanksgiving and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now, rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone but the things we cannot see will last forever."