Friday, January 27, 2012

Eastern vs Western Medicine

So the good news is that all the pericardial fluid around Kim's heart (redundant?) is gone! Thank you Lord! The bad news is that it took a one night hospital stay and a very uncomfortable procedure (another drain tube - pericardiocentesis) to remove all the fluid. The best news is that by God's perfect design we ran into our favorite nurse (Kate!) and got to spend a lot more quality time with her. God is good!

We were released yesterday, but Kim is due for another echocardiogram in about a week. Please pray that the pericardial fluid will not reappear on her next test. If it does, a much more invasive surgery may be required which involves stripping the entire pericardial sac around her heart. We've bought ourselves more time and the doctors think the fluid issue should resolve itself as the tumor continues to shrink. By the way, the recent PET scan revealed that her tumor in her chest (mediastinum) has already shrunk from about 8cm to 6cm. Praise God! The oncologist was very pleased. You're prayers are being heard - thank you so much. So right now, it's a race in time between the tumor shrinking in her chest and the fluid building around her heart.

We are headed to get our second opinion with Dr. Sonali Smith at the University of Chicago on Monday (Jan 30th) and the 2nd round of chemo will likely begin the end of next week. Please pray that the Lord would bless the skill and diagnosis of all the doctors and also that Kim would respond better to the Rituxan in her second round of chemotherapy. I don't think my heart  can handle any more "code blues".
If so...why not? I just got my swab kit in the mail yesterday and it took me all of 5 minutes to swab my cheeks and resend it postage paid. Unbelievably easy! Everyone needs to do this! Just go to the link and click on "Join the Registry" (bottom left - takes 10 minutes to fill out the online form) to get your own kit. If you are lucky enough to be one of the 1 in 10,000 who is matched with someone in need - consider it an awesome privilege that you are blessed with the opportunity to save someone's life. Please do this today. I ran across this article yesterday and it moved me. I mean seriously, if your sister had only 6 weeks to find a bone marrow match - would you still be sitting on your hands? If you consider yourself to be "pro-life" and have not registered to be a bone marrow donor - than you are an oxy-moron. (How is that for a play on words? Haha!)
We didn't expect to be in the hospital again but while we were gone we got THE best present...ever, and the timing was perfect because it was the best homecoming surprise. Not to marginalize all the other presents and cards we've received to date (thank you!) but this one took the cake. It was a collage of pictures from many of Kim's closest friends and family along with several verses that the Lord has been using to minister to us over the last couple weeks. (see pic below) Amazing. Thank you to everyone who contributed pictures and for Jane and Hannah for putting it together. You all are wonderful! We love it!!
Now, on a more serious note. For all of our friends in the medical profession, I have a very important question to ask you. Not only have I been burdened with the task of procuring the best medical doctors for Kim, but I am also left to decide on the best medicinal treatment as well. Allow me to explain. A couple weeks ago, (Monday, Jan 15th) I received an urgent email from Jenna (Kim's older sister) which quoted some very specific instructions from my mother-in-law. I have pasted it below:
Ginseng or something more sinister?
 Subject: Umma's [Korean for "mom's"] Directions

"Take 3 ginseng root boiled in rice vinegar covered in oxidized mouse skeleton powder every day."
Christina's (Kim's younger sister) response:
lol!!!!!!!!!! hahaha
My response:
Darn! All we have is the non-oxidized mouse skeleton powder in our cabinets. What time does Petsmart open again? =P
Apparently, my facetiousness was lost in translation because Kim's mom appeared at our house a few days ago with this "Korean cure-all".  For all of you out there in the health care industry: are there any clinical trials on the interactions between "oxidized mouse skeletons" and "R-CHOP"? I'm just throwing it out there, because I could not find anything on WebMD. While I would love for Kim's cancer to disappear quickly I don't want her to suddenly grow a goatee and back hair due to the unpredictable clash between Eastern and Western-style medicines.


Peter & Kim



  1. What a precious gift! Glad to hear you are home.

  2. Great to hear the news about the shrinking tumor!!!!!! Praise God!

  3. Peter and Kim,
    You may not remember me, but we met at swimming lessons a couple years ago via Krista P. She forwarded me the link to your blog. I must admit I'm really NOT a blogger, by any sense of the word, but yours has me addicted. It is well written, heartwarming, and so insightful. Thanks for sharing it with us as you continue on your journey.

    The verse I want to share is Ephesians 2:10 "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." He knew this would happen and your willingness to glorify Him in the process is amazing! Through all things we can depend on Him. James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receve the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." Stay strong and keep on keeping the faith!

    Oh, and just thought I'd let you know my Tuesday morning Bible study at VCB is praying for you all!

  4. What a wonderful and uplifting gift!! As for the oxidized mouse skeletons, I'm at a total loss! I did note that when ginseng and rituximab are given concomitantly, they can have an added/combined effect of lowering blood sugar, so you'll want to keep an eye on that, so I don't know about that... but I will still petition to our great almighty God, the Great Physician, that He will bring about Kim's healing! He can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, so I'm asking big!