March 2023


This week at Mayo was very encouraging. Everybody on Shelli's medical team was acting like being accepted into the clinical trial was a foregone conclusion, and as though they were simply checking boxes. The last box to check is to wait 30-days from her last Sandostatin Shot, and that line will be crossed tomorrow, at which point the application will then be re-submitted.

Also, we now have an official we-will-know-by date: March 9th. Even though we have to remind ourselves that this is not a done-deal, our hopes are high. If accepted, the dice will be rolled immediately, and we will know if Shelli is randomized into the Radiation Arm or the Chemotherapy (control) Arm. No matter what, in or out, radiation or chemotherapy, things will jump into high gear this month. There is already a lead-lined room reserved at Mayo on March 23rd, with Shelli’s name on it, in expectation.

One of the PET Scans Shelli went through is rather standard to all cancers, the FDG PET Scan which inundates her body with glucose. These results were particularly encouraging, as the Primary Oncologist showed how her cancer (we named it “Carson”) isn't acting all that aggressively compared to some G3NET's. He stated, "we can control this longer". Praise God!

Thank you for praying – particularly for our hope in Christ. All things are within His control and for His glory; including our strength, our rest, and our good.


Chris and I are thankful and encouraged by you all and your prayers! Some of those prayers have been answered! Mayo called this morning and I am in the trial we've been hoping for, and I'll receive my first radiation treatment in about 10 days! We're still figuring out the details, but we'll keep you posted.


We thought we were headed to Minnesota for the first Lutathera Infusion on the 22nd. But we were cautioned to hold all things loosely, as this is a complicated chain of events, starting with the manufacturing somewhere in Europe (Austria? Germany?). Today we learned that they can't accommodate delivery by that date, so we are looking at the following week. TBD.

Pray for peace. This change in the schedule revealed our anticipation/ anxiety.


All appointments have been rescheduled for next week; six days after the original scheduling.  God keeps showing up.
We are flying up to Rochester MN on Sunday, with pre-appointments scheduled for all day Monday.  The actual radiation infusion will take place all day Tuesday -- well, the process is a full day; the actual infusion only takes about 20-minutes.
Then Shelli is radioactive for 7-days.


This experience at Mayo has become more routine, and less problematic the more we walk it.  We've had peace, yet God has brought more, somehow.  We met with a whole series of doctors today, and feel confident in tomorrow's first Lutathera infusion. 

What I learned today, Shelli already knew - that this radiation is actually new.  I had thought that it was the same as what was already in use, yet that it was simply used ahead of chemo.  Nope.  This Lutathera is a close cousin to what is already-in-use, yet it is designed to have a lower energy beta emitter, and therefore it can stay with the cancer longer -- and therefore (hopefully) be more effective.

The already-in-use Lutathera allows for four sessions, 8-weeks apart - this new Lutathera allows for six sessions.  The first two sessions are 6-weeks apart, and the remaining three (or four, or five) are 8-weeks apart.  Being a part of the Trial requires 'Safety Checks' to happen 3-weeks prior to each infusion.  So, lots of travel.

We serve a great God.  He wounds, but He binds up.  He shatters, but His hands heal.  Praise God!


Shelli received her first Lutathera infusion today.  It took all day for the process, but only about 30-minutes for the Lutathera itself.  The rest of the day was all about Amino Acids, to protect the kidneys.
I learned that the radiation binds to the cancer within an hour.  The excess radiation gets flushed from the system by drinking more water than usual, and is essentially cleared after 3 to 7-days.
She's tired, but in good spirits about this process. 
Our hearts have been heavy today for a whole other reason, the shooting that took place in Nashville at Covenant School hits close to home, and the families, students, faculty, and staff have been heavy on our hearts as we prayed constantly throughout the day.

Cancer Journey: