Monthly Archives: December 2010

Quick note

Dear friends,

Just wanted to write a brief note to let you all know that Clay is scheduled for an arteriogram of his inferior vena cava on Tuesday at Trinity Medical Center. It is convenient because it is where I work, so we are glad of that! The surgeon in IN, Dr. Foster, wants to check the patency of Clay’s veins and arteries in the area where the tumor is located. We assume that this test will show how much involvement the tumor has with his vena cava and aorta. The radiologist told me that Clay will be under conscious sedation and they will insert a little catheter into his femoral vein and inject a dye. That way they can see the arteries and veins in the region of the tumor. The procedure doesn’t take long, but he will go to same day surgery and have to lie flat for several hours to prevent bleeding. We will go home that afternoon.

The surgery is not scheduled yet, but we feel that Dr. Foster will probably schedule it when he gets the results of this test. We will let you know what they find. Thank you for your continued prayers!

Clay and Lauren


Joy and grief

Dear friends,

Merry Christmas! It is high time that we updated the blog, because we have had a very eventful year. Hope that you all are doing well.

I guess the biggest news of the year for Clay and me, as many of you know, is the adoption of our son! He officially became a member of our family in the eyes of the law on December 2, 2010. God did an amazing work to bring this little boy into our lives, and we have been so blessed because of it. We found out about him a week before his due date,  through my parents’ neighbors, and God worked in the heart of his birth mother to assure her that we were the parents that He had chosen for her son. It was an incredible act of selflessness on her part to trust His leading, especially since she has never met us! Her cousin took him home from the hospital and took care of him for two weeks, and then brought him home to us on September 17. We had custody of him while we finished the adoption process. His name means “gift of God”, and he truly is such a gift to us. God provided most of the baby essentials and ALL of the lawyer’s fees, etc. through our amazing church family, friends, coworkers and family. We are continually amazed to see how He provides for His children and does not leave us as orphans!

Finalizing the adoption- feeding stops for no man, not even while being sworn in!

Christmas joy 🙂

On a more somber note, we are finding that our journey with cancer is not quite over. Clay had a PET scan two weeks ago, and his doctor was concerned that there was a slight size increase (1-2 mm) of the tumor in his back and some slight area of uptake on the scan. That indicates that there might be some cancerous cells still growing in his tumor. Dr. Yeilding, Clay’s doctor at Brookwood, has always suspected that there was some teratoma in the tumor. Teratoma cells are very slow growing and don’t respond to chemo, which would explain why the mass never decreased much in size after chemo. Dr. Yeilding is strongly recommending surgical removal of the mass. He mailed the CT scan results to Dr. Einhorn, who wants Clay to follow up with him and also to have a consultation with a surgeon in Indiana. It is looking very likely that Clay might be having surgery in Indiana in the new year to remove the mass.

We are grieved to be back in this place of fear (for me, at least) and of doctors’ visits and treatment and dealing with the reality of cancer. The good news about removal of the tumor would be that we would not have to deal with uncertainty every time Clay goes in for a doctor’s visit. The bad news is that the abdominal area is not an easy place to access and operate on, and the aorta and vena cava are very closely involved.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how we have the illusion of control with our lives and our families, but really, it is Christ who numbers our days. My husband’s life and my life are already His, so there is no reason for me to hold on so tightly. Still, I find myself afraid to think about this surgery. I was listening to Handel’s Messiah this morning and thinking about how the only story that matters is Christ’s story. As Clay always said during chemo, “This is not about me- it is about what God is doing.” God has made that clear to us again and again, and yet I keep forgetting.

We ask for your prayers yet again, for peace, for wisdom for the doctors and for a smooth surgery, should that be the path they choose. So thankful for you all.


Clay and Lauren