Monday, February 25, 2013

S&W insurance Update

Good evening everyone,

I am very excited and happy to update everyone that my surgery should go off without a hitch on March 20!  Yeah!!!

I really want to thank everyone for their loving prayers these past few weeks and for the past few years, it has meant so much to Dana & I and our children.  Without your support and prayers it would be a daunting and overwhelming journey! So, thank you very much.

Back to the update, I have been calling my PCP and S&W Insurance everyday since MD Anderson and Dana & I formulated the plan for surgery on March 20.  Once again I am continually amazed at the complexity of health insurance, and I am a doctor in the system.  But, going back to January of 2012, S&W Insurance changed from a HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) to a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), which today, I found out I don't need a per-authorization for surgery.  I also found out that MD Anderson hospital system has a working agreement / association with S&W and therefor, after deductible, my max out of pocket expenditure would be $5,000.

So, now we can proceed forward with the plan of surgery and on with life.

I will continue to update everyone as things progress.

We love everyone so much and want you to remember yourselves and family and friends in your prayers as we all live in this world at the grace of God and his son Jesus.

David & Dana
Audrey & Parker

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


" Stand and see this great thing that THE LORD will do before your very eyes..." 1 Samuel 12:16

Once again we are overwhelmed with the hope that was presented to us today. Today we met with our neuro surgeon, Dr. Rao. Within minutes of sitting down with us, he explained that he does not feel this is a tumor. But, instead damaged cells from radiation. But, he can not be sure and the only way to be sure is to do surgery. He did not see an urgency in doing the surgery right away and gave us the OK to continue with our spring break plans in March and have a scheduled surgery for March 20th. He explained that instead of our first surgery of 8 hours this one will be 2 hours! And David will not have to be awake for the surgery like last time because of the location.

This meeting put David in great spirits as he has complete confidence in Dr. Rao. He also is anxious about getting back to work and having this removed with in the next month. This journey is not over. We have seen God work through your prayers and truly the past two days were not what we expected. They have been peaceful, positive, hopeful and joyful. This is because of your outreach on our behalf in your prayers and your thoughts.

We selfishly ask for you to still stand beside us in specific many of you know when you walked this journey from day one with us....we still have to get insurance to approve! We also are asking that we pray until the day we find out that pathology results which we hope and believe will say this is not a tumor. But, we also ask you to pray boldly like you did the past few days and thank God. Thank him for these past two days for what i consider a miracle......

Our personal pray is that we give glory to God no matter what. That we focus on all the blessings in our lives, and that we continue to only grow strong as couples, parents and friends through this. That our faith will never waver and that we seek him for our strength and allow our eyes to be opened to his goodness through all of your amazing hearts, words and faithful encouragement.

"  With respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform " Romans 4:20-21

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday, Feb 11,2013 Neuro-oncology visit

Good Afternoon everyone,

This morning we received several text messages from friends in Waco of a beautiful rainbow shining after a rainy morning. We also received a picture of friends coming together in prayer right during our appointment. All of these messages provided Dana and I with complete peace and comfort knowing that so many were connecting to God and praying our name during our MD Anderson appointment. We also were encouraged after we left church yesterday and many sat around us with love and prayer.

This morning we met with the Neuro-Oncologist, Dr Penas-Prada.  She reviewed the MRI from last week and sounded very encouraging that this new spot may not represent new tumor but possibly new changes residual from radiation treatment last year. This was so amazing to hear and gave us much hope. We right away knew this was confirmation that your prayers and thoughts for us are being heard. Some may ask...why now do we see the changes from radiation? When radiation was a year ago?  As the normal surrounding tissue begins to grow, often it can have some inflammatory changes that can look different. And this could be what that spot is.

Either way, we will meet with our neuro-surgeon, Dr Ganesh Rao, tomorrow and get his opinion.  Dr Penas-Prada said her opinion would be total resection either way and then look at it under the microscope.  She indicated that there is really no other way to know.  She also indicated that this spot is in the front of the brain. Very easy to get to and in a place that is it not affecting anything else. Surgery ( although always can have complications) should be minor compared to our first surgery 18 months ago. Dana and I are very ok with this plan and will follow the recommendations of the experts and continue to pray with all our family and friends that this is not a tumor but instead just damaged cells from radiation.

All in all....we know you all have been praying boldly for us. And we want you to know we are thankful for the time you are spending to pray for this to not be a tumor. Being a physician, I am a realist, and did not think there was an option that this was not a tumor, but my eyes were opened today and I saw once again the power of prayer.

Also, a very good friend and colleague told me a story yesterday that was very encouraging.  We talked about a good friend of her and her husband's that had a similar original diagnosis and treatment. He too had a recurrence at 2 years and a second surgery / resection and has been cancer free now 7 years. 

I am thankful for the prayers and well wishes from our friends and family.  It is so inspirational and uplifting to once again see the wonderful enthusiasm and energy generated by our close family and friends.  All the prayer circles and prayer meetings give Dana and I the energy to perservere.  We love each and everyone of you and thank you so much for caring and praying like you do. We will send an update after our meeting with the surgeon tomorrow.  God Bless each and everyone of you.

Friday, February 8, 2013

February 8, 2013, David's MRI

First, we hope all is well with everyone, it has been quite a while since we posted a blog because things were going so smooth.  David reconfirmed his faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior this past September, Audrey turned 5yo last month, and sadly, we lost a dear friend to cancer, but we saw our church grow stronger and people become stronger in their faith as a result of it.  We also celebrated our one year anniversary of being cancer free in August and now we are 18 months out.

This all being said, yesterday our lives began a journey we hoped would have been further down the road!

Wednesday, David had his second 3 month MRI and it appears that there is a small 1cm tumor that has started to grow.  This is not the news we wanted to hear and we took a few hours alone for prayer and reflection.

Originally, we thought we would keep this within our immediate family, mainly because we have our MD Anderson appointments on Monday and Tuesday and will not know the plan until then.  After a few hours of prayer together, God quickly snapped us out of it showing himself bright again, that he is healer and he is conquerer.  We have this window of time before our MD Anderson appointment for a reason.  Instead of sitting and waiting, we are asking you all to walk this walk with us again...we are asking our friends, our family and our body of believers to walk with us every step and pray for this tumor to go away.

David and I realized more than two years ago that God is very alive in us.  We didn't realize this because of the success of our journey, but because of the heartache, sorrow and pain of our journey.  He was more apparent to us in all of you that sent us cards, encouragement and strength to get us through.  We know our purpose is to glorify him and let him be known, but how can we do that it we sit on our own and pray alone the next few days.  That is why we are once again asking all of you to walk with us dedicate time the next few days to prayer, specifically for David's MRI...that it is not what we think it is.  To pray David's name specifically and seek out God.

Sometimes, I feel this is a selfish prayer, as we know life after this earth is so much more beautiful, pain free and in God's presence.  David and I both agree on this.  But, we also know our 3 and 5 yo children will not understand this.  And selfishly, we want as much time as possible to spend with them as a family.  Our purpose as parents is to guide them and teach them in their faith and I know that one David will remind them of the journey and how alive God is and hope that they will choose to walk with Christ also.

Thursday, as I drove the kids to school, as I do every day... a sign that is always there, I noticed for the first time.  Bright yellow, it said "Healer...."  There is not more confirmation than this.

Several versus to pray;

"Be strong and courageous, do not fear, for the Lord your God goes with you.  He will NEVER leave you or forsake you. "  Deut  31:6

"For I will be a wall of fire around you, and I will be the glory in your midst. "  Zechariah 2:5

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."  Exodus 14:14

We are also overwhelmed with thanks and gratitude of all the offers of help.  As far as we are concerned, David is not sick.  We know there will be a day we will call for help beyond the prayers..but for now...we ask for you all to pray, as this is what we need most.  We are blessed beyond measure to have so many people that will stand up and pray when needed and surround us with the joy and happiness that we strive to keep in our family.

David and Dana
Audrey and Parker