Sunday, June 30, 2013

Post-Therapy Update

Hello prayer warriors!

Please keep up your earnest efforts in lifting Patrick & Emily up to the Lord.

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On June 13th, Patrick had a repeat PET scan to view his tumor's "activity" after completing oral chemotherapy and radiation.  Once the scan was reviewed, Patrick's medical oncologist. Dr. Wolf, gave him the good news that the tumor has certainly shrunk.  He said that based upon Patrick's symptoms and the measurements obtained by the PET scan, things were "looking good."  This is a rather 'crude' quantitative marker ... but the tumor's original "number" on the PET scan was 14.2.  It's current "number" is 8.1.  Although Patrick & Emily do not know what these numbers represent, no one can argue that they show the tumor's response to therapy!  Additionally, the "questionable spots" on Patrick's liver and lungs did NOT respond to the cancer treatment.  That is wonderful and critical news as it means that they are most likely NOT related.  This means that Patrick's cancer is more definitively Stage 3 instead of Stage 4.  Praise God!

Patrick & Emily left Dr. Wolf's office feeling positive and had a great time celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary together.

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On June 24th, the Shaws traveled down to UVA to meet with Dr. Friel, Patrick's surgical oncologist who will perform the upcoming tumor removal surgery.  Unfortunately, his view was not as optimistic.  Although he agrees that Patrick's tumor has significantly shrunk in size, its location is still of utmost concern.  Patrick's rectal tumor is still very, very low in the rectum.  Therefore, Dr. Friel fears that once he removes the tumor, he will not have any healthy rectal tissue to "reconnect the pipes" so to speak.  Therefore, barring a miracle, Dr. Friel feels certain that Patrick will require a permanent colostomy.  Furthermore, due to the invasiveness of the tumor through the rectal wall, Dr. Friel discussed with Patrick & Emily that removing Patrick's bladder and prostate may still be necessary to ensure all cancerous tissue is removed from the body.  The necessity of this will not truly be known until Patrick is physically undergoing surgery.  Dr. Friel wants to prepare the Shaws for the worst case scenario, but remain hopeful for the best.

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Patrick's operation is scheduled for August 16th, 2013.  

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Want to pray specifically?

1.  Pray for a miracle within Patrick's body.
2.  Pray for both Patrick & Emily's acceptance and peace about the possible changes ahead.
3.  Pray that Dr. Friel is able to rid Patrick's body of cancer without removing the bladder or prostate.

~  Remember, God is good, ALL the time!

Keep praying!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Updated Instructions for Monetary Gifts

Today I was contacted by a member of Patrick and Emily's church with some updated instructions on how to BEST give monetarily to The Shaws.

These are important instructions to follow because Patrick is on staff at his church.  These will ensure all giving is done legally and stress-free!

From now on:

1.  Continue to mail any monetary donations to:

Wayne Hills Baptist Church 
877 Ladd Road
Waynesboro, VA 22980

2.  Write ONLY "benevolence" on the check memo line.

3.  Enclose a small note with your gift that "you would like this monetary gift to be given to Patrick and Emily Shaw."

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The monetary gifts given to this fund will be used to directly assist The Shaws with medical expenses.  If you would like to send Patrick and Emily "spending money" (which is nice, too) for things like groceries, dining out, household items, date nights ... please mail that to them directly.

Thank you for your cooperation and your continued support of this wonderful couple!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Patrick's Celebration Weekend

"My favorite part of the weekend was the first moment I saw each person; the moment it hit me that they were there ... and there because they cared about me."
-- Patrick

Never before in my life have I seen a group of friends like Patrick Shaw's.

On the long weekend of May 30th - June 2nd, my husband and I had the pleasure of attending a "celebration weekend" for Patrick & Emily hosted by their dear friends, Jack and Jacqueline St. Clair.

This event was more incredible that I can express in words.  A large group of Patrick's friends from high school dropped what they were doing ... put their lives (spouses, kids, jobs) on hold ... many traveled from across the country ... just to be together in the spirit of love.

For that weekend, everyone shared a unity of purpose ... lifting Patrick up in prayer and likewise in spirit.

Their example of authentic friendship reminds me of Ecclesiastes 4:10-12 ...
"If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

I watched as old friends settled into comfortable conversation.

And, although Patrick's journey with cancer was the catalyst of the weekend ... he said himself:  
"The weekend was like stepping out of the routine of my 'life with cancer.'  I got to leave that behind in Waynesboro just to be surrounded by goodness."

Goodness was everywhere!

Good Food

Good Friendship

Good Fun

Good Fellowship (and a special time of prayer)

And Great Adventures!

On Saturday night, Jack arranged for special transportation to take everyone into Washington DC to visit the monuments.  Patrick says "I'm geeky, so Jack knew that's what I'd like to do!"

We arrived in style ...

And took it all in.

... And we finished the night with a special meal ...

Reflecting back on the weekend when we spoke tonight, Patrick didn't think he was expressing himself well.  I beg to differ.  I cannot summarize him better that to directly quote:

"For the most part, I don't like to be showy.  I'm a guy.  Sometimes, though, when I'm expressing gratitude so great ... I almost wish the tears would come, because there's enough emotion behind them.  At the beginning of the weekend, I had a "moment" of brokenness that a few people saw.  I almost wish everyone could have seen it, because that's how I felt.  I am so humbled.  It meant a lot."

* special thanks to Mr. Holmes for the photographs *

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Share the Love

Patrick is one LOVED guy!

This weekend was spent fellowshipping and celebrating with Patrick and Emily and their EXTENDED network of friends.  We had a wonderful time together, and I look forward to documenting the fun on this blog once I have some photographs to complement the entry!

Stay tuned ...

***  Those of you who attended the Celebration Weekend please contact Patrick or Emily for my direct email address and send your photos to me ASAP  ***