Tuesday, November 17, 2015

In the Words of Willie Nelson--"On the Road Again"

We have come so far in almost 3 years! Tomorrow, November 18, 2015, Rodney and I will leave for Houston for tests at MD Anderson. I was scrolling through my blog and was reminded of a BIG trip to Houston when we went for surgery. God is so amazing and has done SO much since May 2013. This week we will see the same doctors from the story below. Pray for us as we travel and pray for our doctors as they guide us. Pray for our boys as they are in the loving care of family!

You all have been, and continue to be, such a blessing to our family! Thank you for your prayers and encouragement! We expect miracles! LIVING AS IF!!

May 2013

This is a big week for the Jackson crew.  We have checked off our final round of Power Aide (hear the angels sing?!?) and now we move to the next phase of attack---surgery. Wow! By the time I am done I am going to have more scars on my body than a road map of Texas, but if that is what it takes to kick this nuisance, then so be it. I will be a personally monogrammed map of triumph!

Your prayers and encouragement have sustained us on this rocky road. It is an amazing thing to look back over the past 6 months of struggle with this and honestly be able to say that I have cried more tears of amazement than tears of sadness. You have loved us, fed us, covered for us, supported us, and prayed for us. If it isn't too much to ask, we'd love to solicit your prayers for the needs that lie ahead.

Wednesday morning I will leave for MD Anderson. Rodney is giving his Chemistry End-Of-Course exam (big state test) and doesn't want run out on his kids who have worked so hard, so he will fly in later that day to catch up with me. I will have labs and CT scans done on Wednesday to see where we are standing with things.  Please pray that my blood counts are all good and that the CT scans show that the little boogers (tumors) got blown to bits by my Power Aide and are no longer existent! Pray that everything is in order so that surgery can be performed.

Thursday morning I will meet with my MD Anderson oncologist. His name is Dr. Blumenschein. He will review the labs and scan with us and give any input on treatment that he sees necessary. We saw Dr. Blumenschein on our initial visit, but he has been out on leave for our last two. That means he will have a little catching up to do on my progress.  Pray that he gains a thorough understanding of where we are in my recovery. Pray he has wisdom in his decision making regarding my case. Pray that God blesses him for his willingness to be a healer.

Friday we will meet with the surgeon, Dr. Vaporciyan. I LOVE THIS MAN! Each time we have met with him he has given us valuable information about our situation. If you remember my earlier blog, In the Details, I talked about the miracle we had our first time at MD Anderson when we realized that Dr. Vaporciyan, whom we were squeezed in with at the last moment as an afterthought, trained the surgeon who did my initial surgery in Lubbock. He is a miracle and we are glad for him! He will make final surgery plans with us and answer any remaining questions. Pray that he is able to remove any remaining cells of the nuisance--each little one. Pray that the margins of the tumors are clear and that the pathology is good so it never regroups and attacks. Pray for Dr. Vaporciyan's hands, his eyes, his mind and his judgement as he performs surgery on me. Pray that God uses him to perform a miracle!

After we meet with Dr. Vaporciyan, I will meet with the anesthesiologist. I do not know who that will be yet, but he has a very important job! The greatest obstacle I faced with the last surgery was nausea from the anesthesia. It lasted for days. Pray that they will find the perfect balance of medication to control the pain and avoid the nausea.

Then the waiting begins. Rodney and I will stay in Houston over the weekend. My mom, dad, and two sisters will join us on Monday. Then Tuesday is the big day. I will have surgery on the 14th. The surgery will involve an incision between my ribs on my back (a few will be broken to get in there). It is a pretty tough little surgery. The goal of the surgery is to remove any remainders of tumors. There are two that have been seen on scans that have already shown improvement, but during my first surgery more were felt on my diaghram. These have not shown up on any scans so we don't know exactly what we're dealing with there. Hopefully, they are no longer there or by some strange chance, were never tumors, but some kind of scarring or other medical mystery! One of the greatest risks is to my lungs. Since they have already been beaten up a little by the first surgery, there is a chance they will have small punctures when they begin to manipulate them. This is one of the greatest risks. Please pray that my lungs hold strong. Pray for success in the surgery- clean margins and easy removal. Pray that my recovery is smooth and that we are able to get home without any bad side effects.

That brings me to the biggest prayer of all. Our total time away from home is probably going to be around 15-16 days. That is a long time to be away from my babies. Pray for our family as we are apart. Pray that the days goes swiftly and that all our needs are met while we are apart. Pray that my boys are confident and courageous (and us too!) Please pray for my family members as they take care of my kids and for their teachers as they take care of them at school. And if you see them, give them a big hug!!!!!

Finally, please pray for the next phases.  After surgery, my medical team will have to make some decisions about what is next. It could involve more Power Aide, radiation, or by the grace of God a miracle. Radiation would involve 4-6 weeks in Houston (PLEASE NO!!!!!!!!). Power Aide would involve more of what we've endured. Neither sound very fun. PRAY FOR A MIRACLE! Pray that we don't require any more treatment to have this thing totally beat. But most of all, pray for God's will. He knows what is best for me. That is what I want.

Thank you again for loving us. Thank you for sharing these requests with your prayer groups. Thank you for being a part of our healing team and our lives! Now, let's get ready for the miracles!!!!!!!


  1. Keep walking in faith, Anna, our Heavenly Father goes before you and is your rear guard!

    Father, please place a hedge of protection around Anna and her family. Give them peace that surpasses understanding as they walk in faith, standing on your word and promises. Father, we thank you for Anna's health and healing that are coming now. In Jesus Name, Amen!

  2. Father, thank you for Anna and for her testimony during this time of testing in her life. We pray for your close presence with her and her doctors and her family during this trip to Houston. We ask for a MIRACLE, but most of all that your will be done.

  3. Anna, I've read your blogs and have been inspired by them. You have blessed me and others by your writings and your faith. I pray that everything goes well in Houston. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.