As many of you know, Alistair had finished the first phase of his treatment – the induction therapy. It was four weeks of chemotherapy and other treatment, and the goal was to get him into remission by the end of the induction period.
And that was why he had his bone marrow test last week. To see the effectiveness of the induction therapy so far, how well Alistair has been responding to treatment, and if they could still detect any leukaemia cells.
Praise God, they have not detected any leukaemia cells. Alistair is in remission.
The oncologist told us we should be very happy with this news. And we are. We are delighted! Thank you everyone for your prayers – God has moved!
I know I should rejoice and I truly am relieved to hear of that result.
And yet, my heart is heavy.
Because it’s not the end yet. We are only at the beginning.
Alistair still needs to go through another four phases of treatment. Each phase takes about two months. And we’re starting with the next one, the consolidation phase, tomorrow. Which will be even more intensive than what he’s been through.
Why does he still need to continue treatment when he’s in remission? The reason being the medical team believes there are always still undetected leukaemia cells in his body. And if the treatment stops now, the cancer will come back.
So yeah. It’s still a tough, long journey ahead. That’s why I feel like I cannot properly be happy about him in remission. Because I know there’s still so much to face. And my heart is still aching.
The last two weeks were his “break” from treatment, and what bliss we had! Alistair was back to his normal self. So happy, active and strong.
But tomorrow onwards, we resume treatment. He’ll have to go through chemo again. And the side effects. And be at high risk of infections due to his low immune system during treatment.
Thank you everyone who has prayed for Alistair and for us as a family. Can I please ask that you continue to pray? Pray that God, who has started this good work in Alistair, will bring it to completion – and we will see Alistair fully healed by the end of his entire treatment plan. Pray that God will strengthen Alistair’s body and let him experience minimal side effect, and protect him against all infections and illnesses. That from here onwards, he will only have good health.
It’s going to be challenging. Plus, due to the current COVID situation in Melbourne, we’ve been told that the latest advice is for siblings to also not attend school when the patient is at the highest risk of infection. That means Amy’s life will also be disrupted.
Please pray that we as a family will have wisdom, strength and grace to go through this period.