Biopsy Next Week

This post is from James…

Yesterday, we received the recommendation of Johns Hopkins’s “tumor board” about So Young’s case. The tumor board is a cross-disciplinary panel of neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiologists, etc. who meet to “talk tumor” (whatever that means) and reach a consensus on the best approach for each patient. They recommended a needle biopsy, which is a routine procedure (for brain surgeons, anyway) that involves taking a sample of the tumor cells and testing them to determine their type. The type of cells will indicate for them the next course of action, but currently everybody is thinking that the cells are of the Type 1 or 2 variety, meaning that they are more benign, slow-growing, and responsive to chemotherapy and radiation.

Since they are sticking a big old needle (or something like that) in So Young’s head, the operation isn’t trivial and requires some preparation and recovery. She will likely undergo surgery on Tuesday, November 30, and be released Wednesday, December 1.

So Young and I are trusting God that this is the right thing to do. We are praying that:

  • The tumor will be benign, begin shrinking before medical intervention, and go away quickly.
  • No further, more invasive surgery, with all its accompanying risks, will be required.
  • There will be no complications resulting from the biopsy.
  • God will give the doctor a steady hand as he performs the biopsy. He said that he will pray for us.
  • God will calm So Young as the surgery nears. Emotions are high right now, and they range from acceptance to anger for all of us. We just pray that God helps us respond right to these circumstances.
  • So Young’s vision will be restored fully and that she will experience no further “impairments” from the tumor.

6 Responses

  1. We will continue to pray for So Young, you and the girls! I note with joy that it is a beautiful sunrise you depict on the page!!

  2. The title of this blog portrays what every runner knows—a long, painful run often makes you question your strength and ability to complete the journey–but every runner knows—they have trained too hard to stop now and the feeling at the finish line by far outweighs the pain and struggle a long race often entails. So, with this race So Young, reflect to your strength and the gifts at the finish line.
    Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
    All my love,
    Heather Gage-Guthrie

  3. So Young and James,

    So many people are praying for So Young and for James and the girls because you all are such amazing people and true followers of the Lord. As sad as I am to know that this is happening to So Young, I am confident that the Lord will walk graciously with So Young through this health challenge. One of my dearest friends was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February and he is a very strong believer. I’ve seen such miraculous things through his journey as his tumor has consistently shrank through his chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

    My prayer for So Young is that this tumor will be found to be benign, that it will shrink significantly as a result of the treatments, and that So Young will fully regain her vision. I pray that this experience will strengthen your children’s faith and that through this they will come to know how faithful Christ is to his children. And I pray that as you will have courage as you endure the treatments prescribed by your renowned medical team.

    Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”


  4. Thank you for this blog and your updates… You have no idea how happy I am that you have found the right doctor and that you’re geting the best care out there. I am praying for you every day So Young and thinking of you all the time. I am inspired by your courage!

  5. So Young,
    We are all here for you. I was just thinking today of the beautiful bluebells on the Bull Run Trail, come April. Looking foward to running through them with you. Love and prayers.

  6. I feel so loved! Thanks for your comments. Keep the comments and prayers coming! –So Young

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