Another roller coaster ride

I was watching a movie with Tyler the other night.  I was on the laptop and only half paying attention to what the movie was really about, but I glanced over and noticed that he was crying.  I asked him what was wrong and it took about one second for him to burst into sobs.  The movie was harmless.  It was about some animals ,but the animals belonged to a family that didn’t have a mom.

“Mom, why would they make a movie where there wasn’t a mom in it?  It’s not right.  Why would they even think to do that?”  He then proceeded to tell me how worried he is about me and it didn’t take long before I grabbed him and was holding him tightly in my lap trying to be the strong parent and not show that I am constantly fearful of that scenario for our family, as well.  The kids.  Cancer is so much harder because of the kids.  The thought of my kids not having both parents around growing up is so hard to swallow.  Everybody keeps telling me to just trust, that God knows what He’s doing, that His grace will bring us through.  As a Christian, I know all of these things.  I really do, and I believe them.  But when we keep getting hammered with bad news, it’s really hard to remain peaceful about the situation.  It feels like there hasn’t been any time to just relax and come up for air for so long now.

I’ve been having some complications since beginning radiation toward the beginning of April.  They are just minor, mostly pain.  Because the symptoms didn’t start out as pain, but had actually progressed to that, my radiation oncologist decided it would be a good idea to do a MRI scan to see if there was something going on with the tumors that might be the source of the symptoms.  The scan showed that one of the tumors is growing new fingers that have gone deeper behind the occipital lobe.  The scan also showed several areas of enhancement that may or may not be new areas of tumor formation.  My brain has also filled up with fluid and inflammation, once again, as it did before this last surgery.  It’s surprising that I’m not having more symptoms from that, but I’m on four seizure medications, so that is probably a good thing and may be what is keeping any seizure activity at bay.

At this point, they are remapping the radiation field to target the new area of tumor growth more heavily.  It was already receiving some radiation, but not enough.  The bummer of all of this is that more brain will have to get irradiated in addition to the extremely large amount that already is receiving it.  Please pray, pray, PRAY that the new areas of enhancement are not tumor.  These tumors have wheels and once they start producing satellite tumors like that, they are extremely hard to slow down and turn into freight trains.  I’ll be totally honest.  I’m scared.  I’m really scared.  I need peace.  My family needs so much healing and peace right now.  These past several months have really taken a toll on everybody.  We need rest.

Once radiation is over, which now won’t be until June because of all of the delays, they will possibly have to install a shunt in my brain to drain out all of this accumulated fluid.  My scan is being sent to UCLA and they will review it at tumor board, which meets on Wednesdays.  I think the only new piece of information that may come from them is the possibility of starting chemo now, rather than waiting to see if radiation can control these tumors.  Like I said, it’s better to stay ahead of these tumors than to try and play catch up.

It is so obvious to me the lesson that God is teaching me over these past several months.  Control.  It’s not about mine.  I have none.  All of the control I thought I had when it came to treatment and being able to keep this tumor in check with it through my research, etc., doesn’t matter at this point.  The tumors are growing.  Nothing is stopping them.  At this point, it seems that only He can.  I think He wants it that way.  Full submission.  It’s what it’s all about, right?  I’m so stubborn, but He has backed me into a corner.  He’s getting me to a place where it’s becoming an easy choice to lay it down because that’s all I can do.

I am so incredibly thankful for all of you who have been so faithful in praying for us.  It is really the only thing that is getting us through this time.  I could never have even dreamed what the next six months would hold after that big seizure I had last fall.  We feel so often like there is no way we could be stretched more than we are at the moment and yet God continues to give us the strength and then, yes, stretches us some more.  He is faithful, no doubt.  But I believe that He is answering the prayers of so many like you.  We have been so blessed by meals, cards, gifts, so much from so many friends and people we don’t even know!  I know so many of these people I speak of are reading this blog, so thank you!  Thank you from the very depth of my heart!  I wish I could hug each and every one of you!


  1. Praying for peace, healing and miracles…much love.

  2. braidiejo says:

    Love you cousin! Praying!

  3. I have no words….my heart is just full, Charysse, full of pain, full of compassion for you and your family. All I can do is transfer that fullness into the prayers of my heart to our faithful God. We love you.

  4. Rachel Gerster says:

    There’s a lump in my throat for your kids after reading about Tyler. I have no words but one: JESUS. xo

  5. Andy & Shannon says:

    Hi Charysse,

    Some days my most common prayer is “Help, Lord, help!” May God hold you close and guard over your heart and mind with His perfect, supernatural peace. We thank God for you and your family! We love you!

  6. Hi Charysse,
    You are a Child of God, a beloved daughter, one who is in Christ with God and Christ is holding you and yours together according to His faithful Word…”For Christ is before all things and in Him all things consist (hold together). Col 1:17.

  7. Dear Charysse…I have no words…when I realize I don’t know the words to pray I pray the “ABC’s” and ask God to put the words together since he knows my heart. I will pray the ABC’s for you my friend.

  8. Lori Huhn says:

    Peace peace,peace

  9. Jody Reeves-Masuen says:

    Hang in there sweetie you are a very strong woman and i know god has a plan. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family while you continue to go down this ruff road!

  10. Peggy Beal Cox says:

    Sweet Charysse,
    I can’t imagine all of the pain and turmoil you and the family are going thru but I do know the One who is holding you in His loving arms to bring you peace and comfort. Isa. 26:3
    The devil knows that his time is coming to an end very soon and he is out to destroy every born-again believer that he can. But he CAN NOT touch you. You are a child of God, covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. STAND, stand fast, when you have done all, STAND on the Word. It is life.
    I am praying for you and our church here in Atlanta is also praying. Your great-grandmother also is praying. I take her your blogs often.

  11. Lori Miller says:

    Dearest Charysse, my brave, beautiful cousin,

    It pains me to read your blog today. Praying God’s amazing grace over your life and your husband’s life and your boys today and going forward. You are fighting a good fight. Whatever the outcome, dear heart, you are shining for Jesus through this. I love you and will continue to lift you and your precious family before God’s throne continually. HE will give you grace for each moment….one feeble step at a time. Out of deep surrender comes pure love. Lean hard on Him, and you will find strength and peace. Keep your eye focused on the Prize: Jesus. Like my mom said this last year: she had to come to terms with being ready to stay and being ready to go. One never knows how many days we’re appointed on this earth. Whatever your times are, you’re in God’s hands. Make every moment count! Your cousin and sister in Christ, Lori

  12. Wilma Ramak says:

    Just wanted you to know, you will be in our prayers every day. Especially for the Lord to bring peace to you. I am still under Dr. care, and I do also get scared. I’ll give you a hug over the computer. Love in Christ, Wilma

  13. Cherysse,
    I’m Bob Moss’ daughter and I want you to know that I pray for you and your husband and kids every day. I know all to well how painful this road can be. I pray for peace and that He will hold and care for each of you according to your individual needs at this time and I pray that He would glorify Himself through your total and complete healing, that you would have many many more years to share your faith even as you’ve already been doing.
    Much love and prayers!

  14. Scott W. says:

    Oh Charysse, I can only say that I will pray for you and your family because I know the Holy Spirit will intercede and bring power to my inadequate words. (Romans 8:25-28; Philippians 4:6-9)

  15. Dear child of GOD,

    I pray that the Great Physician heals you and brings peace and joy to your entire family. I do want to let you know how much your story, your strength and courage, and your faith has meant to me. You’ve taught me lessons about faith and life. Thank you so much for this. I do believe that GOD is in control and your life has already touched so many. That, in itself, is a miracle. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.

    In Christ’s Love

  16. JoAnn M. says:

    Dear Charyyse, My heart goes out to you as I read your blog. You are such a precious young woman of God. May God abundantly bless you and your dear family. We are praying for you, dear one. Love, JoAnn & Harold

  17. Pat Haaby says:

    My heart aches for you as I read this blog. You are truly an amazing women of God. It is OK to be scared for in our weakness He is made strong. Our prayers continue before the throne room in your behalf. We love you!
    The Haaby’s and EMF family

  18. You are doing a great job and your fantastic attitude is terrific to see. My wife also has a brain tumor (same as yours, grade III). What’s left of it (about 30%) is located next to the ACA which is tricky area to operate in.

    Like you, she has an awesome attitude and keeps charging ahead. It will be three years this August 3, that she had her seizure which woke me up in the middle of the night and started this chapter(s) in our lives.

    So, I know all about wigs, wigs and heat (we live in Southern California), cheap wigs, expensive wigs, the ‘Are you okay’ looks of pity from associates and friends we haven’t seen in a long time, the crazy therapies recommended by well-meaning people, the gradual ostracization from some people (not everyone knows how to ‘act’ around a cancer patient/survivor…and that’s okay), and on and on I could go.

    Sometimes, late at night after my wife has gone to bed, I’ll sit by myself in front of the tv. My mine wanders and I start to cry. We’ve lost our house, lost our credit, lost some friendships (hard to explain how this can happen unless you’ve been through what we we’ve been through), but at the end of the day, we have battled and no one can take that away from us.

    We’ve been given a challenge and no matter what the outcome, I — and ESPECIALLY my wife — have risen to that challenge and met it head on.

    Amazing how thankful one becomes when most of the things you thought you wanted and needed go away. We live simpler and more cautiously, but the fact is, we are fighters.

    And so are you and your family!

  19. Christine Cabello says:

    Hi Charysse!! I stumbled across your blog while looking for some information about AOA..My husband was just diganosed a month ago with what they believed was a low grade glioma. The surgeons were able to get it all out. We went for a post op appt yesterday and we founde out its a grade 3 Anaplastic oligoastrocytoma. We are hopeful. We will be seeing an oncologist in NY on Tuesday to find out what the next steps are. If you can give me anymore information I would greatly appreciate it. You are an inspiration to me and my husband! Please continue the fight!

    Christine Cabello. (My email is included)

  20. I just sent you an email..

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