Immunotherapy Test Results

Over the 4th of July weekend, Josh and Nicole took a break from their hiking adventures to spend some time with us. It was great to see them!
Over the 4th of July weekend, Josh & Nicole took a break from hiking to spend some time with us. It was great to see them!

It’s been five weeks since my oncologist ordered a test to see if I could try immunotherapy. This is a treatment that essentially helps the body’s immune system fight cancer cells, so there is not the same level of toxicity as with chemotherapy. It has been approved for a small number of cancer treatments, but is now in an experimental stage for other kinds of cancer (like mine). The requirement is that your tumor has a certain structure to it, so before starting the treatment, a sample of the tumor itself has to be sent off for testing.

About two weeks ago, they discovered there wasn’t enough tissue left from my September biopsy to get a good test done, so off for another biopsy I went. And then waited again.

Yesterday my doctor gave me the results. I don’t qualify for the treatment. It was a bit discouraging as I was hoping to have a new option for treatment.

So we press on. Since other test results show a progression of the disease, the next step is to get me hooked up with a Hospice home care team to help out with pain management. That’s beginning to be an issue, so we’re trying some new meds as well as some alternative care products that may help to control the increasing discomfort.

Honestly, it feels like I’ve crossed a somewhat frightening horizon line here. But when I look back over the last year since getting diagnosed, I can’t help but be thankful, instead, for all that God has done. It is always a miracle to be given time. It gives you the freedom to say things that need to be shared, do things that were important to finish, and be with the people who are special in your life. The time spent with family has been precious. And I can’t even begin to express how blessed we’ve been to reunite with ministry friends from New Hampshire and California. Christy and I spent a large part of our lives serving together in church. Reconnecting with old friends was special. Many thanks to everyone who helped make that possible.

So at this point, we hang on to those memories, move forward, and confidently wait for whatever God has next. As many have reminded us, He still works miracles!


  • bernie


    Hello again Sandy! yes he DOES WORK MIRACLES! and we are hoping that one will take in your case! I am so sorry that we did not see you when you were in NH! We pray for Christy as much as we do you! it must be hard what she is going through May God bless you both! BP&JP

  • Valerie Kravette


    Admire your courage and attitude. I have been thinking about you. What I was told about hospice is 1) people usually don’t call them in early enough, and 2) you can gather strength and “graduate” back into treatment. So you and Christy avail yourself of all their excellent resources. You’re still in the miracle zone as far as I’m concerned. Sending you energy and prayers!

    • Sandy


      Thank you, Valerie, for your insight. At first it was a bit worrisome to have the appointment, but we met with two people today and they were great. 100% care, and 100% committed to helping us. Very comforting. I think I’m in good hands here.

  • mandy


    I love you. I am here for you and Christy and the kids. You are amazing. Miracles happen…not always easy to see them everyday, but they happen. I am praying for a really big one for you, and selfishly me too. I need my little brother.

    • Marilyn D.


      Sandy and Christie and Family,
      It is Difficult to write….then I go and meditation/PRAYER ….thinking of you and seeing you on a HEALING path…Overcoming…with the Grace of God.
      You All remain in my Prayers for a Best outcome as you ‘let go and let God’!
      Already we have seen Many Miracles in your day to day ‘living to the full”…Paris, Family support, Friends gathered and Praying, likewise Community here that you were part of for so long, etc. etc.
      Continue to be Courageous and Strong and always hold onto HOPE….
      Marilyn D. (Center Conway, NH)

  • Bernie Plimpton


    Hello Sandy Bernie here! of course we are very sorry to hear the news, but miracles still happen! I suppose that it is easy for me to say that! if I had a magic wand you would be healed like yesterday! Our prayers are with you and Christy! MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND CHRISTY AT THIS TIME!


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