Status Update: Yeesssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6 05 2011


With Scott and Sarah Orwig and their brood at the March 18 Bowling Benefit. Photo by Emily P. Sybert.

I have good news. Very good news, I think.

And I’m so sorry I made you wait til this morning to hear it. I was so sick when I got home last evening after a chemo treatment and the contrast CT Scan dye that’d been shot into me that I could barely make it to my bed. I actually got my iPad out in a futile attempt to jot a line of the good news, with a promise for more, but the iPad was on the blitz and I simply didn’t have the strength to go downstairs and fetch my laptop. In fact, I think I fell sound asleep as I was processing the idea.

But, trust me, it was worth the wait.

Early yesterday afternoon, we crammed into an exam room — me, my friend and chemo buddy Scott, my sister Julie, niece Natalie, and bff Tabitha. Add the doctor and the nurse from Clinical Trials to the mix, figure in the square footage of these rooms (think dorm room closet), and you get the visual. One of the nurses kept dragging in an extra chair, then another, then another. When we emerged a short while later, I’m certain we looked something akin to an impossible number of big-footed clowns emerging from a VW Bug.

But it was what happened in between that was so very important.

We couldn’t read the doctor’s expression when he entered the exam room. and believe me, we were all trying. Then he said, “How are you feeling today?” in a way that Scott later told me made him fear that he was about to drop a bomb.

But it was quite the opposite. The news was good. Very good. The doctor compared the X-ray taken of my chest this past Tuesday with the one that was taken April 15, the night I was in the ER for the blood transfusions. Not even three weeks had passed between the two images. And…

And, the spots in my lungs appear to be so small on the latest X-ray that they are nearly imperceptible!

To this, the doctor said, “It looks like your treatment is working!”

We were thrilled! There was cheering in Exam Room 4, loud enough, perhaps, to rival the crowd at the U-M stadium after a great play.

Of course, there are always a few outliers — there’s a question about a small tumor on my left lingula — that’s the middle lobe of the left lung (forgive me my limited knowledge of human anatomy intricacies.). The doc said that because the two X-ray reports had been read by two different radiologists — one on April 15 and the other on May 3 — one might have noted what the other didn’t. It happens.

To find out what we’re really looking at, the doc sent me for a CT Scan, which is a more sensitive tool than an X-ray, after my chemotherapy treatment yesterday. Results should be in early next week.

I’m not as obsessed about those results as I was about the ones following my first CT Scan, taken back in late March. The doc also compared those CT Scan results yesterday, threw them into the mix with the X-rays, and tried to give us the overall Big Picture. He noted the tumor shrinkage indicated by the first CT Scan report, followed by the continued shrinkage indicated by the X-rays. It does appear that we are moving in the right direction. For the first time, I really feel like we’re seeing true progress, progress that gives me a chance to heave a sigh of relief before I press onward.

As for the chest pain and pressure that precipitated the X-ray and this meeting, well, while no one knows for sure, it does appear that it is related to my asthma. The doc put me on a short round of steroids to see if it might clear it up. He also tried to explain to me a concept that is very hard to get through my thick head: Slow Down. “Right now,” he said, “you have a finite amount of energy and you need to use it wisely. Your body needs to call upon that for healing. Choose carefully what you say ‘yes’ to.”

I think we just might be seeing the first flickers of  light wayyyy down there at the end of the tunnel. We may still have some dark passages to traverse along the way, but I swear, I see it! The light off in the distance, which, when we emerge from the tunnel, will turn out to be a roaring bonfire and around it, all of my friends and family, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.

Thank you for all of your continued prayers and for lifting me and my needs up to the Lord. On Sunday, I was annointed with oil and prayed over by a group of elders and church members. I could feel the power of their prayers and I can feel the power of yours.

Matthew 17:20:
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson




60 responses

6 05 2011


6 05 2011

YAY, YAY, YAY!! Great news Amy! It was worth the wait to hear news like this 🙂

6 05 2011
Sarah Ludwig Rausch

Woo hoo!! This is wonderful news, Amy. Your positive attitude is such an inspiration to me on a daily basis. You are one of the nicest, kindest, most talented people I know. Thanks for the update, and I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.

Love and hugs!!!

6 05 2011
Alice CFW

Good morning NUG!!!

What a wonderful news, Amy!
Keep fighting and keep climbing that mountain!! I can picture you reaching the summit very soon! Nothing is impossible!
Love U

6 05 2011

AWESOME news!!!!! God is good.

6 05 2011
Laura Kasischke

Amy, Your goodness and courage and general wonderfulness are radiating all around all of us. Thank God for this good news. Laura

6 05 2011

Are you going to listen to the DR “SLOW DOWN!!!!!!!!!” But i am so happy to hear all is going in the right directon.

6 05 2011
Cheryl Buck

What great news!! All the prayers and love sure do work. Can’t wait to see you Saturday:)

6 05 2011
Kimberly Brown

Congratulations!!!! What a warrior woman you have been…..and it sounds like you are winning the battle. Blessed Be dear one….
I light a candle for you every night during my meditation… has been red to fight the cancer…..tonight it will be yellow for hope and new beginnings.
Kim Brown

6 05 2011

I have tears flowing with the good news! I’m thrilled for you Amy. You are amazing and we are so blessed to be taking this trip with you through your eyes. You are truly a wonderful author!

6 05 2011

What a wonderful way to kick off Mother’s Day Weekend. Amy, I am so very pleased for you!

6 05 2011
Jennifer Fink

1. I am THRILLED for you!

2. There is so much wisdom in your doctor’s words: “You have a finite amount of energy and you need to use it wisely…Choose carefully what you say ‘yes’ to.”

6 05 2011
Sharon L-S

Tears of Joy!!! Please Listen to the Dr, about slowing down. My son-in-law (in his 40’s) is being medically retired because he did not heed that advice. He has heart problems but stress does not allow the body time to heal properly.

What a wonderful Mother’s Day present! Have a great weekend.

6 05 2011
Nicole Rollet

AMEN to that sister!! God his good!! Muah!!

6 05 2011

A wonderful Mother’s Day gift for a wonderful mom!! I couldn’t be happier to “hear” the joy, relief and strength in your “voice”. The doc said “slow down” huh?….he doesn’t know you very well (said in a bugs bunny tone)! Big hugs!!!

6 05 2011
Rita O'Connor

Amy…..I just pray pray pray….love always…Mom RReet

6 05 2011


6 05 2011
Robert Thomas

Wonderful news!

6 05 2011

Happy Dance! I believe a wise woman recently suggested you slow down and listen to your body….Love ya

6 05 2011
Eleanor Sun

Terrific news. I am so happy for you and your family! More good thoughts for continued good news and for you to feel well!

6 05 2011

THANK GOD! Now, get off of email and go do something that puts energy in! lol. Massive amounts of love and light to you.

6 05 2011

Happy dance up north!

6 05 2011
Kris Ritter

Truly an answer to prayers!

6 05 2011

Praising God for this spectacular news!

6 05 2011
Carol Clemens

Celebrate Mother’s Day in peace and joy, dear friend! God is Good, God is Faithful, God is Love, and He shines on you through us. Know that you continue to be held in prayer, with hope and love, each day!


6 05 2011
MFA Mama


6 05 2011
Bill Abernethy

All right!!!!!!!!!

6 05 2011
Julie Meador

Hi Amy. You don’t know me, but I feel somehow I know you. I’m somehow a friend of a friend, of a friend, of a friend, of a friend of yours and was asked to help out and follow your blog. I have been sitting in the background every day, reading about your journey. The tears flow freely, and I also laugh and get such a kick out of your humor and the way you look at things. This morning the tears are for happiness for you and your family, and I can’t wait to see the picture of your new puppy down the road. Happy trails! Julie

6 05 2011
Amy Rauch Neilson

I am flattered and deeply touched that you are following my journey. Thank you thank you thank you.

6 05 2011
Linda Stanislawski

Praising God for your good news and keeping up the prayers. While I was going through treatment a few years ago, I kept telling myself that my “job” during this time was to rest and heal. I know it is different for you as my children were all grown by then and you have a young son, but…. as much as possible, your job is to rest and heal. Blessings and healing and peace to you

6 05 2011

Go Amy!!! That is awesome news!!! . . you are getting closer and closer to that light at the end of the tunnel. . . please remember though what your Doc said “Slow Down” and use your energy wisely.

6 05 2011
Jon Green

Way to go Amy!!! I am so happy and relieved that positive progress is being made.

Keep up the positive attitude.

6 05 2011
Paul Vachon

I’m thrilled for you, Amy! I’ll continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers–until you can announce your COMPLETE recovery!



6 05 2011
karen roth

YEAH!!! Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!

6 05 2011

Awesome news Amy! 🙂 Praise God for His miracles! Happy Mother’s Day!

6 05 2011
Debby Neilson

I am so happy to hear the good news!!! Can’t wait for those S’mores. They will taste better than any other s’mores ever eaten.

6 05 2011
brian Murphy

Amy!!!! WONDERFUL NEWS!!!!!!!! The kids are all right!!! Have perfectly wonderful Mothers Day weekend!

6 05 2011
jennifer nemeth

What fabulous news. We r sOoooooo happy.

6 05 2011

Praise the Lord!! So happy to hear the news. Please heed the doctor’s advice and reserve your strength for healing!! Still praying for you 🙂

6 05 2011

AMEN to that….. yeah and yeehaw!!! Great news – so happy for you!! 🙂

6 05 2011


6 05 2011
Rita P

Grinning through the tears of JOY!!!! You rock!!

6 05 2011

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is that enough? naa. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6 05 2011

Yes, Amy, much akin to the amount of gas you use in a day, pick and choose your ‘routes’ daily as wasting your ‘gas’ or energy does you no good. So glad to hear the good news!

6 05 2011
Cathy Carey

YES!!!!!! Dancing in the streets here in Healdsburg.

6 05 2011

Praise our Papa-God girlfriend! so happy for your!!!

6 05 2011
Deborah Ann Peters

Crying and smiling at the same time. Even though I was very worried when there was no news yesterday, it was worth the wait. GOD BLESS YOU AMY!!

6 05 2011
Maija Kibens

Yay, Amy!!!!! Yes, s’mores!!! Puppy! End of tunnel!

6 05 2011
lucy (meau's friend)

thank God for His (Her) goodness and mercy. surely it shall follow you forever.

amen, lucy

6 05 2011
lucy (meau's friend)

thank God for His (Her) goodness and mercy. surely it shall follow you forever.
blessings, lucy

7 05 2011
John Eckardt

Great news Amy, Have a happy Mothers Day! Hope to see you soon.

7 05 2011
Ann Iezzi

Amy – We do not know each other but I subscribed to your blog a few months back. I am so happy for the good news you received. Matthew 17:20 is so perfect & the power of prayer is inspiring. I am praying for your full recovery & I believe it will happen. Keep your faith & hope throughout this difficult time.

7 05 2011
Doug G

Fab news! Happy Mother’s Day, and enjoy your upcoming adventures!

7 05 2011
Sarah Zowada

What a wonderful start to your Mother’s Day weekend! Praise God! Rest. Enjoy.

8 05 2011

Amy – SOOOOO very happy for you. I am so tearful it almost impossiable to type. You are in my prayers and though daily if not several times a day. As a BCS myself I am sending you all the sisterrrraaahahood poisitve energy humanly possiable. Please pace yourself dear one.


9 05 2011
Judith Kolar

Hi Amy,

that are really good news.

We just talked about you yesterday at the communion of Saskia Stegbauer. Me and my parents are friends of the Stegbauer Family, they used to be our neighbours and I used to babysit the kids. And we’ve known them for 12 years now wich is half my life. 🙂
Jen introduced me and my mum to your blog as my mum is a breast cancer survivor (she was diagnosed in Dec. 2008) and she thought we might be interested in it. I must say we just love to read it as it full of positive energy!!!

Keep going like this and we are praying for you and your family. I am sure you will get through this.


9 05 2011

Such fabulous news!

9 05 2011
Judith Kolar

Hi Amy,

these are really good news.
We just talked about you. With “we” I mean my mum and Jennifer Stegbauer. The Stegbauer family used to be our neighbours and we are good friends with them (we’ve known them for 12 years which is half my life).
I also used to babysit the 3 kids. And yesterday was Saksia’s 1st holy communion and we were invited.

Jen introduced my mum and me to your blog and we just loved reading it as it is full of positive energy.

We are praying for you and your family. Please keep going like this. I know you will get through this as you are extremely strong.


9 05 2011

Great news I am sooooooooooooo happy for you!!

24 05 2011
Aunt Doris

WOW! Great! Wonderful! Wunderbar! Maravilhoso! No matter what language it says what our hearts say. Thank God for this giant step. Love you all.

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