Fighting Cancer through Prayers and Support: Lenie Rose

maeann
Posted October 5, 2019 from Philippines
Fighting Cancer through Prayers and Support: Lenie Rose
From Invasive Cortical Thymoma to Primary Mediastinal (Thymic) Large B-Cell Lymhoma, it is daunting to be at an advanced stage, but I found refuge in God. Cancer may be called the Big C but I have a Bigger C: Christ. This crisis has brought me closer to Him and has shown me intimately His strength and power. I cried to the Lord Jesus Christ to use my crisis for His glory. Hence, I wish to share this journey with you – family, friends, and even strangers – who reached out to me and provided me various kinds of help. With a grateful heart, I am inspired to write my experiences, may it be of pain or joy. -Lenie Rose, 25

Lenie Rose had a non-productive cough for a week and slight pain when lying on her right side. This prompted her to have a chest X-Ray for a fear of Tuberculosis. 

The chest CT scan result confirmed an interior mass measuring 4.6 x 7.2 x 7.9 cm. The primary consideration was thymoma. 

On the 11th of May 2018, she underwent surgery “median sternotomy, radical thymectomy, partial pericardiectomy, wedge resection of the upper lobe of the right lung, and bilateral tube thoracostomy”. 

She was discharged from the ICU after five days in the hospital.

After her surgery, she was gaining physical strength and spending precious time with her family and friends. She started planning to finish her postgraduate studies and pursue a career abroad. 

After four weeks of surgery, she notices a lump on her neck. She notices her face and neck were swelling. Her father rushed her to the hospital on the 29th of June 2018 to admit her and had her chest CT scan. Her illness was escalating.  

The results of the diagnostic: tumor recurrence, metastases, and thrombus – were disheartening.  A 2.1 x 2.7 x 4.2 cm tumor was effacing her superior vena cava. Nodules in both of her lungs enlarged lymph nodes, and increased density at some of her vertebral bodies were worrisome for metastases. 

Thrombus formations were completely occluding the veins in her upper chest and neck. She had a Thymic Carcinoma Stage 4.  (excerpt from Lenie Rose blog, click the link for details  http://lenierose.com/a-crisis-called-cancer/)

She started her first chemo session with a prayer... “Help me, Father God – help me accept what is in front of me and trust in You on what is ahead.” (Psalm 9:10) 

The chemotherapy exhausts her, brought discomfort and fatigue. This was the only beginning but already miserable for her. She cut her hair short for the anticipation of hair loss. To support her, her sister and mother cut their hair shorter too. 

A week prior scheduled to her second chemotherapy session, last July 30 her tooth was aching. She needed root canal therapy and tooth extraction, both were done successfully and without complications. 

A second chemotherapy session last July 30, 2018, done, she went to a salon to have her hair shaved. Her skin and nail beds started turning dark.  

Lenie asked her doctor on how many more sessions she needs to undergo and I quote:  she said that it depends because, with Stage 4 cancers, treatments such as chemotherapy are palliative. She mentioned the 4 reasons patients at this stage may choose to stop undergoing chemotherapy: the patient cannot tolerate the side effects, chemotherapy is not working, the condition is not improving nor worsening, or the patient simply chooses not to. But, I thought of a fifth reason: the patient is healed. Even when confronted with the dreadful word palliative, my trust in the Lord remained steadfast (Psalm 118:8).

Her fourth to fifth chemotherapy continues were the side effects of chemotherapy crushed her body and spirit. 

She lost her appetite, struggle to force herself to eat, was nauseous, wanted to vomit but couldn't, her mouth felt weird. 

But she keeps begging the Lord to give her endurance, asking God to save her, to take away the fears and doubts.

Last October 15, 2018, she was ambulance to the hospital because of a burning fever - 39°C, vomiting, her head was aching and her right cheek was swollen. She felt so weak and scared in the ER. 

All she thought was our Lord Jesus Christ. She imagined Him carrying her, similar to the prose Footprints in the Sand. 

Then she and her sister sang a Christian song "What a Beautiful Name" they both wiping tears as they sang.  She was discharged and scheduled for the sixth chemotherapy session. (excerpt from Lenie Rose blog, click the link for details  http://lenierose.com/still/).

As she continues her battle, her cardiologist said that she will only live until December 2018. She struggles with her prayer life. 

Asking God: "is my endurance being tested?" "do I lack faith?", "do I lack patience?", "am I not fighting enough?" She felt defeated.  

But she constantly meditates on Scripture, to the Lord’s promise of life to everyone who believed in Him. He already conquered death. 

Each day she woke up, either seeing her family or finally seeing her creator is a win-win situation for her. 

After various treatments from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy for almost a year for Invasive Cortical Thymoma. She had a misdiagnosis. 

Last March 27, she received the PET/CT scan result and it was not good. There is a progressive malignant disease. 

The mediastinal mass increased in size. There are lesions in her lungs and kidneys. Abnormal lymph nodes are all over her chest and abdomen. 

But, on the same day, the result of the slide review of her previous biopsy came out as Primary Mediastinal (Thymic) Large B-Cell Lymphoma (PMBCL). PMBCL is a high-grade (aggressive), rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 

There is a miracle in misdiagnosis. Though still in Stage 4, she has better survival chances with this type of cancer – even a chance of remission or cure.

God has other plans for her (Jeremiah 29:11).

The Lord used her while she was at the ER. She took the courage to pray for a patient who had a miscarried and her baby had no heartbeat. They were both in tears as they both experienced the frailty of human life.

So the new journey of chemotherapy session begun for PMBCL.

She received outpouring support from her friends and family. A fundraiser started. 

And this Faith Mugs by Lenie Rose was founded in the idea of sharing the Lord’s goodness to everyone http://lenierose.com/faith-mugs/

But last July 2019 Lenie was confined in the hospital for a month due to severe pneumonia, the tumors found in her kidneys grew twice in size. 

This prompted the doctors to insert a stent in her right kidney and to declare her second treatment protocol (R-CHOP) as unsuccessful. 

She is now receiving her third treatment protocol (Obinutuzumab plus Bendamustine) to address the disease. 

The doctor said that the treatment goal is a Stem Cell Transplant. This will give her a 60% chance of cure. 

The cost of the transplant alone could easily skyrocket to USD29,025 (P1.5M). Moreover, with her current chemotherapy, each cycle is estimated to cost USD7,740-USD9,675 (P400-500k) (Obinutuzumab is around USD5,418 (P280k) per vial).  

The family has exhausted all their resources but they continue to find means to give Lenie a fighting chance against cancer. 

They applied for an access program under Roche that gives them 50% discount for Obinutuzumab and looking for government agencies that could give financial assistance.

This fundraiser was set up so you could also support by any amount to spare, please click the link:  https://gogetfunding.com/rise-with-lenie/

Her blog can access here so you can read her journey with how she's been fighting for this battle: http://lenierose.com/about/

I am writing this to support a colleague's sister. 

My mother died from cancer. 

She only had two sessions of chemotherapy and did not pursue because of the effect of the chemo towards her body plus the financial struggles we had at that time. 

She passed away at the age of 42 as the doctors said she only live for two years.  

Leni Rose showed strength and courage through her faith with Jesus Christ. She is a living testimony on how God extends His hand and still make miracles in her life.

Any financial support you can give will mean a fighting chance for Lenie. 

You may also send directly to her bank accounts:

Lenie Veronilla

Bank of the Philippines Island - BPI Account #9329158303

Banco De Oro - BDO Savings Account #006350105841

This story was submitted in response to Our Bodies, Our Health.

Comments 18

Log in or register to post comments
Anita Shrestha
Oct 05
Oct 05

Best of luck for sharing

maeann
Oct 05
Oct 05

Thank you Anita.

Anita Shrestha
Oct 05
Oct 05

Welcome dear

Lisbeth
Oct 05
Oct 05

Dear Maeann,
It's a moving story of your colleague sister. My heart really bleeds for her pain. Lenie Veronilla keep up your strong faith

I believe in God and the Bible assures us if we have faith we can move mountain. I hope for a breakthrough in your situation, may God answer your prayers, may He make you endure with joy,
May He give you the spirit of Peace within.
Maeann, I will advice you to consider posting the fundraiser also on our resource page for more visibility. I wish I can donate but I am very low on expenses but I give you best wishes with the fundraiser.
Lenie Veronilla I pray you stay strong.
Regards

maeann
Oct 05
Oct 05

Hi Lisbeth,
Thank you for your kind words for Lenie and prayers.
Yes, I've already posted https://www.worldpulse.com/community/users/maeann/resources/92262

Lisbeth
Oct 05
Oct 05

Best wishes to Lenie Veronilla
Regards

Tamarack Verrall
Oct 05
Oct 05

Dear Maeann,
Life and death are such a mystery, and such difficult journeys like this one that your colleague's sister is enduring, and your mother's journey as well, leave us with more questions than answers, questions and prayers that we can only send within our faiths, prayer sent on that spiritual level for peace in our lives and for each other. This is such a loving remembering of your mother and call for collective support for your colleague's sister.

maeann
Oct 05
Oct 05

Thank you Tam, aside from prayers, support is needed that is why I have shared this here hoping to touch heart to share some of their blessing.

It is hard when a member of family is sick- physically, financially and emotionally. Good thing that she has faith with Jesus Christ.

Jill Langhus
Oct 07
Oct 07

Hi Mae Ann,

Thanks for sharing this sad, but also empowering post. Lenie is so strong, and her determination and positivity are to me what's getting her through. As well as her prayers and beliefs, too, no doubt. I'm sorry for your loss; for losing your mom at such an young age. I hope she makes it through. I'm surprised that she's hung in there this long, in some ways, but in others I think she has a fighting chance to make it through because of her strong support system, determination, and positivity. Please keep us posted on her progress.

XX

maeann
Oct 07
Oct 07

Hi Jill,

Thank you. Please help me share her story so people can support her through their donation.

Jill Langhus
Oct 09
Oct 09

Hello dear:-)

You're welcome. Done! I shared it on FB. I hope she has a full recovery soon:-)

maeann
Oct 10
Oct 10

Thank you Jill

Jill Langhus
Oct 13
Oct 13

You're welcome, dear:-)

Hello, Mae Ann,

Thank you for sharing this story. How strong she is. I'm sorry that you lost your mom to cancer. I lost two churchmates to cancer, too. And also, one mentor. All of them were Christians. I will pray for healing. His strength is perfect.

maeann
Oct 08
Oct 08

Hi Karen,

Thank you for including her in your prayers.

You're most welcome, sis.:)

Tarke Edith
Oct 08
Oct 08

Hello Maeann
Thank you very much for sharing
Yes sister cancer is an illness that is trying to
Be more degerious this days
So l agreed with you that praying to God
Will go a long way to solve this illness.
Our God is still on the truwn sister..

maeann
Oct 08
Oct 08

Hi Tarke,

Thank you and I agree God is still in the thrown and making miracles in our lives.