Monday, December 20, 2010

Tomorrow is a big day

because mommy is starting a new chemo drug. After 16 rounds of carbo/gemzar and gemzar alone, the cancer has become resistant the combination, so we are turning to our second line treatment. Unlike the previous treatments which had no side effects, Taxotere will be harder on her body and is likely to cause hair loss and swelling, so we are trying to prepare mommy for it. I can't imagine how scared she must be to actually experience and see the effects of chemo on herself, and I'm afraid that she will lose hope. Please keep us in your prayers!

Prayer requests:
-Please pray that Taxotere will be amazingly effective, and that God will use it to destroy every trace of cancer in mommy's body.
-Please pray that side effects will be minimal, barely noticeable. Please ask God to protect mommy from the side effects that may come. Pray that He will keep her physically safe and strong.
-Please pray that Mommy will remain joyful and hopeful, even as she experiences hair loss and any other side effects. Please ask God to help us cope with the physical changes and support mommy through these difficult times.
-Please pray that we will be reminded of His sovereignty over my mommy's life. Lord, please wrap the tam family, especially mommy, in the warmest, tighest hug.
-Last, please pray that God will shower us, especially mommy, with His mercy, love, and grace every single moment, and that His power will be so evident that we will feel His presence every second of every day.

Thank you!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Mommy wanted to go to bed, but I convinced her to stay with me while I studied, so she sat across from me at the kitchen table, turned on her laptop, closed her eyes, and fell asleep sitting up.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This morning, instead of doing my morning cleanup routine, I hopped into my mommy's bed. For the next hour, she told me stories about my dad and about her favorite dogs at the park. I learned that my mom first noticed my dad when he helped her best friend move furniture into a new apartment and fell in love with him because she saw how kindhearted and compassionate he was. I also learned that my mom loves dogs, but only from afar. Her favorite dog is a prejudiced, little pomeranian named Baby, who refuses the advances of another dog, Bobo, because she only likes dogs of her own kind. Mommy also believes that Baby may be lesbian because she won't mate with any boys, even those in her own breed.

And to tie the two subjects together, we decided that my dad is very much like a dog because he is very loyal and loving but sometimes a little clueless and maybe a little prejudiced.

There is really nowhere else I would rather be than in my mommy's bed, with unwashed faces, snuggling and telling stories till noon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We met with Dr. Tuan this morning to discuss the CT scan results. Unfortunately, mommy's tumors have double and some tripled in size, and new ones have appeared. Dr. Tuan recommended that we try our first line treatment again, the carbo/gemzar combo, and taxotere later if the carbo/gemzar is ineffective. We will begin again in two weeks, and during this short time, her cancer may continue to multiply.

Tonight, I decided to compare past CT scans and x-rays to our most recent ones, and I found that most of the tumors have regrown to their original size. In just two months, my mom's condition has regressed to how it was pre-treatment. I want to stay hopeful, but this cancer seems so much more powerful than me, my mom, and our family.

Monday, November 15, 2010


There's just so much to do and not enough hours in a day! I will post a longer, more robust(I really wanted to use this word. Forgive me if it's not used correctly) update soon. For now, please pray for tomorrow's CT scan results. We hope that the scans will show continued improvement so that we can continue with her current treatment. Please also pray that any radiation mommy is exposed to will just pass through her body harmlessly. She's had at least six CT scans, two PET scans, and countless x-rays in the past six months, and I am very, very worried about her body. Also pray for Mr. Tam, as he is mentally and physically tired from worry. Sorry for the short blog, but I promise to write a more detailed one soon. Have a blessed night!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


We met with Dr. Tuan last Tuesday to discuss the PET scan results and treatment options. I meant to actually scan a copy of the actual scan results, but I am lazy. Maybe next time! The scan results showed that there is no spread (Hallelujah!) and that she has improved vastly compared to the last one done in April. The spot that spread to her bone disappeared completely, along with many other small spots, and her largest tumor is about half the size of how it was before we began treatment. This is all great news, but unfortunately, these results can only be compared to her last PET scan, which was taken before we even began treatment, so we are not getting the most accurate assessment. To get a real comparison, we would need to get a CT scan, which is scheduled to take place six weeks later.

I really want to take the CT scan sooner than later because mommy is coughing A LOT more than before. I am afraid it is a sign that her tumors are growing again. Please pray for her cough and the tumors to go away. What if we made the wrong decision? Doesn't it make sense to continue treatment if it has been so effective so far? My heart breaks every time I hear her cough, and it's getting progressively worse everyday. This must be the scariest part, when all we an do is wait for the next CT scan, when we really can't actively fight the cancer.

My dad has also started coughing recently, and we're trying to convince him to get an x-ray, but he keeps avoiding the subject. Will you please pray that he will take the chest x-ray and that the results will be good?

She's coughing again. ): Please keep us in your prayers.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I haven't updated in quite a while, so here is a quick one.

We officially switched oncologist last Thursday. I'm not sure if Dr. Tuan is a much better match for my mom, but the fact that Emily, our nurse practitioner, regards him highly gives us some comfort and confidence in our decision. Dr. Tuan gave us two options: take a few months break and begin treatment again when the cancer grows again or continue with a completely different drug. He seemed to lean towards the former option. It will all depend on the PET scan, which will take place tomorrow. If the results show growth, we will need to continue treatment immediately.

So I ask that you pray extra hard for mommy tonight. She has been coughing much, much more these past two weeks, and we all hope that her results will show continued improvement.

I will post another update soon. Have a wonderful night!

Monday, September 13, 2010


I always dream of getaways to wondrous, far places, but today I realized that dinner at home with all four Tams present is the best escape I could ever ask for. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the most perfect family and home!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I have not posted health updates in quite a while, and I've been meaning to write, but I can't at the moment. Anatomy lab calls!

Here's a superduperspeedy update! Mommy's white cell, red cell, and platelet counts were dangerously low last thursday, so we skipped the second week of treatment. The next day, she was feeling dizzy and nauseous, so we brought her into ER. (Thanks Jon for rushing me back to San Francisco, Oddball for holding my hand, Wesley for providing the car, and my wonderful friends for your love and prayers.) They performed a bunch of tests on her, and thankfully, she was just dehydrated and low on magnesium. My biggest fear was that the cancer spread to her brain, but a head CT scan confirmed that her brain is clear. We have an appointment on Thursday to make up the last session we skipped, so please pray for mommy's body to recover quickly.

And to end on silly note, today while we were looking for parking at Costco, my mom exclaimed "Oh my God!" completely out of the blue. I wish I recorded that so I could use it as my ringtone.

Okay, anatomy lab. Bye! (:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Mommy turns 52 today! Happpy Happpy Birthday, Mommy!

Update soon!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Nice Bum

The picture below does not show the PJ pattern at all, so here's another with a nice sideview.

Stuck At Home

Mommy's blood count was too low for treatment last week, so we cancelled treatment this week to let her body rest. Please pray for quick recovery and continued protection against the cancer. For two weeks now, I've imprisoned her at home to protect her from germs, bacteria, etc, which she does not like this. She's done a fair amount of complaining, so to pacify my whiney baby, I work on little food projects with her.

Here she is holding up a wonton shaped like a chicken leg.

We(really just she) are baking a cake(not from scratch) at this very moment. This is mommy asking me to choose between YELLOW BUTTERFLY or chocolate flavor. hehehe. Also notice the cute polar bear PJs.

Please join us! We love company! And mommy will most likely be wearing the same PJs.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Clever Blog Title

I couldn't think of anything. Anyways..

You know how I was completely outraged about Dr. Knopf's incompetance? During our appointment today, he somehow talked his way out of trouble. He claimed that mommy has had pneumonia ever since she was first diagnosed and announced that the last CT scan shows further cancer shrinkage and a ninety percent decrease in pneumonia mass since the first CT scan. I did a little dance in my brain upon hearing the wonderful news, but I am also a little reluctant to believe everything Dr. Knopf tells us. He speaks in such quick, sneaky sentences that I often leave the office with a little tornado of question marks over my head. Like wwwwhhhhhaaaaaaattttt?? Maybe we should switch doctors. Nevertheless, we rejoice because God is taking care of mommy.

We sat in the corner of one of the Chemo rooms today, and during the two or so hours of treatment, mommy made some friends, two to be exact. To her right sat a 60 something year old mother of six named Josephine who was finishing her very last session and about to declare victory over her breast cancer. The woman on her left, Ivy, is in a completely different situation. Ivy, who is just one year older than my mommy, has pancreatic cancer, and anyone who knows about this type of cancer knows how aggressive and painful it is. On top of that, she was disgnosed with anxiety disorder about a year and a half ago. Like my mom, she recently accepted Christ, but because of her psycological disorder, it is difficult for her to find hope or happiness, so I ask that when you pray for mommy's physical and spiritual health, please also pray that we will love and support Ivy just like you guys have lifted us up and that God will shower her with His love and grace. And let's also rejoice that Josephine has beaten cancer and pray that many others (Mommy Tam!) will emerge victorious soon!

Congratulations to meet you! (from Eat Pray Love, a wonderful book)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Pray. Mommy has pneumonia. She's had it for four weeks, but we discovered this terrifying news three weeks late on Monday. Dr. Knopf somehow forgot to look at the lab results and consequently failed to treat it. Mommy is taking antibiotics prescribed by the Nurse practioner right now.

Please pray for quick healing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


So many of you probably know a little about the Tam household craziness. Yes, Ricky and I were bedridden with fevers yesterday. And yes, during those many hours in bed, I practiced my animal noises and decided my favorite is "mmmaaaoooowwww," a cat-cow noise, i guess. Unfortunately, mommy also caught our sickness, so all of last night and much of today, my dad ran around the house distributing tylenol and warm water and checking our temperatures. We're much better now, and the fevers have subsided, but we will be on our toes for the next 48 hours or so. For now, will you please pray for complete healing for everyone in our house and that my dad and aunties will not catch our sickness. Also, please pray for Mr. Tam's mental and physical health. He so worried and tired... He "woke up" at 6am this morning to wash the car and water the lawn, and he has not had a full night's rest since mommy's initial diagnosis.

This wave of sickness came at the worst time because mommy had her fourth cycle of chemo(carbo/gemzar) just three days ago, and her blood test showed a low white cell count. So far, she seems to be responding to chemo, but we will know for sure until after another CT scan in about two weeks. Her health wavers day to day, and I pray each night that she will not wake up the next morning coughing. During the most recent meeting with Dr. Knopf, he told us that mommy is scheduled for the full six cycles of chemo, and after the last cycle is completed, we can decided whether to take a break for a few months, during which mommy will travel to Hong Kong to visit relatives, or we can do a one drug maintenance continuously. We are waiting until maybe the fifth or sixth cycle to decide, but will you pray that God will lead us to the right decision? What do you all think? And as always, please continue to pray for complete physical healing. Thanks!

As for our spiritual walk, I confess that I have not been the best Bible Study "leader." We go to a Cantonese service, but when I ask my mom to summarize the message, she smiles and says "i dunnoooo." I just can't translate enough during our devotions, and I give in easily to mommy's complaints of tiredness. She's fallen asleep on me quite a few times, and I don't know how to keep her attention, so will you please pray for something to change? I'm pretty worn out and empty myself and I really, really miss fellowship and english church services.

Alright, time to take my fiftieth nap of the day. mmaaaooowww.

Here! A picture of a bunny for your entertainment.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pictures? Yes!

It's been quite a while since my last post, so here's a quick recap of the last three weeks.

After we received the wonderful news of mommy's chest x-ray showing improvement, mommy's health improved drastically, and she barely coughed the following two weeks. Two more aunties from Hong Kong arrived the first week of June, so we shopped, ate, and explored without a care in the world. Here are some pictures of our adventures:

Mommy took a CT scan last Friday, and we went in for another chemo session this past Monday. We received the final lab report, which states that the scans showed "considerable interval improvement in extent and number of pulmonary parenchymal metastatic foci. Mild residual right middle lobe consolidative change/atelectasis persists." This was confirmation that the chemo drugs are extremely effective against the cancer so far, and we left the hospital rejoicing. Unfortunately, the day after, Mommy Tam started coughing again and the cough has gotten progressively worse each day. There's a possibility that the cancer cells have become resistant to the carbo/gemzar combination, which means that we will have to try another drug, which is most likely less effective than our first regimen.

It seems that health-wise, she's regressed to how she was before treatment, and I'm scared and worried that she won't respond to any other treatments. I hate having to helplessly watch her health deteriorate, and I'm so angry that mommy has to go through it all over again after she improved so drastically these past few weeks.

As everything seems to be going downhill, please pray that we will turn to God for comfort, hope, and encouragement.
Please pray that we will be continually reminded of His sovereignty, love and protection.
Please pray specifically that the carbo/gemzar regimen will continue to effectively shrink tumors in mommy's body and prevent metastasis to any other areas.
And lastly, pray that mommy's cough and any pain or discomfort will cease.

Thank you so much for your support! I'm free this whole summer so I'd like to meet up with you! Oh, and please leave me comments with your own prayer requests!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Good Morning!

I wanted to load pictures of mommy, but I can't find any memory card slots. Do laptops have them?

Anyhoooo... I just wanted to tell you guys about some joyous moments we've shared in the past few days.

Three mornings ago, I was awoken early by the sound of a woman singing. In my sleepiness, I couldn't recognize the voice, but I listened for a couple more minutes and heard "yeh soh," Jesus in cantonese. after a bit of processing, I realized it was mommy tam belting out a song about Jesus! what a beeaauuutttiiifffuuulll way to start the day! I wish I recorded it so I could share it with you guys.

Another chemo session at 8am this morn. We entered the office quite worried because my mom has been coughing up blood again, but we were ecstatic to find that my mom's largest tumor shrank from 7.3 cm to 4.something cm. We knew there was some improvement but never expected such drastic shrinkage! Thank you so so much, Jesus!

Last week, I asked Dr. Knopf agreed to increase her drug dosage, so this week, mommy had two hundred more milliliters of gemzar. I'm a bit worried that she may not be able to withstand the extra kick, so please pray for her white blood cells and red blood cells and physical health in general. Also, please pray that I will be more disciplined and remember to do nightly devotions with momma. I'm so laazzyyy. ):

Almost everyone is at chapter camp right now. It feels weird to not be there, but I hope and pray that you/they see God so fully, be completely tranformed, and experience a little piece of Shalom this week!

Have a wonderful day! See ya soon!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Another appointment with Dr. Knopf yesterday morning. He seemed to be in a rush, so we left the office a bit confused about.. everything. Some things i recall him saying are:
1) yes, we can up the dosage of gemzar
2) itchy rash can be fixed with benadryl, unless it's shingles
3) she is probably responding well to the drugs since she's stopped coughing up blood (except she did cough up blood yesterday and today)
4) go down to the first floor and get a chest x-ray

After the appointment, we met up with some friends from Hawaii for dimsum. T'was a wonderful time until my auntie told them about my mommy. I decided that i needed an escape, so J.Bear and i ran far, far away to a secret place (Sutro Baths)and hiked along the coast talking nonsense like we always do. Right as we we exited our secret place, i got a voicemail from Emily, our favorite nurse practitioner. Her message said something like, "Hi Mrs. Tam, the chest x-ray from this morning shows that your lungs are looking a little better!" yayayay! Thank you, Jesus! Every little sign of improvement is worth a whole lot of dancing and celebrating!

Also, I found out this past Sunday that mommy tam accepted Jesus Christ at a Christian event held last Friday! yayyayyayyayyay!!

Let's celebrate!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


My mom just called to tell me that she's coughing and having trouble breathing. i want to run to her and rub her back and command her to put on more clothes and shower her with hugs and kisses and feed her medicine and pray for her


i am fifty miles away, attempting to study for a class i don't care about.
i just want to be with my mommy


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hello Mr. Lion


Mommy Tam had her second chemo session on Monday. We, momma and i, spent five hours total in the hospital, two hours for blood tests and the actual chemotherapy and about three hours waiting, waiting, waiting. I had to walk up the dang Washington street hill twice to move my Katie(car)! What a dreadful experience! Anyhoo, Dr. Knopf made a last minute change, switching the second drug(again!) from taxotere to gemcitabine because it's a safer and gentler drug. This means that we will be back in the office next Monday for another dosage of gem and zometa, a bone strengthening agent.

So far, mommy is fine. The first three days are actually much more enjoyable for her because the anti-nausea drug she receives along with the chemo drugs also reduces her cough. She's taken about three naps in the last 10 hours, not because she's tired but because she is bored. I'm actually a bit worried that the treatment is not working or that they mistakenly gave her salt water since she doesn't exhibit any symptoms at all! Please pray that the drugs pumping through her blood will catch all the tumor cells, phagotize them, and DDDEEESSSTTTRROOOOYYY them! I'm imagining my mom's white blood cells partnering with the chemo drugs, tagging and gobbling up the evil guys.

While this war is going on in momma's body, we are living a very peaceful, (too) quiet outside life. All we do is eat, sleep, and shop for groceries. Hopefully, she will be well enough to go places and explore. I registered for the 99.7 my mom is the bomb contest and if we win, we get two free tickets to hawaii! my mom is cute. she's walking our stuffed lion up my arm right now. Shoutout to Matt! my mom loves him! Anyways, I'm crossing my fingers hoping that that they'll choose us so we can getaway and relax and pamper to our heart's content.

About an hour ago, mommy and I opened up our handy devotion books, one copy in english and another in cantonese and went over deuteronomy 15:1-11. The passage is about debt and giving, and I had trouble explaining it to her. She had very specific scenarios for me, and my cantonese is limited, so i stumbled through it and tried to explain it to her with familiar examples. Still, at the end, I asked her if I helped any and she said "not at all." Ricky's leader is holding a quick Bible study for her tomorrow night, so hopefully she will get a clearer view of God and the Bible. Please pray for better translation and for God reveal himself to her whether through me, ricky, church ladies, or other people.

Speaking of church, mommy is going consistently to cumberland chinese presbyterian church and has met a wonderful group of ladies. Many of them are nurses and one is a cancer survivor. God knew where to take us. Thanks to Ally Lam and Mrs. Lam for that! Mommy will be going to some events and some field trips with them soon. She's found good community in the church and in cancer support groups.

One thing i've struggled with lately is that my family is no longer held together by our nightly prayers and devotion. My dad's starting to make fun of me whenever I mention praying before meals or bedtime. Mommy's happy to do these things, though I suspect she does so only to keep me from crying, but my dad's being a big meanie. Please pray that God will soften his heart and call him to him.

Wow, this post is long. Ricks and I snuck out to Best Buy's yesterday afternoon to buy my mom's mother's day present, a very high tech, pink(yuck) digital camera. We also had a billion fish tacos(HI BECKY!!) So, yea, with our new camera, we can record every adventure! sigh, I just got that sinking feeling I get everytime I think about the past or future. ):

Alright, i hear some commotion in the kitchen, which means some sort of food will appear soon! au revior, mes amies!

i miss you lots!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Wormies and Worries

Last night, my mommy ate a bowl of very expensive wormy plants because my aunties say that they cure cancer. Where's the evidence for these folk remedies and what if they interfere with the chemo drugs? So many friends and family members are calling in saying "I heard ________ cured my sister in law's friend's husband of _________ cancer," and my momma has limited her diet to organic chicken, vegetables, and strange plants and bugs. Not enough nutrition, no no no! Silly mother won't listen to me or the knowledgable doctors but she will listen to the chatty old ladies she walks in the park with. Please pray for good judgment and appropriate nutrition choices.

The appointment with the radiologist went well, I think. Dr. Grounsaville, a very nice man, decided that my mother will not be undergoing radiation for now because she is in such good health at this point. He explained that radiation to her hips and especially her lungs may cause more harm than help because some it can leave scar tissues and further decrease lung function. It makes sense, but I wish we could do more. I really wish I could do more for her. Praise the Lord for keeping momma healthy and for friendly, reassuring doctors.

I know that I should be at peace knowing that mommy's life is in God's hands, but I'm having trouble giving it up to God. Lately, as things have begun to finally settle down, I'm relying less on God and more on myself. The initial fear and desperation is fading and now I'm loosening my grasp on Him. ): It's getting much easier to skip our prayers and bible studies, and my dad no longer prays because I stopped forcing him to join us. So, please pray for us to draw nearer to God and rely fully on Him even though things are more settle. (God, please don't give us anymore bad news to make us scared again.)

My mom's coughing worsened a bit today. I wish there was an explanation for her fluctuating health and I wish we had a personal PET scan machine so we could check on her tumor sizes and location all the time. sigh. Please pray for a PET scan machine for the Tam fam. just kidding. Please pray that He will give us peace that surpasses all understanding so that we don't need to see and know everything to be reassured.

On a brighter note, we are all so, so excited for ricky! His senior prom is tomorrow and he is wearing baby pink(hahahahaha!). But before that, I need to drive my momma to a cancer support group meeting in Chinatown and I'm scared for my life. I really don't like driving in san francisco! so, please pray for my driving!

Thank you for listening! I miss you guys! Go team tam!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Merci Beaucoup!

It's been a wonderful week thus far! Most of the past two days were spent preparing for my two aunts' arrival from Hong Kong. I spent a few hours in Berkeley on Tuesday updating Professors and GSIs on my mom's situation and discussing finals and grades. My professor were extremely understanding and compassionate, and I ended up talking to my anatomy professor for about an hour. I've been looking for someone older to comfort and guide me and Professor Kaufer did just that, sharing her experiences of being a caretaker and even suggesting some books to read. God, thank you for sending Prof. Kaufer.

My aunties arrived yesterday night, which brought so much joy and comfort to my family, especially my mom. Mommy Tam is so much happier with her sisters cooking(cooking skills!) and caring for her, and now we've added two more people to our nightly prayer group. Our new living arrangements, with my bro and dad downstairs and us four women upstairs is the best because I get to sleep in a new queen sized bed with my momma.

Momma Tam has coughed less these last couple of days. Thank you, God! Tomorrow afternoon, we have an appointment with the radiologist. I hope we will can agree on an aggressive, effective treatment plan.

Hmm. We are all exhausted from a full day of napping and grocery shopping, so we go sleep now. night night! Please continue praying for physical and spiritual healing! Thanks a bunches!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Hello all! The past few days have been quite busy.. I don't even know where to start. I barted over to Berkeley on Wednesday to do a presentation and speak to professors but ended up skipping all but one of my class. Instead, I spoke to a counselor at the Tang Center(should've gone to class) and prayed with the most amazing community ever.

We had another appointment with Dr. Knopf Thursday. Alimta will be replaced with taxotere as the first line, a bone strengthening drug will be added for mommy's bone mets, and there are some other options if our first line is ineffective. I'm a little discouraged by the probability of effectiveness for our first line- 33% chance of shrinking tumors and 77% of keeping them stable- but relieved that there are other drugs available, including a clinical trial called IGF-1. One problem I have is that after the doctor explains something to me, I immediately research that treatment and find information that makes me question the doctor's decision. I need to learn to trust the doctor, but I want to make sure that my mom receives the best treatment possible.

Mama Tam's coughing is getting worse and there's not much we can do to relieve her pain. It's really easy for us to lose hope when we hear unfavorable statistics and when we see my mommy's health deteriorating. With each doctor's visit, I feel myself falling further into sadness and hopelessness, which is why I NEED to be in Berkeley. I NEED to be reminded of God's perfect love, I NEED to be pumped full of hope and encouragement. I NEED you guys so much. YOU(and Jesus) are good for my soul.

Team Tam, I am continually inspired by your faith!

Prayers for this week?
-There are other families going through similar situations, so please pray for them.
-Mommy found some new friends at church. Pray that she will find good community, as wonderful as mine!
-Physical health- mommy's cough is more severe and her breathing more labored. The chemo doesn't seem to be working...
-Plans for next year- I don't know if I should stay in school.
-Peace and Hope- I'm so tired and bitter sometimes, terrible things to be when you're a caregiver.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mommy Tam is funnay

Yesterday, the fam escaped to Half Moon Bay for the afternoon. During our hour long walk along the coast, I realized where I got my ditziness from. We passed by a baby sitting in her stroller with her legs sticking straight out in front of her and I told my mom I thought that was cute. Silly mommy responded very matter-of-factly, "that's because babies aren't born with knees. Their knees develop when they fall." Ten minutes later, I asked how dirty seagulls keep their feathers so clean and she said, "it's because the water is not actually dirty, it's really clean." Just wanted to share that with you guys. (:

On a more serious note, my mom and I cried together for the first time last night. The four of us have learned to put on our happy masks when we're in front of each other, and it was the first time that we were completely honest with one another. We really need more of these moments.

Some prayer requests...
- please pray that we will continue to have silly conversations as well as serious, honest conversations.
- please pray for God to take away all of my mommy's guilt, worries, and sadness.
- my mommy's cough gets progressively worse each day so please continue to pray for physical healing and comfort.
- we're all getting really bored of my cooking so please pray for better cooking skills. (:
- we're also starting nightly devotionals so please pray that God will speak through Ricky and I as we lead the Bible studies.

Lastly, I feel really selfish asking you to pray for us all the time. I'd love to know how you guys are doing and how we can pray for you as a family. Please leave us prayer requests!

Thank you Team Tam!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Becky came up with the brilliant idea to post health updates on this blog. For those of you who don't know about my mommy, she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in the middle of March. In the span of two weeks, she has had one CT scan, 2 broncoscopies, 2 biopsies, and 1 PET scan and each report gave us a different diagnosis, from pancreatic cancer to respiratory infection. Last tuesday, we received the "final" diagnosis, stage four squamous cell carcinoma lung cancer. On the phone, the doctor gave me a heartbreaking prognosis and my mom's life expectancy was shortened from years to months. I have not told my parents the whole truth yet, not until we see how she responds to chemotherapy.

Mommy had her first chemo session on Monday. Unfortunately, this was pre-"final" diagnosis so the regimen prescribed for my mom is only half effective. Carbo works, but alimta does not(I've done A LOT of research). She is doing amazingly well for someone who has had toxic substances pumped through her veins.

We are so physically and emotionally exhausted though, and it's been a difficult month, to say the least.

Anyhoo, this blog was created because:
1) i want to keep you guys updated on my mom's health and it would take forever to tell everyone
2) people have been asking for specific ways to pray for us
3) i want to share the ways that God has been working in my family
4) it's another way to stay connected to my amazing community
There are more reasons that I cannot think of right now.

Prayer requests for this week:
- Physical healing- please pray that chemo drugs effectively shrink tumor masses and keep the cancer from spreading.
- Spiritual healing- mommy tam is beginning to seek God, so please pray that He will hold her close and speak clearly to her.
- Peace- please pray that God will give us peace and comfort in these dark times.
- Strength- please pray that we will draw from God's love and strength.

Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement! We are amazed and uplifted by your kindness and your love!