Additional Steps Forward

Things started to level out for me and it felt good to see the light at the end of the tunnel getting closer. My perspective had definitely been affected during this long process of treatments and a Bone Marrow Transplant. But I was seeing things come together and it felt so good!

List of events

  1. July 7, 2008 — The medicine strikes again
  2. July 14, 2008 — Seeing friends was great

  1. July 7, 2008 — The medicine strikes again

I apologize for missing last week altogether. My blood tests and breathing treatment were on Tuesday and they changed the procedure for administering the Pentanamine. It really wasn’t that big of deal they just increased the oxygen flow into the mouthpiece.

As you might guess the no big deal items can sometimes affect people in different ways. In my case I got a bit choked on the medication and wheezed around for a couple of days. Then, the big change for me, I seemed to belch up that nasty tasting medicine for a few days afterwards. It must have done its job like my nurse Mary said it would because I got real tired after receiving that treatment (the change was supposed to make it work better and being tired seems to reflect the medication is working for me).

To give you an idea of how tired I felt (notice I didn’t use the word “fatigue”) I dropped 10 pounds off the one weight machine I use to work out. And, with that, I could barely do my exercise for several days. By the weekend I could go back up to my normal level without any problem. I also seemed to be able to push past the tiredness and keep going at the gym even though it has been tough. With that behind me I am anxiously awaiting the next big event in my life.

I mentioned I got blood tests run. They all came back where they are expected to be at this point in time. In fact, Mary printed out a listing that showed the test results for the past ten cycles of testing. That enabled her to show Deborah and me the trends and it is amazing to see all that. It means my bone marrow and immune system is functioning like it was created to function. The chemo can take care of business, but I am very blessed that God intends for me to stick around a while longer and my body is rebuilding itself after that battle.

The next phase of my follow-up care is getting closer. First, that breathing treatment last week is the last one. Second, when I finish the Acyclovir I have on hand around the end of this month I am finished with it. But the really big event is my new PET and CT Scans on the followed by the appointment to get all the results. This is my six-month series which will show the consistency of my remission. I have nearly three weeks to go before this is all completed.

It was real exciting for me last week as I left the cancer center to stop in and talk to a gentleman at Rainy Day Books at The Fairway Shops (www.rainydaybooks.com). After a short conversation this man agreed to order in a few copies of Once Was Not Enough (ISBN: 978-1-60247-628-8) to have them on hand in his store. I explained that several of the nurses at KUMED and the Cancer Center had mentioned an interest in buying a copy locally. There has also been some interest by some people I know at a couple of churches in the area. Now, I hope after this vote of confidence, I can get the word out to people in the local area and that they will go to the store and purchase the book. (Please call and make sure there is a copy in stock before driving to the store.) This was pretty exciting for Deborah and me!

In the near future I plan to get a Web site in place to help spread the word that people can and do survive cancer and its treatments. I also plan to get a new Blog up and running to keep in touch with people that have an interest in my projects. The big plan is to work on a new book about the bone marrow transplant process once I get my energy back. I hope I can encourage a lot of people with my efforts.

I am very excited to report that Lindsey is doing well (she a note to me here a few days ago). And the latest report is that Emily is getting outside for walks now, and nearing her 100 day mark. God has been answering our prayers. Please continue to keep all the BMT folks in your prayers (One of our friends just started the journey last week). Thank you for your prayers for all of us!

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  1. July 14, 2008 — Seeing friends was great

The past week has been wonderful. I look forward to seeing the updates from friends I have met that are in the same shoes I am in. And I always think of Lindsey and Emily when I think my day is tough. It fuels my fire within – the thing I call hope.

Tonight I read an update about Charlie and Glenda (CarePage: CharlesGieseler) who are right in the middle of day zero and engraftment. The battle within Charlie’s body rages but I told them to look beyond the battle to the victory. Please keep them in your prayers and visit their CarePage and drop them an encouraging note if you are so inclined (Just mention my name). My evening was wonderful with Deborah fixing us a burger at home. Then she let me check on my friends.

Emily had her mother post an update telling us she is doing well after getting her bone marrow aspiration test run. It is a tough test and she is resting.

And I got to see a new photograph of Lindsey with her latest update. She got to take a trip with her mother and really enjoyed it. Lindsey was so proud to report she is finally gaining weight. What a beautiful young woman.

I got to visit shortly with one of my swimming buddies (Dennis) and he was so encouraging. One day in the near future I hope to jump back into the pool and swim a lap or two with him. Now for the more exciting news: Tomorrow is my full six-month birthday. Yes, on January 15 I was given my stem cells so that means I have a big birthday to celebrate. Then, this Friday morning, I will have a new PET and CT scan. Results from that and new blood tests will follow shortly behind that. I am also working somewhat a regular schedule getting some things done so I feel blessed all around.

I have been telling you about my outings to my baby brother’s house (Dennis) to help him with his deck project. He says I have really been a help with the few minutes here and there I could offer. But that project is completed and it looks fantastic. I guess that is a good thing because it’s starting to heat up around this part of the country. And I can’t do heat.

Please remember your prayers and notes of encouragement are priceless. I want you to know how much they mean to Deborah and me. Thank you so much. We visited our church a few weeks ago and Deborah’s parent’s church this weekend. Being around the people makes me a little nervous but I have enjoyed seeing people and praising God for the opportunity.

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