Saturday, June 23, 2007

22 Jun 2007

Hello To All,

Well, today at clinic was the real deal, where the rubber meets the road. I found out several things which I will share with you:

  • First, the Leukemia is back and growing daily!
  • Second, my platelets were low again, after a transfusion on Tuesday and I needed more.
  • Third, there are no more chemo therapy treatments available to me to fight this.
  • Fourth, my doctor presented me with two choices, yes, you heard me right, I got to make a choice (continue to read this only if you want to see the hand of God working in my life - not to mention the result of massive prayers!!!)
  • My first choice was to do nothing and get my affairs in order.
  • My second choice was to take part in a new study offered to a select few.

As you might expect, I am not ready to give up on this life just yet, so I chose to participate in the study. It is available to only 44 individuals nation wide and only to those where all conventional treatments for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) has failed. I am to take a medicine, AT HOME, called Suberoylanilide Hydroxamic Acid (SAHA), two capsules three times daily. Yes, they do have potential side effects such as lowered blood counts, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, changes in how things taste, and abdominal pain. However, it is my last medical chance at conquering this AML and best of all, I will take the medicine AT HOME!!!!

To date, they have had mixed results from this study. Some of the participants received no benefit what so ever, some saw marginal success and they said that one patient's cancer went into remission. The drug is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for general use, only available for this research study. I am allowed to drop out of this study at any time if it becomes to difficult.

Also, due to my platelets not holding up as long, I will once again have to go to Madison twice a week for transfusions.

I don't know what will come from my participation, but I stand fast in my faith and the healing powers of God!!!

I would ask all of you faithful prayer warriors, in the coming week(s), to pray:

  • Pray that this medicine sends my cancer into remission permanently.
  • Pray that if the medicine isn't Gods answer, then that He would heal me through devine means.
  • Pray that no matter how this turns out I will continue to seek his will and not my own.
  • Praise for the extended time I have with my family AT HOME.
  • Praise for the strength of the Doctors and nurses who continue to treat me with compassion.
  • Praise for the continued support from our friends and family at Church, Gene's work, Gene's National Guard Unit and our neighbors.
    Pray that I will be able to withstand what ever discomfort this new medicine may bring.
  • Pray that I don't waste time complaining and focus on living life to it's fullest giving God all of the glory and honor.

I rejoice in the cards, e-mails, phone calls and visits I have received. They have provided me with many blessings and internal strength to continue to fight.

Please take some time during this next week to stop and pray for me and my family just 5 minutes. I believe as I hope and pray you all do that there is power in prayer and that God hears each and everyone.

Thank you all for your continued support and love over these difficult times.

Love in Christ


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

20 Jun 2007

To All,

Praise God I have now been home with my family for a full 40 days with out being hospitalized. The time with them has been glorious.

As most of you know, when I did come home, one of the requirements was for Gene to hire a Certified Nursing Assistant. Well, as of Monday, 18 June, I no longer required full time adult supervision / support during the day. This is due to the fact that my strength has slowly, but steadily improving. I even have a hint of muscle in my calf.

Thank you for all your prayers and support in countless ways. I firmly believe that God is present in all of this and always has been.

Well, on Tuesday, 19 June, I went to clinic and as expected I needed platelets and in addition, two units of whole red blood. Unfortunately, we came across some disturbing lab results. The lab work indicated that the cancer is back. In order for them to confirm or deny this I had to go back to clinic on Wednesday for a wonderful "Bone Marrow Biopsy".

The lab / blood work today was again an even stronger support, that the cancer is coming back. The White blood cell type, called "Blasts" that is an indicator of the cancer, was 248 on Tuesday and today was over 1,000 = normal is "0" - zero.

Also, on Tuesday the doctor said that they were fairly certain that the cancer was back and to be totally frank, they aren't sure they have anything left in their bag of tricks to help me fight this.

We have just told Emily and will be telling Michael this weekend, he is away at camp this week (I sure hope he is having fun).

Please believe me when I say that I still believe in Gods healing power and saving grace. I don't know what he has planned for me or my family. I pray that he will heal me in full, as I really don't like the idea of leaving my children...I still have so much to teach them. That being said, I also believe strongly in the devine will of God. As such, I ask you to pray now:
  • That I be healed through the power of God, if it be his will.
  • That no matter the out come, my children continue to love and serve the Lord.
  • Finally that all Glory and Honor go to the Lord God Almighty.

Love In Christ


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

05 June 2007

Hello To All;

To all of you who have been praying for me so faithfully, read and rejoice.

  • I have now been home 25 days - PRAISE GOD!!!!
  • The Doctor in Minneapolis was so surprised to see me and to see how well I was that he was in awe. He said he didn't expect to see me, and when he realized I was here, before he saw me, he expected to see me in a wheel chair. He just gave me a big hug and said that it is his opinion that I am on my way up and out. He said that unless the clinic at Madison gave him reason to see me again he didn't see any reason I needed to come back to Minneapolis.
  • The doctors in Madison have taken me off of insulin shots and reduced my daily steroid dosage.
  • Although my body is still not producing it's own platelets, it has stopped using them up so fast. As a result, I now only have to go to clinic in Madison once a week.
  • Each day I am growing stronger, at least twice sometimes three times a week, I am able to walk 1.5 miles (with Gene by my side of course).
    For the first time in several months, I was able to sit through both Sunday School and Church - I was very tired but I did it!

All of the things above are answers to your prayers and I thank you so much. As the doctor in Minneapolis said, I have gone through some very hard times and my body is recovering very slowly, but it is recovering.

At present, we still have a very good Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) with me daily, while Gene is at work. She is wonderful and I am very thankful to have her assisting me. A physical therapist comes to our home twice a week to check on my progress and sometimes gives me new exercises.

My doctor in Madison told me I needed to get a stationary bike to exercise on. However, she said the only kind she wants me to use right now is a recumbent style stationary exercise bike. That is an exercise bike with a seat like a chair, I am still very weak when it comes to balance and she is afraid I would fall off of a normal bike seat.

For our Church Family, we are wondering if any of you have a recumbent stationary exercise bike that you would be willing to loan us for a couple of months. If you do, please contact Gene on his cell phone (608) 215-3651. If we haven't heard from anyone by the end of this week, we will by one, we found one at Sears for $199.

Please continue to pray, as I am not out of the woods yet. I know all of the good news, but I also remember that I was at this point May 2006. Please pray for the following:

  • Praise God for the healing that has and is occurring in my body.
  • Praise God for the generous hearts and hands of all of you who continue to lift me and my family up in prayer.
  • Pray that my body finally starts to make it's own cells and when that happens I will still be CANCER FREE!
  • Pray that I will regain my strength soon so that I no longer need to have a CNA present.
  • Pray that the pain and trouble I am having with my left hand / wrist will heal soon.
  • Praise God for the fact that my family and I are working to get back to a normal life.

One again I just want to thank all of you who are helping us in prayer, work around the house, meals, cards and letters, e-mails of encouragement, phone calls and visits. Your dedication and loving, serving hearts along with Gods grace are what has made this tough ordeal bearable.

Love in Christ