Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 18

I am afraid Doc had another bad day today. Last night after I left he got up to use the restroom and passed out again. He wasn't seriously hurt, but the nurses have grounded him to the bed for now. His temperature is still up. It is running around 103. His counts were down again today so he needed to get a transfusion of platelets and blood today. His neutraphils did go up some today, but it will still be awhile until his white blood count goes up enough for him to start feeling better. He did have one nice thing today. Mark Sewell from church stopped by to see him before he went to sleep from the benadryl. (They have to give Doc benadryl before they give him platelets, because he has had a reaction to the platelets.) Doc had a nice visit with Mark. Mark and I had to do most of the talking since Doc is still having a lot of trouble speaking. He did say his mouth felt a little better today. Doc was able to eat a little pudding and applesauce this evening. We pray that he will be able to eat more normally again soon. We want to thank you for the continued cards and prayers. All of you have been a blessing to us.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chemo round 3 Day 17

This is Teresa tonight. Doc is still feeling very poorly. His temperature has been up and down today. He did feel up to one walk today, but no more. He was able to sleep some today, but his throat and mouth is still really sore. For the first time last night his mouth hurt enough inside that he had to take pain medicine. He hadn't had to take any before this, but he said it felt like someone had set his mouth on fire. It didn't get this bad even the first time when he was really sick. His counts went lower again today so I know he is disappointed with that. He thought he had already reached the bottom and they were starting to come back up. I guess the Lord wasn't ready for him to be leaving this part of the vacation so soon.

He gave me a bit of a scare tonight when he started choking. He was only eating jell-o, but he starting choking and couldn't catch his breath. I had to call the nurse in and we ended up with a room full like the time he passed out. I guess it is much better to have too much response then not enough. Please keep him in your prayers. We are praying for a better day tomorrow.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 16

This is Kim (Dr. Fox's daughter) writing the blog tonight.

My dad is having a pretty rough day today. His fever is 103.3, which is almost the highest it's been in any of his hospital stays. His platelet count is very low, but they can't give him any more platelets because that would cause his fever to go even higher. His hemoglobin and neutrophils are also down today. His throat is still sore and he is having a hard time talking and swallowing. Most of today he was asleep, so at least he was able to rest some. He was able to eat breakfast before the fever got very high, but he wasn't up to lunch or dinner. Dr. Lanzotti decided to give him fluids tonight to help. He is also getting a lot of antibiotics. He was able to get one walk in today, but after the walk he started getting very weak and dizzy, so Mom grounded him for awhile. She is worried about him passing out again. She also had a very tough time leaving tonight knowing that Dad wasn't feeling very well, but wanting to avoid the worst weather for that long drive home. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 15

Today has been a little bit of a rough day. Saturday and Sunday night I was a little tired and had a decreased appetite, especially last night. My temperature also went up to 100.6 last night and I was started on antibiotics. My temperature was down to 99 this morning but by this afternoon it was up to 101.5 again. When I run those fevers I am more tired and more weak. I also have a sore throat again and am having trouble speaking and swallowing again like the last time I had chemo.

I have still been able to eat but it takes longer since my throat is so sore. I really don't feel like eating snacks like I did last week, either. I am still walking but I am more tired when I finish.

My labs today were a little bit lower. My hemoglobin has not changed at 10.4. My platelet count dropped a little bit to 33,000 today from 50,000 yesterday. My white count is still 0.2. I have just 12 neutrophils today and that is certainly part of why I have the fever.

Teresa and I played a couple of games of Ticket to Ride today and surprisingly I won both of them. While we were playing we were surprised as our Pastor and his wife visited with us for a few minutes. It was very nice of them to do that and she has been feeling a little weak herself. They were also here to see another member of our congregation who is on this floor. She is not doing very well. We would appreciate it if you could also pray for her and her family that God would have his will in her life and give her family comfort.

Michael spent some time with the youth group at church last night and enjoyed himself. We were glad to hear that.

I just have to wait for God to decide about my counts and my fever. We hope to hear more about the transplant donor at the end of the week. We continue to covet your prayers. It is so helpful when you are not feeling good to know that so many people still care. May God continue to bless us all.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 14

Today has been another quiet day. I have had no new problems except a slight sore throat. My temperature has been around 99. My hemoglobin actually went up a little bit today. My platelet count dropped slightly from 67,000 to 50,000. My white count remains 0.2 and I have about 10 neutrophils.

Teresa and I went through the mail and watched some TV shows we had missed when they were live. I think we were both a little tired today.

We just have to wait for my bone marrow to recover from the chemotherapy. God is the only one who has a timetable for that.

We appreciate your prayers and thoughts for me and my family. God has blessed us and I know He will bless you also.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 13

Today has been a quiet day. I have had no problems today. No further nosebleeds, no swallowing problems, no fever and no sore throat (so far). "Praise the Lord"!! He is continuing to answer our prayers. I continue to walk well and eat well. My hemoglobin dropped slightly from 10.7 to 9.9. My platelet count has improved from 25,000 to 67,000 after the transfusion. My white count remains low at 0.2 and today there are no neutrophils at all. Monocytes (another kind of white cell) have increased and that is usually a sign that the counts are going to start to go up. Dr. Gupta was covering for Dr. Lanzotti and he thinks I might be able to go home before the end of next week. I hope he is right.

Michael and Teresa came up today and we played a couple of games. They both won one (I did not win any) and we all had a good time. Teresa is baby sitting for Ian (my grandson) tonight. I wish I could have been there but if I was we could not have done it anyway due to my low counts.

Dr. Gupta gave me some information on the donor screening. He said that ideally we would get someone who is young, has never been exposed to CMV(a viral infection) and who is probably male. Young stem cells seem to do better and have less complications. If the donor has never been exposed to CMV and if I was not exposed to it, that also does better. If I have been exposed before it is not a big issue. I have been tested in St. Louis but I do not know the results. Females who have been pregnant before pick up some antigens that are not easily detected by the blood tests. If there are more of these antigens the success rate is lower and the complication rate is higher. It is also helpful if the donor is the same blood type but that is not essential. I hope to find out some further information this coming week.

I hope all of you have a good weekend. I continue to appreciate your prayers. May God bless you.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 12

Today we hit a speed bump in the road to recovery. Last night I had some itching on my legs and this morning I had a little bit of a rash near my knees. Then I began bleeding from my nose. It was not a lot but took about an hour to an hour and a half to stop. My platelet count was down to 25,000 so I got a platelet transfusion. I have had a rash most of the time when I get platelets without premedication so this admission I have been getting 50 mg of Benadryl IV before the platelets.(That is the same as two over the counter tablets.) It works faster IV than by mouth. As you know, it can cause you to be sleepy and when I get it, I get a little light headed and sleepy. Today I slept about half the time my wife was here due to the medicine. I did not get any new rashes and my leg rash stayed under control so I guess the medicine worked.

My hemoglobin is staying steady and my white count dropped also, to .2 today with 26 neutrophils. We just have to wait for it to return to normal. I have done well otherwise. I am able to eat and walk without any problems (except when I was too tired to eat or walk from the Benadryl). I have not had a significant fever yet, although it was up to 99.3 this evening. Dr. Lanzotti is having it checked every two hours while I am awake tonight. I have not had any trouble with my mouth or swallowing yet. If it occurs the same time as my last round of chemo, I will have trouble by mid to end of next week. We just have to wait and see.

When I did finally wake up today, Teresa and I played Ticket to Ride again. This time I won which is unusual. I felt bad that I slept so much while she was here but she is very understanding.

I have not heard anything else from St. Louis. I expect to get an update next week to see if I have a matched donor or not. God has provided everything up to this point, so I am not worried. He will do what He thinks is best for me.

I continue to receive get well cards, get well wishes and many of you still ask about me. I really appreciate that. It has certainly kept my spirits up and that has been shown to help a person get over an injury or illness quicker. Once again, I wish you God's blessings and a great weekend.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 11

Today has been a quiet day. Teresa was up today and we went through the mail and discussed how the kids were doing. Then we played a couple of board games of Ticket to Ride. She whipped me good but we had fun.

I have been able to eat and walk today and have not noticed any side effects of the chemo except to be a little tired. My hemoglobin is stable at 10.4. My platelet count doubled after the transfusion to 40,000 and I have not had any more bleeding from the nose. My white count is down to 0.3 and I only have about 24 neutrophils. Hopefully this is getting near or is at the bottom and will begin to improve. Once my neutrophil count gets back up to 500 I should be able to go home as long as I do not have a fever.

News flash!!! Teresa just called me from home and there is a message on the answering machine from St. Louis that says my transplant has been approved by the insurance company! We still do not have a specific donor or date but that is certainly good news. Once again, God shows how good He is! Now we just need to be sure we have a suitable donor.

Hopefully, I will be able to go home in the next 7-10 days or sooner and we will have a donor by then. My next St. Louis appointment is February 13 and we hope to finalize all the details by then and have the transplant between then and the end of the month.

I thank you all again for your prayers and good wishes. It certainly makes a difference. I would hate to be going through this without God and my family and friends. May He bless you like He blesses me and my family!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 10

This has been a good day. Nothing special has happened but there have been no problems. I can still eat and walk and have no complaints except a small amount of blood when I blew my nose this morning. That resulted in my getting a platelet transfusion today due to a drop to 20,000. My hemoglobin is stable. My white count has dropped and I have only 100 or so neutrophils. I now have to wear a mask when I am out walking.

No other news today. I have not heard back from St. Louis and Dr. Lanzotti has not been in yet but I do not think he will have anything special to say. I expect he will just watch my counts and transfuse as needed. I do not have any fever yet and that is a good thing.

I hope you all have a good day and may God bless you as he has blessed me. I also want to thank those of you again that are sending me the cards, and keeping me in your prayers.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 9

Today has been a fairly quiet day. I was not able to go home. When I spoke to Dr. Lanzotti last night, he said he wanted me to stay in the hospital till my counts got back to normal even if I had no fever. My plan to go home and have the blood counts checked as an outpatient was not going to happen. I did get my room switched today to one of the bigger rooms and I am able to spread out and put up my family photos. That has helped.

I was surprised today as I did not need to get a transfusion. My hemoglobin is down only a little to 10.9. My platelet count only dropped from 31,000 to 29,000 so they will watch it at least another day. My white count was 1.2 yesterday and dropped to 0.7 today. I still have just over 500 neutrophils as well. I have not had any fevers or problems eating or swallowing yet but that took a while last time as well. For now, I am just eating, walking and trying to keep my spirits up.

A friend of mine called us yesterday to let us know his wife had a massive stroke and was on life support. She is about my age or a little younger, I think. He did not think it looked good but it was too soon to tell. She is about the same today. I feel sorry for him as he has had a bad year or two and this did not help. We are keeping them in our prayers. They too have five children and I think that was one of the things that brought us closer over the years. They also introduced us to some of our closes friends that have become adoptive grandparents to our children.

Teresa was up here today with me but she is awfully worn out. Her back was bothering her yesterday and I know she did not feel well today either. She went home early today to try and get the grocery shopping done and hopefully a little more rest. I feel bad that I am making it hard on her but I have no control over it. I wish I could do more for her. Hopefully, she will get a good night's sleep tonight and feel better tomorrow.

When I had my last round of chemotherapy it was 22 days in the hospital from start of treatment to going home and I went home a little early due to Christmas. This is only day 8 so I expect to be here another 2-3 weeks. God has a plan and I just need to sit back and enjoy the ride for now.

We have not heard anything else from St. Louis regarding the transplant yet but I did not expect to hear anything till later in the week. If they do not call by Friday, we will probably call them. I hope you all are staying warm and healthy. I pray that God continues to bless you and I thank you for your prayers.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 8

Today has been a little disappointing. I had a great weekend at home with my family. We had a good time and played some board games. I had to check my temperature every 4 hours at home and did not have any fevers over the weekend. Today I had to see Dr. Lanzotti and have some lab work. My temperature at home was normal this morning. When I got to Dr. Lanzotti's office they took my temperature and it was 99.7. My white count was down to 1.2. My neutrophils were down to just over 1000. My hemoglobin was still 12.2. My platelet count was down to 31,000. Dr. Lanzotti felt I should be readmitted because of my temperature. He felt that I would need a platelet transfusion by tomorrow anyway. After admission to the hospital, they have taken my temperature every hour and it remains normal. By being admitted today I did not get a chance to say good bye to Daniel who is returning to school this afternoon. If I did not have the fever, I could have gone home and just come back as an outpatient for the transfusion tomorrow. I think the temperature at his office was an error.

When I was in last week, we had a nice big room. The room I am in now is small and does not have a place for me to put up my family pictures. I am still able to eat and walk and feel fine otherwise.

If my temperature remains normal, I plan to ask Dr. Lanzotti if I can just get my transfusion tonight and go home tomorrow. I can get my blood work checked in Jacksonville and spend time at home if all goes well.

God has a plan for me and he evidently wants me in the hospital today. I hope his plan is for me to go home soon! Thanks for all your prayers and kind thoughts.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 6

This is a good day! I am writing this blog from home! I did not have any fever and still felt well. Dr. Lanzotti let me go home today. Praise the Lord!!! Last night Dr. Lanzotti called back after he made rounds and suggested I get transfused with some red cells. I got two units of blood last night so that I will not need to get transfused as soon. My hemoglobin was up to 12.7 today. My white count is still OK. My platelet count dropped from 161,000 yesterday to 106,000 today. That could still be a problem for next week. I go back in to the office on Monday to be seen and recheck my lab work. Hopefully, I will only need outpatient transfusions if anything. I plan to stay indoors and try to stay healthy!

Thank you all for your prayers. I am so happy to be home. God is good!


Friday, January 18, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 5

Today has been a good day. I am not feeling any side effects yet from the chemo. My counts are holding for now. My hemoglobin was 9.7 and my platelet count is 161,000. My white count is 5,200 and my neutrophil count is 4,800. I have been able to continue to walk and eat well. I have actually gained 2 pounds while in the hospital this week. I figured out that each lap I do here at the hospital is about a tenth of a mile so my 20 laps a day is about 2 miles!

Teresa and I played Ticket To Ride again today and she beat me again but I had a good time. She also brought me in a Subway sandwich for lunch and some French onion soup from Panera bread. That was a good change from the hospital food.

Dr. Lanzotti came in this evening and said that I can go home tomorrow morning if my temperature is OK overnight and there are no surprises on my labs. I will need to see him on Monday in the office for blood work and he made me promise that I will not give him any grief if he needs to put me back in for a fever or a transfusion. He thinks I will need a transfusion next week but does not know what day. I can do that as an outpatient, though, if I have no fever. I have to take my temperature every 4 hours while awake at home and come back in if I get a temperature of 100 or more. I will need to stay away from anybody who could get me sick so I guess I will not be going to church on Sunday. My son Daniel is home from school this weekend due to the holiday on Monday and Michael will not have any homework since finals ended today so I hope to get some board games in.

God has certainly blessed me again this admission and I hope it continues next week as well. May he continue to bless you as well. Thanks again for all your prayers, good wishes and encouragement. God has been answering a lot of them.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 4

Today has been another quiet day. I did not get any chemo today. I get my last two doses tomorrow. I am still eating and walking well and my mouth is not sore and I can still swallow OK.

I continue to get cards here and at home, it remains quite a thrill for each one. Many of you have written so many nice things. I have had several poems and very nice stories included in some of the cards. I got one today and while reading it they reminded me that I may not always be a "patient" patient. It is humbling to get so many good wishes and to hear how many lives I have touched over the years. These lives have all touched me as well and I am grateful for all the people I have met and dealt with. Sometimes my kids think I must know or have taken care of someone in every family in the Jacksonville area.

My counts are about the same. I have had a slight drop in my hemoglobin and platelets but not enough to do anything about it. My food was almost completely correct today. It at least tasted good.

Teresa was up here today and we played a board game called Ticket to Ride. It is about trains. We had a good time playing it. Our life is usually so hectic that we rarely get to sit down together and have fun. It was nice to be able to do that today.

Dr. Lanzotti has not been in yet so I do not know if he is still considering letting me go home this weekend if my counts are satisfactory. It would be nice but I am not holding my breath counting on it.

There is not much else to say today. I do want to thank everyone again for the continued prayers. May God continue to bless us all.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 3

Today has been a fairly quiet day. I got a dose of chemo this morning and will get another dose this evening. Then I am off chemo tomorrow and get two doses on Friday again. After that we wait and see how my counts do. My hemoglobin today is 9.8. My platelet count is 208,000 and my white count is 10,700 with 9,309 neutrophils. They have not had much of a change yet.

I get eye drops with steroids to protect against any complications from the chemo. I get two drops to each eye every 6 hours. I am terrible at eye drops so the nurse has to do it for me while I try to hold my lids open with my two hands.

My food came correctly today and only one meal was a little late. I did get a meal brought in from home today, though, so they only had two chances.

We did get some good news from St. Louis today. The fund I applied to is giving me a grant to test 2 of the matches from the registry at no cost to me. Hopefully one of those will match and I will not have to pay for any other donor testing. I do not know how long it takes to check but they told me that I would get more information next week. We still do not have the go ahead from Blue Cross for the transplant but they tell me in St. Louis that they think it will come through.

I did get some good news from Dr. Lanzotti today also. He thinks there is a chance he will let me go home this weekend and stay home until my counts drop. If I only need transfusions, I can do that as an outpatient. If I get a fever, I will have to come back in. He made no promises so we will just have to see how my counts are doing by the weekend. God will be in charge as usual.

May He bless each of you as He is blessing me.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 2

Today has been a good day. I had my 2 doses of chemo yesterday and have not noticed much in the way of side effects yet. I had a little soreness in my mouth this morning but it is better this evening. Last time it was about 2 weeks into my stay before I had much in the way of side effects and I expect this to be much the same. My blood counts were about the same today. I had only a slight drop in my hemoglobin. I get more chemo tomorrow, two more doses, and then the same on Friday.

Today I had an unexpected visitor! A friend of ours from church, Todd Sweatman, is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and he arranged a visit for me today by Ryan O' Malley. He is a rookie pitcher who pitched for the Cubs in the majors in 2006. He had a great start in August and then hurt his arm and was out for the rest of 2006. Last year he did not make it to the majors with all their free agent signings. Those of you who know me, know that I am a big Cubs fan, so it was great to talk to him. We talked about baseball, the Cubs, the steroid and other performance enhancing drugs issues and life in general. He was here over an hour and I got his autograph and a picture that I have here on the blog for you to see!
Ryan O'Malley
We ended with a prayer and it was a great time. Kimberly knew he was coming and brought a baseball and a Sharpie so I could get the autograph. She was here with my grandson, Ian, during the visit. It was a total surprise for me. Teresa knew that Todd was going to try and get me an autograph of a Cubs player but did not know about the visit so she was also surprised.

All of my meals were correct and on time today. I am still eating and walking well. Hopefully this will be an uneventful round of chemotherapy and I will be home in early February. God is good and he sure was good to me today. I hope all of you had a good day today and I wish God's blessings for you tomorrow!


Monday, January 14, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 1

Well I am back in the hospital to get another round of chemo. I will return to daily entries on the blog starting today. I get two doses of chemo today, then on Wednesday and Friday. Then I wait for my counts to return to normal so I can go home. Sounds easy, doesn't it? That is if I don't get an infection or some other problem. Last time it went fairly well and I was here for 22 days and I had to use Christmas to get out early. Realistically it will be close to four weeks probably before I get to go home again. Hopefully, God has it planned for me to get out earlier and have no major setbacks this time as I prepare for the transplant.

As of today , I am eating well and have gained 10 pounds since my discharge. I am walking well and am nearly back to full strength. My stamina is down a little but is returning. My hemoglobin today is 11.1(14-16 is normal). My platelet count is 293,000. That is normal. My white blood count is 7,600 which is also normal. My neutrophil count is about 4000 which is normal too.

I did get both of my meals on time today which is an improvement over last two times I was admitted. They did forget part of my supper, though, and had to bring it later.

I am hoping and praying for another boring stay. I still covet your prayers. May God bless all of you.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Transplant Decision

I had my appointment in St. Louis this week and was able to get more information regarding the transplant decision. As you will recall, I went to the university of Chicago last week for a second opinion. They told me that based on the genetics of my Leukemia that I should have a transplant. They felt that I had a high risk of recurrence without the transplant. I went to St. Louis at Barnes hospital to discuss the option of transplant this week. Here is what I found out.

In order to do a transplant you must have a donor. If you have a living related donor the success rate is the best. If not, there is a national registry of people who are willing to donate. In order to have a good outcome from an unrelated donor, the patient and donor are tested to see if they are compatible. There are ten points that are tested in the screening program. They will not do a transplant if less than nine points match. My bother was tested and he is not a match. This week I was checked against the national registry and found to have three people who are 10 point matches for me and several more that are nine point matches.

I also found out that when a patient is prepared for a bone marrow transplant, there are medications given to increase the chances that the bone marrow will take. There are medications given to everybody that decrease the immunity so that the transplant will take.
There are also medications considered for treatment of the leukemia. If you have a complete remission and good prognostic factors they usually only give you medications to decrease the immunity. If you are in remission but have poor prognostic factors they give you medications to fight the leukemia as well as decrease the immunity. This has more side effects that the first one but not as much as if you are not in remission. If you are not in remission, they give you strong chemotherapy to fight the leukemia as well as medications to decrease your immune system. This causes more side effects and is riskier. In addition to that, the transplant is less likely to take.

In my case they want to give me the middle version. If I take three rounds of chemotherapy and wait to see if the leukemia recurs, I would have to take the stronger treatment with more side effects. If I do the transplant while still in remission, I take the middle form of treatment with less risks. Therefore I have decided to do the transplant as soon as a donor can be found. I will be going back in the hospital in Springfield on Monday to take another round of chemotherapy to keep the leukemia in remission until I can be transplanted. It took 23 days to get over the chemotherapy last time and I think it should take about the same this time. My next appointment is February 13 in St. Louis. Hopefully I will have had my chemotherapy, recovered my counts and returned home before that appointment.

God willing, one of the three donors who are 10 point matches will come through for me. I believe the next step is for the three donors to be asked if they still will be donors. If they are still willing, they must be tested to be sure they are healthy enough to donate. This can take 6-8 weeks or more. If all goes well, I will have the transplant during the last half of February.

When I have the transplant, they expect me to be in the hospital about three weeks. I then need to be near the hospital for the next week. They want me to stay in the area till my follow up one week after discharge. I will be on anti-rejection medications for about three months and then they can be weaned if I am doing well. If all goes well, I will be able to return to work after that. I have to start slow when I go back but I should have no permanent restrictions other than to keep from overdoing it. That may be the hardest part for me.

The other potential problem is that Blue Cross/ Blue Shield has not approved the transplant at this time. I have to do several tests before they will consider approval. I have had to undergo heart and lung testing and numerous blood tests. This week I also underwent a psychosocial evaluation as well. The insurance company also refuses to pay for the donor screening tests. I am told that with three donors this will cost anywhere from $5000 dollars to $30,000 dollars.
I applied to a fund to help defray some of those costs but I will not find out till next week if I am approved or not for the funding. Hopefully, the insurance company will approve proceeding with the transplant this next week as well.

I was lucky enough to be home while my sons were home from college. We had a good time and played many games and spent quality time together. Jon went back to Colorado December 31 and David went back to Law School on Friday. Daniel will be returning to college on Sunday afternoon. Teresa and I will miss them all very much. Michael is still at home and Kimberly and her husband Jeremy are still here in town so we can still spend time with them and our grandson Ian.

I asked God to help me make a decision about the transplant and after these appointments the last two weeks I am comfortable that I should proceed if I can find an appropriate donor. I still need your prayers that this round of chemotherapy will go well and that all goes well in arranging the transplant. I have gotten this far thanks to your prayers and God's will. I will continue to try and trust in His will for the rest of my treatment. May God continue to bless all of you! We are sorry we did not get this post done sooner, but we didn't get the rest of the answers we were waiting on until late yesterday. I am planning to start up a daily post again on Monday. Thank all of you again for your continued prayers.


Friday, January 4, 2008

Chemo Round 2 Day 33

I made it to my appointment in Chicago yesterday. On Wednesday, I was able to have lunch with my niece, my sister-in-law and her 2 grandchildren. We had a nice visit. That evening I was able to have dinner with my mother, my brother and his wife. That was also a nice visit and a good time. Thursday I went to the University of Chicago and met with Dr. Larsen, a known expert on Leukemia. When I was there, I was able to speak with the doctor and one of the fellows. They were very nice and answered most of my questions. Unfortunately, my records from Springfield did not make it there before my appointment so they could not give me an opinion as to whether I should have a transplant or not. They told me they would call when they got a chance to review my records from Springfield.

They called me back tonight. They were able to get my records faxed to them today and review them. After review of the records, they feel strongly that I should have the transplant. They believe the risk of recurrence is too high with chemotherapy alone. They think that I run the risk of being in worse shape for the transplant if I wait too long. Either way, I will need to undergo another round of chemotherapy later this month.

I go back to St. Louis next week. They will have checked the bone marrow registry to see if I have any potential matches by the time I get there. Then we will decide whether to proceed with the transplant or not. If we decide to do the transplant, we need to decide whether to do it in St. Louis or Chicago. St. Louis is closer for follow up and to actually get there but Teresa would have to stay in my room or a hotel. If we have it done in Chicago, it is farther for follow up but Teresa would have relatives she can stay with.

I will have more information after my appointment in St. Louis next Wednesday. I will have more information on the blog by Thursday night.

We could use your prayers for guidance in how to proceed and where. We also need your prayers to be sure we can find a match or else there will be no transplant. God has a plan and we just need to be sure what it is and then follow it.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Chemo Round 2 Day 30

I just wanted to wish everybody a Happy New Year! I will be having my appointment in Chicago on Thursday. Teresa and I are going to have lunch with her sister tomorrow as we travel to Chicago. Then we will have dinner with my brother and my mom. After that we plan to spend the night at my mom's house. We will travel home after the appointment on Thursday evening if all goes well. I expect to have information for the blog on Friday. I just wanted to thank all of you once again for your continued prayers. They mean a lot to me and my family.

May God bless you all in the new year!