The past week and a half has given us some time to relax a bit – although that has not been without underlying problems. Jack’s back surgery on March 11 involved pumping cement into six of his Swiss cheese vertebrae and was supposed to alleviate much of his remaining back and chest pain. Unfortunately, the surgery failed to deliver as promised; it has been a huge disappointment, but we are not without hope that time may yet bring some measure of relief. At the very least, Jack's vertebrae are now less prone to collapse. And while the back pain did not disappear, new pain was added: during his surgery, in moving him from gurney to bed, one or more of his ribs were broken. As a result, Jack’s pain level is back to where it was at the beginning of the year: in driving him to his doctor appointments last week, every little bump in the road brought grimaces of acute pain. Consequently, all of his physical therapy has been scrapped until he can handle more movement. I just cannot express how truly sad we have been.
Nonetheless, we were a little excited – and anxious – when we awoke on Friday to find that Jack's online calendar at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center was suddenly filled with new tests, biopsies, bone surveys, pulmonary studies, echocardiograms, etc. for Jack. Normally, adding all these appointments would not be great news, but they are all preparatory to Jack’s stem cell transplant in April. I will be looking for friends to accompany us downtown to these new appointments, so those of you who want to help can send us an email regarding your availability; having someone accompany us makes it much easier to manage wheelchairs, laptops, driving, etc.; we are both very appreciative of those who have been our co-pilots in the past.
Speaking of appreciation, we give thanks, once again, to so many friends who have helped us in the past couple of weeks: to Mickey G and Mark S for transporting Jack down to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center while I went to my own doctor appointment; to Jan D and husband Dick from Huntsville, who treated us to a wonderful surprise: a box packed with dozens of Omaha steak dinners and more; to those of you who have taken the time to send a cheery greeting card (Marsha F, Dick and LeeAnn M, Priscilla E, and more!) or email or make a guestbook entry; to Greg and Joan H who drove all the way over from Kerrville for an afternoon and evening of conversation, and a home-cooked breakfast before they drove back home; and to the many, many warriors who continue to stagger us with your prayers for healing. There are never enough superlatives to describe our sincere gratitude.
With much love to everyone –
Sue and Jack