After so many ups and downs, one would think that nothing could surprise me any more. Nonetheless, I never fail to be surprised at what comes next – and this month was no exception. While January was a rough month, with lots of uncertainty and a ton of anxiety for us, this month started out rough but the tables have turned. It’s been magnificent!
Let me back up a bit, to the end of January. Jack had developed a painful egg-sized pressure wound on his back at the beginning of the year. A few weeks ago, a visit with the pain doctor and a wound care nurse at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center provided us with some treatment options, but the wound still festered. As the month progressed, Jack’s chemo began to drive his blood counts down, further limiting his ability to fend off the infection. The oncologist finally prescribed antibiotics to prevent the wound from getting worse, and guess what? It finally started healing! It may not sound like much – but if you had seen it, you would understand that this is truly one less thing for me to worry about!
Bounce forward two or three weeks. Jack has weekly tests and appointments, but last week was the start of the “big test” week – the one that pegs my anxiety level off-scale high until we get Jack’s test results report that tells us if his chemo is working or not. On Wednesday, we drove down to MD Anderson Cancer Center at 8 in the morning. We didn’t know at the time that we would be there for 15 hours straight, but we are always prepared with reading, handwork, iPads, and whatever else is necessary to occupy us. By 11:00 a.m., we had been told that…<giant drum roll, please!>… Jack’s cancer markers fell this month. We were ecstatic! Halleluiah! Don’t jump to any conclusions about cures, etc.; this just means that the steroids and chemo are currently suppressing the growth of his cancer. Hey – we’ll take any “win” that we can and with this disease; for us, the news doesn’t get better than this!
The down-side of the good news is that Jack’s chemo also drives down his immunity, so the rest of the day was spent testing, testing, testing. Poor Jack was one giant pincushion. A bone-strengthening treatment had to be canceled because Jack’s protein counts were too high, and eventually, his oncologist ordered a blood transfusion. We had a two hour break in the afternoon, between appointments, and we took advantage of it by having a “date” at the restaurant in the cancer hotel across the street – the food and service there is top-notch and we were ready to celebrate. We were more relaxed that afternoon than we have been in over a year!
We finally got home at 11 pm that night… what a long day… but one whose news I wouldn’t mind hearing over and over.
We thank all of you for your continued prayers, support, and friendship. You cannot imagine how much comfort you provide to us! Our next report will again follow the “big test” week in late March. We’ll let you know how Jack’s doing then – and I hope it is another magnificent month!
With much love,
Sue and Jack
PS. I forgot to mention - Jack's stem cell oncologist cleared him all restrictions regarding visitors, food, driving, wearing a mask, and even having an occasional glass of wine. Yay!
It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !