Wheeeeee!!!!! Today was a long, exhausting day for Jack and me... but well worth the 11 hours we spent at MD Anderson Cancer Center. But first... let me take you all back in time. This month has been doggone great! Jack started the month off by beginning a new round of chemo and steroids. The chemo severely reduces his immunity and so Jack's oncologist put him on a prophylactic antibiotic. He has been having multiple instances of bronchitis and pneumonia, and he was already developing cough/cold at the beginning of the month. The antibiotic seemed to do the magic it was intended to do... his cough got progressively worse in the month, but never developed into severe bronchitis or pneumonia. That's SUCH a relief to me -- those hospital stays he has had are very tiring and demoralizing. So... after Jack's chemo round (3 weeks on, 1 week off) was complete, he was still doing great!
Jack has had issues with double vision over the past month, and even those seem resolved now... it's been a great month!
On Easter Sunday, the family all gathered for a potluck dinner replete with an easter egg hunt and relaxing on the patio with the kids running around in the yard with water hoses, buckets, mud pies, and games. It was a wonderful day -- the greatest part, though, was that after we finished eating, I had promised to bring a dessert. You have to understand that Jack's stem cell transplant occurred one year ago, and wiped out every bone marrow cell in his body - which removed every iota of his immunity, including all the immunities that came with childhood injections against polio, DPT, etc.... Because of this, in the world of transplants, the date of his stem cell transplant is referred to as his "birthday." And wouldn't you know it... Easter was his one-year birthday! What a great day to celebrate resurrections - and so we all celebrated, to Jack's surprise - Jack's first birthday with a cake that had ONE candle on it! It was great fun!
This week was stress week for me - it's the week when the docs at MD Anderson check Jack's cancer markers along with a ton of other indicators. To our joy, Jack's blood indicators were all as good as could be expected - which is saying a LOT! He is still borderline anemic... and bruises easily... and tires easily... and doesn't sleep well... but he's in the realm of "normal for his condition." Praise God! What was even better though was the fact that his cancer markers (measured by a specific protein) dropped this month! The docs say that he is responding well to his chemo, even though it takes a lot out of him. And I think I've forgotten to mention another impressive fact: Jack has gained THIRTY pounds in the past 3 months. Wow - he is looking darn good. Most of the weight gain is because he is on steroids, which cause weight gain. Today, by the way, Jack got round three of his childhood injections. Both arms got poked and poked to the tune of 5 separate injections - ouch!
This month has been a great one, full of blessings and joy for Jack. You can probably tell that, just by the number of exclamation points in the above paragraphs. When all is said and done, though, we cannot ignore the fact that you all have contributed to our joy -- we believe in the power of prayer, and whatever you are doing, keep it up -- it is working! Beyond that, your friendship and thoughtfulness are amazing - you all ROCK!
Love and hugs -
Sue and Jack
It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !