Pins and Needles

We have been on pins and needles for over a week. Allow me to explain.

Nine days ago, I was in Houston’s MD Anderson for a long day of doctor’s visits and tests (blood tests, a bone marrow biopsy, and a CT scan). Since I did not have appointments later in the week, Melanie and I went home the next day with promises from my medical team to let us know the results. If we had a Friday appointment, we would have had my test results.

I really didn’t expect a phone call or email on Friday; I really figured Monday – Tuesday at the latest. When Wednesday rolled around with no response, I began to make inquiries. Our anxiety was increased when I found an appointment with the transplant doctor for one month rather than the three month we had agreed upon. What would you think? Bad news? It gnawed at our peace that this might be true. So Wednesday came and went with no response to my queries. Finally on Thursday, I received a phone call stating that my CT scans were “OK.” I asked about the bone marrow test. “I’ll have to get back to you with that. I don’t have orders to call you on that one. I asked for an email with the results. It came later in the day.

I quickly printed the email and the results of the previous tests and began my unprofessional analysis. It looked like there was some improvement in the bone marrow. The CT scan showed minimal improvement in all but the abdominal nodes. This one was noted as improved from 4.6 to 3.6 cm. OK. It looked like some improvement but not much. I did a follow-up email stating confirmation of my interpretation. I was promised that either the PA or doctor would call.

Of course that did not happen on Thursday. We waited another day. This evening (Friday) Dr. Kadia called. He explained that the nodes that showed little or no improvement were down to normal size and would not change. They were noted in the results because they were referenced in the previous scans. (Whew! That was a relief.) The large mass near the aorta (abdominal) demonstrated continued reduction. It started as a 10.3 cm mass, so that is great news.

The bone marrow results, per Dr. Kadia, showed a marked improvement with many of the numbers returning to “normal for a person of my age.” The number of CLL cells had decreased though not to zero. Again, a marginal improvement but headed in the right direction.

If I were writing this as a Facebook post, I would simply say “The numbers are continuing to improve,” and let it rest at that. However, I wanted you all to see how this all came to pass. I trust my medical team, but sometimes things fall between the cracks. That’s what happened with this batch of results. Out of sight, out of mind.

Many of you are praying for us. Thank you. It is your prayers that kept us calm and collected through a time that could have been far more stressful. I have stressed in my MD Anderson blog posts the importance of a support team. YOU are an important part of our team. “Thank you” is not enough, but it is all we have to offer. All I can add is that your rewards are being stored in heaven.

Ray Boltz recorded a song with the following words. They apply to you, my friends. To read all the words, follow the link at the end of this post.

I dreamed I went to heaven
And you were there with me
We walked upon the streets of gold
Beside the crystal sea
We heard these angels singing
Then someone called your name
You turned and saw this young man
And he was smiling as he came
And he said friend you may not know me now
And then he said, but wait
You used to teach my Sunday School
When I was only eight
And every week you would say a prayer
Before the class would start
And one day when you said that prayer
I asked Jesus in my heart

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave

Read more:
LetsSingIt – Your favorite Music Community

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