Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I went for my chemotherapy today and had some encouraging numbers. When preparing for treatments the nurses look at lab results that aren't as detailed as when I see the doctor so this is not comprehensive. First of all my blood levels were so high that it has been decided that I no longer need to receive one of the shots. Because my kidneys are not functioning correctly, they are not producing the hormone that tells my bone marrow to produce more blood. Hence one of my shots was simply providing my body with that hormone. Well the numbers were high enough that I no longer need that shot. And speaking of kidneys, I had the biggest change in my kidney readings to date. In the past my kidney numbers were decreasing about a tenth (0.1) of a point a week. This week they decreased one half (0.5) of a point in a week. That is a drop to the magnitude of 5 times the previous rate. In fact if my kidneys continue at this accelerated rate my kidneys would be functionally normally in 2 weeks. There are more numbers to look at when I have my monthly consultation with my doctor but I'm liking what I'm seeing today. Thank God for His work and thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

No new meds

I thought I would update you on my "Catch 22" from the last blog. I haven't received any communication from the medical professionals so I assume no news is good news and I don't have to add another med to my present arsenal.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mixed Bag

Today was my monthly checkup with my oncologist. Again most of the numbers are moving in the right direction. Another repeated theme is that the numbers are not going down fast enough. We didn't go into a lot of details today so I don't have specific numbers. A new development is that my calcium level has gone up. This is a complication because it interferes with the recovery of my kidneys. My kidney number did not fall this month but maintained. It needs to continue to fall as well. My doctor is considering giving me a drug that will take care of the calcium. The problem is that unless the kidney numbers are lower, this drug can have a detrimental effect on the kidneys. Let's see if you have been following this. My calcium level has risen. This has interfered with the recovery of my kidneys. A drug can lower the calcium level. This drug can have a detrimental effect on the kidneys when they are not functioning correctly. My kidneys are not functionally correctly. Anyone ever  here of the phrase "Catch 22"? It was quite an interesting conversation between the doctor and the nurse. I believe the plan is to watch the calcium level for now and, if need be, administer the drug at a potency that will effect the calcium level but not the kidneys. Otherwise, I continue to maintain my duties and activities in a relatively normal way. Please pray that on my journey to healing that I won't have to put another caustic chemical into my body and that Velda and I would have wisdom for the myriad of decisions that we face.

Spiritually. I am experiencing the abundant life in Christ as much now and in some respects greater than before the myeloma. God is faithful.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I have called.

In response to encouragements to call my doctor, I just called him. He said that since I haven't experienced anything since Monday, we will wait and see but to let him know if I have another episode.

Rough Week

I got up on Monday and started to prepare to go to school. While in the shower my nose started bleeding.  No big deal. Soon after I was hit by a wave of dizziness and shortness of breath. I dropped to me knees to keep from falling. When it passed over I assumed it was just a one-time episode and proceeded to continue getting ready for school. While drying myself after the shower I had a second episode and dropped to my knees again. When it subsided I pressed on to get to school. While getting dressed I experienced a third episode and decided not to go to school. There were no more episodes and I felt fairly normal by midday. While yawning and stretching that morning, I felt a rib on my left side pop out and back in. This left me with a sore left side that felt like a muscle pull. As the week progressed, a couple of places on the middle of my chest felt like pulled muscles as well. By the end of the week a spot on the right side of my rib cage felt like it had a pulled muscle a well. To go along with all this was a feeling of "creakiness" in my hips and lower back. It was just a soreness similar to the day after a workout. None of these were debilitating but were multiple sources of irritation. This was the week of Parent/Teacher conferences. Therefore I, thankfully, was relatively inactive Thursday and Friday. I will say that sometime late this week one of my daughters asked me why I was walking differently. I'm blogging while my family is at church. I don't miss church very often but a restful and  uneventful morning was quite appealing. I was still able to talk to God this morning and hope to meet with my brothers and sisters in Christ next week.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What's Up Doc?

This week I met with my nephrologist (kidney doctor). I had not met with him since Thanksgiving. He also was pleased with my latest numbers. He spoke of a procedure that has been successful in returning kidneys to normal function if they fail to by themselves. I found that comforting to know. He also said because of the rarity of myeloma, there is not a large body of data to refer to when treating it. Information is constantly being added from the various cases. Daily I continue to feel fairly normal. My doctor doesn't even ask how I'm doing anymore. God was able to get me through our musical Annie without missing a beat. The students didn't miss a beat either and put on a great performance.

Spiritual. When this all started my daily readings were in the book of Kings. One of the main points of this section of scripture is that God rewards obedience and punishes disobedience. I spent a few times confessing to God things that came to mind. My theme verse was "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24) Now my daily readings are in the book of Job. (God's timing is really interesting). Now I am reading Job with much more depth and insight. I am nowhere near Job's situation but can relate a little bit. Also it gave me balance from Kings in that not all circumstances can be traced to our level of obedience with God. Since before the myeloma I have been attempting to memorize John 14-17 so that I can quote it in one sitting. This has been a great theme to have flowing through my mind and spirit. John 14:1 has been especially relevant. "Let not your heart he troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me." Verse 27 of the same chapter is similar. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the  world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your  heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." God has given me the method (faith) and the tool (peace) needed to keep my heart untroubled and unafraid. Thanks be to God that this is what I have been experiencing. Please pray for wisdom as we are continually faced with both small and monumental decisions. Thank you.