Tuesday, October 13, 2015
For those of you that have doubted the validity of the title of this blog when referring to me, I now have documented proof. I have just had my latest check up and my oncologist used the word "normal" for a few of my indicators! Not all the indicators are normal but the two that are in the normal range are huge when considering the state of my remission. One cancer indicator is actually deeper in the normal range than the last checkup 4 months ago. My hemoglobin and immune system are the ones that are below what they should be. My hemoglobin is normal for a woman so I should be able to do about the same amount of work as Velda, which means a lot. I'm riding my bike to school (3+ miles one way) and have also started walking 1.25 miles in the evening (~19 minutes and quite sweaty when done). The doctor describes the hemoglobin as "swell" and the immune system as "adequate". The small dose of chemotherapy that I'm taking is the reason these last two haven't reached the normal range. I was hoping to stop the pills after this checkup but things are going so well that it was decided to keep up the present regimen. We are slaying the fatted calf (a figurative way saying "Woo Hoo!") over this news and are grateful to God and to you for your prayers.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
I had a checkup today and the results were as follows. In the words of my doctor "No evidence of multiple myeloma". My remission numbers "remain the same". Everything looks "very good". I have been taking a small dosage of chemotherapy since the bone marrow transplant two years ago. At the last checkup in April he hinted at taking me off the pills completely. Today he decided for me to continue taking them because they prevent the cancer from returning. He is also going to consult the doctors at KU Medical Center as well with respect to the pills so there is a possibility that I might stop them. We are rejoicing in the results and thank God for all His goodness.
Monday, March 16, 2015
I haven't updated for awhile because the news has been the same. Let me put your mind at ease by saying no news has meant good news and that is still the case. Today I saw my oncologist and as far as the cancer he said I looked very good! I asked for a translation and he said that the indicators for cancer continue to show no evidence of activity. I haven't done a bone marrow biopsy because he said that multiple myeloma is patchy and a biopsy could come up clean (all of mine have) but there could be a spots in other places. Conversely a biopsy could show some cancer and it could be the only place. He is using the indicators as his primary source for evaluation. Thank God! On another front, I am taking maintenance chemotherapy to encourage the cancer to stay in remission. The side effect of this chemotherapy is that it depresses my autoimmune system. I have been getting sick more often than usual and the episodes are of greater severity than normal. The plan is to remove me from the chemotherapy completely this summer to see if my body can suppress the cancer on its own before school starts. Another reason to get off the chemotherapy is that it has a chance of causing other types of cancer the longer it is in my body. So here is how you can pray for me. That I get sick less often and that my body will fight the cancer effectively without chemotherapy. Thanks for praying and I will update this summer.
Friday, January 2, 2015
I sleepily open my eyes around eight; the ground is covered with a light coating of snow. It's at least in single digits. This is the perfect Christmas setting! The only problem is, it's technically not Christmas. Since Joshua had to work on Christmas day and the rest of us were in Dallas, we decided to have our family Christmas on December 30th. After I did my devotions, I rushed downstairs to help with the preparation of breakfast. My dad outdid himself this time. The menu was country style eggs, (complete with potatoes, onions, peppers, and bacon) pancakes, and hash browns. Remember the hash browns they come in later. By the time I made it to the kitchen, Michaela and Daddy had already made the pancake batter and were partway through assembling ingredients for the eggs. I don't even want to think about how early they must have gotten up. Nonetheless, I did make it in time to scour the house for mild peppers, and to observe our new vegetable chopper at work. There was a general air of rush in the kitchen because my father had a doctor's appointment at ten 'o clock. We wanted to put everything together and then cook and eat it when he returned. Around 8:45 Joshua texted that he was heading home. When my dad double-checked his appointment time, he realized that it was at elven not ten 'o clock. Now we were in a quandary: should we continue with our original plan or try to squeeze breakfast in before my parents left? We went with the latter plan and the bustle in our already small kitchen increased considerably. I feel I should mention at this point that while most of the aforementioned was occurring, my mother was snuggled up in bed, with coffee provided for her by her husband. Since Daddy was busy with the eggs, he appointed me to make the hash browns, no simple task. Apparently, the trick is to press out as much water from the shredded potatoes as you can. Unfortunately, we did not have the tool the website suggested so we had to make do with pressing them in between paper towels. The hash browns did not go exactly as planned and ended up almost burnt in some places and mushy in others. Yet, my family declared them delicious, and I decided with lots of ketchup they tasted fine. Just as we were sitting down to eat, Joshua walked through the door. We greedily consumed the pancakes as soon as Michaela brought them out. She and I were afraid that we didn't have enough food and considered making another batch of pancakes. However, there were just enough, with no extras. Now came the hard part: waiting. Once my parents left and we finished cleaning the kitchen, we three kids just sat around in the living room. Joshua took a nap, but I just sat there, waiting for my parents to come home so we could open our gifts. An hour and thirty minutes later, my parents came back! We opened our gifts and played games the rest of the afternoon. Reflecting on our day, it definitely was not a traditional Christmas, in fact, some might even call the day "crazy." But the fact is, our traditions and expectations aren't as important as the fact that Christ was born. Truth be told, Jesus might not have even been born on December 25th (gasp), and that's ok. Christmas is a time to celebrate Christ's birth, something that's a whole lot of fun to do with your family. From that perspective, I'd say we had a great Christmas!