Sunday, March 30, 2014

Delays Are Not Denials, So We Wait Some More

Our donor from Germany is unable to make the April 9th date that our doctors had hoped.  He is however able to begin conditioning on April 21st, which means stem cells could/should be obtained on April 28th and given to Clif on April 29th.  Disappointing yes, but we hold on and keep our chins up, literally!

Whatever the reasons are, which we do not know, Clif and I both know, we can not prematurely circumvent Gods plans in scheduling and beginning this transplant.  We remain steadfast and know that God is not asleep at the switch, He is at he helm and we will wait on His perfect timing.   We wait....................We pray for many aspects including our donors good health and his continued willingness to help us.  

Clif has still been very nauseaus, and the fruit of that nausea has not been pleasant.  If we had moved on with the original plan as stated above, Clif would begin the new round of chemo Monday, March 31st, with that horrible sick feeling still haunting him.  Maybe this change in plans is to allow Clif to regain that lost strength and get past the "green"  feeling he has everyday that is only relieved through taking the ativan/dilauded cocktail.  

Yesterday he took 3 laps around the floor and felt a little better than the previous day.  

So, we wait expectantly and pray to feel better daily!

“I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. ”The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,  to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly  for the salvation of the LORD.

LAMENTATIONS 3 : 24 – 26”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Preperations for Transplant

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  

Jeremiah 29:11-13

This morning, very early while most of us were asleep, a fleet of medical personnel entered Clifs room. Their intent, to begin a new mission.  Preparations, are starting.  Twenty two viles of blood were drawn to test things like; iron in the blood, cholesterol, thyroid hormone, triglycerides and more as well as  begin a 24 hour urine collection testing.   Another CT scan with dye was performed to track closely the lung pneumonia issue.

Clif has a friend who worked on the "Raptor" a fierce military fighter plane.  The Lockheed Martin 
F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generationsupersonic supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attackelectronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.  

I share the above information because this is the attitude I see in Clif as he moves forward on the plans God has specifically chosen for him.  With Nausea haunting him both day and night, his "Warrior" type outlook and his deep faith give him the endurance and stamina to press on and finish strong!  While talking with his doctor, dressed for battle with a presence of confidence and readyness;  he is readying his heart and mind for the next steps.

Today, he spent 10 minutes on the stationary bike, did some laps around the floor, and some stationary leg lifts, squats and step ups.  Even though he is anemic and neutropenic, he is faithful to keep it going between bouts of nausea.  

Will keep you posted as things unfold.  Wow, just realized we have now been here 52days!  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Leukemia Free!

That's Right, the bone marrow results are finally in and Clifton B. Fincher is free and clear of leukemia in the bone marrow and peripheral blood.

The drs note to us said;

Good news! The bone marrow shows no residual leukemia. It took several days to generate the report because they did some special stains to be sure about the blasts.
I will suggest to Dr. Skarbnik and Michelle that maybe the Palliative Care/Pain Management team would be helpful to deal with the nausea.
The CT does show a left sided pneumonia which needs further treatment and evaluation before we can move ahead to the .
Dr. Snyder

This morning (Tuesday), when the doctor came in to talk with Clif, he told him he was very pleased with the results.  He also said, Clif you are basically back to where you were when we first met this past December.  His original illness is called Myelofibrosis (MF).

As we move forward, prayerfully ridding his body of the pneumonia swiftly, we look to transplant soon.  The MUD (matched unrelated donor) coordinator has been contacted and plans are being made.  

"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures".  Proverbs 24:3

(in scripture, a house is frequently symbolic of the life of an individual)  With the above verse, I think of Clif and what has happened to his house and what is to come, being confident that something very beautiful is taking place,  prayerfully meant for this side of heaven.

Thank you again for your diligent and fervent prayers.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Waiting Is A Verb!

It's 6:40pm Friday evening and still no bone marrow aspiration results.  

Clif started a mild cough earlier this week.  A cat scan was performed this afternoon and those results will not be available until Monday.  As a precautionary measure, the dr has put him on Abelcet, a drug used to treat fungal infections.  He has already been taking an anti fungal drug but this new one is stronger.  In the realm of transplant, these people choose to lead verses chase.  So, we try to stay ahead of up and coming symptoms rather than let them get ahead of us.  It's called a conservative approach, if there is a brewing pneumonia they want to prevent further concern.

The minute we hear on any results, we will post it here!

Pray, Pray, Pray is our rescue.  Thank you 

"When the cares of my heart are many, your consolation cheers my soul".  Psalm 94:19

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bone Marrow Aspiration Scheduled for 3/19, Results to Follow

A week has passed since Chemo finished  and it's time to see if our efforts have paid off.  

A bone marrow aspiration will be performed Wednesday 3/19  and results will take about 2-3 days.  
The findings of this test will determine our near future for a transplant.  Double time on the prayers are much appreciated!  

If the findings are favorable, pre-conditioning treatment will begin next week (we think) for transplant.  This will probably be confirmed by the week end.

The list of side effects of the treatment as of yesterday now includes vomiting, which only happened that day.  Today, he experienced less nausea and actually had a pretty good day.  Because of the up and down nausea and sickness associated with the treatment, it's wise to call and see how he is feeling prior to making a trip down here.  Visiting is still discouraged.

He continues to receive transfusions and platelettes, daily.

Clif wanted me to personally convey, that God is listening to your prayers and he has great peace while he goes through this process, please keep them coming.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
MATTHEW 6 : 34”

Friday, March 14, 2014

Side Effects and Powering Through!

Clif continues with a great attitude.

Today is Friday, the last bag of chemo finished its drip into Clifs body at 5pm Wednesday night 3/12/2014!  A bone marrow aspiration will be done in one week to determine if the Leukemia in the marrow is gone or reduced.

The side effects that he has been experiencing include;  nausea 24/7 (but drugs really help), rash over most of his body, lack of appetite although he is making himself eat, (the cherry popsicles that he has indulged himself breakfast, lunch and dinner no longer taste good) but he really likes the soups, the plumbing works with little problems and overall currently to date he is weathering the effects pretty well.

Part of this process also includes a low bacteria diet, basically anything in a can is your friend.  Fresh raw fruits and vegetables are a big no no.  All hot food needs to be eaten within 30 minutes or toss it.
Funny, preservatives are your friend when in a health circumstance like this.

With much gratitude, Thank You All as you continue to selflessly donate your platelets, blood and encouragement to routinely sustain Clif.  

The days are spent reading, praying,  listening to music, receiving calls, emails  and texts (not always answering them, sorry), actually doing a little business here and there,  getting to know ALL of the hospital staff, and much medical intervention.  Fortunately, the tv has been off 99% of the time and he is able to quiet his mind and really have some quality quiet time.  How many of us actually get this.  Having the opportunity to hold his thoughts captive, and re-evaluate the things that really matter.  Indeed, I think he is making very good use of this time.

He continues to be confined to his room, no walks in the hall, however, he has a physical therapist (Mike) who comes in daily to work him gently.  Obviously, he is being protected from the outside world to prevent infection.  So visitors are still discouraged, this is actually difficult for Clif, he loves the company.  His numbers are still low (neutropenic) because of the high dose treatment.   We are also told, those numbers will not increase unless the Leukemia is gone from the marrow.  So, we watch and see what God has in store and pray for healing.

"Do not be anxious about anything but in prayer and petition make your requests known to God."  Phil 4:6

So, alas, we plead for your continued prayers!  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Relaxing at City of Hope

Some of the nice things that happen here;

Excellent medical care, warmed blankets, protein shakes made with ice cream, order food whenever you want it,  nice staff, good drugs when you need them, reading, praying,  clean sheets everyday,  your bathroom is always clean, sound of the clock ticking, medical machine dripping meds into Clif sounds like rain, pillows galore and much more.

His room looks out over the south bound 605 freeway and the heavy industrial area of Irwindale and Duarte, Clif feels right at home!

It is what you make it.  

Clif is still feeling pretty well overall.  No real side effects yet.  Got a major hair cut/shave (it's almost all gone now).   Day four of chemo is almost past, Thank God.

Thanks for continueing to lift him up!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Three Days Down, Four Days To Go! Still No Visitors Please :((

Three days of chemo down, four more days to go.  Clif has finished with one of the chemos today and will continue the next four days with the remaining two.  When he gets nausea, drugs like Atavan and some other anti nausea drug work like a champ and help him to feel better.

Still doing well.  Dilauded for pain has also been kind.  No other negative symptoms at this time, thanks for continuing to pray that his side effects are gentle to none.

Clif is taking calls and texts, so if you want to make a shout out and cheer him up, go for it.

Have a Great Weekend!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Round Two of Chemo-no visitors please.

Today Clif began his new 7 day treatment on an aggressive combination that includes 3 separate chemo drugs.  The continueous iv line was hooked up at 1 pm this afternoon.  Prior to hook up, he was given anti nausea medicine along with Atavan.  He is also taking Dilauded again for pain.  

We are preparing for a challenging couple of weeks ahead.  

It is almost 8pm and so far Clif is doing well.  No allergic reactions thus far.   We expect a lot of sleep and a lot of drugs.

Please continue to pray for gentle to little reaction. Nothing is impossible for The Lord! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

New Chemo Today, Doc's say NO visitors today :(

Wow, officially today we have been here for 4 weeks!  They need a nail salon and spa, they would make a bundle.

Tuesday, March 4th Clif will begin a new 7 day chemo regimen.  He will receive a "continuous drip" of chemo which means, the only time he is not receiving it is when he is taking a shower.

We are told the week after this treatment will be a challenge, please be praying for a strong body and a willing spirit!

Daily, Clif continues to receive direct donations of blood and platelets from many of you.  We just can't say thank you enough.  

Clif continues his quest towards transplant.  His blood counts continue to fluctuate a bit, but God Willing we are still moving in the right direction.

We will keep you posted on how he performs throughout these next 7 days!  

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 THESSALONIANS 5 : 16 – 18”