Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day +145, "Celebrating and Praising Him Who Is Able To Do Immeasurably More Than All We Can Ask or Imagine"

“When I called, you answered me;
you made me bold and stouthearted.
May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth.”
Psalm 138:3-4

Clif is scheduled for discharge this Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014, Praise God!!!

As I write this; many many thoughts swirl around in my mind.  Today is 145 days past the day Clif received his German stem cells, it is 231 days since he was admitted to the City of Hope.  It will be just about 34 weeks since he has slept in our bed, stood in our kitchen, pet Buddy & Cocoa our dogs, picked up his socks, got a glass of water from the refridgerator door, used our bathroom  and many other simple comforts that he will experience very very soon.  Clif is coming home, Hallelujah, yes their will be much rejoicing when he steps across the threshold of our home!

A recent week long trend of good blood counts has rewarded us with a departure that we have anticipated for a very long time.  We have possibly turned a major health corner, a corner we have been waiting and praying to see.  

Physical Therapy (PT) has been going very well.  Clif now wears Nike cross trainer shoes to walk the halls with his trusty walker that needs to be painted and customized with flames painted down its metal framework!  This past week PT has included practicing getting into a car.  Clifs first request as he approached the car was, "Can I practice sitting on the driver side"?  it was quickly squashed!  His reply, "Well I guess Doreene can drive me to work", hmmmmmm like I haven't done enough driving already!  This was revealing of where his mind is.  He remains on many drugs, ones that would prevent anyone from driving!  Although disappointed, he completely understands and will continue to wait patiently as life slowly returns some of the benefits he has not been able to enjoy.  PT will become much more rigorous, our hope is to immediately begin a very regimented schedule to reclaim the old body, "give it some new upgrades" but operate with an entirely new source of fuel, German Jet Fuel!

Health still has concerns;  fluid accumulation is still our main issue, elevated blood pressure is being addressed, pain in the tailbone area from a recovering bed sore continues to scream for the most attention and a few other things.   Fortunately, we will monitor these things on an outpatient basis, with bi-weekly visits to begin immediately this Thursday.

Today, the forecast is good.  God has been beyond gracious!  Friends and Family,  you have held us up and we are grateful.  We look forward to celebrating very soon with all of you!

A Dry Run!

“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:28-31

Friday, September 5, 2014

Day +130, The Battle Continues.........

Blessed are all who wait for Him.  Isaiah 30:18

In our last update we shared an upper/lower GI was being performed to hopefully shed light on why Clif was having a large degree of stomach cramping, abodmenal distention (again) and plumbing issues.  The findings were nothing.  There has been a great degree of mystery the last 2 weeks but today we feel a new discovery was made.

Dr Ali, one of our "Team 5" of oncology/transplant doctors shared a new word; Serositis.  He explained this was a manifestation of GVH.   Serositis is the medical term for an inflammation of the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen and abdominal organs.  In a nutshell, Clif is accumulating fluids again around these areas.  The treatment;  marketly increased steroids over the next 3 days and administer a new drug called Rituximab (Rituxin) delivered once a week via IV for the next 4 weeks.  Prayerfully this issue will not slow his progress made with Physical Therapy.

Today, he was introduced to the Viking Lift (see picture below), a piece of equipment with wheels and a sort of Jumpy harness that allows Clif to walk with a walker but be a little lighter on his feet.  It continues to require 2 assistants but definitely gives a more liberating feel to the art of walking.  Yes, it is much like the jumpy swing we all used with our babies, only it is not stationary this one travels.

Good friend Steve Fodor just couldn't stay away.  He joined us this week as an inpatient and Conqueror of "Colorectal Cancer"!  He is a very dear friend and we continue to pray for his successful recovery.  

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.”
Psalm 130:5