Friday, February 4, 2011

Update.....Friday, February 4

Hello and good morning everyone.....

It has been nearly two weeks since my post from the Florida Keys. Kenyon and I returned on Monday, January 24th....I left the Keys at 4 am and we pulled into our driveway at 7 pm!! We're both ready to do it again.

The reason for the long gap in posts that is that not a lot has happened, which is a good thing. I think my white cell count at that time was 8300, which was great news....since that result, I've had two more tests, the last one being yesterday. My total white count went from 8300 to 5800 and back to 7300 yesterday. Nothing concerning there....what has happened over these couple of weeks is that we're studying the different types of white cells.....specifically neutrophils. Neutrophils are the most prevalent of the five types of white cells and they are the backbone of our bodies' infection fighting force. The treatment I received knocked my neutrophils down to a 'critical low' level and we've been watching and waiting for them to come back up. These numbers don't mean much but they give you a relative idea.....starting when I left Houston, my neutrophil count was 1100, then 400, 400, and yesterday it was 510. Before they will treat me again, that count needs to be back to 1000 or greater. My next treatment is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Feb 9, 10, and 11. If the neutrophils are not above 1000, we'll have to delay treatment. So if you prayer warriors want something specific to pray about, it's neutrophils, and lots of 'em! And that the Lord would continue to protect me from infection.

Physically, I still feel great. Everything is 'normal', except for the fact that I am not working. I have developed a routine that keeps me busy but not stressed, which includes monitoring my work email and casual chats with colleagues about work and non-work issues. I am blessed in many ways, but today I want to highlight the company I have worked for over the last 28 years, IBM. I have always been thankful for the work life I have enjoyed, the precious friendships that have developed over the years, and the opportunity IBM has provided me (and my family) to see much of the world. What makes IBM special is that it is a company with a heart. As a leader it has been a privilege to manage in a company that demands and expects integrity and compassion. Now as a person who is fighting a serious illness, I am the beneficiary of that same compassion. Check out this 100 year anniversary video:

IBM 100th Anniversary Video

It might be a little corny but I think it really makes a powerful point. Times have changed a lot but the heart of IBM is still beating.

Renee and I send our best to you and would be happy to pray for you in any trials or challenges you face. We are grateful and blessed by your love and support, and we are constantly aware that there are many millions of people whose struggles are far greater than ours. We count our blessings daily, and we hope you will join us.

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