Monday, March 14, 2011

Coupla' Rookers Cooking up a Storm on a Gorgeous Spring Afternoon
My sister Jill DiCicco
Greetings everyone, we had a great weekend because my younger sister Jill came down to visit from the Chicago area.  She has 4 boys ranging in age from 11 to 19, and her hubby Mark took over at home and gave Jill a weekend away.  By now you know what we Rooker like to do for fun - Rookers are Cookers!  Friday night we had an Indian feast, with Tandoori Lamb as the main course, with paneer and spinach samosas for an appetizer, a dise dish of naan bread and Dal, and a saturday night, my young apprentice Rachel took over chef duties and we assisted her in making a wonderful beef bourguignon, and Saturday I grilled Red Snapper Chinese we ate well.  Jill is a devoted and very committed follower of Jesus Christ and has been a wonderful support to me in the last year.  We had some great and very encouraging time together.

Jill was fervently praying for me, as were many others, as I went to the clinic this morning to get my counts.  There's a dichotomy to this treatment process, so if I may provide some background....on the one hand, I was told that 70% of patients with my disease characteristics achieve a complete remission (CR) with this FCR treatment.  On the other hand, low neutrophil counts are a side effect that can render the treatment ineffective, (actually excessively toxic to the neutrophils), and it can fail for that reason.  Therefore my low neutrophil counts, while they can be successfully dealt with in many instances, sometimes they cannot be corrected and treatment has to stop (and another one tried).  All that to explain why I get nervous when they are low and treatments have to be delayed.  Reviewing my Bible verses at these times is extremely helpful.  Still, I was anxious this morning.  I got good news at 8:55 am - my "neuts" were up to 1400 - my marrow had recovered and fired up production on its own (the neulasta shot I got on Feb 14 had worn off), this time, just a few days later than it did after the last cycle.  So - I was in treatment by 9 am and day 1 is in the books.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow! 

There's one other prayer burden that I will mention - it is quite possible that I will at some point require a stem cell, or bone marrow transplant.  If the current treatment is successful, this may not be for several years, but the prayer request is that one of my sisters (both of whom have been featured now on my blog), would be a donor match - a perfect match.  There is a one in 4 chance for each sibling to be a match.  We've talked about statistics, but we believe that God could miraculously "match" one of them even if there are not a match today.  He's done much more miraculous things than that, like create the Universe and raise Jesus from the dead!  The matching process will be starting soon, as a precautionary action.  I will keep you posted on this, but if you would add this to your prayer list I would be very grateful.

I am so blessed by your prayers and encouragement.  Whatever God's plans are for me, I know He hears prayers and answers many of them, and I trust Him completely.  I hope this finds you well.  Love - Dan

1 comment:

  1. Dan,
    Great neutrophil news! Hope the rest of your treatments this week go well and that the end of the week does not find you too tired.

    I am very impressed with your menus. Many of my other friends who are facing or have faced cancer have had no appetite. That doesn't seem to be the case, here. The food sounds fantastic!

    Your sisters sound like great people. I am sure that each of them is praying that she is a good match for you. Let's hope that happens.

    As you may know, I lived in Japan for five years. So, this has been a week to remember that life can change in an instant. Most of my friends have been accounted for. I hope to hear from a couple more, feeling that they may be affected by the rolling blackouts rather than anything else. (Although, one may have been evacuated because of the problems at the nuclear reactors.) I think that how one lives from beginning to end matters because no one knows when one's personal tsunami will come. Thanks for letting the rest of us see one way to live well.

    Take care,