Thursday, March 1, 2012

Click this link to hear "This Good Day" by Fernando Ortega

        My clock says 6:17 am.  That's a good thing, because it means that I am needing less sleep;  I take that as another sign that my body is recovering.  I have to apologize to those of you who are following me closely and any others that have wondered how I have been doing since arriving home on Sunday the 19th of February - I've been negligent in keeping you updated.

        The good news is that I feel great(!)  It is SO great to be home, and just in time to see the beginnings of spring.  I have almost no evidence of sickness - when I saw my PA (physician's assistant), Jessica, the other day, I listed my "complaints" (that's a medical term!) as - tingling in my feet;  dry, irritated skin;  a slightly runny get the idea - nothing serious.
       More good news is that my sinus congestion has improved - I saw an ENT doctor here on Tuesday and he was very pleased with the improvement - I've been on the antibiotic Cefepime for 3 weeks, and this doc (he's an ENT, and those of you who know the 'Lord of the Rings' know that when a bunch of Eye, Nose, & Throat docs get together for a conference in Scottsdale, it's called a what?  an "ENTmoot"!!  Can you hear me snickering??) was I?  Oh yes - this ENT, Dr. Price, prescribed another 3 weeks of intravenous Cefepime - that's significant because it means I need to have my CVC (central venous catheter) in at least until that prescription finishes.

Mrs. McElrath's class at Flatrock Middle welcomed me home with this texted photo

        The bad news is that my white counts have crashed due to a medication that I have been on for about a month - it was prescribed because a common virus has activated in my system (abbreviated CMV), and it needs to be treated quickly and aggressively because it can cause "nasty lung infections" as Dr. Kritz put it.  It responded well to the new drug, valcyte, but when I was tested again upon returning home, the virus had returned, albeit at a very low level.  Meanwhile, I've been to the clinic three times since arriving home, and my absolute neutrophil count (ANC) has been 500, 100,  and 300, despite aggressive neupogen treatments (shots!).  So, at the moment, I am on critically-neutropenic protocols...hyper-vigilant about hand washing, staying away from sick people, crowds, etc.  Of course this is FRUSTRATING because I really want to see my friends, go to church, pop in and see everyone at work, etc, but prudence demands that I hold off.

One of our 3 dogs, and my personal favorite - Brodie
        So what am I doing to keep busy?  Renee and I, inspired by apartment living for 3 months, are going through ALL our accumulated "stuff" and donating, trashing, cleaning, and reorganizing everything - closets, attics, kitchen, my office...for one.  Two, I have set up a new workstation around my new MacBook Air and I am enabling, customizing, and learning how everything works and integrates.  Three, I have to get started on doing my taxes for what will be a very complicated tax year (2011).  Bible study and quiet time, exercise, medications (not a trivial time drain with IV antibiotics 3X a day), and cooking fill up all the rest of the available time in a day.

Congratulations to the kids and thanks for the donations in the fight against cancer!

        For reasons only known to Him, God has brought me through the valley of death and set me back on solid ground - for the time being.  He is sovereign in the universe and in my life - I am enormously thankful for His grace and His healing which was an answer to many prayers, and I am also grateful to all of you who continue to support me through these trials.  God's plans are known only to Him until they are revealed to us each new day - but we can know in advance through His word what His plan for our lives is - 

        "For we KNOW that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.  For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn of many brothers (and sisters)."  Romans 8:28-29 (emphasis added)

      So I know that no matter what happens, whether good news or bad, whether a hum-drum day, or a mountaintop day, or a deep valley day, that God's plan for what happens that day - everything that happens that day - is that it will make me more like Jesus (conform me to the likeness of His Son) - but I have to be a willing student - and I have to be counted among those who love Him.  I believe that as I follow these great teachings, I will be counted among the many brothers.  Praise God!  To me, this is everything - 'such a great salvation' - it puts life into an eternal perspective - it infuses each day, each encounter, each challenge, each blessing - with eternal importance, with the most consequential significance as I try to 'store up treasures in heaven' and walk with the living God, Creator and Savior - how amazing!  Amazing love, amazing grace.

        Congratulations to those of you who have made it all the way through this not-so-wee-blather!  Take heart, for Christ has overcome the world.  More soon.  With love - Dan and Renee clock now says 8:01 am    :-)


1 comment:

  1. It was great talking to you yesterday! The team was very happy to see you in Raleigh - nice surprise and an encouraging sign of your progress in healing. Look forward to talking to you again next week - stay well!