Monday, July 2, 2012

Travelin' Man

Self-portrait with the famous Lone Cypress backing us up - June 29
         Greetings, fellow blogophiles.  Another 2 weeks have gone by since my previous post, so in a sense, I am right on time with this one.  I am currently flying over the Sierra Nevada mountains, one of my favorite places on earth.  Renee and I are returning from a short week out in the Monterey/San Jose area.  More on that later.
        Medically, it's been a good two weeks.  My counts have been steady if not spectacular - platelets holding around 100,000, and white count a little under 4,000.  My ANC was 1100 last Monday, which is OK, but a little too close to the neutropenia line for my comfort.   Still, Dr. Kritz was very pleased, and said 'see you in two weeks'- a graduation of sorts from my weekly cadence.  My only issues have been the continuing neuropathy in my feet, along with my two ingrown toenails (big toes on both feet).   I'll skip the details, as obviously, these are small issues in the broad sweep of things.

With Mom and Dad in front of their flower garden, Geneva, IL, June 22

        In the next few days, my doctors are beginning to reduce the drug (Prograf, or Tacrolimus) that I have been taking since just before my transplant.   This drug suppresses my new immune system - I had it in larger doses back then, and it was reduced a few months ago....but the purpose of it is to keep my new immune system from attacking my tissues.  If things go well, I will be off of it in a month, and my new immune system will be up to full strength.  That is not to say that it will be mature, or able to protect me completely from disease and infection - that process will take years.   You may remember that the stem cells that I received were "reset" in the transplant process to the maturity of a newborn.  During the next two years, I will receive all my childhood inoculations again.  You'll also recall that I already contracted a childhood virus, pityriosis, in my skin.  So, it's a major step forward in my recovery to get off this tacrolimus, but it's just a step along the long journey.

View from the 8th fairway at Pebble Beach Golf Links

      Here's another major step...I am planning to get back to work at IBM a week from Monday.  I'm not sure if I can get all the administrative stuff done so that I can start on July 9th, but that is the goal.  I am blessed with a great boss, John Paterson, who has been extremely supportive throughout this entire ordeal.  John has arranged for me to return in a role that will not over-stress my system, but will allow me to gradually build back up to full strength over time.  During that period, which could be a few months, we will also be on the lookout for the right 'permanent' role, such as the one I was doing prior to last November.  The important thing is that I'm going back to work soon!
        My trip to Chicago was great.  I spent lots of quality time with my parents and my sister Jill and her wonderful family;  played golf with a great friend from high school, and really enjoyed everything. This short trip out to the west coast, with Renee, was also a great blessing.  We spent some time out on the Monterey peninsula, crossed a couple things off our "bucket list", and then spent the weekend with our friends Jeff and Melissa, who were our neighbors and dear friends in Raleigh for a lotta years.  It was a short visit, but yesterday we managed to combine a jaunt to Muir Woods National Monument with an evening in the city (San Francisco) at an Anjelah Johnson show at Cobb Comedy Club. Anjelah happens to be a Christian comic -you can check her out on Youtube.

Renee with Jeff and Melissa at Muir Woods, June 30

        Well, that's a lot of news.  I seem to be in a very good place medically, and we continue to pray for grace, mercy, and peace from our loving God.  Later in July I will have another re-staging with a bone marrow biopsy, a CAT scan, and a PET scan.  We're already in prayer for that. If you would pray for my return to work to go well, I will be grateful.   PLEASE, let us know how we can pray for you. 

Romans 11:33-36     Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?  Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?  For from him and through him and for him are all things.  To him be the glory forever! Amen.

God's glory revealed at Muir Woods

1 comment:

  1. Dan, I am so happy for your family and for you, that you will be back at work. We will be glad to have you around, once again!