Sunday, June 30, 2013

18 Months, Cancer-free!!

St. Peter's Basilica, Saturday, June 22
Hello friends, family, followers, and everyone....the last few weeks have been tumultuous but I feel like we have some through the rapids into (hopefully) some calm waters. I returned from Italy last Sunday and was reunited with Renee.  We went to the doctor together on Monday - she had been to this doc 5 times, each time with a different caregiver - and when I introduced myself to the doc as "the husband", he said "well, it's about time".  Fair enough!  Renee's hand is improving.  The heinous blister popped and the swelling is down considerably.  She keeps it bandaged now because of the exposed and broken skin, and she is working hard on physical therapy to restore the full range of motion in the finger.  I owe a big thank you to Rachel and Kenyon, Bob and Vaun, and Laurie and Mamie for taking such great care of Renee while I was on duty in Italy.

Renee's finger, 2 days after the bite.  It would get much worse.

Friday was a big day for us because I had my follow-up CT scan on Thursday morning.  You may recall that 6 weeks ago my re-staging CT scan showed a 'little something' in my lung, hence the need to re-scan this past week to see if it was still there.  IT WAS GONE.  Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!!  That means that I am now 18 months (plus a few days) post-transplant and continuing to be cancer-free.  Still is amazing to me.  In addition to the clear CT scan last week, I also registered the best blood count numbers in a couple of years - platelets, hemoglobin, neutrophils, and immunoglobulin all registered highs.

Last week also marked the transition at work from VP of supply chain transformation to procurement strategist and project leader.  Everything in my life comes from the hand of the Lord - my "success" at work included.  I felt clearly the Lord leading me to step down from VP life, at least for the foreseeable future, as a result of my various health issues over the past several months.  I continue to trust Him in all things.
The Villa Laura, Cortona, Toscana

In what seemed like an affirmation of my decision (with my doctors) to alter my work responsibilities, I was asked to be the speaker at a fund-raising dinner for the MD Anderson Chaplaincy department on October 24th.  I want to develop a selection of "talks" that I can give at hospitals, survivor organizations, churches, a ministry - so this was a really timely request for me.  I will be in Houston that week for my next restaging, which will include CT and PET scans plus a bone marrow biopsy.

The next event comes quickly - I'm going to Santa Monica (near LA) for my cousin John Skinner's wedding - leaving on the 4th of July.  I'm looking forward to playing a little golf with John's brother, Jim, who was an elite collegiate golfer at SMU "back in the day".  

Also, of course, the big trek is coming closer - less than 45 days now.  Preparations are getting more intense, both physically and in terms of equipment, logistics, and reading.  I'll provide more details in my next post.  Key links:

Link to TNT Fundraising site

Link to my blog on The Muir Project site
(scroll down to June 3 entry)

God bless all of you!!  Happy fourth of July!!

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