Sunday, November 20, 2011

And Winter Came...

Sit down by the fire here for I have much to tell... As most if not all of you know it's been some time since my last update and I apologize for that. The transplant hit me pretty hard and there were a few weeks in the beginning where I wasn't really... well, THERE for lack of a better word. That time is simply not in my memory and I'll spare you the gory details. Suffice it to say I am eternally grateful to whomever invented morphine so that I could be so high as to not remember any of it. Yeah, it was THAT bad! BUT, that's all behind me now as I have not had a transfusion since shortly after the transplant was done. Instead they're now taking blood OUT of me in order to reduce the ferritin level (an intracellular protein that stores iron and releases it in a controlled fashion) in my blood from all the countless units of blood I received over the years and in spite of what amounts to “donating” a unit of blood a week my hemoglobin level has continued to rise and is now 13. The recognized level for a “healthy” man of my age is between 14 and 17. Just let that sink in for a minute, I can wait... So Tracy, what does this all mean you might ask. Well, there is no official word from any doctors as it's still VERY early on in the post transplant scene but those numbers tell me that things are progressing rapidly and in a VERY desirable direction. Those new stem cells have corkscrewed themselves into the hard bone and set up shop not only making blood but replicating themselves to such a degree that they are able to keep up with the blood coming out AND produce excess to replenish what was lost. This would be a good time for a tissue, excuse me...

HOWEVER..., (pause for effect) it's far from over and I find myself fighting yet another demon known as depression. A foul and vile affliction if ever there was one and every bit as faceless as the myelofibrosis I have all but eradicated from my body. The kind of thing one faces that has no face, no body, no corporeal entity upon which to vent my rage and disdain for it. It's just there lurking in the back of my mind and making it's presence known when I'd least like to have it around, not that there is a good time to have depression drop in for a visit mind you, but ever that seems to be it's super power. Timing. Make no mistake it knows full well how to best use this power too. But there is hope... I've started seeing a therapist again and it's working! Just as with the “cancer” I have had to seek out persons with special skills and talents to aid me in this fight and I pray ceaselessly that this war will end soon but with a favorable outcome, for me that is. I could care less if cancer and depression are made to suffer and should they be stricken from me, and all those they hold hostage from their lives, so much the better and I say “Good riddance!” All of this brings me to something that has been on my mind for the past week and a half. Please, PLEASE have patience with me. This is far from over and I fully understand that many if not all of you worry and my lapses in communication certainly don't help that but please try to remember what I have said here. There are days where getting out of bed, eating and watching TV are THE best that I can manage and understand that I'm working on it and giving my all every day. Some days I simply have more to give than others...

As the seasons change and summer has turned to fall and now winter has come let us take time to remember the things that we are thankful for. Even though I don't call as often as we all would like or even update you as often as I'D like it doesn't mean I've shut you out of my life or I'm ignoring you. And I know I should tell you all thank you more but again, please don't assume the worst. I am, and ever shall be eternally grateful for all you have done, each in your own way. I would like to take this opportunity to send a special thanks out to some very important people. These people have each done something for me that has really made a difference and although you all have in some way done something, these I feel deserve special recognition as I reflect on the past year and what they have done for me in my greatest hour of need.

My beautiful-amazing-incredible-compassionate wife, my children (including the dogs!), Frank and Sharon Farmer, Patricia Warner, Alex Beam, Rayann Heingartner, Becky Dean, Jeff and Desiree Kauffman, Joe Thompson, Dave Farmer, Brian Hinck, Amber Hamm, Kathleen Schoening, Monique Becker, Eric Jones and Erin Saul, Kristi Finney, Brad and Jamie Luegge, Keith and Jamie Hood, John and Heidi Maher and the list goes on. I'm sure I'm forgetting a good many people but these, off the top of my head, have made a tremendous difference in how I've managed to deal with what has been set before me. I honestly, HONESTLY could NOT have done this, have gone through all that I have had you all not answered the call. I am eternally grateful and would, if I could, tell you all in person if I could. Thank you... a hundred thousand times and from the highest mountain top, thank you.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again May God hold you in the palm of His hand...


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