Hello again friends and neighbors, I trust that you all are warm, well fed and healthy or at least on your way to realizing these things. I already know you are loved, because I love you! There have been some interesting developments of late and a very good friend of mine is once again asking for your continued prayers and support, but I’ll get to that later. First, the developments!!!
A couple of weeks ago Dr. Kao called me, she’s an associate of Dr. Martin who sees Dr. Martins patients in Livermore. I had gone in to have blood drawn and there were a LOT of vials sitting in the rack before I left, perhaps a dozen. These were ordered by several doctors (it’s GREAT to have a “team” looking out for me!) and she wanted to go over the results of those tests. Everything looked good except for the liver function tests being high. It was nothing to cause alarm and she said it’s normal after the spleen is removed. Everything is still compensating for its loss, well the organs are, I for one am happy it’s gone! She also said that the Exjade that I take to get rid of the iron could have something to do with that so she had me stop taking it, much to my relief. That stuff tastes HORRID! In addition, the hemoglobin count was… are you ready for this? 9.7!!! Let me put that into some perspective for you, prior to the surgery in early Sept. I was receiving two units per week and hovering between 7 and 8. Since the surgery I have received two units every other month and only ONE unit on January 6th. That means that that ONE unit has not only lasted for over a month but has helped me maintain a near 10 count! Go ahead, wipe that tear from your eye, I am too.
Also of note, the Puget Sound VA called on Monday and wanted some samples from Sarah to see if the kids could be potential donors. I am all over the place emotionally about this. I don’t want them to have to go through this, and my biggest fear is that the worst-case scenario happens and post transplant I develop Graft vs. Host disease after receiving their marrow. If I were to die as a result, would they blame themselves for that? Don’t tell me these are silly thoughts or to only focus on the best possible outcome, this is serious stuff and as such, needs to be thought out well in advance. All the potential outcomes weighed in and measured, then a decision made. Fortunately, with things going the way they are there should be plenty of time before such a decision needs to be made. The whole idea still has me more than a little uneasy…
I have started to work out in Frank’s shop a little and also in my garage, testing the wings of you will. I am nowhere ready to go back to building cabinets and furniture. Because of this I have joined a local gym and enlisted the aid and counsel of a personal trainer. I have met with him 3 times now and things are going great, albeit slow. I feel as though it’s going to be a long slow road but I am determined to see it through to the end, one grueling repetition after the other until I am as good if not better than I was before. I’m still not sure what I will do for work but I will worry about that when the time comes. First things first, I MUST get back in shape! One thing that crossed my mind while I was out at Frank’s working on a project I call the “treadle table” was this: We MUST put the time into the prep-work, lay a good solid foundation, if we don’t all anything that follows won’t be able to reach it’s full potential. So too must I lay the proper foundation for optimum health.
Yet another aspect of my long-term health is you, each and every one of you. The things you say to me, the support you give, and the prayers you offer on my behalf, all of that is a HUGE part of my recovery and my future. I cannot begin to thank you enough; all I can do is “pay it forward” to others in need. I think that’s the way it’s supposed to work anyway. I don’t think it is meant to be give and take, but that it should be spread throughout the world, passed from one to the next. I don’t think any of you do it for the thanks anyway, you wouldn’t be here if you did. I myself would make sure of that. This leads me to my very good friend Arlene’s letter to me a couple of weeks ago. I’ll simply share it here for you all to read:
Our prayers are working! I'd like to keep them going...on a more regular basis. So, at noon on Sundays I'd like you to say a prayer or think good thoughts for Tracy and his family. I bought a candle in a glass (found in the Hispanic section of the grocery store), and decorated it with pictures of Tracy to light on Sundays. Starting at noon, if we're home, I'll keep it lit and say a prayer or think good thoughts for Tracy and his family every time I see the candle. That's my commitment for as long as it takes for Tracy to live longer than 15 years. Please join me in praying for a healing for Tracy. Every time you think of him please picture him old and playing with his grandchildren and going to their college graduations. We can make a difference!
I’m asking you to help Arlene help me. I simply can’t do this alone, I need your help, your prayers, and just a little of your time every Sunday. If that time doesn’t work for you, pick another time and stick with it each and every week. Just like those commercials where the price of a cup of coffee a day could feed and clothe an orphaned child in a faraway land only I’m not a child, nor even a stranger in a faraway land and I don’t want you to send any money (although if you REALLY want to… just kidding). I just want you continued love and support and for you to visualize a future with me in it…
Thank you. Truly, deeply, honestly… thank you.