Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's been a hard day today. The roller coaster of emotions just seems to be the norm. We've been so excited to be coming home. Frank did beautifully during this transplant. We are so pleased with how things went.

We woke up, packed the rest of the apt and headed to get labs drawn and see Dr. Barlogie. While in with him, he looked at the MRI first. It showed no change from the last one.

Then he went to look for the gene array from the fine needle biopsy out of the new hip lesion from a few months ago. (fyi: the gene array is a detailed break down of the myeloma's DNA. Little Rock is one of few places that can do that, making it another reason it's #1 in the world for treating myeloma). He's been waiting on this for a few months. It helps them identify prognostic indicators, and determine low vs high risk, as well as aid their research in looking for a cure.

The results were disappointing for us today. They confirmed that Frank's relapse is aggressive. It's high risk and requires a more aggressive treatment protocol.

I cannot describe to you how a heart breaks for one you love dearly, and I hope you never have to find out for yourself. I love Frank so much. He was hoping to come home and just "get back to work and do normal stuff". But the treatment plan will be more than intense than we were anticipating.
He has been working on a new treatment plan for high risk patients. He told Frank he was going to put him in Total Therapy 5 research program. He was first treated under Total Therapy 2. With #5 beginning, we found out Frank will be a charter member.

We will return next Wed Mar 26th for a smaller dose of what he just had: Melphalan + VTD-PACE (all letters are a different chemo, so 8 in all). He will not need stem cell support to recover from this, so he can come home as soon as the chemo is finished. We should only be in AR for a week. We still have the same apt so that's good. (We just have to unpack the car and move back in).

He waits 6 weeks, then returns to do that again. Then 6 weeks later, goes back for another transplant like he just had. At that time, Dr. Barlogie talked about trying to harvest stem cells again so he'll have some more. Right now he has 17 million in 3 bags frozen. Then a year of consolidation chemo on a monthly basis.

This website is to keep us connected with our loved ones and friends. It's not about saying what we think sound good. We hope we're "keeping it real" as Randy Jackson would say... and on that note.... hearing all that was not easy. It hit below the belt. Frank was mad. Mad about the loss of control he feels over his life, and his ability to be a husband and father, and a good and productive employee. I am scared ~ about so many things... couldn't even begin to name them all. This was just not what we expected.

We turned off our phones and took some time. We drove home and had dinner at Bone Fish for my birthday today. (Happy Birthday to Frances, too). We called the kids. We decided to tell them even though they are skiing, and trust God's timing. They are on a church trip, on a mountain, and have the opportunity to work out their emotions there on their own, away from here. Our pastor is there, their dear leaders and best friends that love them, and family is there too. We had a real peace about going ahead with that. My prayer is that they do work some things out. Cry, scream, pray, do what ever it takes. I want God to meet them where they are in a real way for each one of them.

God's timing is always perfect. He shows us up for me all the time in ways I know are not a coincidence. 2 verses came to my heart today as we pondered all these things....
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

2 Corinthians 12: 9 Paul asked for his thorn to be taken away... "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

I believe this, and claim it for Frank and for our family.... will you join me, please?


Anonymous said...

Dearest Frank & Peggy,
I recently came across this poem and I hope it is inspiring to you.
Much Love & Prayers,
Sheri & fam

"Giants Still Fall Down"

When taking on your toughtest role
With heartache, pain or grief,
Just count on God to calm your soul
And bring you sweet relief.

When faced with "The Impossible"
Don't stumble or lose heart
With Christ, the river's crossable
The waters He can part.

No matter what the problem is
His help is at the door
Examination, test or quiz
He's seen it all before.

In every age it's been that way
It's how the battle's won
When saints bow down and humbly pray
He moves and it is done.

A shepherd boy found this was true
When facing Lion and Bear
He called on God to see him through
And killed the savage pair.

He also faced a Giant tall
Who mocked God's men of war
And even though this kid was small
The "Big Man" hit the floor.

Perhaps this day you find yourself
With issues, stress and strain
You feel as if your on a shelf
Just foolish, weak and plain.

But God said He can use the weak
And foolish when they're grounded
He gives His strenth to those who seek
The mighty are confounded.

So when the battles come your way
Trust Him who wears "The Crown"
For God can say, "This Is The Day"
That Giants Still Fall Down!!!

(Poem by Jim Lake)

Anonymous said...

God has, is and will provide 'others to hold you both up when strength 'appears' to fail...just like He did for Moses. Joshua 1:5 "Just as I did for Moses, I will do for you. I will not forsake you or forget you" HE IS FAITHFUL!
All our love,
Nana & Papa

amy said...

You don't know me, but I am one of the Wednesday morning bible study leaders at Hope. I'm not sure if we have ever met. But I came across the link to your blog on your mom's facebook page and check it periodically to see what is going on.
Please know that I am praying for your family. I wish there was something really helpful I could say to you...but I hope it is an encouragement just to know that someone you don't even know is approaching the throne of God on Frank's behalf! Praying for God's peace and strength to fill you both today.
Because He lives,
Amy Hale