Monday, October 20, 2008

What an emotional roller coaster the past few days have been.

Frank and I both avoided updating the website yesterday - neither one of us felt like doing it. I lost the coin toss! When we have a bad day, it seems like we don't want to share it, but that isn't honest. It's unrealistic to think that we'd be "up" all the time. And one thing we've learned over 6 years is that God is there in the good and bad days ~ and even more so when we're feeling down.
Sunday Frank's CRP went up again to 167, from 144. Normal values are between 1 and 10. He was running fever in the 100's. We were still doing IV antibiotics at the apt.
All his other counts are still going down, which is to be expected. But his platelets were 16, so he got a transfusion. All of this is pretty familiar to us. We know the drill very well. What's different this time is the soreness/pain that Frank has. It hurts me to know that I cannot fix it, or make it better. Even a quick stop or bump in the road makes him groan. I have found a new route to the hospital that has smooth roads so the ride is more comfortable for him. Doting over him doesn't change it ~ sometimes it makes it worse! I am learning to hold my tongue and not ask over and over, "What can I do? Are you alright?" He knows I just want to help, but its still irritating when you feel bad and really just want to be left alone.

Chandler met my mom in Forest City to get Chase and bring him back to Little Rock. I was so thankful she did that for us. She's been so helpful. Chase had a great time and it was good to have all 5 of us together again.

Yesterday afternoon, we learned that our patient friend, Dr. Francisco from Miami passed away Saturday. We've asked you to pray for him before in one of our blogs. He was 41, fighting Myeloma since age 38. He and Frank have had the same treatments, including the 6 transplants. Francisco had an intense treatment schedule, having done in 3 years what Frank has done in 6. His precious wife and I talked and cried together. We were able to see her today and say goodbye before she leaves for home in the morning. She is being strong and it is evident, in every way, that she is leaning on the Lord for her strength. Their kids are 5 and 7. Please pray for them tomorrow as she reunites with her children and tells them about their daddy. We found out soon after that another patient, and our apt neighbor during the last transplant, also passed away the Sat. He and Frank were both getting PAC MED at the same time. It's like a family here with other patients we make friends with. The common bonds we all share run deep, and our hearts are broken for them as we share their grief.

Cooking was the last thing on my mind Sunday afternoon. Liane, Chandler's piano teacher, has a friend here that used to live in Memphis. Marian has been so sweet to take us under her wing. She cooked a meal for us and brought it over... perfect timing! The kids were starved, and it was good for us to sit together and eat. Frank even ate and said it hit the spot. Satisfying his taste buds right now is a tall order. We saved him leftovers and he ate it again tonight. What a treat that was for us.

Today, Zach got up and drove Frank to the hospital for his shot and labs. It's a quick visit, knowing he goes back in the afternoon for any meds and fluids he may need. I stayed here with Chase for class. When we got back to the hospital this afternoon, we were happy to get some good news.

His Lambda light chain and IgA marker, his type of Myeloma, are within normal limits for the first time since July. That is great! Also, his CRP went all the way from 167 to 108. Wonderful! We were so excited about that!

Other labs: WBC 0.02, Hgb 9.6, Hct 28.4, Platelets 11. So, he got a transfusion for platelets, and came home with an infuser for Potassium and Magnesium. And of course, the antibiotics.

As we sat there waiting, Frank got a phone call. It was Sandra with insurance. Are you ready for this? Humana approved the stem cell collection so Frank can collect more stem cells! We are absolutely amazed! Sandra said they had a long talk with Humana about Frank's age, and quality of life, etc and they approved it. Tears of joy!

Romans 8:26-28
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:37-39
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Frank and I both send our love and gratitude for the time you give to reading the blog and praying for all the details of this journey. To God be the glory, and may He bless each one of you!


Anonymous said...

Hey Carlton's,

Praise God for the wisdom and good judgement he has bewtowed on the Adminstrators at Humana I know the weight that has lifted from you knowing that is taken care of. We are of couse saddened with the news of the loss of your fellow warriors and friends and our prayers will be with their families to give them strength. Our prayers are also lifted up to our Lord to shelter you from that nasty fever and we hope that shakes sooner than later. Keep fighting brother! Not to bring up a bad subject, but we really missed seeing you and having you at Beast Feast this year. You would have been truely amazed at the turnout this year it was absolutely the best attended beast Feast ever. I know you would rather have been chillin and grillin with us vs the alternative!!! Keep the faith and hope to see you on Sunday very soon!

Mike and Christine Malone

Candy said...

Actually this is John. Sorry about that. I guess that's like opening a box of cracker jacks and finding there's no prize inside. Anyway, I got my labwork back today and was lamenting over my low counts in WBC, RBC, and Hmg, and Htc. All are too low, they are below normal! Then I read yours and realize I need to quit whining. The strength and courage you and your whole family show are an inspiration to my family and me. Our admiration and love for you continue to grow, and we continue to pray for you. Joseph asked me to let you know he is praying for y'all too.
With love, John
Jeremiah 17:14