Wednesday, December 10, 2008

20 days since our last entry....

Our computer's been broken.............. No?
We forgot our password?..................... No good either?
Yea, no excuse.

We enjoyed Thanksgiving in Jackson. It was great to all be together. Everybody was there! 9 grandkids: ages 3 to 16. That's always fun! Chase got his braces on a few days before we left, but he adjusted well and they didn't bother him a bit. Zach got to show off his driving skills for Frank and Frannie. (I'm sure the color has come back to their knuckles by now!)

Since we've been back, Frank's had weekly labs. You'd never know it to look at him, but his labs have been consistently lower than we have expected/wanted them to be. We both keep scratching our heads wondering why. Is this his new normal after 6 transplants? Is recovery just slow after that heavy of a chemo? Will a bag of stem cells help him? I bet they're better next week!! And so goes the train of thought.
But the labs hover about the same each week. Low enough to need a transfusion one week (Frank says "no thank you", "I don't have time to do that today" ) and just high enough to escape needing one the next week, only to repeat the cycle again next time.

This has been a bit frustrating. Low blood counts have kept Frank more tired/less energy than he's used to operating on. But he is VERY determined to complete a full day. He has been working and so happy to be at Elliott. His other complaint with low counts is that he's cold all the time. Of course winter weather doesn't help that any. We have space heaters in our room and bathroom. I now know what menopause will feel like! He's running me out of the room! Another patient gave us the warmest blanket last month. He'll curl up in the recliner after work with the blanket and nap all toasty in his cocoon!

His pain has been managed mostly with the Fentanyl patches. They're nice because you can wear them for 3 days. It has given him relief for which we are so very thankful.

We jumped right back into a full schedule when we got home. In the past 3 weeks, we've finished the soccer season , piano season, had a guitar recital, a dance, youth group parties, and a house full of kids (my favorite). I even drove to Orlando and back with mom to help her with her aunt. School is almost out for Christmas! We've all survived a semester of home schooling. I now have a nervous twitch, but that's not really important is it?? And finally, Chandler got a job. She is hostessing at a local restaurant and is very excited about ~ well, earning some money!!

But this is always the hardest part to share. I can type all day about all this other stuff, and I know that if you are reading this you either ARE family, or you care ABOUT our family, but the truth is we wouldn't have this website if not for another reason. After 6 years, it doesn't get any easier to come clean with the deepest fears in our soul. In a lot of ways, it has gotten harder.

Since we got home almost a month ago, Frank and I haven't talked much about 'things' at first. It felt good to be home. After being cooped up for 40 days, he gets to drive his own car, go to work, etc. It's great! I have been told that for the caregiver it can be different, and I have found that to be true. Our emotions don't always match, which is normal. I have been a bit numb for lack of a better word. Or maybe it's the best word ~ it is an honest word. As we've gotten back into a routine, things were getting back to normal.

But right before we return for a check up, we both get very anxious. All the wondering and questioning and hoping and praying. These past few days have been very emotional for us. We are concerned about some symptoms he's having. When the patch runs out, he notices pain in his ribs. He also has one eye that is giving him a dark shadow and some double vision. He called Little Rock about this and they're adding an MRI of the head to the tests.

We will be in Little Rock today and Friday, Dec 11-12. MRI's, PET, bone marrow, labs, ect. We'll come home for the weekend. We will return on Monday the 15th to meet with Dr. Barlogie and get the results.

Thank you all for your constant prayers for our family! What a precious husband and Daddy we have! We love him so much. Keep him lifted up tomorrow with his testing.

We are praying for good news on Monday ~ that this last treatment is working. We are still asking God for healing, for constant protection over Frank's body; for emotional and spiritual protection over the children; for comfort and peace for us as well as all of our extended family.

Psalm 139 (The Message)

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I'm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too—your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can't take it all in!

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you're there! If I go underground, you're there! If I flew on morning's wings to the far western horizon, You'd find me in a minute— you're already there waiting! Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I'm immersed in the light!" It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.

Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I'll never comprehend them! I couldn't even begin to count them— any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! And please, God, do away with wickedness for good! And you murderers—out of here!— all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations. See how I hate those who hate you, God, see how I loathe all this godless arrogance; I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred. Your enemies are my enemies!

Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about; See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life.


Anonymous said...

We have checked often and decided you are just too busy to post. Sounds like you are busy, and that is good to know. Sam and I continue to pray for Frank and for all of you. I hope you can once again feel that peace that passes all understanding as you wait for results on Monday. And as always we pray for good, good news.
Love, Margaret Martin

Anonymous said...

As always, we are standing in the gap praying for you!
We Love You!
Lou, Allen, Jim & Jane Howell

Anonymous said...

Praying that all went well today and hope this weekend will restore you all. Love you! Pat

Anonymous said...

Praying looking forward with hope. Love Paula