Sunday, March 2, 2008

Chicago, Chicago

Friday, Feb. 29th, we returned from our whirlwind trip to Chicago, after meeting with doctors at the University of Chicago Hospital. It was the end of an eventful week, one that began with sadness when the pastor of our parish died on Monday after suffering a coronary on Sunday night. Wednesday was spent at the funeral home as the other deacon in our parish and I led the Vigil prayers for our pastor. The next morning we left for Chicago and the University of Chicago Hospital. We managed to get from Midway Airport to the hospital, an adventure in itself, where we met with the doctors who work with myeloma patients. I was poked and prodded and answered a zillion questions. The doctors all but said I was a good candidate for an autologous stem cell transplant. They also said that four cycles of chemo could be enough, and that they were going to speak to my oncologist here in Louisville to see if he really wants six cycles. I will have to undergo some further testing to determine my eligibility for the transplant procedure, but that testing can be done in Louisville. If all goes well, and four cycles of chemo are enough, the procedure could begin as soon as the end of April. If it does the entire process could be completed by mid-June. Most of the follow-up testing can also be done here, making the process much easier. With recovery time I could be back to at least semi-normal by late fall. I am greatly encouraged by this, and I believe that God has guided us to the right place. The doctors and nurses could not have been more friendly or more open. They willingly answered all of our questions and encouraged us to call should we think of any more. I am more convinced than ever that this is the place where God has led us. I’m actually looking forward to getting started with this so I can get to remission and begin putting this disease behind me. As for the city of Chicago itself, obviously we didn’t see much, but I never realized that driving is a competitive sport!

St. Peregrine,
Pray for us
Deacon John
March 2, 2008

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