Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's Time

As I write this I am back in Chicago. Tomorrow morning the hospital will call, telling me they are ready for me to come in and begin the chemo in preparation for the autologous stem cell transplant. This treatment is the best hope for putting this cancer into remission. It's been a long journey to this point, since being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in Dec. I have to admit, even knowing that this is the best treatment available, and that I am receiving this treatment in one of the best places possible, it is still a frightening prospect. I am prepared, however, ready to do what is necessary to get this as behind me as possible. My trust is that God has led me to this point, and I keep my faith in God, believing that I am indeed in God's hands. This may be the last update for a while, I don't know how much access I will have to a computer after entering the hospital tomorrow, or if I will bewell enough to post anything. I will get back on here as soon as I can. Thank you for you prayers, know that you are in my prayers as well.
St. Peregrine, Pray for us.
Deacon John
Aug. 21, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Down the Home Stretch

As Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, there's no place like home. Stem cells were harvested on Wed. Aug. 13th. Thankfully enough were collected that I don't have to go through that experience again. Since the transplant can't happen right away, we were told we could go home. It is good to be home even if it is only for a few days. This is a week of rest, to give my body a break before continuing with the transplant process. The schedule has been finalized. I will be admitted to the hospital on Friday Aug. 22. The super chemo will be administered on that day and Saturday the 23rd. Sunday, appropriately, will be a day of rest. The transplant, the re-infusion of the collected stem cells, will occur on Monday Aug. 25th. I know I will be in the hospital for at least 3 weeks. I do not know how much of that time will be in isolation. It is good just to know precisely what will happen next. My job this week is to prepare myself mentally and spiritually for the transplant and the recovery period to follow. This will be a week of prayer and contemplation, working to be prepared for what will be a difficult time. No matter the difficulty, this must happen if remission is to be achieved. So this week I pray, read, and get ready, reminding myself that even in these difficult times God is with me. We will leave to return to Chicago on Thursday the 21st.
St. Peregrine, Pray for Us
Deacon John
Saturday Aug 16, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

Getting Started

Today I received the first injections of neupogen, a drug designed to stimulate stem cell production. The only draw back to neupogen is that the main side affect is severe bone pain. So if we are going to see any of Chicago, I guess we shoud do it today or over the weekend, before the pain starts. I will receive this drug twice a day for 5 days. The pain should not begin, if it does, until late in the process. So I should be ok until Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday the harvesting of the stem cells should begin. After a small fight with the insurance company about covering these injections, things were worked out so the transplant process would not be delayed. Thanks to God for answering our prayers that this insurance difficulty be resolved quickly. So, we are well on our way and will hopefully have the transplant as scheduled on Aug. 22. We are relying on God now to guide through this process. So far we have done well following God's lead. All we need now is the grace to continue to do so.
Deacon John
The Feast of St. Dominic
Aug. 8, 2008
St. Peregrine and St. Dominic,
Pray for us