I am sorry I haven’t been around to update you all. Thank you Aunt Sally for doing that in the comments of the last post. As Sally and my wife (Angela) have said I became really anemic, dehydrated and just down after my last round of chemo (I couldn’t even get up from the couch w/o feeling light headed, and go up the stairs w/o feeling winded). What happened, is that I had just begun to fight a cold at the same point that my body started to hit it’s normal “low point” (as far as blood count, etc.); whatever white blood cells I had went to fight the cold and left the rest of my body out in the “cold,” so to speak. Last Tues. they brought me into the clinic for hydration and labs; they then called me in on the next Wed. for me to receive 2 units of blood in order to bring my counts up quickly (deal with my anemic state). We started the transfusion at the clinic, and about 15 min. in they rechecked my vitals (normal protocol to see if my body is receiving the blood okay) and my temperature had gone up from normal to 102 degrees. They thought I was having a reaction to the blood — well maybe — the team consulted, they came to the conclusion that most likely I was experiencing a neutropenic fever (a fever directly related to my immune deficient state). After a few hours at the clinic they admitted me to the hospital, and where they intended to transfuse the blood; they actually tried again late Wed. night, but again, my temp. spiked (oh yeah, in the mean time it had gone back down to more normal temps). Since they weren’t totally sure they stopped the transfusion again, they took cultures and more labs, and worked on it through the night. I woke up the next morning to the news that the pathologist looking my blood work over was convinced that my problem was not reaction to the blood, but neutropenic fever. Based on that they proceeded to give me two units, and it took (praise the Lord!). I felt better after that, but they took my blood again, and the next morning I awoke to the news that they were going to give me 2 more units of blood (which they did on Thursday, I needed to the 2 more units because my counts were still a little low). The next step was that I had to goΒ 24 hrs without having a temp. of a 100 degrees or higher — so the count down began, and ended, thankfully earlier today. They’ve all said this is a normal response to chemo (in fact one of the Nurse Practitioners said there is one patient who this happens to every time between chemos), I’m just praying this is the last time I have to experience this between chemos (no fun at all!).

I just wanted to say thank you all for carrying us through this valley of the shadow of death with your prayers and support. One thing that really ticked me off about being so down this last week is that I didn’t even have the strength to read my Bible (which is a daily obssessive thing for me, normally), let alone get online. Anyway, it means more than everything to know that you guys are there praying, especially when my strength is just not there.

Here are some specific prayers:

  • That the Lord would just thoroughly heal my body through this process — and quickly!
  • That the Lord would continue to give my wife the strength she needs, as she is the cornerstone here at the Grow home (she’s doing so much, and I know it’s the Lord in her).
  • That the Lord would continue to protect our kids through this process, that they would be shaped and grown in ways through this season that will impact them in ways that will only be told from eternities’ perspective.
  • That the Lord will continue to meet all of our “physical” needs, and He is, thanks to you all (I’ll keep you updated on our financial situation, we’re doing good still, but I’ll let you all know if the needs change drastically).
  • That the Lord would keep me “healthy” in these in between times (between cycles); i.e. that I won’t have to get anymore blood tansfusions, or experience what we just did, again!
  • That the Lord would just heal all the sores, and this is a bit specific, in my bodies’ orifices, which have been caused by the chemo (I don’t have alot, i.e. in my mouth, nose, and a hemorrhoid — the latter has been the most discouraging). I’m tempted not to mention this, but I’ve really been discouraged by this (I am taking all the necessary steps to deal with it, and I’m sure it will get better soon, but please pray to that end).
  • Most of all just pray that my wife and I would keep the eternal perspective, and just know that the Lord is going to get us through this season; it’s moments like these when that perspective really becomes challenged, so please pray!

Hope you all are doing well, and I’ll try to keep you all updated here, as much as possible! Btw, I have 2 more cycles to go (my next one as soon as this next Tues., argh, but only 48 hrs in-patient, then almost a full 2 weeks off) before I get my next CT scan. Please pray that the chemo has done its work, and that they will be able to do the surgery at that point (only about a month and a half a way or so)!