This post will be updated throughout the week. Check back often for the most up-to-date information and requests for prayer.
April 9, 2020
6:36 p.m. – Big day yesterday. My platelets stayed up from Monday, but my hemoglobin was still low, so I got MORE blood. I will have to go in tomorrow again for them to check my vitals. I also got to meet with my main outpatient doc to discuss what the next few weeks look like. Next week is a big one. They will check my vitals again on Monday, to make sure I am able to get another bone marrow biopsy on Tuesday. If vitals remain high, I would also have another port put in my chest on Wednesday that would allow me a little more freedom than the one I currently have. If ALL those things go well, and my vitals don’t take a dip, than I will be admitted to the hospital next Friday for my next round of chemo.
One of the big things you can be praying for is the bone marrow biopsy on Tuesday. Yes, it is an extremely uncomfortable procedure, but what the test will reveal is whether or not my leukemia is in remission yet. If not, than things would continue as normal til they retested after my next round of chemo. If it were in remission, I would still have to undergo a few additional months of maintenance chemo, but it would mean that I can start meeting with the transplant team to discuss the next steps in securing a bone marrow transplant.
Other than that, closing on our new house is starting to get real (about 3 weeks til closing). Time to start making some lists.
April 7, 2020
9:27 a.m. – So my nose continued to bleed on and off again most of the weekend. By Monday, I was feeling pretty weak and light-headed. Thankfully, I had an appointment yesterday, which showed my vitals had taken a dip since last Thursday. My red blood cell count was low, my white blood cell was low, and my creatinine level had shot back up (apparently I haven’t been drinking enough water). They pumped me full of platelets and blood and sent me packing.
As you can imagine, I felt almost immediately better. The nosebleeds have subsided, now that my blood can actually clot, and I’m finishing up my first liter of water now.
Here’s what this weekend has shown me: it’s not going to be the bigger, more painful procedures that ultimately highlight the poverty of Godly character or sin in my life, it’s gonna be the small things.
Things like impatience with my boys, making sure I spend quality time with Keri as she picks up more slack around the house, have I read/listened to/meditated on God’s Word today. Even things as innocuous as making sure I drink enough water, to not blowing my nose too hard. There will be more little things like those that pop up, but all things I took for granted before all this. Cancer has shone a torch onto my character and found chinks in my armor that were really chasms all along. It is a terrible thing to discover your own inadequacies when you need them the least.
Listen to John Owen, a 17th-century Puritan:
The duties that God, in an ordinary way, requires at our hands are not proportioned to what strength we have in ourselves, but to what help and relief is laid up for us in Christ; and we are to address ourselves to the greatest performances with a settled persuasion that we have not ability in the least.
This describes perfectly how I feel after a weekend of losing to a bloody nose. I am wholly and completely inadequate for the task set before me. Any strength and vigor that I possessed before all this is fading. I hold no encouragement left in myself, and there is no hope left to hold in my hands, outside of the help and relief laid up for me in Christ.
So why even get out of bed this morning? What then possesses me to push forward in hope? Jesus. It’s still Jesus. It’s always been Jesus.
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
It’s only when I consider the supremacy of Christ in all things, and the abundant treasures laid up in Him, that I find any courage for the battle ahead. He doesn’t cure my lack of strength, or fix my wanting character, but instead, gives me his.
It’s when I am reminded of a sovereign God who brings the dead back to life that I find my feet upon solid ground once more. He will see me through this.
It’s when I am reminded of the grace that has saved me, and the goodness of a God who dies for his enemies, that I can rest at night knowing that he will never leave me or forsake me. He hasn’t yet.
It’s when I contemplate that he knows what it is like to bear these burdens, that suffering is not foreign to Him, that I can trust that he not only knows my fears and anxieties, but that he will take care of me, even in leukemia.
So please, continue to encourage Keri and I. But know that the most comforting words are those that speak of Jesus, and in Him we continue to be comforted beyond measure.
Currently listening to – My Billy Joel Playlist.