Two weeks in

MegnmeMeg reminded me that my first chemo treatment was two weeks ago Saturday. Since then, it seems like a whirlwind has been blowing through the head with a rushing sound akin to a jet engine in my periphery.

Diagnosis Details:

As those two weeks were finished, I completed the first round of treatment and a chaotic rush to get blood and scanning tests to assess the current state. This week I have the entire week without treatment, assuming the average person needs the week of rest. As with most Myeloma patients, the first stage is predominately influenced by bone pain. In my case, I have, according to the Pet Scan significant cancer growth in the sternum, shoulder blades, thoracic vertebrae and the left femur. These are all places where I experience pain when moving, lifting or twisting. Pain management comes from a steady flow of Oxycontin.  Funny how Oxy is so closely regulated for regular pain control, but those concerns seem to go out the window with cancer.  I can ask for as many as I want. So I’m thinking of opening a drug store.

Finally, I take a steroid on Tuesdays and for the past two weeks an AFIB episode has shown up. We are exploring the possible connection but for the short term, I’m taking a low dose beta blocker to ward off the possibility of a stroke.

Today, Bob S who is a church member and a very bright guy went with Meg and me to the consult.  He’s gathered several reading sites and has offered his expertise in cognitive mind/body integration as a mental toolbox in defeating the enemy within. He will also be very helpful when we need objective input regarding the possibility of stem-cell transplantation.  We all left the meeting today sobered by the reality that the dreaded buggers have aggressively taken over the bones and plasma.  Right now infections remain the threat because the clones (cancer) has crowded out the white blood cells and fighting stuff will be very difficult.

Nutrition:

Now that the calcium production seems to be under control and the kidneys are doing a proper job of cleaning up the place, the questions revolve around healthy eating.  I’m skeptical about cancer fighting diets for most have very little empirical evidence.  But if something sounds interesting to me I’ve gone ahead and begun trying things.  One such experiment is the “slow cook, bone roasting” methods.  If you are in NYC and go the the swanky restaurant Canora, you can walk up to their outside service window and order a mason jar full of beef bone marrow broth for $5.00 or a take home quart for $16.  These bones have been oven roasted for 24 hours and then cooked into a vegetable broth like the one I’ve done here:

 

IMG_3669

3lbs marrow bones, grass fed organic beef.
6 carrots
2 yellow onions
1 leek
2 sweet potatoes
1 garnet yam
8 in strip of kombu
4 red potatoes
TBspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Allspice berries
 Half bunch of parsley
2 bay leaves
12 peppercorns
Head of celery
5 cloves garlic
I can also roast chicken bones for 30 minutes before making a chicken broth and most cooks are referring the outcome as ‘Brown Chicken Broth’
Spiritual and Practical Living Questions:
I am confident in God’s plan for my life and have no qualms about being asked to walk thru this terrible ordeal.  I trust I am found worthy to be encouragement, support and an honest human when it comes to living this out publicly.  I don’t wish to be God’s sandwich board man, He can handle His own affairs, I just hope my interactions with others are full of grace, hope and a sweet aroma that would all be contrary to the hot headed nature I can sometimes toss out when in stressful situations.
Finally, I will have to explore taking early social security, shifting some estate planning issues to protect Meg’s future income and security, and to make sure my children’s future estate is fairly established.

13 thoughts on “Two weeks in

  1. Dan, You and Meg are on my heart. I’m keeping you and the family close in prayer. Please do not hesitate to reach out should you need a medical advocate. My family and I are here for you any hour of the day. Your perspective is so humbling for those of us sweating the small stuff; I’m not sure what it is, I have worked with many cancer patients and the grace they exude in their battle is like none other. You are an inspiration. Xoxo

    • I will look forward to your help. The world is such a beautiful place with you in it. I couldn’t imagine navigating the difficulties ahead without your help and advocacy.

  2. Thanks for the update (and the recipe). I hope it goes well with a full bodied Red. Seriously, this does help us know how to pray for you. Do you know if they are thinking autologous transplant or from a marrow donation?

    • Dean: The transplantation regimen is entirely based upon the ability to reduce clonal cells via chemo treatments. The current modality is self harvested blood.
      thanks for reminding me to drink a little red.
      D

  3. Dan-loved your openness and honesty and how you wrote about your difficult journey.
    Thank you…
    Will be praying for you on this journey
    Every week ,sundays ,as iI have for the last 7 years.
    Focusing on His strength,His comfort ,His peace and His healing touch… 4URLUVD

  4. I’m living Six years beyond all my cancer doctors expectations because God chose to keep me alive! On year one, I went vegetarian and lost a little of the 50 pounds I gained from heavy steroid doses! Year two, I went back to a moderate diet, watching out for the greatest enemy for our system……sucrose sugar. Radiation and chemo at the same time the first year made me bald. My hair grew back and my ulcers are now under control. I told all the docs from the very beginning not to give me any medication that would kill my liver or kidneys. I had to argue with my neurologist on this one because he insisted I would be dead before my liver would be a factor. He was wrong! Stick up for yourself, or, better yet, get a loving advocate to do battle with the hospital staff with you!
    Year three through six were hard on my wife. I’ll pray for peace and steady recovery for you. I’m sure prayer was key to Gods response in sustaining me.
    God Bless You!

    • Ken. I allow most comments here without censorship and celebrate with you the extended gift of life. I trust your walk of faith and personal theology remains not only a testimony of strong personal resolve but also one where, like Jesus, the issues of life and death are products of God giving us talents meant to produce fruit. The Bible says the fruit of that Spirit is Love. I remain concerned for you and your wife during this sustaining time.

  5. Dan, you have a great support network of very close people. I am also praying for you daily… tho we haven’t had as much contact recently. If I can help in any way please let me know. God brought you into my life during a very difficult time for me. You were steady… encouraging … and helped me see hope. Thank you.

  6. When I was living in Oakmont and listening to your inspirational messages, I especially loved your beautiful prayers. They said for me what I couldn’t say for myself. One of my favorite images often in your message, perhaps because I had a lovely father, was “sitting in God’s lap”. As you go through this difficult time I hope you can climb on to God’s lap and find hope and peace. My prayers are with you.

  7. Don’t even think about giving up the fight. All of us want you to stay around, and some of us even need you.

  8. Hi Dan, I had trouble putting a response together on your first post and you have made it no easier with this second. There are no good words of comfort I can think of for what you must be thinking and feeling at the moment. For me, there hasn’t been much fruit in trying to find good explanations for what befalls any of us in this fallen world except that it seems to be inevitable. While we are not to hold on too tightly to this world, it is predominantly what we know. My prayer is that somehow this is meaningful to you (and us) as you walk through it. We turn to prayer and our creator as there is no other and believe that His grace leaves possibility for the miraculous (and the pragmatic) as He pleases. Will call you soon.

  9. Hi Dan. Jim & I had just heard a few months ago you and Meg had married–good news!–and now I read on your blog you’ve hit this very rough patch. Now we’re trying to hold both joy and sorrow for you all at the same time–hard. I will pray the only prayer I know for you & Meg–that you will know the Presence of God every waking moment! We are here if you need anything.
    Patty

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