We got good news this morning from the surgeon who performed the biopsy surgery. My biopsy was negative for lymphoma. They attribute the PET scan results to “reactive” lymph glands which can be the result of an infection.
Possibly the infection came from the virus I had in January. In any event that seems to narrow it to an auto-immune disorder. I still am struggling with the symptoms of numbness in hands and feet, and some loss of activity in legs and some body functions.
I have a follow-up with the Duke hematologist next Tuesday, then my neurologist at the end of April. I appreciate your continuing prayers for whatever the next steps are. During this Easter season an “alleluia” or two is our response to this good news!
After almost 3 weeks in hospitals, we are finally home! We’re thankful to God whose Spirit sustained us, to friends and family whose concern encouraged us, and to skilled doctors and nurses whose training helped us. Thank you again for all the prayers, cards, visits, calls, home repairs, and everything else. We love and thank God for you. Come see us…at home!
I may be going home this afternoon! I have one more plasma pheresis treatment and they want to watch me for awhile after that, but barring any problems we should go home late this afternoon. (Or tomorrow at the latest but I’m counting on today!)
The good news is that there is noticeable improvement. I now have some reflex response in both legs, which I did not have yesterday. I can stand and walk more steadily, too, so hopefully whatever I have is leaving gradually.
I see the surgeon and hematologist next week for follow up and will get biopsy results then. Until then, we are grateful to God for these hopeful signs, and to you for praying for us. See you in Chatham!
The biopsy went well today. The surgeon was able to take three lymph glands from my left groin. Lab results will be available in 2-3 days, so by Thursday or Friday we ought to know something.
Tomorrow I have another plasma pheresis treatment. Physical therapy is also scheduled to work with me. Both physical therapy and the plasma pheresis treatments have enabled me to walk better with a walker.
I keep reminding the doctors that I want to go home on Friday. Until then we’re here at Duke. God’s grace is indeed sufficient and his strength is made perfect in weakness. Thank you for your prayers.
I had a busy day today. The plasma pheresis folks showed up this morning about 9:30 am. The treatment finished about 11:45am, so it took quit a while. However I think the treatments are helping because I am walking better than a few days ago.
While the treatment was going on, the surgeon came in to talk to me. After examining me, he decided to take out a lymph gland in my left groin area. Although this is often done as outpatient surgery, they do put you to sleep. The surgery is scheduled for 2:45 pm on Tuesday, so I would appreciate your prayers then.
I also had a swallowing test. The test consists of swallowing vast amounts of some very nasty barium while they X-ray you from various positions. Apparently I passed, so we can rule out one more thing.
We’re still planning to be home Friday evening, and I will remind the doctors of that tomorrow. We are so grateful for all of you who are praying. Keep it up, especially tomorrow at 2:45 pm. As one of our favorite songs says, “It is well with my (our) soul…”
Not much happened today which is what we expected. I did get another IV bag of calsium because the plasma pheresis treatments strip too much of the calcium from your body.
Debbie pushed me down to the cafeteria and later the in-hospital Starbucks. Before that we had a nice visit from Ben and Betty Davenport. They gave us a great report on worship at our church this morning. Several other friends and my dad called, and we enjoyed hearing from each one.
Tomorrow I am told I will have a swallow test, a surgical biopsy of another lymph node, and my fourth plasma pheresis treatment. We appreciate more than you can know all of the prayers, calls, cards, and visits. We feel your prayers which give us strength each day. Pray for a definite diagnosis and treatment plan this week. We are at peace with whatever comes our way.
When the doctors came around today, I asked them if I could be home by Friday. The head doctor asked, “Why, do you have something you want to do Friday?”
I said, “I’m a pastor and I really want to be at church on Esster.”
Both doctors looked at each other and decided that there was no reason I couldn’t be home by Good Friday, barring any further complications.
So that’s the plan: home in time for
Easter! Keep praying, please.
Let’s get right to it: the needle biopsy of a lymph node under my arm showed no cancer. Normally that would be good news, but the doctors were skeptical that it would show anything from the beginning.
That means on Monday I should have a surgical biopsy where they take a whole lymph gland. Unfortunately the “brightest” one is near my aorta, but there are others that are more accessible.
I also had another plasma pheresis treatment today. They seem to be helping as I have regained some leg strength. Still need a walker and PT is coming to work with me tomorrow.
Other than that we’ll be hanging out by the pool soaking up some rays this weekend. Not. Anyway my goal is to preach Easter Sunday. Please pray that I’ll be able to do that. We have so many dear friends both near and in other places. We appreciate your cards, visits, prayers, and thoughts. As Paul said, “I thank God for you….”
This morning as the doctors made rounds and checked me, my right leg showed some improvement. I am now able to lift my right leg and bend my knee. Two days ago I could not do this. So it seems like the plasma pheresis treatment is working.
I slept well last night. The doctors also disconnected me from the heart, oxygen, blood pressure monitors and moved me to a new room, 4101. I got to shower this morning and put on sweatpants and a T-shirt, rather than the revealing hospital gowns.
The biopsy results will hopefully be ready on Friday. One of my doctors told me I would be here at least five more days. However, if the biopsy did not yield enough tissue for an accurate diagnosis then they will surgically remove a complete lymph node to biopsy.
This is not a journey we chose, but we can feel your prayers sustaining us along the way. We’re not worried or fearful and we are in the hands of the God who made all things. I can’t think of a better place to be.
Today was a busy day. Just as I was about to eat my oatmeal, the nurse came and took it away because my biopsy was scheduled for sometime today. A bevy of doctors examined and talked with me throughout the day. Physical and occupational therapy put me through the paces.
In the afternoon I had another plasma pheresis treatment. While that was going on for over two hours, additional doctors came in. Then, because I mentioned some chest pain, the EKG cart showed up. All the people in my room reminded me of that old Groucho Marx movie where people keep coming into his hotel room until they all tumble out the door!
Finally at 4 PM, they came to get me for my biopsy. The team decided that a lymph node under my right arm was the most accessible. After considerable probing they finally got a large enough sample to test. Lab work will take 2 days, so by Friday we should know if I have lymphoma.
Thank you for all the cards, prayers, visits, emails and all the other expressions of help and concern. We love each of you and we’re still trusting the God of the Angel Armies (as Eugene Peterson says) for His healing power.