About six weeks ago, things were looking promising. I was feeling better and my labs were improving. To do everything I can to help my kidneys, I put myself on a very strict diet (vegan and avoiding most vegetables and fruits because of their potassium) and continued (thanks to Jerry’s help) have been exercising daily. Then, two weeks ago I got my routine labs done and to my great disappointment my labs were even worse.

I had labs drawn yesterday to not only look at my cell counts (such as to evaluate my anemia and immune system) but to check on my kidney function and to  measure the evil protein my cancer produces. All those are “in the cooker” and I won’t be able to see the results util tomorrow or Monday.

I am additionally concerned because I’ve had a rough 10 days with symptoms like a stomach flu everyday, except for two. It could mean that my chemo is starting to cause more side effects. It could mean that I did have had one or two stomach flu like infections as my immune system is still suppressed and I’ve started to get out more in public. These symptoms could also mean something much worse, like my kidneys have completely shut down. The labs will point me in the right direction, as far as knowing.

So, if you are someone who prays, please pray that these labs will be better. If they are bad, certainly it will ruin my ability to be cheerful around the family during Christmas.



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8 responses to “Mini-Update:12/20/19”

  1. Am praying, and so are some folks in my small group. Please pray for me, too, as I am too fatigued to travel to the UP for Christmas…first time I’ll miss since moving to B in ’97.…bummer.


  2. I pray for you and will continue praying, Not sure how appropriate will be this comment but Do not let this cancer beast to continue robbing you and your family from enjoying the minutes, seconds, hours, days, weeks, months, years together. I pray that this weekend you will smile more, you will hug and get hug more, that you will look at the gray sky and marvel at the beautiful gray shades and how wonderful it is that you can still see your family, and how lucky among the awful events in your life you are bless and love by family, friends, even strangers like me.

    Sending you lots of good thoughts, prayers, hugs and much love.



    • I think this is always the greatest challenge for someone facing these situations and maybe you are speaking from experience. I used to think that the most terrifying thing a person could have faced was standing in line at the French Guillotine, and while waiting your turn, you are watching your friends and family beheaded (think of the scene at the end of A Tale of Two Cities). Then again, I thought about the worst thing was being held by Isis and tortured and having mock executions while waiting for the real thing. I almost became a Taliban hostage once so it is very real and easy to imagine. However, I now believe that this situation can be as challenging to someone’s place of peace. The issue is not just a fear of death. No, I don’t want to die. But I have been in places during the last 12 months when I prayed to God that I would die and end the nightmare. But the real fear is entering, almost at any moment, a very dark journey of unbearable suffering and abandonment. I lived through this process for almost six months last year and my fear of re-entering it is the most challenging. These labs I shared here for prayer are not abstract. If they were worse (they are already terrible), it would have meant that I would be driving myself today to the University of Washington (where my nephrologist has privileges) and being admitted for emergent dialysis and entering this dark course of my fate. Dialysis + MM has a dark and fatal course.

      It is my ever waking challenge to find peace in the midst of these constant challenges. As you say, I struggle constantly to rise above the symptoms and find peace but I do enjoy the moments of the day.


      • I am quite certain that absolutely no one can feel what you feel or even begin to understand unless they’ve walked a very similar journey. It saddens me so much that you felt alone and abandoned during times of great strife and discomfort and just plain ugliness. (I know that is not your intention when you share your honest words and emotion.) It takes a certain braveness to admit just how dark some days were/are and what you prayed for. It is my hope that when we show you empathy because sometimes we don’t have the right words..I mean..are there any real right words? Nothing can really make it better physically for you but hopefully there are times where you smile and feel the love and hope many of us try to impart to you. I pray you never have to re-enter that hell.


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