Saturday, December 19, 2015

Advent 2015

We recently attended the second, third and fourth Sunday of Advent worship services at churches in our new Texas home. We miss our neighbors and friends from Jackson, especially ones from Briarwood Presbyterian Church. In corporate worship we enjoy the sharing of prayers, scriptures, music, communion and fellowship. No matter where you are and who you are sitting beside, Advent is a beautiful time both visually and in our spirit. It is about waiting, anticipation and above all patience. For truly a believer receives joy with His coming and is rewarded in time with waiting patiently for the One who we worship.

My health still consumes much of my existence. It never was that way prior to my turn of illness. Before I started getting so sick, rarely did I spend much time in medical clinics, hospitals or the like. I had no use for doctors! In fact, I avoided them and their profession as much as possible. I could write a book about how and why I did not like anything about healthcare but I will spare you my convoluted opinion on that subject for now. Needless to say, my opinion has mellowed somewhat. A cancer diagnosis will do that, especially when your care has been nothing short of miraculous.

So much has changed for us in such a short period of time. 2015 has been a remarkably good year in light of the pain and sorrow we felt for most of 2014. However, nothing compares to the love and peace we have and that surrounded us for the past two years.  I am still sick but have remained in remission for over a year. Thanks be to God!

We are settling into our new Texas home that gives us joy and peace.  Moving from Jackson has been one of the most difficult things we have ever experienced.  Yet, we had to make this move and are pleased at how well it has gone, so far.  We are happy with our new surroundings and know that being close to MD Anderson and to Sarah and her family is the best thing we could do at this point in our lives.

About six weeks ago I was hospitalized again for pneumonia.  This is the the third time in less than two years for me to experience this problem.  Like other times, I did not know I was sick with pneumonia. Janine rushed me to the emergency room about 5:00 am after I awoke unable to catch my breath. It  was quiet unsettling to me and especially to Janine. Three days later I was back at home loaded with more med's and a few new doctors. I have recovered well now, have a new pulmonary doctor that we like and needed and am enjoying better breathing.

My MDS remission has recently been challenged by slightly downward trending White blood cell counts. So far it has not gotten too low but I am on infection alert but able to travel and be around people provided I'm careful. I remain on the AG-221 experimental study/trial drug having completed 15 cycles. All has been good with the treatment and no serious side effects have occurred.

Today, December 22, 2015 we went to MD Anderson for my mid-cycle blood/lab tests and PA review. We got to see Alexis, "my girlfriend" as Janine affectionately calls her. She makes me and Janine feel good even when we don't. I share my annual Christmas Photos of us below. She is our pretty face of MD Anderson.

Merry Christmas to All!