Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Smoldering Myeloma

Yesterday Frank went for F/U with the doctor in Mesa and he said the same thing as before, that the cancer is still smoldering (i.e. in the bone marrow, not in the blood) and at stage 1 so they won't start any treatment until it has become active. The new blood tests he had done looked good. He will have to have blood work every month to monitor things and at the point that things change, they will determine what to do. The genetic profile that they will use to see whether he has an aggressive kind still hadn't come in yet so we don't know those results but based on everything else, we are confident that it is a very slow growing kind (there are 7 different kinds of myeloma!). The doctor said that Frank has probably had this for a number of years.

We stayed overnight and returned from Mesa today after dropping Kandra and Gavin off at the airport. He was a little sick, must have picked it up from Kristal's two little girls who we took to the ER Sunday night because of continued high fevers (105+) and coughs. Thankfully they are feeling a lot better and she will leave with them to go to St George in the morning to visit the other grandparents a few days before going to SLC. It has been fun having them all here for a chance to visit and have fun together. BTW, in case you hadn't noticed, the wallpaper on my blog has been changed, with thanks to Kristal.

Tomorrow Frank will go to Show Low for a Cardiolyte Stress Test to determine how his heart is holding up. In March he will start the process for Cataract surgery on both eyes. Always something with him.

Friday, February 20, 2009

To My Honey

This has been a very different Valentines month for us this year. We were eagerly anticipating the chance to attend the Marvin Goldstein concert in St. George Utah on Valentines Day. All four of our kids were able to travel to it and we all had a wonderful time together listening to his music. He is a world class pianist and played one song after another seamlessly, only stopping to change to a different theme, such as from love songs to a medly from Fiddler on the Roof, then The Sound of Music, then The Phantom of the Opera, etc. He even took many requests from the audience, wrote the titles down and then played them one after another without stopping. He never used music and played everything from memory. He interspersed his music with lots of good humor and was very entertaining. The concert was wonderful and I would love to go to another of his. We had an awesome weekend with all our kids and most of our grandkids in St George.

All that being said, we had a rather dark cloud hanging over our heads as we had just found out a few days previously that Frank has a malignant blood disease called Multiple Myeloma. It was diagnosed through a bone marrow biopsy done to determine why his white cell count had continued to slowly drop to a dangerously low point over a period of several years. This diagnosis has been totally unexpected but explains his tiredness and frequent colds and chest infections which he couldn't fight off without antibiotics. The doctor (Oncologist/Hematologist) feels that the chemotherapy he received 17 years ago for Lymphoma cancer caused mutations in his chromosomes that are now causing mutations in his plasma cells and turning them malignant. We will find out more about what treatment, etc. the doctor wants to do when we go back to Mesa on Monday for another follow-up to find results of other tests that have been done (genetics, etc). The doctor is thinking at this point that it is in the 'smoldering' stage and has not entered Frank's bloodstream to start causing damage. He says if that is the case, chemotherapy won't do any good until the disease becomes active. I am very leery of chemo at this point for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is very toxic to the body, normal cells as well as the cancerous ones.

We both have found comfort in a wonderful blessing given to Frank by his good friend Bill Beecroft, in which he was told that he would live a normal life and be able to accomplish the things he wanted and needed to do. Only the Lord knows how that will be fulfilled but when the doctor said that his disease was 'smoldering' and has not affected any of his organs--kidneys, bones, red blood cells, etc. at this point, Frank felt like a great weight had been lifted and feels very peaceful.

I am so grateful to him for the many good years we have had together, for his strength, example, humor and leadership and especially for his great faith in the Lord. He has always been there for me when I needed it. Honey, I love you more than I can say.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wrestle a velociraptor????????

I could survive for 60 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor