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.


Kristal and Jason said...

Thank you so much for the tickets to the concert. I LOVED every minute of it. I love you both and couldn't have asked for better parents.

DeAnne Baum said...

Sorry to hear that! Thank goodness for the power of blessings. You both will be in our thoughts and prayers. Keep us all posted.

Sounds like you had a great time at the concert. A Valentines that you won't forget.

KaNdRa and JaReD said...

Yeah I also wanted to thank you for the tickets. I am glad that I decided to make the trip out to AZ.
Well I guess it's a good thing this happened to Dad because he is the one with the nine lives and he has only used 5 or 6 of them....haha. We love you too and can't wait for you to take Gavin and I fishing!

Becky and the Boys said...

I love Marvin Goldstein!

I'm so sorry to hear about Frank's latest issue. He'll be in our prayers. We've always thought the world of you both.

Dawna Greer said...

Thanks for leaving such nice comments. It means so much to us.

bdrain said...

A guy in our ward knows Marvin Goldstien, so every time he comes to Mesa we get the treat of having him come to our ward. It has been great having him use Sunday School time to perform and then play for the YM and YW.

I hope you know that you are continually in our prayers. Let us know what you find out.

T and L Morris Family said...

I was so sad to hear to news about Mr. Greer..he is an awesome man & was a big part of my life in Heber! So many good things:)

You are in my thoughts and prayers! I pray that everything will work out okay!

Skousen Seven said...

I also wanted to thank you for the concert tickets for Summer and myself! I had such an awesome time and really enjoyed our time together. Love ya lots!!!

Nic and Jessica Despain Family said...

My mom called me the other day to let me know about Mr. Greer. You guys have been in our thoughts and prayers and we hope that things turn out well. We love you guys!! Jess

McTwirly said...

And thank you for posting Franks protocol. I'd say regimine but i'm not really sure how to spell it :)

A myeloma association member sent me an update article by Dr. Aggarwal re: curcumin. I'm not sure how to link you to it, but you could google Aggarwal-TIPS-200
or the title
Pharmacological gasis for the role of curcumin in chronic diseases

Because curcumin seems to work for some people and not others, I am wondering if there is a correlation to the type of myeloma the patient has.
My husband is IGA and Lambda, I know, I know, that isn't the best prognosis. Also I know in Dr. Aggarwal's info that the curcumin acts on things that include the word Kappa. Hmmm.

Thanks again for your detailed post and for sharing your research. Wishing you and Frank well-
Julie Z (McTwirly)