Update: Episode 41 (4/19/16)

Title of today’s episode:  Campaign Update – Progress continues, starting the countdown to “OUTTA HERE”!

The best news we’ve gotten in the past two weeks was the blood testing came back and said my blood was 100% donor (Connor) so this was exactly the news we wanted!  We’ll have a deeper, more true litmus test, test when I get yet another bone marrow biopsy (I think this is # 14 or 15) in a couple of weeks which will provide even more information.
I’ve been feeling better and able to get around more – highlight last weekend was going to the grocery store and walking the aisles with Terri (woo hoo.) We were able to get back home to Northern Virginia on Friday and pick up some mail, enjoy the trees blooming in the yard…and note that there’s some serious yard work that needs to be done.
We talked with the doctor yesterday discussing our remaining schedule here in Baltimore.  If I remain on the current path, we should be looking at going home in a couple of weeks, so that was really, really good news.  I’m really looking forward to getting back and starting to work on my ever growing “To do” list.   We’ve been spending way too much time watching HGTV, and want to get some home improvement projects done (none will include removing walls – if you ever watched any of the shows on this channel you’ll know what I mean)!
We’ve very much appreciated the notes and emails about Chance – thanks to all for the kind words, sentiments and lovely gestures.  So, we plow on, monitoring and watching my blood counts and temperature.  This is not a quick process, but we are in for the long haul and will make the best of this opportunity.
God’s Blessings,
Paul and Terri
PS…Going home is finally in our arc of sight!  We will be so happy to be there and yet I will continue to look for my baby Chance around every corner.  I have to believe that he has poured his cancer fighting power into Team Paul to help makes sense of his passing at this time.  If that’s the case, do you think Paul will let me scratch his ears?

Episode 40 (4/12/16)

Title of today’s episode:  Campaign Update – Progress is good, but we lost a team member

It’s been over 30 days since my transplant, and so far so good.  The doctors are pleased with my progress – in fact, my platelets are at a normal level for anyone!  We did the test (called chimerism) to see who’s blood (Connor or mine) is working inside me and we should find out the results later this week. 
I’ve deftly (wanted to use that word) avoided fevers since the one right after the transplant, significantly reducing the drama around me.  In fact, I’ve been so boring that today (4/12) I got to skip my daily appointment, and will stop taking the anti-rejection drug (cel-cept) that is really hard on the stomach!
We’ve had some great visits from family and friends, and really appreciate all the time folks have spent helping us out, and the continued notes, emails and texts of encouragement.  They all are so helpful as we go through the patience-testing face-off between donor and host!
Which leads me to “our team” – we had to say goodbye to Chance, our beloved almost 14 year old greyhound.  We had received news 2 weeks ago of an osteosarcoma cancer diagnosis which was pretty bleak and Terri had worked out a treatment plan that was expected to give us 2 – 6 months with him.  Unfortunately, late last week, he fell and fractured his leg, and we realized we had no options.  I was able to get home and to be there with him.  The vet was wonderful and gave us all the time we needed to say a final good bye.
We miss our boy very much.  He was our third “child”  for over 10 years and we will cherish our memories of him forever.  So, we continue our journey, praying the chemistry experiment continues toward our desired result.  Please feel free to visit now that I’m doing better – we still have another 3-4 weeks to go so visitors would be very welcome!
It’s FINALLY getting warmer (seems Spring is being recalcitrant), so enjoy the new season – I sure will be as soon as I can.  As a final note,  a friend reminded me of something I told her awhile ago – you can’t control everything and the sooner you realize that, the easier the journey is (not a snap, but easier).
God’s Blessings,
Paul and Terri
PS…Those who know me well, know that poor Paul has been getting a very short stick of a care giver right now as I am finally just today sort of coming out of  my funk.  The hole in my heart from losing my beautiful Chance is slightly less overwhelming.