Update: Episode 44 (6/18/2016)

Title of today’s episode:  Dudley continues on the mend!

We hope everyone is enjoying the warming weather, with the beautiful skies, blooming trees, loads of pollen and those amazing late afternoon downpours – I’m not complaining, considering the alternatives!
Its been over a month since our last update, and I’m glad to say we are doing well!  I had my latest check yesterday (Friday) at Hopkins and everything looks good – all my counts, blood chemistry and physical check.  Adding to the positive-ness, they stopped my anti-rejection drug (tacrolimus), which means I can stop taking magnesium after a few days, as well as stop another drug.  For those keeping score at home, that’s 16 LESS pills per day!  And icing on the cake (and we do love icing), my next appointment isn’t till 7/15 (with only blood testing on 6/29).  That’s so long that I’ll probably need directions on how to get to Hopkins…Yea!

The post-transplant slump I mentioned in my last update past me by with hardly a whimper (like most snow storms we are forecasted to have in DC) so I’m continuing to get stronger. I’ve been walking over a mile a day, sometimes by myself, or with Terri or Connor.  I even managed a small bucket of balls at a local golf driving range – still have a LONG way to go there.
We are looking forward to the next few weeks, with our 15th wedding anniversary on the 30th, Shannon coming home from Spain on the 5th, and spending time with family at the beach.  I’ve been so blessed with children like Shannon and Connor, and especially with a partner like Terri.  She took a chance going out with an out of work guy who talked a lot, and has become my soulmate and fellow traveler on this journey.
During this journey, we’ve had the opportunity to meet many others battling various types of leukemia, and have tried to get to know as many as we could for mutual support, sharing stories, treatments and passing along helpful hints.  We’ve shared victories, setbacks, words of encouragement and prayers.  Some are doing very well, and others are not.  Of the people we’ve gotten to know, in the past year plus we’ve lost Darryl (rocket scientist), Anita (DC detective) and this week Casey (Secret Service agent) – all wonderful people with loving families.
Research continues and they are still working on better treatments, but no magic bullets or even semi-magic rubber switch blades yet.  – Something you can do is be a bone marrow donor (they are looking for 44 year olds and younger) – not everyone has family donors available – so the independent donors give leukemia patients a chance at life.  More info is available at bethematchg.org.
God’s Blessings,
Paul and Terri
PS…As we write this our next stop is Casey’s funeral, which will be tough.  I pause to ask the purpose of taking a beautiful 29 year old’s life and struggle with a reasonable answer.  It’s one of those days where I can only say, “God’s got some ‘splainin’ to do”