Patty Hendricks

First post: Dec 6, 2021 Latest post: Apr 19, 2022
Hello dear family and friends,

Oh, where to begin. Oh my, it has been an “adventure” for me this past year, not because of covid as the whole world has been struggling with that too, but because I have also been dealing with blood cancer as many of you already know but some of you may not have been aware of.

I wanted to share with you how God has been helping me through this whole ordeal and how He has been working behind the scenes in this journey in my favor. First of all, God has promised us in the Bible in Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear because I am with you, Do not be afraid because I am your God, I will make you strong and help you, I will protect you and save you, I will uphold you with My victorious right hand”. And God has certainly been doing just that. God loves all of us so very much and asks
us to share a relationship with Him. How fortunate we are.

I guess I should begin with my being admitted to emergency hospital last Christmas Day Evening with sepsis, a tremendous pain in my sciatica and hip, a 103% temperature, extreme anemia, very high blood pressure, a UTI infection, bleeding internally, and an infection in my piriformis muscle that had to be operated on. After being hospitalized for a week, I was scheduled to see my MD several days afterwards. My regular MD was doing phone video visits instead of coming into the office because
of covid so he had recently hired a nurse practitioner who had just moved up from Southern California a “few weeks prior” to my appointment with her to see his in-office patients. My regular MD told me that he and the gastroenterologist believed I had a tumor in my GI tract causing my internal bleeding of which they were going to pursue a colonoscopy. However, when Steve and I saw the new nurse practitioner in the office on January 5th, she told the both of us that she felt something more serious was going on so scheduled me to see a hematologist.  Because of my severe anemia, the Hematologist was going to give me a 4-hour iron infusion to boost me up. He had me take a blood test 4 days prior to that infusion and the nurse called me soon afterwards telling me the lab made a mistake and I would need to come back to take the blood test over. I did retake that blood test the next morning before my scheduled colonoscopy and drove the 10 minutes to my colonoscopy afterwards. 
When I arrived, the nurse opened the door and turned back saying “she’s here”. I thought, “that doesn’t sound good” and then the doctor ushered me into his office telling me how sorry he was I had to prep for the colonoscopy but that he wouldn’t be able to do it as my Hematologist had called him in that 10-minute time frame telling the Gastroenterologist not to touch me as I could die on the operating table because my white blood cells were .01%. I said jokingly, “What, do I have cancer” to which he replied,  “oh don’t worry, the Hematologist will take care of you”. The Hematologist called me as I was driving home telling me he was scheduling a bone
marrow biopsy ASAP to see what was going on with my blood levels. So I had that bone marrow biopsy 2 days later which revealed I had MDS/Leukemia which is where your white blood cells made in your bone marrow are not able to fully form into a cell. Plus, I have myelofibrosis which is where the bone marrow develops scar tissue. I was in the bottom 2nd level of the MDS risk scale which is 1.6-year survival rate, and I began chemo 2 weeks later. I had a 2nd opinion with Stanford, and they said they needed to be very aggressive with my cancer treatment and wanted to pursue a bone marrow transplant. 

After a few months, they were able to find me a donor and have scheduled a bone marrow transplant for December 15th. I will be admitted to Stanford for extreme chemo the week before the actual transplant. Graph verses Host Disease (GvHD) is where the risk of organ failure lies besides the risk of infections. (I am the host, and my T-cells will battle the invading T-cells of my Graph). However, I found out my doctor is one of the leading researchers in the field of the manipulation of the T-cells. Our bodies have the conservative T-cells that are the worker cells and the Regulatory T-cells tell them what to do. Indeed, we are wonderfully made by our Creator. My doctor is able to manipulate the T-cells and separate them and administer them to the body at certain times to reduce the risk of GvHD instead of them all being administered at the same time in a normal transplant. Again, God has been working to give me this particular doctor. Amazing.

We have seen time after time God working in giving me just the right doctors at the right times, bringing me through 5 different life-threatening infections, working through red tape during Covid, and so many other things but I don’t want to overwhelm all of you nor do I want you to have to read this “novel” I’m writing. This is my summarization. So, I am being admitted to Stanford in two days. Not looking forward to it however I feel a peace about our decision to go forward with this transplant. 

When I told the Lord, “Oh I do not want to go through this ordeal Lord and I don’t think I can do this”, I felt The Lord strongly tell me, “No you are going to do this. You are going into battle, and you will come out with battle scars, but I will be with you and I will be holding your hand through the battle”.  (I don’t think I’ve ever felt the Lord telling me anything but that is probably because I never took the time to wait and listen to Him after prayers. I would pray and then rush off to do whatever I had to do without waiting for His reply.) However, I have begun listening to God and placing my trust in Him working behind the scenes when I didn’t know what was going on or if I had been forgotten by the medical industry etc. I encourage you to hold on to the fact that God loves each one of us no matter what with a love we cannot comprehend or understand. He wants us to know Him and be involved in our lives. 

I do feel that God will bring me through this battle victoriously and I will be home the end of April to see you once again. And I also understand the risks so if I fall in battle, I will be going to Heaven where God has promised me a place there so I will see you loved ones again but at a later time. I will be at that “big party” waiting for you. So, as I go into this battle we are asking for your faithful prayers to guard against the infections and organ failures and we are so very grateful for all of you in our lives and for your kindnesses and for those prayers. Thank you to all of you who are joining me in this battle.

My amazing and wonderful daughter will be updating this post to keep you informed of what’s going on as well as prayer needs as they arise. Again, each one of you are very dear to me and have played such an important part in my life and have enriched my life. I love you dear ones and am thankful for you.

Stay well and be safe,

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