Hi to all! First I wanted to thank everyone for praying for our friend Frank Matthews. Happy to report that Frank is doing so much better now. MD Anderson started him on a different medication and it is working like magic. He may even be able to return to work in July. Nothing beats the power of prayer!
It's been a little over 8 months since Gerald's Stem Cell Transplant and he is doing pretty well. We headed to Baylor to see Dr. Berryman for our monthly follow up visit and things look decent. Gerald's blood work didn't look as good as it had in May but Dr. B wasn't concerned and said some of the results and symptoms he's been having are to be expected with the type of maintenance therapy he takes post transplant.
Gerald continues to fight fatigue and suffers from mild cramps in his legs, arms, feet, and hands. He also is a little dizzy at times and has mild edema (swelling) in his face, stomach, legs, arms, hands and feet. Other then that he is doing really well overall and continues to work full time. He has been working long hours due to how busy his work is this time of year. This may contribute a little to his fatigue. Work should slow down in about a month or so.
Gerald no longer has to take IVIG at this time which is a huge blessing. It takes 4 hours or more to complete and that makes it such a long day at the clinic.
Last month Gerald's light chains and immunoglobulins were within normal range but neither were back yet this month so we are praying they are all still normal.
Gerald asked Dr. Berryman how he thought attitude affected a persons recovery when dealing with a life threatening illness. His response was pretty revealing: He said that it is obviously impossible to say in scientific terms how much factors in our lives affect our ability to fight off disease. However, things like close relationships with family and friends and our faith seem to make a difference. He told us about a study where they took a large number of cancer patients and put half of them on a prayer list and half were not put on a list. The patients didn't know whether they were put on a prayer list or not and the people praying for them didn't know the patients. Their progress was charted and the results showed that patients on a prayer list had better outcomes then those who weren't on a prayer list. Amazing!
Thank you so much for your prayers, cards, and words of encouragement. We are so wonderfully blessed with such a great support group.