Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Maui!


We're flying back to Maui tomorrow afternoon!

More dramatic improvememts in my counts today the Doctor actually told us we can get discharged tonight, if we want. This "life-death" ordeal is over. God was bigger than this most deadly acute (APL) leukemia.

Looking forward to start my strength building exercises and stuffing my face with all my favorite foods!

Praise The Lord and all your prayers.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Getting Better!


VERY GOOD BLOOD COUNT LEVELS TODAY! We were expecting these improvements to start tomorrow but the Lord made it more special that it had to be today, Sunday, when we got the good news.

What this means is that the good cells are now in control and will continue to improve daily at a faster pace. We will likely return to Maui by the end of next week, I just need to regain as much weight and strength during the next few days. Once I get my appetite and taste back I will just eat like a pig as we are allowed to bring food to my room and apparently I have no restrictions on my diet.

Today also marks my full-month confinement at Kaiser Hospital and I haven't been out of my room during that period except the occasional trip to the Digital Imaging rooms. It has taken a toll on my muscles and strength. Like I mentioned before Im pretty much skin-and bones.

God is good. Thank you again for your prayers and friendship.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!




HAPPY 45th ANNIVERSARY to my Princess, beautiful Private Nurse, and God's chosen mother for my family.

The most I could do is to post this message on the Nurses' Bulletin Board inside my room would replace the roses that would have been delivered but they're not allowed in our room.

A very unlikely place to celebrate but this is God's preference I guess. We were supposed to be at Cape Cod today for this special occasion.

The last 4 days was so far my worst days. My strength was pretty much at zero level but it also affected my mind. The feeling must be the same as when anyone is near-death. Today, my white blood count is now at -.01 (at the delight of my Doctor?).  Strangely, I woke up this morning feeling strong and refreshed which explains how I manage to make this post. Im praying that it would last the whole day. Thank you Lord

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Post Chemo


Last Thursday (August  8 was my last Chemo session and from there, it's a radical cleansing process before the restore/recovery begins. Then the Doctors can decide when I can return to Maui and continue my recovery as an outpatient.

Heres' my own version: The battle rages. Judging by how I felt the last 2 days, it must have been quite violent.The Chemo "ninjas" were simply annihilating everything including the good cells. My blood counts were so low (this is s GOOD!) they had to do blood transfusions to help the good guys. The Doctor mentioned that it could get worse yet but they like the results so far. It should be just a matter of days now when the good guys will dominate the battle just over the hill nearby.

The effects: My wife (retired nurse) would definitely consider me a miserable patient, lost interest on anything, very very weak, no appetite, diarrhea, pretty much lost all my muscles. I think I'm not far from that "skin n bones" look. Just feeling lousy all the time.

The Positives: I'm alive! THANK YOU LORD. No pain at all! Haven't lost my hair and I don't think I will at this point. Still can taste food and I'm allowed to eat anything as much as I can to build up my energy but I simply lost the desire to eat.

Thank you as always for your prayers. They really work. Please continue to pray for us. I can feel the Holy Spirit when I do my final prayer at night and upon waking up in the morning. It becomes a crying session and I relish every moment in those divine moments.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Chemo Sessions


Today, I like to think to of me as David (before he became the greatest King of Israeli) after he beheaded the giant Goliath during that legendary one-to-one fight in front of their massive armies. After the victory, God's Army (the Israelites) went on to destroy the fearless and violent Philistine Army (the super-bad guys) across the river.

NO SURVIVORS - that would have be my battle cry as I also lead the final assault with my own GOD'S ARMY to finish off the remaining Cancer Terrorists still hiding in my blood, my 9mm Beretta and Sig blazing on each hand, Rambo style! Oh yeah Baby…

Ok, back to Reality at Kaiser in Oahu….

Last night was my fourth and "final" Chemo session but will continue with the oral Chemo pills indefinitely. Although it sounds somewhat like a relief it also marks the beginning of another major (and hopefully final) step in my battle against my Acute Leukemia

For the past 13 days I've also been orally ingesting potent cancer drugs. That's the easy part as I never really felt any dramatic side effects. However, it has been gradually zapping away at my strength. I no longer cannot get off the bed or walk on my own, so I mostly stay in bed during my waking hours. Altho Evelyn somewhat disagrees, I think I lost a lot of weight already.

The other thing I observed is that I seem to be not interested in doing anything. I have my Macbook, iPad, and good internet in my room and yet I hardly open them. TV is off almost always.

If I am not sleeping, I'm in what I personally consider my prayer mode - just reflecting on Evelyn and my family, relatives, friends, current blessings, specially my new perspective about my future from hereon and how God loves me so much. Quite often, I also noticed that I have tears involuntary flowing from my eyes while praying, it's a beautiful feeling.

According to the Doctors, all my blood counts will now approach and hit the lowest. THIS IS GOOD and this is where they want it to go before my system will start to rebuild and restore. This could take around 2 weeks. Of course the Doctors would order more blood/platelets transfusions to get all these counts up, if I need it. Otherwise I will be on my own to duke it out. I will get even weaker, unpredictable infections, might lose my taste, probably feel lousy mostly, maybe lose my hair, and lose more weight. That's the battlefield.

So my friends, please join me and let's cry out to the Lord for comfort and speedy recovery!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

At Kaiser Honolulu


Praise to you Lord for more Miracles and with all our friends' prayers!

First great news: I've been downgraded to low-medium risk from high-risk. No more frightening surprises in the future. They have stabilized all possible weak areas.

Second great news: Because my system positively responded to the the first chemo, the next 3 would be mild doses as well, like the first one. Speaking of the first one, it was so mild that there were no side effects at all. In fact, I enjoyed my dinner right after the session!

Hannah will be joining us at the Hospital cafeteria today.My Chemo #2 session is scheduled for the evening. We will try to squeeze in as many fun times as we can with her before my immune system points more slightly downward.

I wish you all a wonderful Sabbath Day with The Lord!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Acute (APL) Leukemia


After a couple of days of trying to get rid of the pesky and painful gout attack on both legs,we've started Chemo #1. It's a low dose and therefore will only take 10 minutes, but the prep work would take more than 1 hour. Usual side-effects were simply nausea which would be probably unnoticed because they already gave me
something to counter the effect and another one later.

The next one will be on Sunday with a lot stronger dose and this would continue on for Tuesday and Thursday at full blasts! The last 3 would take longer as expected.

All the above Chemo sessions would take place in my private hospital room which included an extra cot for my wife for our entire stay in Oahu. After the above 4 sessions, that's it!!! The Doctors would strategize the next assault. Hopefully, of course, coming back to Maui would be one of those options. Too simple to be true but that's what the Doctor said very casually. Of course that’s only in the perfect world, he wouldn’t commit to anything.

But here's the thing, the point of no return was last Sunday when the Kaiser Cancer Specialists in Oahu ordered the air-ambulance for us. If we stayed in Maui one more day, I WOULD BE DEAD by now because I had severe internal bleeding and the aggressive medication only existed at Kaiser in Oahu at this time. This type of Acute Leukemia is so deadly that when it hits it kills fast! It''s not like the others where you may have all the time to locate bone-marrow donors, do extended Chemo, etc.With this one you literally bleed to death internally, so it was critical for the Maui Doctors to make the right diagnoses that the bleeding is from an aggressive cancer in my blood, and not simply coming from the colon and stomach.

We apologize to all as we will continue not to receive telephone calls for a while. I forgot to mention that my heart, altho still healthy, is not working at 100% and breathing is a major priority at all times. In addition to the above Chemo routines, I’ve been ingesting hundreds of pills, fluids, etc. and was told they were all out there to sap out my energy. Even telephone calls (specially the emotional ones) would tax my respiratory system.

Thank you again for your prayers, I have testimonials to announce to the world that God is for real.