Tuesday, December 8, 2009

...not the best news...

Hello everyone…
Today we met with Mike’s Hematologist at Moffitt. We knew that this appointment was going to tell us a lot about the direction of Mike’s treatments from this point. He has just finished the Intensification Phase and is scheduled to start the Consolidation Phase and then go into the Maintenance Phase. His doctor had just returned from a weekend conference where the focus was mainly on the latest research of ALL. Thus far the doctors have leaned away from the idea of a bone marrow transplant but today’s visit went quite differently. Based on the information she received at this conference, she is recommending that Mike see a transplant specialist. It does not guarantee that it will definitely happen – it is still Mike’s decision, but she wants to get the ball rolling in that direction. We talked for a few minutes about the process of a transplant and honestly, just talking about it caused tears to steam down both of our faces. … Even in that little room, I knew that we have to pull ourselves together and face whatever is ahead with faith and strength…we do not know exactly what lies ahead, but God does – and that gives us a peace that surpasses understanding.
We were also a little upset because previously we were told that Mike could take off the month of December without any problems and today she told us that she is very concerned about Mike going 4 weeks without treatment. We have already scheduled our trip to MD and were very excited about the idea of a break. Obviously, we will do whatever we have to for Mike to get better – we were just very disappointed. She was trying to work around our trip, but Mike decided that he wants to just take the break (even with the high risk) and resume treatment on the 5th of January. If all goes as planned he will have a full week of treatments the first week of January and then go back once per week. It will continue in that pattern every month until May.
We are going to get a second opinion regarding a transplant from Mike’s original Hematologist (Dr. Hesdorffer) at John’s Hopkins, and obviously we are going to pray very long and hard about this decision. We appreciate everyone’s concern and prayers for us. Please continue to pray for wisdom, guidance and peace in our lives.
As far as our insurance premiums, we have applied for a “Cobra Assistance Program” through Moffitt. If (it’s a BIG “if”) we are approved, Moffitt will assist with up to $400 of the $1140 monthly premium. It is still a huge payment every month, but honestly, every little bit helps at this point, so I am praying that we qualify for the assistance.
Mike is going back on Dec 21 for labs to be drawn and Mike to be “cleared” for the trip to MD. PLEASE pray that his body does well and they will not have any reason to keep him from going.
On a lighter note…our tree is up and our house is beautifully decorated for Christmas. We spend our free time making holiday crafts and goodies & singing Christmas carols. There is a tremendous peace in our home and we are very grateful for all of our loved ones (near and far).
If I don’t have time to do another update before Christmas, we wish you all a very blessed and joyous Christmas season and Happy New Year!