Author Archives: k4drs

When Plan A doesn’t work…

The alphabet has twenty-five more letters. Which is a good thing, because I think we just hit Plan G? Anyway… We had an appointment with the Atlanta oncologist last Thursday. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, the traffic was worse getting up there and back than I’d ever seen for a doctor’s appointment. The news wasn’t unexpected, but it was far from what I wanted to hear. Continue reading

An update on, well, everything

So, I know I need to post an update, but there’s not really anything to update. It’s still a waiting game to see if the immunotherapy worked. I’m going for labs once or twice a week, and the results are fairly consistent. I’m needing a blood transfusion pretty much every week, and some weeks more than one. My platelets are slowly climbing, but still extremely low. And my neutrophils (my immune system) is still about as low as it can possibly go. Normal is between 2.0 and 8.0. Mine have been running around 0.1 or 0.0. Continue reading

Waiting on the LORD

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

This was done for me by my good friend and multi-talented Claire Sanders Calligraphy.

Isaiah 40:31 has long been my favorite verse. From the eagle imagery to the promise we can run and not be weary and walk and not faint, has always spoken and ministered to me. But these promises come with a condition. I can’t go out, register for a marathon, and then claim that I will not grow weary and take off running. Continue reading

On history, memories, and things you’d rather forget

I’ve undertaken a project of late: digitizing and tagging my parents’ old photo albums. Part of it is quite the walk down memory lane. But with all the smiles, laughter, and fond recollections, some of them have a dark shadow too. We live in an era of omnipresent selfies, snapshots, and video streams. These images are curated and often manipulated into a false perception of reality for public consumption. The outtakes are deleted, leaving the illusion of perfection. But perfect was a bit more fleeting during the days of film. You had to wait and see what you had, and hope some of them were worth sharing. Continue reading

Traditions, tiny hamburgers, and a drive through the country

Many years ago, a Dublin Irish football player would leave practice to head downtown for some 10¢ hamburgers. I’ve never been told how many teammates accompanied him, but I can’t imagine there were many. There simply isn’t room in the establishment. These burgers, what we would today call sliders, were as small as the building that begat them. But these are not normal sliders, burgers, or even as some have called them  knock off Krystals. This delicacy of steamed beef and bread evolved from a snack for a hungry high schooler to become inextricably linked to what it means to be a part of my family. Continue reading

Baldwin County, My Home

I’ve been wanting to do some sort of series to highlight areas that have a special importance to me, or to where I enjoy traveling. Since I’m not really able to travel at the moment, I figured this would be as good of a time as any.

I can’t say Milledgeville is my hometown. But, I do call it the nearest civilization to where I grew up. It was the closest Wal-Mart, Shoney’s, and McDonald’s. As a child of the late 1980s, that was what was important then. As I grew, it became so much more to me. It grew to trips to the library, my first job, starting college, graduating and beginning the next degree, my first professional job, meeting my wife, my wedding, and starting our home together.

Unlike most of the counties around us, Baldwin only has one city – Milledgeville. But that is not our biggest claim to fame. We are a designed capitol city and was the seat of state government from 1804 until 1868 when it moved to Atlanta. The two main governmental buildings remain, along with many antebellum homes and historic sites. Continue reading

Finally back home

I know I shouldn’t complain about being in the hospital for 6 days when I was initially projected to be hospitalized for ten to fourteen days. I don’t know what I was expecting from the process, but it delivered. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but wasn’t sure what would happen. But true to form, I really didn’t have the “normal” side effects. I had the weird ones. Continue reading

Hospital Update – January 25, 2018

So, I’m calling it the “first” day, but in reality, it has been three… They just all blurred together. We got to Atlanta on Sunday evening and had the first appointment Monday morning. We were able to sit down with the pharmacist and go over the treatment protocol. Then the lab results came back. They wanted me to have two units of blood before they started treatment. So off to the infusion center for two hours. Yes, just two. I’ve never had a transfusion that quickly before. Normally, it’s at the rate of about 150 ml per hour. On Monday? It was 400 ml per hour. Once all that was settled, we headed back to the hotel to try to get some rest. Continue reading

D-Day + Two Years

Diagnosis day, it’s here again. Some days reach the level you don’t even have to say what it is. Birthdays. Holidays. Anniversaries. But not all of those anniversaries are good things. Some of them are reminders of the world turning upside down. Realizing that nothing would ever be the same. A total change in your perspective, in your life. Continue reading

Treatment Update: Immunosuppressant Therapy

Biopsy results and path from here

As I posted back in October, my transplant doctor wanted me to discontinue my chemotherapy and see if my bone marrow loss was due to it or to the cancer. I had the second biopsy on December 18th, and received the results today. The bad news is there was no change in the results following the discontinuing of chemotherapy. But the good news is there were no cancer cells in the sample, which means the MDS is not progressing to leukemia. Based on these results and other genetic testing, it appears that I have a subtype known as hypoplastic MDS. Continue reading