Jim’s Health Update (At Last!)

Hey Friends,
Here’s a much-delayed update on Jim’s health. Because this is an on-going, often-changing situation, it’s hard to know just where to put a pin in and give an update. This is probably a good time.
Last week I spent a few days in the hospital with an intestinal infection. We went in through the ER and I was admitted for a couple of days of IV antibiotics and then released to finish another ten days oral antibiotics at home. As you know, my immune system is severely compromised after the stem cell transplant in February. Also, partly because of the nature of Multiple Myeloma cancer and also because of the maintenance drug I’m taking to suppress the cancer, my immune system continues to be compromised and is rebuilding very slowly. So I’m susceptible to all sorts of infections.
We’ve been mostly isolating at home since the transplant and were hoping for a little more freedom this autumn, but that’s on hold until we get through the current situation. Today is the last day of the oral antibiotics and I’ve got a follow-up appointment with the trauma and surgery team on Thursday to see if the infection is gone. Also, the scan I had in the hospital showed a mass on my kidney that needs to be investigated right away. I’ve got an appointment Monday with another medical service to begin the process of my getting a biopsy of the mass. We’ll let you know when we know more.
Due to the infection, I’ve been on a break from my cancer maintenance meds for almost two weeks. I’m pretty sure I can tell the difference in feeling better when I’m not taking them. So that’s a bright spot in the current process! We’re so thankful for God’s care and for the prayers and support of our friends. And for access to excellent medical care!
I’m Thankful! In the past few days, we celebrated daughter Melissa’s and son-in-law Colin’s birthdays. At the same time, I realized and celebrated that I’ve lived ten years longer than my Dad lived! A decade ago, I was very conscious of reaching the age of 69 and a few months and days, the exact age at which my Dad died. I don’t think about it as often and I don’t keep a countdown calendar as I did in the months before I reached that age, but the date is in my calendar and I’m very often conscious of it.
I’m conscious of it because for some reason, reaching that age a decade ago was the most significant age passage for me: more than driver’s license age at 16, more than voting age at 21, more than 30 or 50 or 60.
I felt at the time that every day I lived from that point on was a gift. I’ve maintained that attitude since. Not all days are easy or pleasant or play out the way I wanted them to, but each day is a day that my Dad did not live and it’s a day that I’ve been gifted. Some gifts are nicer than others, but they’re all gifts. Receiving and living a decade’s worth of gift days is worth celebrating!
As always, I’d love to hear from you and I welcome your comments and questions. If you’re reading on the blog, please leave a comment below. If you’re reading from the email, I’d love for you to click “Reply” and tell me what you’re thinking.

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