Roger Slideshow

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day Seven

It's day seven on the new antibiotics that Roger was prescribed in the hospital, and we're so encouraged to report that he is not battling the fevers any more. We are very thankful that the meds have worked against the infection, but unfortunately it has had to come with a price: more stomach and fatigue issues on top of those he already has from the chemo meds.
So we're standin' in the need of prayer, as the old hymn puts it, and we have three main prayer requests: (1) that these side effects would dimish and be able to be controlled; (2) that Roger's body would begin producing enough red blood cells to eradicate the anemia that dogs him and deepens his fatigue; (3) and--BIG ONE--that our April 1st appointment with Dr. Stadtmauer would show that the chemo is making major inroads on the cancer and even eradicating it.
The Lord ministers to us daily through so many means: just the right Bible verse for a particular moment of struggle; the steaming dinner brought to our door; the loving acts of our brothers and sisters in Christ; the cards and visits/calls from family and friends. A challenge for us in all of this is that while we so miss interacting with you, our dear friends, the window of suffcient energy in any given day can be very small or even nonexistent at times. So please know that we love you and even when we don't see you, are blessed to pray for you even as you pray for us.
And we trust that the Lord will, in His good time, give us all a green, grassy meadow by the still waters on which we can lie on our backs, gaze up at the sky, chew a long stalk of grass, and talk and talk and laugh and talk till those cows come home. Till then, may our Lord our Shepherd help us walk by faith and not by sight.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Well, I'm sure most of you know this now, and I'm sorry for not posting sooner, but Dad came home from the hospital Thursday night, with a new antibiotic prescription. The lab results had come in, pinpointing the bacteria responsible for his infection and enabling the doctors to prescribe something specific. Last I heard, he was still feeling low, but glad to be home.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Update as of Wednesday Night

I'll have more for you tonight or tomorrow morning, but in the meantime, there's not a ton to report, just that Dad is still in the hospital, where they are keeping the fever down, administering antibiotics, and waiting for the labs that will help them pinpoint the infection. His red blood cell count was low yesterday, for which he received a transfusion. Mom said he just feels very tired. She spent the afternoon at the hospital with him yesterday, after getting home at 5 AM and sleeping just a few hours. She's been fighting some kind of bug herself. Please pray for both of them, body and spirit.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The return of the fevers

They're baaaack! Yes, this past weekend Roger's temperature began to rise bit by bit and by Monday morning we knew we had to call the doctor. Roger had had chills and sweats during the night and his temp was up to 101.9 in the morning. So we went down to HUP and blood samples and cultures were taken. His white blood count was high enough, however, that he did not need to be admitted. We were sent home with a strong antibiotic and told that when the cultures matured if there was any indication of a serious infection, they would contact us.
Well, the call came Tuesday evening when we found out that the cultures showed that Roger had a blood infection and needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately so they could begin an antibiotic drip. So we headed down to the ER, which is a story in itself, which I do not have the time to recount. But the basic situation now is that Roger will remain in the hospital on IV antibiotics for at least 3-4 days while the lab examines the cultures and waits for them to fully mature. Once they can zero in on the particular bacterium causing the problems, Dr. Stadtmauer can better prescribe the exact anitbiotic to deal with it. He is not sure what may have caused this problem--it's pretty hard to be exact on these things at times--but some suspicion is falling on the PICC line that has sat in Roger's arm for many months, through which he receives transfusions and chemo and has blood drawn. Although we and the visiting nurses take great care with it, all it takes is one stray little bug.
So we wait and take hope in the knowledge that our great and loving Lord is in this with us and is mighty to save. We are learning deeper and deeper lessons in that "walking by faith and not by sight" dynamic. With a condition so continually in your face as cancer, as a Christian you are thrust into a daily/hourly/minute-ly deeper learning of what "putting off" fear and "putting on" faith looks like in each particular moment, in each particular situation. And our good and faithful God, who is closer than a brother, is there with His arm around us pointing us to Jesus and to hope.
Thank you so much for prayerfully walking alongside us through this learning experience.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thanks for your prayers

God can answer prayers pretty smack-dab quickly when He chooses, and that that is just what happened yesterday. Instead of watching Roger's temperature rise steadily through the day, we first saw it stabilize and then actually fall in the evening hours, right at the time that it would have typically climbed! Thank you so much for praying.
Today Roger feels much better and we are convinced that he must have picked up one of the viruses floating around over the weekend. At times it is very difficult to distinguish the side effects of the chemo from the symptoms of a virus, but his chemo treatments do not usually cause fevers, so when he gets a temperature we know that something extra is happening.
As always, we are blessed to know how much you care and pray for us--we feel surrounded by a veritable army of angels. May the Lord watch over you today and encourage your hearts, as He has done for us through you.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Latest, with an immediate prayer request

Just got a call from Julie saying that Dad has a high fever. He's 1/10 of a degree away from the temperature at which the doctors say he needs to be admitted to the hospital (100.5). Please pray that the fever would abate and that his body would be able to fight off whatever likely infection he's picked up. (This sort of thing was anticipated by the doctors, given the effect of the chemo on one's immune system.)

Dad had an appointment at HUP last week. The good news was that there's been a slight drop in his protein levels, so the chemo has apparently begun to work. The bad news is that he was anemic and needed a blood transfusion, but again that was something the doctors anticipated, as a result of the chemo rather than of the cancer. In general, though, he's been feeling stronger and less worn out. This is most likely him coming out from under the radiation treatments, which were really wearing him down. Mom and Dad thank you all for holding them up in prayer. Please pray that the chemo would not only work but keep working against the myeloma. The tendency with the various chemotherapy concoctions is for them to work well for a while and eventually become ineffective. We're praying for as many months as we can get from this one!