This is The Day

This is the day the Lord has made;
We (I) will rejoice and be glad in it. Ps 118:24 NKJV

For some time now, this is what I say to myself first thing in the morning, and then I smile. Even if I don’t want to smile, or I don’t think my day is shaping up too good, this is what I do, and perhaps, not too surprisingly I get an attitude adjustment and I feel better about myself, my day and others. It’s a choice… “I will“.

Well, today is “The Day” in some respects and I’m writing this first part before our meeting with the oncologist to get the results of the PET scan that determines how effective the CAR-T therapy has been. I just wanted to capture some of my thoughts in advance of the meeting. I wrote this in my journal this morning.

I thought as today approached I’d be getting more anxious about whatever the results of the PET scan might be. Instead, I’ve been feeling more and more confident that things will be “OK”. Not necessarily that “OK” means the cancer will be gone ( which would be awesome!) but “OK” that God is good, He is with me/us and I can trust in Him for whatever comes next in life.

Fear and anxiety are trying to push in, but the love of God, His peace, and His goodness are pushing back harder! I thought I’d have trouble sleeping last night and that I’d be awake thinking about today. However, I slept fine! Except for that weird dream where something was attacking me and I pried it off, pushed it down the basement steps and woke up screaming. ? !?!

Given the seriousness of what’s happened over the last three years I feel pretty calm and peaceful. Thank-you Jesus.

The Good Report

We wait briefly in the exam room and then our oncologist pops in. After a very short review of my current status she cuts to the chase. “Your are in remission, no more treatment is required“. Previously “active” areas on prior PET scans are gone!

One caveat was that there is a small new area of “activity”, however the radiologist was confident that this is not cancer. In the report it was termed “an infectious or inflammatory process”. I think this is doctor speak for the body dealing with normal minor infection that goes on in the body all the time. In three months there will be a follow-up scan to monitor the situation.

We are beyond thrilled with this news! It’s hard to put into words the gratitude and thankfulness we are feeling, and I think it will take a bit of time to fully appreciate all that has happened.

Thanks to all of you who have supported us through our journey with prayer, phone calls, email, texts and love. You are all very much appreciated. Your care, concern and support has encouraged us many times and for that we are truly grateful.

The anchor holds in the midst of the storm

Full Meal Deal

A busy hospital day today. First is a PET scan at Health Sciences Centre (HSC) immediately followed by an IVIG treatment at St. Boniface Hospital.

This is the new PET scanner in its new location at HSC . It’s 10+ years newer that the previous one and amongst other things is considerably faster in getting the images, 15 minutes vs. 45 minutes for the older unit. It’s still the only one in Manitoba, but I learned a second unit has been approved and will be installed later this year

The scan itself is uneventful and goes smoothly. The table moves very slowly and smoothly and after a few minutes of holding very still I’m just drifting off to sleep and it’s over. I’ve kept the port “gripper”, the needle that hooks up IVs via my port as they wil use it in the next procedure and it will avoid getting stabbed a second time. Off to the next appointment.

Yesterday was a low carb, no sugar day and fasting from 4am until the 10am scan so I grab a quick lunch on the drive over to St. Boniface Hospital.

This is IVIG #3 of a planned 6 so we’re getting it done once a month.

My gear for the IVIG treatment

The little bottle at the top right is the Immunoglobulin. There will be two 20g bottles administered over about 2 hours. They start the IV at quite a slow rate and ramp it up every 15 minutes. Lots of nurse action as they do vitals every 15 minutes too!

Tiny bubbles …

There are no bubbles in the bottle when they start but at the end it looks like this. Curious stuff.

Monday will be even bigger day as we get the results of the PET scan and find out how the CAR-T process went. Also, I get my 1st COVID shot and we’re planning our 1st summer trip to the lake!

Total MRI of the Heart

As part of investigating my chest “pain/discomfort” I’m getting an MRI of my heart. I’m at the Andre Sakharov MRI Centre at St. Boniface Hospital. I’m pretty familiar with the process now as I’ve had a few of these recently. As they say this is not my first rodeo.

Andre Sakharov MRI Centre

The process is very efficient and quick. I change into the traditional hospital garb, get the IV for introducing the contrast material and only wait a couple of minutes before I’m getting into the MRI tube.

Once on the MRI bed I’m wired up with some chest leads for heart monitoring, ear plugs and a headset to block the noise of the MRI and to hear the breathing instructions from the operator. “Take a breath in, breath out, hold your breath…. breathe” about 25-35 times in a row. About 45 minutes later, we’re done.

A small twist in these COVID mask wearing days is you get a new mask, ones that don’t have any metal across the top. The strong magnetic fields in the MRI do some crazy things to metal.

Speaking of masks, I got a laugh on the way out.