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Thursday, February 23, 2012

BITTERSWEET...REMISSION!!!!!!!!!!! BUT WE NEED A MATCH!!!!



 Greetings everyone.  Forgive me for not updating Andrew's condition sooner, but to be quite honest I have not had the energy and gumption to do anything, let alone take care of Andrew and my family.  I am mixed with so many emotions and I will elude to them later in this blog entry.


First of all, the best news we have had in a long time: 
ANDREW IS IN REMISSION!  "Houston", I repeat, Andrew is in clinical remission.  I spoke with 
Dr. Morgan on Friday and she said the preliminary results of the bone marrow biopsy were good and that we would not know until next week whether he was in remission.  So there was a double dose of good news going into the weekend as Andrew came home for a few days to spend with his Uncle Albert, Auntie Jennifer, cousin Margot and other family and news of the preliminary results of the bone marrow biopsy being positive.  Andrew was asked Friday if he would like to go home for a few days before another round of chemo which started yesterday, lasting five days.  The only issue was Andrew coming off his i.v. pain meds for his abdominal pain.  The overwhelming desire to spend time with his family for a few days at home and the prescribing of a new longer lasting pain got him home. He was tired at times, but he was able to spend some quality time with the people who he loves and vice versa.  It was such a gift having Andrew with us as we celebrated my birthday with some steak.
Sorry for going on a mini tangent, back to the remission.  We found out about Andrew's clinical remission from Dr. Morgan when we got admitted yesterday (Wed.).  Dr.  Morgan said the remission was unexpected and was pleasantly surprised.  Prior to the bone marrow biopsy, Dr. Morgan had explained to us that she would be surprised if Andrew was in remission and his myeloid proliferative disease usually required more than one round of chemo to get into remission.  If  anyone knows of Dr. Elaine Morgan, one knows she means what she says and does not mince her words.  Funny, but to tell you the truth, I did not know how to react.  I should have been jumping for joy, but I wasn't so convinced.  So with a very stern look, I asked her how I should be feeling.  She said I should be ecstatic!  More than anything, I think I was relieved.  After, I went to the bathroom, knelt, lifted my hands to the sky and said thank you to God!  Andrew was feeling so drowsy from his pain meds that he really couldn't emote on the remission news.  


Some of you may be wondering why Andrew is getting chemotherapy if he is in remission.  Regardless of the news of the bone marrow being positive or negative, chemo was scheduled to either eradicate the remaining cancer or maintain the remission.  So, the pressing issue is find Andrew a bone marrow match!  I don't know if you all know, but without a bone marrow transplant Andrew will not survive.  Plain and simple.  Sorry for the forthrightness, but that is the cold harsh reality of the situation.  I think that is why I was conflicted with emotions when we found out the good news. I was feeling happy and relieved, but the feelings were juxtaposed with a sense of urgency and fear. The clock is ticking as we need to find a live saving bone marrow donor.  The longer he goes without a transplant, the more chance he has of relapse.  The current plan is to have Andrew go through chemo for the next 8 to 10 weeks and during that time to find a match.  Here are a few Bone Marrow drives coming up.  Please advertise this to as many people you know.   Remember, it only takes one to save my son's life or some other person waiting for a life saving bmt.


Sunday February 26th 6pm to 8pm at
 Canaan Presbyterian Church:
1424 Greenwood Ave. Glenview, IL 60062


TUESDAY MARCH 6TH &

WEDNESDAY MARCH 7TH
9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M:
At University of Illinois circle campus
First Floor of Student Center East outside of the bookstore 
(Campus of UIC)750 S. Halsted St. Chicago, IL
Goto Facebook (click here):
https://www.facebook.com/events/276974129040450/?context=create

***Also, I got wind of this from a contact at the Leukemia Research Foundation for Registry Drives for 
Marc Chibnik & Lacy Horwitch
Sunday, February 26
9 AM - 12 PM
Congregation Beth Shalom
3433 Walters Avenue
NorthbrookIllinois  
AND
9 AM - 2 PM
Temple Chai
1670 Checker Road
Long GroveIllinois
Marc Chibnik is a father of 4 and has been diagnosed with a rare lymphoma, which relapsed in January.  He is also a difficult match.  Friends and family just raised over $11,000 this week to have more than 200 kits processed that were sitting, unable to be processed due to $$$.  Here is a link to their Caringbridge site:  www.caringbridge.org/visit/marcchibnik
WE ALL HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER TO FIND A MATCH FOR ANDREW, MARC and LACEY!


by the way, the bone marrow drive last week at my cousin Pam's church, Open door presbyterian church, registered 250+ for be the match!!!!!!  Praise god! let's keep this going guys!

Please share this blog to as many people as possible so we can spread the word about bone marrow awareness.  Thanks!


I am really tired, so I will write the second part of this blog tomorrow!  Thanks! xoxoxoxo

joe













5 comments:

  1. It was so good to see you today and you are always a bundle of energy and smiles so thanks for sharing your struggles with us so that we can help or pray or just to let you know that it is ok to be burnt out and that it is difficult to be joyful when the news is bittersweet. I struggled with this a few months ago and was in a 'funk' for a while, just plain old angry at the world and life, and at the same time guilt-ridden bc I am so blessed and should be thankful. But I gave myself permission to be mad and it slowly disappeared. Every milestone that conner has, going to kindergarten, losing his tooth, reading, tee ball, - all bittersweet bc time is running out. I know what you are feeling and going thru so please feel free to ask us for anything. If you want to give my name and email to coordinate these drives, let us know... Take care...

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  2. Steph, it has been a blessing (and I don't use that word loosely) having you, connor and your hubby in my life. Thank you for transparency and honesty. I really appreciate it! I know God has given me a smile to shine it, but I have given myself "grace" to be selfish at times and just be. Steph, I am tired right now, but by God's grace, I am still ticking. We will find a match! WE WILL!

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  3. Continuing to pray for you guys!!!

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  4. WOOO remission!! Just remember to trust your miracle. Peter stood on water and still questioned the power of Jesus (who was standing right in front of him) to maintain his miracle. Just as soon as he doubted, his miracle was taken from him. Have faith that HE will come through. Whether it's walking on water or walking through the next several weeks of finding a donor, his miracles and his mercies are so much more grand than we could ever know.

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  5. Been keeping up to date via Peter's blog about Andrew. Because of your son's story, I signed up to be a bone marrow donor and spread the word (of both your blogs) to Pastor Gibbons out in Southern California. He is having a bone marrow drive THIS Sunday (Feb. 26th) at Newsong in Irvine after both services. Spread the word to those in the LA area. Praying for you guys! Phoebe

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