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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Give Blood

Hi everyone.

The blood transfusion went fine and was uneventful for the most part. Dave was so weak this morning I had to wheel him in and out of the cancer clinic. We asked the nurse how long it takes to kick in, and she said that it's usually a day or two but that he might start feeling a little better even by the evening. (She said that some people insist that they feel better right away, but she thought it might just be in their heads.)

I'm going to share this next part that is a little depressing and still makes me mad. I asked to speak with the oncologist, because she didn't call me back on Wednesday to discuss the blood tests like she said she would, and I had questions. She made the time to come and see us and answered my questions as best she could. (Like many medical conditions, doctors aren't always sure why things are caused and make their best guess.) She felt the anemia is likely caused by a number of factors and referred to it as 'Anemia of Chronic Disease'. She also said that if the low hemoglobin count was the cause of Dave's fatigue and weakness, that he should feel better in one or two days. And if he didn't, then the cause is something else - namely the cancer specifically. I asked if it could be caused by the chemo drugs he was on, and she said not at this point - that they're out of your system in 4 weeks. Quite frankly, I don't buy it and strongly feel that chemo is at least partly responsible for the anemia. (All 3 chemo meds he was on (cisplatin, epirubicin, & 5FU) are known to cause anemia, with the cisplatin (a platinum based agent) being the worst. I don't believe the body can recover in 4 weeks.)

Here's where it gets depressing. Again. On our visit last Wednesday, she pushed the need for Dave to get his affairs in order - which has already been drilled into us by the other 3 doctors we've already seen at the cancer clinic during our early visits back in December. Then she briefly explained how to access a palliative bed in one of the hospitals and then said we'd need to decide if he wanted a DNR (do not resuscitate) order or not when admitted. We sat there a little stunned again, thanked her for her time, and tried not to cry when she walked away. At this point I'm feeling the need to say that we'd just like some medical attention without the constant reminder that they think he's going to die. We get it already! THEY can't cure his cancer. We still believe that Hope is a pretty powerful medicine and apparently they're not willing to prescribe that med. Thankfully our Hope isn't in men, but in God.

We got home just after 3pm and the afternoon's steady onslaught of thunderstorms seemed to mirror our mood. Thank God for silver linings! Storms always pass and we seem to get over these depressing hospital visits a little more quickly each time.

This evening Dave said he wasn't feeling like Superman yet and was wondering who's blood he had received. I think he is feeling a little better and we'll see what Tuesday and Wednesday hold.

Keep prayin'!



Anonymous said...

Hi Val and Dave - I jacked up the worship music and prayed for you both on the way home from the airport last night. I was praying specifically for confidence in God's power - so kinda smiled when I read your post this morning. Prayed for God to perform His miracle for healing for Dave so that ALL might see (doctors too, eh!) and that it would bring glory to His name.
I am a firm believer that God can do anything that He wills - so I continue to petition in prayer that this might be HIS will - to heal Dave completely from cancer. Despite the reality that people remind us of in these situations, I know God is an "UNREAL" God and I continue to place my hope in Him.
You are in our thoughts and prayers- May your spirits be lifted high this week! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Loving you guys and praying, praying, praying. Hugs to you....prayers for you....we serve an amazing God...may you feel His love, too!


Anonymous said...

Hi Val and Dave:
What a beautiful analogy you wrote about the silver lining after the storm. Today is another day, and a beautiful day. God is Great and we must believe. You both are always in our minds. Much love, Carol, Tony, Chad, and Brooke.

Anonymous said...

Found this verse for a dear friend of mine the other day. "He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes." Psalm 112:7,8 There is NOTHING that our God cannot do. Stand firm in the midst of this storm, for our God is indeed mighty to save!! Though you may not see our face or hear our voice, we are standing in the gap with you all.

Mark, Dawn and "little people".

Michelle and A.J. said...

Jordan prays every day, without fail. We're going to step it up a notch ourselves.

God loves you us all so much. His plan is beautiful.



Anonymous said...

Dave, Val & Cale,

Brother Dave,
Zen and I love you brother. Every day we pray for peace in your body and in your heart too. The circumstances you are dealing with are very tough. Yet we continue to put our hope and belief in our awesome God. He is good! He is the only One with the power to heal! Dave, He is with you!

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17

God bless you Dave, Val and Cale.

John & Zen

Jessie Zellas said...

Val & Mr. Richards
Stay positive. You are so strong. Take strength and comfort in knowing there are a lot of people who think both of you are very special. Think of you often and pray every day for a complete recovery.

Andrew Turner said...

Praying for you guys!

Virginia (Jenny) said...

Please look into vitamin B17. NOT Vitamin B12 which is common. Scientist Dr. Hovind has talked lots about it. Apricot seeds have tons of it and countries that have lots and lots of Apricots (and actually use the seeds as a currency), have almost no cancer in those areas. I discussed this with a friend whose son also has cancer. She said, yes, it helps greatly and she was also giving her son B17. It's pretty new in the cancer research but has been proven that it helps. It's hard to find in health stores but can be ordered. (The pills).

Anonymous said...

Dave and Val, faith conquers all! Dave you are going to beat the big C! You have such a strength of spirit, and so many people gathered around you. We love and respect you so much--Love Sean and Leslie.