Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Gratitude and Going Home

Almost 7 weeks ago Susan and I met with my Dr. and reviewed with him, in detail, the informed consent for the two regimes of chemotherapy I was about to receive in the next month, as well as the stem cell infusion. The documents exceeded 10 pages, and my doctor reviewed each side effect in detail. Leaving the doctor's office that day, both Susan and I agree, was one of the low points of these past 7 months. And, while the option of "not having the procedure" was written on the document, Dr. Rifkin was quick to point out that was not really an option in my case. So many potential side effects, many of which can be fatal, and the absolute guarantee that I would get some of them but most likely I wouldn't get them all. I was scared. Susan was scared. When they delivered the first bag of chemo on Oct. 10th, I braced for the worst. We are 2 1/2 weeks from that last high dose chemo and stem cell infusion and my course, although not free of side effects, has been smoother than we ever could have hoped. Thoughts are very powerful, directed prayer is even more so, and love is the most powerful of all. You have all given of yourselves to bring healing and health to me and my family and we are so grateful for all you have done. I humbly acknowledge that my good course these past weeks is beyond anything I could have done by myself. Thank you.

My counts continue to rise (neutrophils are at 290, white count at .4)and my doctor says I will likely be discharged tomorrow or Friday. I am so excited to be going home. We are not out of the woods since I will continue to be immunosuppressed for some time, and I will have to continue on the strict diet, and limit contact with anyone or anything that might have bugs. I will have daily visits to the clinic for awhile, for blood work and a quick exam to assure I haven't picked up anything. But we are now on the road to recovery.

And finally, don't you love those Sox! It is their year. Susan's cousin Arlene, who lives in New York, managed to find Katie Kirby, White Sox PR Director, through the internet and email and apparently told my story to Ms. Kirby, who then posted on the blog. Arlene you're terrific.

Love, Dan

20 comments:

Arlene said...

No big guy, you are terrific! You, Susan, Catherine and Julia did all the hard work!

You are our family and we love you. See you in the Big Apple soon for another smash weekend sans the "Orange Shower Curtains" :)

Mrs. Joshwick said...

UNBELIEVABLE!!You're going home already. I'm elated for you, Dan. It just shows the power of positive thinking, along with lots of love, some prayers and of course a very good doctor.
You up for a whiffle ball game in a couple weeks?
Love you, Mike(Your brother)

Hangster said...

Dan,

Glad to hear such good news. Deb & I are happy for you and your family. Praise GOD and all HIS works. We were just up to see Spike and Lynn and we talked about you mightily. Were your ears ringing?? Even managed to do some fishing and catch some walleye. We were also back in Dickinson for pheasant hunting and romped thru 15" of snow. What a treat. Will continue to keep you and your family in our prayers. Doug & Deb

Rich Boulger said...

Dan,

We are absolutely delighted that things are going as well as they are.

I, like Mrs. Joshwick, was thinking this morning about the many whiffle ball games we had in days past. We have a great whiffle ball yard, so consider yourself, Mrs. J., Tom and Kathy (and spouses) invited for a little competition next summer. I can arrange a Sox game as well while you are in Chicago. T.J. will want to play as well, although he will probably consider playing with us "old guys" beneath him. As a Cubs fan, he is having trouble admitting that he is cheering for the Sox, but I know he is.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you.

Love, Rich

BTW: I saw a great Moose Skowron interview on TV the other day. He still has a buzz cut. He is a Chicago native.

Dan said...

I saw Moose Skowron in a bar in Chicago 10 years ago. The guy I was with recognized him. I got his autograph for brother Mike. He was very nice and talked with us for a long time. Moose looked older than dirt 10 years ago, he must look like petrified wood by now.

Doug Kappel said...

Great news for you and the Sox. I was talking to one of my Dentist clients this am and I brought you up and your dickament. He has a lady friend who sounds like she went through the same thing. Remarkable! She has now been in remission for going on four years. For her it was a last resort and it all went great. Hang in there buddy! Love ya, Doug

Dorothy said...

Great news Dan! You all deserve a great big hug for all that you have been through! Continue to feel the prayers, good thoughts and all the candles that have been lit for you all.

Remember that many of us from Colorado are there whenever you need us! Love to all. The Seals

Tom said...

All Right, Dan! You are on your way. So pleased that you are going home!! I stayed up and watched the "Pale Hose" take it to those Asto-nots - what staying power. Never give an inch! Let's do that wiffle ball - great idea, Rich!

Love ya - Tom

Lynne said...

Fantastic!!! Just 16 days ago you received your first heavy duty dose of chemo and, here you are, ready to go home! I find that nothing short of miraculous! Amen to the power of prayer and strength of the human spirit (especially yours)! I'm stopping to pick up a bottle of champagne on my way home tonight (yes, they do sell that stuff in the North Country). Mike and I will be toasting you, Susan, Catherine and Julia! You all remain in our thoughts and prayers!
Love, Lynne

katescheeler said...

At last I am on the blog. My MacIntosh would not let me log in. For those who don't know me I am Dan's sister. It was great to hear your voice this morning say that you will be going home soon. That means it is my turn to visit. (Naturally, being the youngest, I am last.) I am not surprised at how well you are doing Dan because you have so many wonderful people praying and thinking about you. See you soon. Love, Kate

Richie and Stacey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richie and Stacey said...

We are so happy to hear the great news that your numbers are rising and you're on the road to recovery. Both myself and Stacey read your blog at least twice a day.

We have a picture that we took at the Italian restaurant in Denver when we were there (I forget the name - but it was kinda fancy) above our dinner table and we see it every night. It reminds me of you and the great time we had. I cant wait to come out there again. You have to let us know as soon as you're allowed to have contaminated New York visitors :)
I have no doubt it will be soon.

Shawn and Jaike said...

Such great news Dan. You are a medical marvel!! We love you and send speedy recovery vibes.
Your Chapel Hill fan club.

Dan's Mom said...

I am so delightede for you. It is unbelievable. All the prayers,good wishes and love and your super determination did it. You are such a great guy,Dan. I am home from the hospital. I hesitate to mention my minor operation after what you have been through. All is well but it hurts a lot. I'll tell you more later. I love you so much Mom

Brother Ted said...

The Sox are going home as CHAMPIONS!You are going home a CHAMPION! What an October. Love you Dan.

M&M said...

Great News, Dan....we're always pulling for you. We love you!!! See you soon at home and we'll share some new laughs....hugs to Susan, Cath and Doobah!!!

bri said...

what great news!!! homeward bound, and the white
sox are the world series champs! by the way did you
have a favorite sox player in those younger days?
just curious. this blogging thing is kind of fun.
what a great idea. you have a great bunch of people
pulling for you! i'm so happy and thankful things are
improving. you are loved by many. i wish you the
best. God Bless.
brian

Arlene said...

HOUSTON, we have a problem!:)

Oops, I should have sent that to G. Vanca!

Good morning and congratulations. Hey, are my kids cute? They inflitrated the blog with a kodak moment :)

Talk to you later

Ar

Howie said...

Fuzz,

Great news, you're going home and the Sox win. Looks like things are going your way. I'm sure you'll feel much better at home and I expect to see the pace of your recovery increase.
In case you haven't checked your email, I sent the pictures yesterday.

Keep up the good work.

Howie

Mike Rosenberg said...

Wonderful news. I am so happy for you, Susan, and the kids. Keep getting better. You are sorely missed around here. Mike