My last update was back in the middle of May. Honestly, other than slowly regaining my strength, my progress has been simply been slow and steady. In the mean time if you’re following all of my blog’s posts, you’ve seen a bunch of photographs and some political stuff. That’s closer to the balance of what I tend to post.
I’m the publisher and one of 4 authors to contribute to the PhotoChallenge.org website, which is geared towards helping photographers of all levels challenge themselves to weekly themed challenges and we interact as a community, mostly on our Facebook Group.
I also publish a fatherhood oriented blog that I don’t really advertise or push too much, called ViaPaterna.com. It means the way of the father, in Latin. I’m actually trying to simply write a bulk of articles that cover a wide variety of topics, to build up a large repository of content, before I really start pushing the website. But, you can enjoy the stuff I post there irregularly.
So, back to the update…
I did pass a very important milestone this week! I took my last dose of prednisone! That drug was necessary but totally wrecked me. I still have many side effects that will taper off over time; induced diabetes, edema in my legs and feet, and this thing they call “moon face”. I look like I’m still overweight, in the face. The truth is that I’m the skinniest I’ve been since the first years of our marriage. Over the next few weeks and months, I expect to taper off several other meds, and that should continue to help me stabilize my well being and recovery.
I’m trying to expand my PT-oriented exercises and walks. Going on a family hike tonight! Look for the photos!
Another area of growth and struggle has been with my amazing wife. She has carried the burden of nursing me for so very long, and we came to a point where I wasn’t rising to the occasion to start caring for myself when it was clear that I was ready. This became a source of conflict, and we reached out for some help. Our pastor recommended a counselor, and she’s been a tremendous help. A little help with clarifying our expectations. The offering of a few tools to help each of us communicate better. And we’re already doing much better. We hope for this to continue! Many have been praying for this specific issue and we’re quite grateful.
I’ve been cleared to drive and even attended a Dodger game with my parents and my youngest. A few other milestones have come and gone. And I’ve celebrated each one as best we can. Next month I celebrate my Bone Marrow Transplant Birthday, which if you didn’t know, happened on our Independence Day, July 4th, of last year. Within the bone marrow transplant community, the day of your transplant becomes your new birthday, and is a celebration every year. This being my first new birthday, it’s a pretty big deal! It’s also the first chance I’ll have to possibly meet my donor, about which I’m real excited and nervous. It’s up to the donor first, to decide if they want to meet me. I hope they do.
I’m still off work on disability income, which itself is a significant part of the struggle of this journey. We’ve been tested and challenged by the Lord in ways we never knew we could. It’s quite amazing what you can cut and trim, and yet still eat healthy and pay the bills. Our kids struggled more before, but have been slowly coming around to understanding better. I think this path of learning what good stewardship really means has been a lifelong character development school for us all.
So that should catch y’all up with what’s happening with our leukemia journey.