I met with my Oncologist Monday morning. My blood work showed a low platelet and white blood cell (WBC) count which will at this point prevent me from having the treatment we had planned for this Thursday. I will see the doctor Wednesday for one more check to see if my counts have returned to normal. He attributed the sudden drop to the Mitomycin (chemo) from the first treatment. It hits the bone marrow pretty hard. There are WBC booster shots (Neupogen and Neulasta) , but with my platelets also being down, a WBC booster would actually rob the marrow’s ability to produce the needed platelets since the shots “tell” undifferentiated cells to become WBC’s and not platelets. It is like ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ he says. Why so late was my last question – no real explanation, it effects different people in different ways sometimes immediately, sometimes later. So, I will find out tomorrow the next step.
What is funny is that following this mornings visit, I became so weak that I had to hang out on the couch for the rest of the day. I felt a little stronger Tuesday and planted some vegis into the garden, but I could tell I was running on ‘low oil’ physically, but in my head I wanted to get out and do something. I don’t recall a low WBC count causing this type of fatigue – I thought being anemic would. I guess the chemo has caught up with me. Anyway . . .
The strawberry man is in town and boy, are they delicious! These do not need any sugar. I spoke with the man about this year’s crop and how he grows them. He shared a lot of info with me – enough to make me want to stick growing tomatoes and the other usual stuff. He said it requires a lot of spraying due to the fact that not only do people like strawberries, but so do pests, viruses and bacteria. He said that if you do not stay out in the field and spray about every 3 days, you will not have a crop. So, a word to the wise, buy organic or wash the traditionally grown kind really good.
My parents were able to go to Alabama for a few days and visit. I spoke with them on the phone and could just hear the laughter in the background. I wish I could have gone. They are back safe and sound.
I saw a special on PBS about pearls and the history of the pearl industry. We all know that a pearl is the result of an irritant, like sand or some other foreign object, getting into the oyster’s shell. This aggravation is dealt by the oyster by coating this foreign substance with a chemical known as ‘nacre’. Over time the thing that used to irritate is now smooth and beautiful. This is what gives a pearl it’s lustrous, luminous appearance. There is a spiritual lesson to be gleaned from this process. You have probably heard it before. Something aggravating, something painful or hurtful, something not wanted, can be turned into something absolutely, stunningly beautiful. Have you ever met a person who has ‘been through it’ and noticed in them a depth of compassion, love and patience? These people were not born with such qualities. Life, in all of its complexities, has forged with in them these character qualities which the Bible refers to as ‘the fruit of the Spirit’. Everyone alive will, at some point in their lives, encounter some level trials, challenges and tribulations. All of these, when they occur, give us opportunities to make choices. Do I get better or bitter? Do I cling to God and pursue Him or do I point the finger at Him and blame Him, rejecting His love and help? If we choose to allow God to use these things which happen to us throughout our brief stay here on Earth, we will see beautiful pearls produced over and over again in our lives. No, it is not usually pleasant, but I am sure that the oyster could tell us a few stories. So, the next time you get aggravated because you are stuck in traffic or because you have to wait in line, just let God work in you those qualities that not only improve you as a person, but also make you more like His Son Jesus, Who ‘learned through the things which He suffered’.
7 During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Have a good day. George.