I have some incredible news to report on tonight. Anne was in fact able to get her chemo today (session #3) because her white blood cell count, and more specifically, her neutrophil count (neutrophils are white blood cells that fight infection) rose past the minimum number they needed to be. In fact, the neutrophil count rose from 0.6 to 3.2--a rise of over 500%! (They need to be over 1.0 to be able to have chemotherapy, and normal is over 2.0) From all that I have read about neutropenia (low neutrophil counts) the neutrophil count can take 4-6 WEEKS to come back, not just 6 DAYS, like in Anne's case. Let me tell you---that is not something that can happen normally, so the only way I can explain it is that is was a MIRACLE. Praise God and thank you all for your prayers--they worked!!!! She went through the chemo today with NO PROBLEMS as well--no reaction to any meds whatsoever. This is just amazing and I don't know if I am really getting across how fantastic I feel about all of this. Interestingly, one of Anne's cousins from Scotland, Yvonne (actually, she lives in England now) commented on one of my blogs, with a verse of scripture: "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you." 2Kings 20:5. That He has!
I also received a neat email today from the Mayo Clinic. Apparently, they liked the blog I wrote for them and asked if they could use it in a fund-raising campaign, along with pictures of Anne and me. Of course, I gave my (our) permission. That's pretty awesome as well.
I was going to write about patience today--something I mentioned before in one of the blogs. Most of you who know me know that I have none--lots of patients, but little patience. I remember a physical therapy student mentioning that to me once while she was observing me in the operating room years ago. "You don't have any patience, do you?" she asked. "None at all" was my response. I want this whole chemo thing and treatment to be over NOW. But I know I have to be patient and wait for Anne to be healed in "God's time." "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:12. Maybe easy for him, but not so much for me. I have little patience for most things, least of all medical things. That's why I went into orthopaedics and not something like internal medicine. I want to fix things and I want to fix them NOW. But I'm learning patience in this whole process. I know God will heal Anne, and the process of chemotherapy isn't like surgery where you can cut things to straighten them out (of course you still have to wait for the bones to heal), or replace a joint with metal and plastic and fix it today (although again, you have to wait for soft tissues to heal). But in relative terms, this is much shorter time than the chemotherapy treatments. but thankfully, we can see progress thanks be to God and all of your prayers.
The next week will hopefully go as smoothly as the last couple in terms of side effects from the chemo. Anne is shedding a bit but still has a very good head of hair. Heather talked about shaving her head if Anne lost her hair--mine is half way there already! At least women look good in wigs. Men look crappy in toupees, but I may just shave the rest off anyway. Too bad I didn't still have the pony tail--I could have cut it off for Anne--but then again, it wouldn't have covered much!