Wednesday, July 25, 2007

4/09/2007: Reflections of The Last Three Days

This last weekend was Easter, the most holy day for Christianity.

For the last three days (since Friday), I received the latest round of chemotherapy at Huntington Hospital, Pasadena, for my mantle cell lymphoma which occurred a year ago and then reoccurred last Thanksgiving week after ten weeks of remission. My oncologists have been searching for the right combination of drugs to achieve a second remission. Thankfully, the search may be over.

Under the acronym, ICE, the new drugs are ifosamide, carboplatinum, and vp-16 (etopicide). But there were a number of other drugs administered to help alleviate possible side effects. Indeed, I am a beneficiary of so much advanced research in chemotherapy during the last decade. We are thankful for that. All things considered, my side-effect problems with chemo have been minimal.

Yes, the new drugs have caused shrinkage and softening of the three primary tumor sites in just the first few hours. Still, we probably will return to Huntington in 2-3 weeks for a second round of the same, then, possibly followed by a third round until remission is confirmed by my oncologist, Dr. Cynthia Martel of The City of Hope Medical Group, Pasadena.

While Dee Dee and I were elated to get back into a chemotherapy that shows promise of working, we were disappointed to miss the various Easter weekend activities, although Dee Dee did make the 8am service at our church, Hillside Community in Alta Loma. But we both missed the Easter gathering with friends and family in that we planned to attend in Dana Point.

But what we did not miss was the significance of Easter in relation to my medical ordeal. Jesus Christ lived and died, and rose from the dead so that we may have life eternal. All we have to do is claim his promise: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God."--John 3:16-18

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