Friday, August 3, 2007
Rarely a 'Straight Line' to Success
A dream is the bearer of a new possibility,
the enlarged horizon, the great hope.
-- Howard Thurman
There are reports that when Howard Thurman spoke, he filled the entire room with compassion, truth, keen intellect, and joy. To be in his presence was to experience the drama of life itself-with all its attending conflicts-and to be carried beyond these realities to the reality of a gracious God whose will is life and wholeness.
On the campus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. Nearby, a monument to another, lesser-known Morehouse graduate, theologian and professor Howard Thurman. Thurman had a profound spiritual impact on King and on many other civil rights leaders. Yet for much of the last half century, Thurman's contributions have often been overlooked.
But the Howard Thurman legacy is documented in his writings and teachings and, indelibly in the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., reinforcing for humankind the pure influence of non-violence for social change.
In contrast to the actions the world is witnessing in Iraq and the Middle East at this time, the policies and practices advocated by King-Thurman to bring down American social injustice would be a course worth contemplating. Where are today's moderate voices? Where are those who would not break the peace to achieve peace and justice?
Now, less than two weeks before my scheduled stem cell transplant (SCT) from an unrelated donor at City of Hope, we had a follow-up visit for blood tests Thursday. The good news: no transfusions needed, blood counts are acceptable. Not good: my PICC line (the intravenous line through which drugs are administered and blood is drawn) became "frayed" and detached to the degree that it had to be removed. While this is not an uncommon consequence and is not serious, it will require a special visit to the PICC nurse for reinsertion next Tuesday, the day when we are next scheduled to see Dr. Nakamura, our primary physician, just back from his recent vacation in Japan.
Also on the immediate schedule are other tests, procedures, and counseling sessions in preparation for the SCT. The most recent CT scan showed evidence of the lymphoma in the chest and abdomen, not surprising but something the doctors will continually monitor, perhaps requiring another CT before the August 13 admission for the SCT.
I have noted before that our goal at this time is not remission of the cancer, but "control" that is defined as the minimal presence of the disease. While I notice considerable shrinkage of the tumor sites we have detected before, it is the presence of the lymphoma in "deeper" locations that makes this evaluation more difficult, but my medical team has to make that evaluation.
There is still a possibility that without an acceptable degree of this "control," the SCT will be delayed or cancelled. We would hope that is not the case.
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