Thursday, 11 June 2015

Chemo: Cycle 2, dose 2

Dear Friends,

Dad is back at Bethany for his latest dose of Chemo.  I can now write the name of the drug without having to google it: gemcitabine.  Today's hospital admission had me drop of Mum and Dad at the curb, and me drive over to JSK to start the day's work at 8 AM.

There is a sort of new normal to all of this.

But we don't take anything for granted.

As I was driving over to JSK from Bethany, my mobile beeped.   Bro Devraj Kotian had sent an SMS to say that his "Daddy has gone to be with the Lord."   We had been expecting this - Uncle Kotian has spent the last 2 weeks at JSK.  He is not one of our patients, but was receiving palliative care by his family as he was in a comatose state with no real hope of cure.  It was a privilege to observe this family lovingly care for their father.

Today Uncle Kotian slipped out of this world for the next.  Devraj told me that he sensed last night that his father was more relaxed than before.  He sensed that today may be the day.  And it was.  6.30 this morning was Uncle Kotian's home-going to Jesus.  The funeral will be later this afternoon.

I know one day will come when I have the task of sharing my father's death with others.  But at this point - though Dad has gone through major surgery for pancreatic cancer and is currently doing his chemotherapy in room no. 510 of Bethany Hospital, it all seems some distance in the future.

Dad's blood counts were low after his 1 cycle of chemo.  Dad's oncologist postponed the first dose of chemo cycle 2 by a whole week because the overall counts being down and the low neutrophil percentage.   Dose 1 of cycle 2 was given when his neutrophil percentage was 25% (it had risen from 15% three days earlier) and his overall count was at 4400.   We are glad that when we got his blood checked yesterday, the counts had risen to over 6000 for the blood count - and his neutrophil count is now 54%!

After having such a slow rise in his bloods over the previous 3 weeks (when he was not on chemo), to have the counts rise in the week after getting the next dose is something points to another dollop of grace for Dad.  Earlier this week we sent an email update to all of the folks on Dad's mailing list (write to Dad at Ray.Eicher(at) if you didn't get it - and want to).  We received another small avalanche of replies - most assuring us of their prayers.  One bit of evidence is in the 'bloods'.

So we have Dad getting his chemo as I write this.  God is very good.  We trust that the blessed poison Dad is getting through his chemoport, into his heart, and out into his body will knock out as many malignant cells as possible, while doing as little damage as possible to the healthy part of Dad.

Soli Deo gloria. 

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