So, we have a beautiful warm day today. We had a lot of rain last week and are promised a lot more next week, but today is indeed beautiful. I have been out a lot more today than I had been recently and enjoyed visiting with the neighbors and their animals. I hope you are enjoying this beautiful day as well. Unless, of course, you live somewhere where your day is not so beautiful. If that’s the case I’m sure it will be beautiful soon, so be patient.
Mike has completed all 3 tests to get his cancer re-staged. The first test was a blood test to see if his blood still contains abnormal proteins produced by one of the cancers. Then last week he went back to Emory and had a PET scan and bone marrow biopsy. Mike is very claustrophobic and the PET scan is difficult for him. He’s happy to report that he got through it and that the technician was very nice and helpful. Mike lay down on the machine and the tech used a sheet to immobilize his arms and legs. Just before the test was about to start Mike’s right eye lid started to itch like mad, and he tried to scratch it. It was then that he realized that he couldn’t move his arms. This threw him into a near panic, and he asked the technician if he could scratch his eye. So the tech freed up his arm and Mike scratched his eyelid but the experience had so unnerved him that he asked if he could get up and walk around for a few minutes. The tech was very cooperative and didn’t shame Mike, which he appreciated. Eventually he calmed himself down and the tech put him back on the table told him he was not going to immobilize his arms, but that Mike would not be able to move his arms during the test. This worked out much better. Right afterwards Mike and Judy went to another part of the hospital where he had his bone marrow biopsy. They gave Mike some medication for the biopsy which knocked him out, and he remembers nothing about it. Judy drove home because he was not allowed to drive which is a good thing because he slept for 4 hours once he got home and then had dinner and slept all night.
We have the results on the PET scan. I’m happy to report that there was no sign of any residual lymphoma, so he is in remission from that disease. We are still waiting for the bone marrow biopsy report. However, blood tests show that there is a small amount of residual abnormal protein in his system suggesting that there may still be some cancer activity with the multiple myeloma. The amount of abnormal protein is about 8% of the level when he was first diagnosed, so that is encouraging. We meet with the doctor in a couple of weeks at which point we will find out what the next treatment plan will involve. Mike says that he expects to be put back on chemo. He’s not that upset about this because he’s already aware that he won’t be cured from either disease. As long as they are treatable he is thinking that he’ll be fine. He says it’s like having any other chronic illness. You just take care of it as best you can and do what your doctors tell you to do. Mike still thinks he’s doing as well as he is because of all the love and prayers that he gets from so many of you. We all thank you.
So, today is the 1st of March. We can say goodbye to black history month and hello to women’s history month. Mike just ran across a story that is worthy of representing either month. It involves PT Barnum who in 1835 ran across a fellow named RW Lindsey who owned (!!!) an elderly black woman whose name was Joice Heth. Lindsey claimed that Miss Heth was the oldest woman alive and had once been owned by George Washington. Barnum bought her for $1000. He had to borrow $500 in order to complete the purchase. He took her around to different towns and had her tell stories, mostly untrue, about her life. He claimed that she was 161 years old. Seven months after he bought her she died. On February 25th, 1836 there was an autopsy on Miss Heth at the New York City Saloon where 1500 people paid to observe the spectacle. We have come a long way since then, but we still have a long way to go, it seems. I think this must be the point of observing especially designated months for under-represented and minority groups. There is a lot to be learned from history that’s can keep us from making the same mistakes over and over again. Or maybe not.
And in (close by to) Happy Meadows news, the racing pigs are coming to the Smyrna Spring Jonquil Festival. Several years ago Mike and Judy went to vacation in the Mississippi delta, where they attended the Blues Festival. They heard great music, ate great food, and were entertained by the racing pigs. The vendor had a racetrack in which he had 3 lanes arranged in an oval, around which piglets raced. The motivation for the pigs were the Oreo cookies they got at the end of each run. The announcement was in today’s paper. It is kind of stupid, but better than an old slave lady telling lies about her life. The other attraction in the street fair in Mississippi, that may not appear in Smyrna, was a guy who strapped a capuchin monkey onto the back of a border collie. The collie then raced around herding sheep. The thing that Mike remembers the most about this demonstration was the terrified look on the face of the monkey as he held on for dear life. There outta be a law. Maybe there is. Maybe that’s why they won’t be at the Smyrna Spring Jonquil festival.
Mike’s cousins Barbie and Tony dropped in for a short visit this week on their way back to Minnesota from Florida. It was a treat to see them. They are some of my favorite people. Barbie always has great stories to tell about the wacky people she knows.
So, there will always be more to tell. Stay tuned for more breaking news from Happy Meadows. Don’t forget to pray for world peace. We love you all. Bye, bye.