Friday, December 6, 2013

God Is Good All The Time!

My wife, Mary Jo, is now on Day+214 since her transplant on May 6th. She is doing great. We got the Christmas tree out, and are decorating it this morning. The holidays are so much better this year than 2012 when she was going through R-CHOP and R-DHAP chemo treatments here in Louisville. God is good - all the time!

Billy, Mary Jo's nephew, whose Chronic Lymphocytic Luekemia (CLL) with 17p deletion has been transformed into Diffuse Large Cell Lymphoma by Richter's Syndrome(RS) was supposed to have his last round of R-EPOCH chemo at Vanderbilt starting this past Wednesday.

We took Billy to Nashville early Wednesday morning for his 9 AM appointment for blood labs and meeting with his oncologist there. Nashville is about a 2 1/2-3 hour drive from Louisville. As is our routine, we ate breakfast with Billy at the Panera Bread near the Vanderbilt campus then went over to the hospital.

Billy got everything taken care of with the oncologist, by around lunch time. So, he we went to admitting to get him checked in the hospital. They said that many patients were checking out, and they would page him when a room was available.
So, we went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch.

After eating, we went back to admitting. They said they would have a room available in a couple of hours. Mary Jo and I sat with Billy until around 3 PM in admitting waiting area. We didn't really want to get stuck in rush hour traffic.

So, we drove back to Louisville arriving around 6 PM. Billy called right after we got home. He was still waiting for a room, and, understandingly so, getting very frustrated about the whole room situation.

A friend of Billy's has been taking Billy for his previous five treatments at Vanderbilt. But, he couldn't take him Wednesday because he was taking his wife, who has multiple myeloma, to the University of Arkansas Cancer Center in Little Rock.

At 9:30 PM (CT), Billy's friend was passing through Nashville on his way back to Louisville from Little Rock, and called Billy to see how he was doing.

By this time, Billy was beside himself. He still was not in a room. Billy's friend asked him, if he wanted to pick him and bring him home. Billy told the admitting people that he was tired of waiting for a room, and was heading back to Louisville.

In September, Vanderbilt Medical Center laid off around 1,000 employees. We had overheard several patients during the day talking about how the length of time to get test results,etc. had increased considerably since the layoffs. Arriving at the hospital at 9 AM, and not having a room by 10 PM is totally ridiculous.

The doctors and nurses at Vanderbilt do wonderful work. The patient care coordinator at Vanderbilt and Billy's oncologist called him yesterday to apologize for what went on Wednesday. If the Vanderbilt Medical Center wants to maintain their reputation as one of the nation's leading research and treatment centers something needs to be fixed.

But, after saying all of that, I think it was Divine Providence that the delay caused Billy to not start his treatment on Wednesday as planned, and his friend to be driving through Nashville at the precise time he needed a ride back to Louisville.

We got a call yesterday from Billy's family who live in Lexington, KY informing us that Billy's mom, who is fighting peritoneal cancer, had taken a turn for the worse. She was in great pain and was having trouble swallowing and talking.

Billy drove to Lexington yesterday to spend some quality time with his mom and his family there before he heads back to Nashville on Monday for his last treatment. GOD IS GOOD - ALL THE TIME!

Please keep Billy, his mom, Linda and Mary Jo in your prayers.

We are in the midst of a Winter Storm Cleon here in Louisville. We are currently having freezing rain. It is supposed to change to sleet and heavy snow soon at a rate of 1-2" per hour.
The forecast is for 8-12" in the area before it stops early Saturday morning.

Then, Winter Storm Dion is supposed to roll through Saturday night and Sunday with a major ice storm in the area causing massive power outages. Please pray that this doesn't happen, and we all survive this onslaught from mother nature. The low temperatures next week are supposed to be near zero. I would rather have 2' of snow than the ice.

Whatever the case, GOD IS GOOD - ALL THE TIME!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.







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