Saturday, December 1, 2007


    I have recently been finding myself wondering what kind of changes God is going to bring about in my life as a result of Cole having leukemia.

    To be quite honest, I have felt pretty humbled over the past few years. I look back on my pride and arrogance and realize just how mistaken I was. Not to say that I'm ultra-humble now, hehe. But, given the past few years, a lot of that pride and arrogance seems to have evaporated, and it was all a work I can say God has done.

    For instance, in the past, I would have thought that I was capable of handling what we're going through now. Capable of handling it by myself, that is. I probably would have figured that God had gifted me so greatly in order that I might not just survive this time, but thrive in it. I have no doubt that the first few weeks would have chewed me up and spit me out a wreck of a man if I had tried that approach. It's not a pretty picture, but it's pretty close to the truth.

    In contrast, when we did start this whole thing, I knew right away that I didn't have enough, and that most, if not all, of the strength that I was going to need was going to come from the Lord. Don't think this is some kind of wonderful revelation, though. This is a terrible, poverty stricken feeling and I would much prefer the feeling of the self-assurance.

    I guess what I'm getting at here is that I hardly recognize the person I've become when I compare it to the person I used to be. And, while a lot of that change was wrought during a very difficult time in my life, I doubt it was as difficult as what we're going through now. So, this makes me wonder what the Lord is going to change in me this time, and how drastic the change will be in the end?

    It's quite a frightening and daunting thought.

    Well, enough with speculation, here's a Cole update for you.

    Cole's cytogenetic screening is back. This is a genetic screening of the cancer cells they've harvested from his bone marrow. There are two things they look for, what they call "good players" and what they call "bad players". Each is a genetic mutation or change, but the meaning of them is different. Obviously, a "good player" is a good mutation, one that means his cancer is easier to treat, while a "bad player" is a bad mutation, one that means his cancer is harder to treat.

    The long and short of it is that Cole has one minor "bad player" and no "good players". Dr. Owen indicated that this would probably put Cole firmly in the standard risk group, which has ramifications on his treatment (though we still don't know what those ramifications are). So, his cytogenetics weren't great, but they also weren't horrible. I'll take that, thanks.

    There is also some concern regarding the side-effects Cole is having from the vincristine. These would be the constipation, some numbness and tingling in his legs and something called foot drop, which is a condition where his foot isn't pulling up enough for him to walk correctly. He also seems to be having more foot and hand pain. With his numbers being so good Dr. Owen is thinking that the next dose of vincristine (which comes on Wednesday) will be a smaller dose, which should help Cole recover a bit from all of these side-effects.

    In addition to these side-effects, they are also concerned with the general malaise that Cole is having. Apparently he's not as active as he should be, and doesn't feel as good as he could. They have already taken steps to combat this, however, and today Cole seems to be feeling better.

    I tell you all of this not to alarm you, however, but to allow you to pray more effectively. The clinical staff says that his reactions are still well within the normal range and their concern is mainly that he could be feeling better than he does.


    Inkwasbetter said...

    Thanks for the update man. It's good to know where Cole is and how is prognosis is shaping up.

    I'm glad you're going in with your head up on this whole "self assurance" thing. It feels good but it never really delivers what you're looking for. I know it's in our weakness that he is made strong but sometimes i really wish he'd give us supernatural "strength" and just let that be our witness rather than all this relying on him stuff. Oh well. At least you know the score.

    Anonymous said...

    hey- i so can relate to your humbled state of sums up my last year and a half. we're thankful, right?? (sometimes... maybe). we will be praying more for cole's comfort and lessened side effects! and for yall to be strengthened to care for him. we love yall! lisa

    Langston-Family said...

    It is amazing, yes amazing, how the potter shapes us into the vessel he needs. Today he may need a cup then tomorrow a bowl. When we submit to Him, we give him permission to mold us to His needs and to stop the "self assured" self molding process we implement ourselves as we shape things "on our own". EVERY TIME I have shaped things myself, it has resulted in the wrong vessel or needed tool for God to use. Like yourself, I am re-learning to humbly let the Fathers Hands shape me into the work he so desires. It is this amazing experience that brings about the peace and true confidence in HIM and myself. Another word, non-pseudo confidence diametrically opposed to my natural or carnal flesh. :)
    I will speak with you soon. Remember, one day at a time. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is the future, but your family and yourself have today. CARPE DIEM!
    Live for now and cherish the memories to tell the story. It is the testimonies, stories, of your faith that produce patience, perserverance, faith and blessings for others. Ask me how I know.
    Heather told me to define carpe diem as to seize the carpet. :>)