Ed completes chemotherapy and tests. The following weeks are very rewarding.
Edward D. McClain retired from the U. S. Department of Commerce in 1995 and has been living in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, since 1996. Ed likes to work for his church, hunt, fish and collect rare firearms. He enjoys professional football, cooking shows and action TV shows/films but will not watch game shows nor talk shows. Ed is a two-time survivor of CLL, by the Grace of God.
Ed was almost through with his sixth and final chemo cycle. The infusion rate was pretty fast now and it would be over in less than an hour. The toothache had returned for the third time, but Ed was managing it better with a refill of amoxicillin.
Ed’s thoughts were turning towards next week following a CT scan and blood analysis. It would still be seven days before he met with Dr. Asif for the results. Would it be good news? Has the chemotherapy done it job? Would he be in remission?
The following Friday, Ed and Pattie were setting in the exam room waiting for Dr. Asif to come in and discuss the results of the recent tests. They held hands nervously in anticipation of the outcome of his leukemia treatment. When Dr. Asif came in he maintained the somber composure as always. Ed’s charts were in his hands as he sat down facing Ed and Pattie. His face began to enlighten as he smiled broadly and announced, “The disease is at rest.” The space around them became much brighter as Ed and Pattie hugged each other and shook hands with Dr. Asif.
Ed began asking the Dr. Asif if it was gone for good. Maybe, hopefully, but it could return, he answered. “We will start with monthly blood tests to monitor your white cell count and the strength of your immune system, and in three months we will order another CT Scan. Then we will go to three-month follow-ups on the bloodwork and office visits.”
Dr. Asif began examining the lymph nodes in Ed’s neck, groin and armpits. As he touched the lump on Ed’s neck, Ed spoke up and said, “It is still there, doctor.” The lump below Ed’s right ear was reduced considerably and no longer visible, but Ed and Dr. Asif could still feel it.
Dr. Asif said, “It may never go away completely.”
As they parted, Ed and Pattie were very enthusiastic and thanked Dr. Asif. Pattie asked Ed how he wanted to celebrate. “I just want to go home collapse and have something good to eat for dinner,” he replied.
For dinner, Ed had two helpings of spaghetti and meat sauce with salad and garlic bread. It was the most he had eaten in one setting for more than six months.
Over the weekend, Ed and Pattie discussed acknowledging the infusion nurses and staff, as he wanted to close the loop with them and share his good news. Pattie suggested ordering a few dozen of the small “Fairytale” brownies online.
“Fine,” said Ed. “But I want to deliver them, I don’t want them sent directly to Tunnel.”
Pattie agreed. By Wednesday the brownies had arrived. The color of a leukemia survivor’s ribbon is orange. Ed separated the brownies into three packages in orange-colored gift bags. He then included a thank you card in each bag. He had written in each, “Remission is a blessing from God. You are instruments of God. Your faces are reflections of hope to all of those you care for. Thank you.”
Ed delivered the tokens of appreciation to those impressive people he had come to know over the last six months. Mary the receptionist leaped up and hugged him. The infusion nurses and staff surrounded him, hugging him and congratulating him. They brought out the miniature gong and had Ed ring it as happiness leaked from the corners of both eyes and trickled down his cheeks.
As Ed left, promising to return and visit, he thought about all the hugs and kisses. As he returned home, he walked in and gave Pattie a big hug telling here of the reactions he received, then announced, “We need to order more brownies.”
“Oh no!” exclaimed Pattie. “You don’t need any more hugs.”
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28