Hillary has been doing such a great job with the blog that I've gotten lazy about making my own posts. So while she is making Christmas cookies for Darrell for his birthday (he wanted Christmas cookies instead of cake), she encouraged me to make my own post.
First, last and always, I can not, and never will be able to, express to each and every one of you my deep love and appreciation for the prayers, thoughts, cards and calls that I receive from all of you every day. Last week I received cards from Bill & Betty Muller (that's right, Bill even wrote in it to me!) and Ruth Zingg. I receive cards regularly, and it always make me cry to know that even after 4 months, the kind thoughts and prayers still abound. The financial support is very humbling, and very much appreciated, as well.
The worst of it isn't even the side affects. The chemo-brain induced fog, feeling cold, sickness, nausea, no physical strength, not being able to read much due to the swelling of my eyes because of the drugs, all the drugs I have to take on a daily basis, having to give myself shots (today I start having to give myself 3 shots a day), having to travel back and forth to SF for the treatments, and loosing my hair. Those are nothing compared to my not being able to personally visit with you, hug you, and let you know how much I love and miss all of you. A very special thank you to all of the young mothers and fathers who send me pictures of their babies and children via my cell phone. I miss my primary kids a lot.
I've recently read an inspirational thought that I would like to share with you. Perhaps an insight, perhaps a Kevin 3:7 (false doctrine), but it hit me as I read it, because I believe that it helps to explain the circumstances of my miraculous roller coaster ride with IGM Myeloma. As we met last week with the world renowned Dr. Jeff Wolf, my primary doctor at UCSF, he simply stated as he walked in the room, "You are a special study".
In all of his years with IGM Myeloma patients from around the world, he had never had one that had gone into complete remission after the initial chemo therapy, and before the high dosage chemo. My kidneys are nearly back to pre-cancer level of efficiency (80% and "pristine"), when they were hoping for 25-30% initially. We're 2 months ahead of schedule and have been able to avoid 2 heavy dosage chemo therapy treatments. The statement is from Teilhard de Chardin, a now deceased Jesuit priest who wrote his observations on the spirit. He wrote, "We are not human beings having a spiritual existence. We are spiritual beings having a human existence." To me, it seemed to become clear. My spirit has been responding to all of your prayers and good thoughts on my behalf first. Then it is my spirit, bolstered by each of yours, which has an uplifting and healing effect on my physical being. Not the other way around. Regardless of how it works, IT WORKS! The cancer may try and destroy my human existence, but it can never destroy, or even effect in a negative way to any degree, my spirit. The atonement is real and in process every minute at the Richards' home.
Well, I won't promise that I'll put more of my thoughts and feelings on the blog more often, but I'll try. Emotionally it is very draining. As tears stream down my face, just feeling of your thoughts and prayers on my behalf and behalf of my family, the doctors and all those who assist in my treatment and recovery, is extremely humbling. Thank you for letting me a part of this process.