Monday, August 11, 2008

As normal as possible for as long as possible

Over the past six years, I have learned that my wife often explains my health situation far better than I do. Besides, I am not really sure what to write right now; as Denita says below, we are still "processing" what we learned today. Anyway, here is Denita's email to our friends and family updating them (and you) on our consulation with our oncologist today, as we seek a way forward: was the day we saw the doctor and got some answers. We're not really sure if it was good news or not so good news - we're still processing all that. Let me back up a bit. When Credit Valley said they didn't want to take Glenn on, we were referred to another hematology clinic in Princess Margaret. The doctor who will be in charge of Glenn's care there is a doctor we have seen on occasion in the transplant clinic, and we liked him, so we were happy about that. Today when he talked with us, he told us that to him the results of the tests are irrevelant. The fact that Glenn's cancer came back even after transplant means that it is stubborn and aggressive. What he wanted to find out is how aggressive we wanted to be in dealing with it. He pointed out that over the last 6 years the doctors have basically tried all the chemo drugs that are used to treat CLL and either they weren't effective, or Glenn developed a serious side effect that meant the chemo had to be stopped. He told us that if we got really aggressive Glenn could look forward to being very sick and possibly dying from complications of the treatment. Then he asked Glenn what he wanted, and Glenn said he wanted to "live as normal of a life as I can for as long as I can." When Glenn said that, the doctor agreed and told us that would be his preferred approach too. So....we have basically decided we will manage Glenn's cancer and deal with issues as they arise. That means another transplant is out. For now Glenn will be taking a chemo drug in pill form every day for the next month. We will then see the doctor again in a month and assess the situation. At that time we will decide further what else to do. Just another reminder that we need to live a day at a time and thank God for the strength he gives along the way.

This has been a tough day for us. We were really hoping we could beat this monster. Instead we will have to continue on in the battle. We covet your prayers as all of us are battle weary. The road ahead doesn't look rosy, but I'm confident that God walks with us and he will continue to strengthen us and use us in our weakness. Thank you for standing with us.

Love, Denita


Anonymous said...

There are a group of ladies who have been praying for both of you and we will continue. Psalm 46 has been a blessing to me recently - particularly vs. 10 in the NASB.
God bless.

Glenn Penner said...

Thank you so very much