The bright lights of hope…(Update on my health)

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Yes, in the dim world I’ve been living in since last September when I was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, there is now a bright glimmer of hope that my days may not be as briefly numbered as I’ve feared. UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX, which is about an hour from where I live, is a huge complex made up of medical centers, hospitals, and a medical school. They are therefore on the cutting edge of medicines, treatments, surgical procedures, and research. It is where my 70+ year-old-brother-in-law received a heart transplant 2 years ago. The new heart not only saved his life but also improved his overall health TREMENDOUSLY! So it was that he and his wife, my youngest sister, pleaded with me months ago to go over UT Southwestern to get a second opinion because neither they nor I were at all happy with my treatment here. In the meantime, however, my husband James who has macular degeneration had a hemorrhage in his good eye which required surgery and for now has rendered him unable to drive to Dallas. But since my sister and my niece declared they could and would take me whenever I needed to go I finally called and made an appointment for last Monday, the 28th of January, and they placed me with one of two doctors there who specialize in MDS. The one I saw, Dr. Patel, is not only a doctor but also a professor in the medical school there, and I LOVED her. She is not only one smart cookie, but she is also very vibrant and upbeat. And she told me so much more than I’d been told before. Thus my husband and I immediately agreed to let her start treating me. The difference in the way patients are treated there is a day and night different experience than compared to what occurs in the Texas Oncology facility here. She  not only explained so much about my condition, but she also allowed me to ask lots of questions. This does not mean that I am not dealing with a life ending disease any longer, but what she told me offered me more hope that my end could be years and possibly many years down the road still. She also pointed out that because I’m just one percentage point out of the low risk stage of this disease, that there is another kind of treatment that might actually be more successful. So as of this Monday I stopped the chemo that I had been getting once a week every month for the last 4 months here and will start a non-chemo new treatment tomorrow which hopefully will be successful not only in stemming the tide of the onset of untreatable leukemia, but will also slow or stop the need for blood transfusions and best of all help me have more energy and feel better. Should it fail however she can and will start me back on the chemo and when and if that fails, she has clinical trial options we can talk about. Needless to say I’m praising God as always and thanking him for interceding in the misery of a place, a doctor, a seemingly cold and uncaring staff that I’d come to detest. So tonight I’m ever so much more hopeful than I’ve been in months and months. But it may be a while yet before I can be more active again on my blog. I’m hopeful that it won’t be all that long though. Unfortunately it has just been really hard, as someone once said to me long ago, to think about cleaning the swamp when one is up to his/her “derrière” (buttocks or a…) in alligators. And trust me the influx of alligators around here since March 2018 has been incredibly ENORMOUS!!! Thank you for all your prayers and concern! Prayer works and God is as ever GOOD and FAITHFUL!!! Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I enter this new phase of treatment because your prayers and well wishes have been keeping my tiny boat on the vast sea of life afloat. May God bless each and everyone of you. Love, Natalie

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