Roo Teen

Closer to Normal hello-my-name-is-normal
Last summer I wrote about how I missed my Monday routine.  Taking the kids to the sitter’s, going to work, picking the kids back up, spending time with them and putting them to bed.  All while Lindsey worked.  While I’m not quite back to that normal yet, things are most definitely progressing in the right direction.

On Monday I began to work in the hc1 office again.  I’m not officially full time yet, but I am planning on being so in June.  It’s great to get back to meaningful work and to exercise my mind.  It’s also wonderful to be around a smart and dedicated group of people (and Brian and Corry too).  I feel like a new employee all over again, but I plan to get up to speed quickly.  As my time at work begins to wind up, Lindsey’s need to work part-time and carry benefits will wind down.  Yes, we are most definitely making progress towards normal.

An Extended Time Away
Yesterday I saw Dr. Nelson for my routine check up.  Things have been progressively getting better so there wasn’t as much to talk about.  I still have a skin rash, but the itching is controlled with meds.  I still have dry skin, but lotion seems to help or at least hide it.  I still have mouth sores and pain when I eat, but a cough drop numbs that right up.  Just the usual list of side effects.  I guess Dr. Nelson is tired of hearing about it every few weeks, because he said he does not need to see me for 3 months.  I’ll have labs drawn in 3 weeks, but other than that I’m hospital/doctor free for quite some time.

What to do at Night
The other nice thing about my visit with Dr. Nelson is that he is taking me off two more of my meds.  I’ve still been taking the immuno-suppresant tacrolimus, but I will be stopping that on 5/9.  I’m also able to stop flucanozole (anti-fungal) immediately.  With those 2 changes, I officially have no medications to take at night.  I only have to take morning meds now.  It’s great to see fewer and fewer pill bottles on my dresser and instead of taking an amount of pills that covers up the palm of my hand, I only have a few to take in the morning now.

Disney MK_MSCASEYS_7667751306
You may recall that we had a trip to Disney planned for November of 2015.  Unfortunately cancer got in the way of the trip and we couldn’t take it.  We were scheduled to go with Lindsey’s family and because of the way reservations work, they could only extend the dates out to this spring before they would lose unused airfare and resort fees.  Thus, the end of April was determined to be our new Disney date.  I was a little worried about traveling, but everything turned out great.  I had to take precautions, as the sun can exacerbate GVH of the skin.  I stuck to the shade as much as possible, wore SPF 50 sunscreen and bought a floppy hat to cover my head.  The trip was almost like a “thank you” trip from God to cap off 11 months of health battles.  The kids were of course amazed at all things Disney and the adults had fun too.  While it may be awhile before we go back again, we have many great memories to last us for years to come.

And the Powerball Numbers Are:
My numbers keep improving.  Not “normal person” improving, but they are pretty good for someone 7 months post transplant.  I would still like to see my platelets come up, but I’m not bleeding out any orifices, so perhaps that isn’t necessary.

5/2/2016: WBC 3.8 (3.6 is the low for a normal range)
5/2/2016: Hemoglobin 12.3 (13.5is the low for a normal range)
5/2/2016: Platelets 122 (150 is the low for a normal range)

A Duck Dynasty Prayer
It’s hard to believe that 11 months ago to the day, I was packing a bag for the hospital.  I didn’t know exactly what steps I needed to talk, but I knew you would be walking beside me.  Never alone in this battle, having you by my side, was a great comfort.  May we continue to walk together in health for many more years to come.  Thank you God for being by my side.  Thank you for holding me in the roughest of times.  Thank you for another day.

16 thoughts on “Roo Teen

  1. Yay!!! Praises all around to our God who is so good!! We are so thankful! Eleven months ago today, I couldn’t even imagine you being recovered well enough already to go to Disney with your family and be planning to return to work full time less than 8 months post transplant, yet here you are on the other side of beating cancer twice and sharing such amazing news on your WordPress. You are an inspiration to so many, Rob, with how hard you have fought this battle all the while showing integrity and staying strong in your Faith.
    So very proud of you❤️🎗

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We are SO thrilled to read this!!!! We have literally prayed for you each night Rob!!!
    Keep getting better and better! Happy you got your trip done!

    Amanda and Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello, Rob! This is Rosary Lady from Buffalo, NY. God be praised! It was WONDERFUL to see the photo of your family at Disney! My prayers for you and your loved ones will continue. A promise is a promise.
    Much love,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rob! So thrilled to read this new update! How wonderful to hear you are doing so well! AND a trip to Disney how awesome! Now welcome back to the “normal” side of things. Please keep up the great work and we all will keep up the prayers.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow, Rob!!! I had no idea you were starting back to work. That’s awesome! I’m so happy that you guys got down to Disney for your vacation. Well deserved, and I loved seeing all of the pictures on Facebook. What a sweet family you have. I am praying that you have many more decades of good health and happy times with those that you love. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have been so excited to see all the Disney photos! I’ll never forget the sheer joy as a parent seeing my kids so full of joy and wonder! I’m so thankful you got that chance and had a wonderful time together celebrating all that has been conquered. Praising God that you are well enough to head back to work!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a super post! I am filled with such joy! You are truly experiencing God’s beautiful miracle, compounded by His gift to you of strength, courage, and faith. Thank you Rob for standing strong in your faith and giving us a role model to follow through this journey! Glory be to God!!! Love you all so much! Mom

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amazing to hear of your return to work and the trip to Disney. You health, resilience and joy are such an answer to prayer. May the blessings grow each day, brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so happy for you! I drive right by your work (if its the location that you can see from 465 near Michigan Rd) every 3 weeks. Let’s do lunch sometime!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m afraid it’s a little too late to try to convince us that you’re normal, or anywhere near it. 🙂

    More seriously, terrific news! There were many days of wondering “How long, O Lord?”. But now it’s now. You’re close, and close feels pretty good. Enjoy life and your family.

    God bless, Uncle Claude


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