Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24: News and Prayer Answers

I visited with Jerry a bit yesterday. His brother was there, and his brother is a 6/6 match for him for marrow donation. Awesome. He's set for the transplant.

Doc Halliday
That's not due for months, though. Next step is for him to get a clear marrow biopsy. His is probably going to happen Sunday or Monday. Please pray for him. He's also suffering a bit: cold, tired, nauseous, unable to eat. He's lost 17 pounds. The doctors say if he hits 25 pounds, they're going to feed him intravenously.

I've mentioned two brothers I met whose dad was due for a biopsy. Apparently, the dad got his biopsy day before yesterday, was told it was clear yesterday, and got to go home immediately to recover. He didn't like staying at the hospital, and they've apparently got more flexibility with that than I imagined.

Anyway, that was all exciting in the sense of good news, and accurate prayers. I told Jerry that I was going to pray--and ask y'all to pray--for all clear biopsies while I'm on the floor. I don't know that I have faith for that, but I figured I'd just have a lot of fellowship with God and maybe the presence of God would just work miracles. Things work that way pretty often.

Then when I leave someone else will need to take over.

A "clear" biopsy means that after chemo all the cells in the bone marrow have been destroyed. There are no cells, good or bad. At that point, the patient's blood and immune system will usually rebuild itself without any leukemic cells. If there are still bad cells left, then it's a "dirty" biopsy, and second round of chemo must be started.

My Report

Dr. Strickland examining lesions
I have less energy, breathe harder, and got my first mouth sore--very common side effect--which is on my tongue and makes eating painful. All of that is very easy to handle. The hemorrhoids continue, maybe slightly better than yesterday, and that is very difficult to handle. If I lay in bed on my side, it mostly doesn't hurt. Walking's a little painful, not bad, but trips to the bathroom are ... well, I suppose they're not as bad as a broken femur or giving birth, but I would be willing to say 8 out of 10.

That's a Brian Regan joke—short version or long version—though I'm not joking about it being extremely painful. I had a fingernail plucked out once when my finger was caught in a sprocket. The plucked fingernail was worse pain for sure.

A Couple Funny Burping Stories

My sister left me a comment after I said that I've always had trouble burping. She said she thought her contest-winning burping skills were because she's a Pavao.

Apparently not, but ...

Back when I was newly married, my wife and I were helping with a youth group at a church. She heard about a game in which the players race to eat a banana and then drink a 7-Up™.

Apparently, I wasn't insightful enough to see the point of such a game. I raced with the youth, ate my banana, and drank the whole 7-Up as fast as I could. I didn't win, but I did get the same results everyone else got--a bloated belly full of gas as the soda reacted with the banana.

Kids were burping everywhere, but not me.

I staggered to the kitchen in awful pain. My belly, which was flat back then, was bloated and tight as a basketball to the touch. I literally was wondering if I was going to burst my stomach and die.

Finally, I decided I had to do something because no burp was coming. The pain was worth a do or die solution. I took both fists and drove them into my belly as hard as I could. Fortunately, I didn't explode. I got a really massive burp out of it, though, and then, with the pressure off, I was able to get 2 or 3 more.

I came out of the kitchen white-faced, in a cold sweat, and told my wife what had happened.

The other story is more absent-mindedness.

The nurses have really liked my Auburn, California scenery pictures

My wife and I were at a Burger King, again back when I was in my 20's. On the way out I dumped my tray in the garbage can. Because of the where the garbage can was, this meant that I was standing between the counter and the very large, very full Burger King dining room, facing all the tables over the garbage can.

I must have had soda with the meal, and I must have had my mind in some other world, because I burped, loud and unrestrained, as I was dumping my tray. I think the turn of 40 or 50 heads probably roused me from my reverie, and I realized what I had just done.

Instantly, I dropped into a squat, hiding behind the garbage can. (Really.)

I waited just a moment, then got up and strode to the door at what was almost a run, never looking at anyone in the place.

Okay, well, that was real important. I hope you enjoyed that.


  1. Oh My, I can't believe you were/are embarrassed of that probably 8 out of 10 quality burp! I'm laughing so hard right now. In tears actually. Are you sure you are my brother??? Our Grandpa Pavao's grandson??? I think I love to burp because of him, the other end as well. Poor Grandpa remembered for his burps and toots and forehead kisses! lol It's a good thing I'm your 4/6 match otherwise I might not believe I'm your sister. LOL Oh wait, that's not a sure thing either. hmmmmmm

    Anyways, really I wanted to pass onto you a trick I learned to awesome belches. Lay on the floor on your tummy, roll from side to side, slowly and gently. this will move the gas out either end rather quickly and easily. But I'll be praying for the burping end, since you are having issues on the other end.

    Thank you for the good laugh this morning and the awesome updates. Praying for you and all the people you contact. I've learned so much these last 3 weeks.

  2. Thank you for sharing this journey: I am praying that you will continue to be blessed beyond measure in all things . . . . Jesus is indeed LORD.

  3. Thank you, Karen!

    As for my sister, now everyone who thinks I'm really "out there" sees how I could have turned out!

    Thanks, Laurie Ann. I love you, especially now that I might have to ask for your stem cells and end up with your blood type and even your DNA!!!

    Wow, that's scary.