Well, my friend is still resident in Limbo and no, that’s not a small Wyoming town. If you read the last installment, the neurologist had told him that it is either  CIDP or Multiple Myeloma, and he needed to get a bone marrow biopsy to get us further along. That was done last Thursday, in Billings, and so far no results have been offered. However, that doctor (a “2 for 1” oncologist/haemotologist) said that if the results showed myeloma, and would be known by Friday, he would call. So far, he hasn’t called.

A new fact came to light today, when the family doctor reaffirmed that what they are doing is casting about trying to eliminate all the nasty diseases that cause neuropathy, that other than accepting the fact that there really is neuropathy in the legs and feet, the cause needs to be determined so that treatment may begin. In the meantime, the Billings doc said he doesn’t suspect myeloma, even before seeing the results of the biopsy; rather, he wants to investigate two other culprits, amyloidosis and multiclonal gammopathy, both of which have something to do with the body’s ability to regulate the use and creation of protein. If unchecked, the protein can attack various organs, either systemically or it may pick one or two. So, more tests are being done including the ever-popular 24-hour urine collection. And so it goes, another week to wait and hope.

In the meantime, my friend is still losing a bit of weight, down to 188 lbs. this morning. And generally feels weak whenever there’s work to be done, and even some entertainment at times. At the same time, another close friend had a kidney removed yesterday, having been diagnosed with kidney cancer. For him, this comes a few years after a five way heart bypass, and he’s still relatively young. As one of my colleagues commented, “Even those wiry types have problems, it’s not just the obese”.

On the good side of life, my wife will be bringing our two young grandsons for a week-long visit, on her way back from some AdvancEd training in Georgia. As I only get to see them a couple of times a year, this falls into the category of An Event. At ages 6 and 10, they are fun! Last year, we climbed the mesa which looms over the town; played golf, went to the dinosaur dig, swam in the mineral pools and used the tubular slides, and a host of other activities. The evening trips to Dairyland for ice cream, and a game or two of miniature golf rounded out that week.

We continue to struggle, as does most of the country, with the unusual high temperatures day after day, with no rain for weeks. Tonight looks promising in that area, and I even think I can hear thunder as I write.

I hope all my Islamic friends are holding up well as they cleanse their minds and bodies during this year’s Ramadan. I read a few articles about the effects of fasting, and some recommendations about halal-based nutrition which provide a sound basis for healthy living. One of the interesting points is that many Muslims “overindulge” after sunset, and instead of being able to maintain a healthy status, tend to gain weight in spite of the fasting! The articles were extremely well-written and provide excellent insight into a different perspective on life in general. The author of one of the articles I strongly admire for how she applies the depth of her faith to her daily living, and converts that faith into a dynamic contribution to her fellow beings. In fact, I may begin to indulge in Halal, except of course when it comes to pork. I really like a good ham sandwich, bacon, and an occasional roast. I think this is one area where they need to modernize the basics of their rituals!

Always Be Happy!

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