I’ve told some of you the story about my Uncle Walt. Here was the initial report — written by his wife — on his care page back in July:
I’ll try to be brief, even though nothing about what has happened can be easily explained. He was diagnosed with a blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in which his hemoglobin and platelets are lower than normal. We were not alarmed with this diagnosis until last fall when he started needing blood transfusion just about weekly, and just received platelet transfusions when he needed surgery (which he needed quite often for his back).
Last November they started a treatment called Aranesp for several months, but his condition did not change. There are four other chemo treatments for this disease. Last February, they started the first treatment with Vidaza shots, finishing them with a shot of Neulasta. A rare side effect of Neulasta is a ruptured spleen, which is what happened to Walt. He was in the hospital another week. He says that if anything was going to kill him that should have done it.
Early in June, he was informed that if he doesn’t get the weekly blood transfusions under control, he would have about a year to live. So we started a treatment called Dacogen on July 10th. He had two treatments and his platelets dropped to 4 and he started hemorrhaging in 12 places in his left eye. He has needed platelets transfusions every day since that time.
We started the third chemo treatment called thalidomide with prednisone on July 19th. Last Tuesday, Walt was admitted to the ER. His blood sugar was 1200, and they discovered that one lead to his lower heart on his pacemaker was not working, and his platelets were 4 again. They started insulin treatments and it took 4 days to get his insulin under control. They needed to replace his pacemaker, and the surgeon was very, very nervous because the highest they could raise his platelets were 8. At least that surgery was a success. In the four days that he was in the hospital, he gained 25 pounds from all the fluids they were putting into him. Now, he is congestive heart failure. After he starts to drop some of the weight, they will let him come home. But in the meantime, he looks like a balloon and he is very sore.
He told me he still wants to keep on fighting, so now we need all of you to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Much love to all of you.
I had the opportunity to visit with Walt when we stopped in Minneapolis on the way to New Hampshire last month. He’s a believer and, with tears in his eyes, shared a dream with us of Jesus taking “broken parts” out of his body. The doctors say that he may have 150 transfusions left before his body gives out. Would you agree with me (and Walt, our family, etc.) for life and life abundantly for Walt? He’s such an amazing person and has always lived life to the full. I’m inspired by the guy whenever I’m around him and would love to see him miraculously healed.
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An update from Walt’s CarePage:
“Walt’s stomach pain subsided each day he was back in the hospital. They let us go home today. Once again, “there is no place like home”. The past few days have been long. We were surprised with a visit from Gary & Sandy (Walt’s nephew, who Walt says is more of a friend). Mary went and purchased every old cowboy DVD she found at Walmart yesterday & he slept with the old cowboys playing all night. He still remains unfocused. I am hoping that sleeping in his own bed will help with that. Yes, to Sandy – please place Walt on a prayer chain. Thanks Shawn, and to all those people in South Dakota praying for us. Each prayer that is offered from all of you is gratefully accepted. Thanks for all your love and support.”
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