We attended another important party Wednesday night. Our friend, Richard Deitrich turned 70 this week. Who says we “old folks” don’t know how to enjoy life? As you will read below we are grateful to be celebrating with Richard and Liz.
Richard was in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange. Here is a little history on why we are so very happy to be celebrating his birthday this year.
Richard has had, and been successfully treated for, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) for thirty years. This was a direct result of his being exposed to Agent Orange during two tours of duty in Vietnam.
October 2010 – Kidney Cancer with successful removal of offending tumor. Kidney saved by an diligent excellent surgeon.
In February 2012, he was diagnosed with stage four Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – large diffuse B cell type (DLBC) – thought to be a transformation of the CLL. After six rounds of chemotherapy (R-CHOP), the harvest of stem cells and preparation of all that a transplant would entail, it was determined that he was in COMPLETE REMISSION ! NO stem cell transplant, a two year maintenance program of Rituxan, a targeted monoclonal antibody much less harsh than chemo, and we were sent on our way to enjoy life everyday.
Fast forward to April this year. Testing as a follow up to the kidney cancer indicated questionable cells – – CANCER, probably in the bladder. MRI(s) were not conclusive in that area, but did show a gastric (celiac) artery aneurysm. A much more serious issue now than the bladder.
Richard had successful surgery for the aneurysm and consequent tests have shown there was no bladder cancer.
The part of the story that is not in that account is all the prayers that were answered. Hundreds of people had been and continue to pray for Richard and Liz. We should all be thankful we are blessed in such wonderful ways, often without our knowledge. But sometimes, like Richards story, we can definitely see the had of God working.