Thursday, October 19, 2017

Reading Through the Gospel of Matthew #6 (18.1-21.16)

Keener MatthewI am continuing reading through the Gospel of Matthew accompanied by Matthew, vol. 1, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, by Craig S. Keener. This section focuses on relationships within the kingdom of God – with the king and with the king’s other followers. I am posting from my reading in the New Testament accompanied by various commentaries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version (for some reason I cannot make the page numbers come up in the quotes) of the book. As usual my comments are in black and quotes from the book are in blue.

Matthew 18 deals with relationships among Jesus' disciples. God's kingdom is an upside-down world in which one's status is determined by how well one treats those who are considered lowly by society. Our responsibility to others includes taking the initiative to pursue those who have strayed away from the faith or acted against us. This does not mean that sin is tolerated, but it is disciplined appropriately and always with the goal of reconciliation and restoration. Jesus warns of very strong judgment on those who will not forgive. If we will not forgive it shows that we really have not experienced God's forgiveness and grace.

Jesus’ teaching on relationships here especially addresses relationships among disciples. As God’s community, they are to watch out for one another, expressing patience toward the spiritually young as well as seeking to restore the straying, gently disciplining the erring and forgiving the repentant...rank in the kingdom depends especially on how we treat those least honored among us. Matthew 18:1–14

By holding discipline and grace in their proper tension (with a greater but not imbalanced emphasis on grace), Matthew summons the church to practice tough love...We must pursue the straying sheep (Mt 18:10–14), but certain very exceptional circumstances demand expulsion of wolves in sheep’s clothing who may not wish to leave (vv. 15–20; compare 7:15–23). Matthew 18:15-20

Forgiveness must issue from the heart (18:35)—it must be sincere (compare Is 59:13). God has forgiven us; if we fail to show grace to others who have repented—guilty parties in a divorce, former gang members, adulterers, homosexuals, gossipers, crafty politicians—then this text simply promises us hellfire (compare Mt 5:7; 6:12, 14–15). Matthew 18:21-35

In 19.1-20.16 Jesus teaches the values of His kingdom and, in doing so, overturns the values of the culture of the Jews and Gentiles of his day. In societies that cultivated relationship with powerful men to gain honor, wealth and power, Jesus taught that powerless women and children should be honored. He actually made it hard for the rich young ruler to be a disciple because He wanted disciples on his terms-total dependence and commitment. This is rarely found in the rich and powerful because they have too much to lose. The bottom line is that Jesus' kingdom operates on the principle of grace. God is free to bless people in a way and amount that He chooses. Those that have sacrificed everything to follow Him will be rewarded in the coming kingdom, but the rewards will surprise those that still operate on the one-to-one merit system of this world.

Jesus’ male contemporaries valued the great and powerful; Jesus summoned status-seeking men to love their wives and children. The world valued wealth; Jesus summoned his followers to sacrifice all for the kingdom, caring for the poor (19:21; compare 6:19–24). Only those who prepared for such sacrifices could enter the coming kingdom. Matthew 19

The well-to-do young man of 19:16–22 was like many “First World” Christians today. We want God to affirm that we are religious enough without costing us anything more than we have already been offering him. We trust only tentatively the value of heaven’s kingdom and hence are prepared to sacrifice only little for it; but one who is not sufficiently convinced of the gospel’s truth to sacrifice everything (compare 13:44–46) will not prove worthy of it. Matthew 19:23-30

The image in Jesus’ parable is of unmerited grace; the owner realizes that an hour’s fraction of a day’s wage would not sustain a family. But a parable of grace also challenges those who operate only on a principle of merit, despising the showing of mercy because they feel it unfairly raises others to their own standing. Matthew 19:30-20:16

The next section (20.17-21.16) begins with Jesus' prediction of His passion, which all the disciples seem to ignore. In fact, John and James make a play for a privileged position in Jesus' kingdom. Jesus reiterates the point that there is no kingdom without a cross and no reward without service and suffering. The prayer that gets answered is not the disciples’ request for status, but that of the blind men who come to Jesus with desperation. Jesus must be taken on His own terms, not ours. With this, Jesus is ready to announce his kingdom, but He comes in peace, not as the warrior revolutionary king the people wanted. Because of their rejection he confronts the injustice in the temple in Jerusalem and then symbolically acts out judgment on it. Sadly, the children recognized who He was, but the leaders did not. 

The world’s models for status differ from those in God’s kingdom; because honor ultimately belongs to God alone, we should humble ourselves and serve, allowing God to exalt us. Rank in the day of judgment (5:19) will confound many of our expectations (18:4; 23:11): it will expose the pride of many who are respected in today’s church, while conversely, God’s revelation of the lives of many humble and unknown servants of Christ will bring him much honor. Matthew 20:20-28

Whether he gives us the strength to endure pain or (quite often) heals us in response to persistent prayer, it is not because we have mastered formulas of prayer. It is because he cares for us intimately (6:8; compare 9:36; 14:14; 15:32). Matthew 20:29-34

Even today many people call themselves Christians but have not pressed far enough in Jesus’ teachings to understand the real character of his lordship or his demands on their lives. The praises of the masses are good, but it is the disciples who truly submit to Christ’s will—those who read his kingship in light of the cross—who will carry out his purposes in the world. Matthew 21:1-16

Reading The Unseen Realm by Michael Heiser #10

IHeiser am continuing to read through The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, by Michael S. Heiser. This post begins the section, THUS SAYS THE LORD, which applies the Divine Council view through the rest of the Old Testament. With the failure of the Davidic Kingdom and exile, God adjusts His plan to restore His creation as another Eden and provides clues to what His plan is through the prophets. I have been posting quotes from the book on my Facebook page on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (NT is Mon-Wed-Fri) and we can discuss comments and questions about the passage there. As usual my comments are in black and quotes from the commentary are in blue below. I am using the Kindle version of the book.…

Chapter 26, Mountains and Valleys, begins part 6, THUS SAYS THE LORD, which brings the story of the spiritual battle from the judges through the exile. The spiritual battle with the seed of the nachash continues as David battles the Philistine giants and the nation succumbs to the worship of other gods. This chapter deals with the "cosmic geography" that informs this section. The "mountains" are the places are the holy ground where God is enthroned and meets His people; mainly the tabernacle and temple. Both were built to remind one of Eden and Sinai. The valleys were the unholy ground of the rebellious gods and their offspring the Rephaim/Nephilim. David is validated as king by defeating the Rephaim giant, Goliath and the Valley of the Rephaim and Valley of Hinnom (Ge-Hennom) become places of idol worship and human sacrifice. The battle was on between these two realms. 

In Israel’s theology, Eden, the tabernacle, Sinai, and the temple were equally the abode of Yahweh and his council. The Israelites who had the tabernacle and the temple were constantly reminded of the fact that they had the God of the cosmic mountain and the cosmic garden living in their midst, and if they obeyed him, Zion would become the kingdom domain of Yahweh, which would serve as the place to which he would regather the disinherited nations cast aside at Babel to himself. 228, Micah 4.1-2

Jeroboam set up cult centers (1 Kgs 12:26–33) for Baal worship in two places to mark the extent of his realm: Dan (which was in the region of Bashan, close to Mount Hermon) and Bethel (the place where Yahweh had appeared to the patriarchs). The symbolism of spiritual warfare in these decisions was palpable. No one faithful to Yahweh would have missed their intended contempt. Ten of Israel’s tribes were now under the dominion of other gods. Yahweh would destroy Israel in 722 via the Assyrian Empire. 231

The Old Testament prophets were key players in this cosmic battle and are the subject of chapter 27, Standing in the Council. Prophets were God's spokespersons who were brought into God's council to bring God's message to His people. From Adam, Enoch and Moses, through the patriarchs to Moses, and to the classical OT prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, prophets met with the visible YHWH and His Divine Council to be called into service. This was the validation of a true prophet. They were then responsible to call God's people to faithfulness and service.

Prophets were simply people who spoke for God— men and women who, at God’s direction, looked their fellow Israelites in the eye and told them they were being disloyal to the God to whom they owed their existence and who had chosen a relationship with them over everyone else on earth. Prophets told people the unvarnished truth and often paid dearly for it. 232

Jeremiah’s dramatic call by the embodied Yahweh is quite important in the book of Jeremiah, for it serves as the basis of true prophet status. What began in the days of Moses as public validation of his call and the call of those who served with him became fixated in the minds of Israelites as a litmus test to apply to any who claimed to be God’s vessel...The implications are clear: true prophets have stood and listened in Yahweh’s divine council; false prophets have not. 238-239, Isaiah 6:1, Jeremiah 23:16–18, 21–22

The point of Chapter 28, Divine Misdirection, is that God presents His plan to redeem the world and bring in His kingdom in a cryptic way in the Old Testament. Israel failed in their mission and so God knew that He must become a human himself to accomplish the plan of redeeming the world through human agency. The plan would be to send the Son to be a dying and rising Messiah. However, the plan was not presented in one piece or in one obvious abstract statement or the dark powers would have know not to crucify Jesus. It is presented in the OT in a fragmented and typological (Adam, Israel, Moses and David are all partial pictures) way. It would not be obvious until AFTER it was fulfilled. 

By God’s design, the Scripture presents the messiah in terms of a mosaic profile that can only be discerned after the pieces are assembled. Paul tells us why in 1 Corinthians 2:6–8. If the plan of God for the messiah’s mission had been clear, the powers of darkness would never have killed Jesus— they would have known that his death and resurrection were the key to reclaiming the nations forever. 241

The story of the cross is the biblical-theological catalyst to God’s plan for regaining all that was lost in Eden. It couldn’t be emblazoned across the Old Testament in transparent statements. It had to be expressed in sophisticated and cryptic ways to ensure that the powers of darkness would be misled. And it was. Even the angels didn’t know the plan (1 Pet 1: 12). 243

Medical Update: A Week After Mobilization

Tomorrow will be a week after the chemo and mobilization of stem cell production at Stanford. I will be going to my local oncologist to get a blood workup to see where we are at with the stem cells. I was told not to expect too much progress after one week. Usually the needed stem cells are generated during the 2nd week after mobilization. So, between tomorrow and October 25th, our tentatively scheduled date to return to Stanford to begin the harvest of stem cells, we will be getting daily blood counts to see when I have the stem cells to harvest. When the stem cells are there we will head to Stanford, whether they come early or late. Of course, my desire is for the stem cells to be produced early and often so we can proceed. I would ask for your prayers that the stem cell production would already have begun when we get tested tomorrow and that the harvest could proceed on, or ahead of, schedule. Thank you.

I am doing OK. I had heard that this part of the treatment would be harder than the previous. I would say that is quite accurate. I have struggled with nausea and fatigue quite a bit. I was able to eat a little more today which was good. Today was really the first day I have felt like writing anything which is a good sign too. Our internet limitations at our new house are also limiting my posts. Anyway, we are moving forward which makes the difficulties tolerable. We know many are praying for us. We are thankful for that. God Bless.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Day 4 at Stanford and We are Back in Shingle Springs

20171014_115544 (768x1024)Saturday was another interesting day. The main goal of the day was to start post-chemo medications in the morning and then go to the cancer center at noon to get that monitored, get disconnected from the portable IV that was giving me fluids, get instruction on maintenance of my new chest catheter (left) and self-administering the neupogen injections, get any more questions we had answered (previous medications, vitamins etc.), and then go home. But we did have one slight complication. Because of my edema problem, my body was retaining the fluids instead of sending them on through. This meant my body was also retaining the chemo, which is definitely not good. Between Thursday night and Saturday morning I had gained a little over 20 pounds in water weight. The usual way to deal with it is with Lasix, but because of my previous kidney problem the doctors were a little nervous about that. However, after checking my blood counts, my kidney numbers were very good and they decided to go ahead.

The good news on this was that I got a private room with my own bathroom. They gave me 60mg of Lasix (the most I ever had before was 20mg) and, believe me, I needed the private bathroom. I was in the cancer center about 4 hours and got the Lasix about 2 hours in. Within 90 minutes I had lost over 5 pounds of water weight and they told us we could go home about 4pm. The nurse told me the Lasix would wear off in an hour or two after that. I probably dropped another pound or so on the drive back home. That was also interesting since, because I am toxic for 72 hours after chemo, I could not use any public bathrooms. I’ll stop the trip description there.

20171014_101744 (1024x768)I am thankful that we are back home and I am feeling reasonably well. I am feeling a little more of the expected side effects this time, but it is really not too bad. I am thankful for the effective nausea medicine. Joyce will be poking me three times a day with a needle for the neupogen shots and I have a new chart to make sure I take all my meds (right above). I am still taking a low dose of Lasix to try to mitigate the edema which is still a problem. We’d appreciate your prayers for that. The big prayer request now is that the neupogen shots would stimulate a lot of stem cell growth and get my blood counts back up. The sooner that happens, the sooner the needed stem cells can be harvested. The second one is that I can avoid infection while my immune system is so compromised. I am pretty much house-bound except for doctor visits and have to avoid outside contact as much as possible for the next couple weeks. I appreciate your prayers and expressions of love and concern very much!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Reading Through the Gospel of Matthew #5 (13-17)

Keener MatthewI am continuing reading through the Gospel of Matthew accompanied by Matthew, vol. 1, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, by Craig S. Keener. This section focuses on the “already-not yet” aspect of the kingdom of God. I am posting from my reading in the New Testament accompanied by various commentaries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version (for some reason I cannot make the page numbers come up in the quotes) of the book. As usual my comments are in black and quotes from the book are in blue.

Keener sees Matthew 13 as containing 7 or 8 parables that illustrate the "present character of the kingdom until the end." In the present age the kingdom will exist in a hidden form mixed with the kingdoms of the world. Only those that persistently listen to Jesus will understand it and recognize it. They will value the kingdom above everything else in this life. Others may profess to follow Christ, but at the end of the age, God's judgment will reveal who are the true members of God's kingdom. Though God's kingdom appears to be small and insignificant now, investments that God's people make in it will pay off and will prove to be well worth it in the end.

Jesus emphasizes that only his inner circle will understand, because the parables make sense only in the context of Jesus’ ministry. Thus prospective disciples have a measure of choice: only those who press into his inner circle, those who persevere to mature discipleship, will prove to be good soil. Matthew 13:3-23

We Christians sound foolish to those outside Jesus’ circle when we speak of a final judgment and living for a future kingdom; what does that have to do with the troubles of daily life in the present? But those who have pressed into Jesus’ circle today, like those who did so two thousand years ago, know who Jesus really is. Despite the magnitude of the task before us, we dare not despise the “smallness” of our own works, for God’s entire program long ago came hidden in a small package.  Matthew 13:31-43

True, the kingdom is available to us only by grace through faith; but genuine faith means genuinely embracing and yielding to God’s reign, not simply acknowledging it and then passing it by as if it did not exist. The kingdom is a treasure, and those who really believe it will sacrifice everything else in their lives for its agendas. Professed Christians who desire worldly wealth and status but are far less consumed with the furtherance of God’s kingdom must reconsider the true state of their souls. Matthew 13:44-46

In chapter 14 Jesus faces rejection and the rejection of the prophet who was his messenger by performing powerful miracles that reflect his mission as YHWH come in the flesh and His compassion for His people. After being rejected by his own home town, Jesus hears about the execution of John the Baptist. John's death prefigures what the nation's leadership will do to Jesus. Jesus then demonstrates who He is through two powerful miracles. As the new Moses he provides bread in the wilderness and follows that by walking on the sea in the storm. In the Old Testament only YHWH walks on the sea and controls the storm. At the end of the chapter Matthew records that the people would just touch Jesus and be healed. Jesus' presence was enough to bring in the kingdom and its blessings. 

In John’s final direct portrayal in the Gospel, then, his martyrdom has sent his remaining disciples to Jesus, the Coming One. May all of us lay such a groundwork that after we are gone those who recall our service may look beyond us to the Lord we proclaimed. Matthew 14:9-12

Jesus’ disciples should have been with their master long enough to expect that what the master said he had power from God to perform. The God of the exodus, who divided waters (Ex 14:21) and provided manna from heaven (Ex 16:14–18), was at work in history again (2 Kings 2:8–14; 4:38–44; Mt 14:13–33). Matthew 14:13-21

It is important to note that while Jesus is disappointed with Peter’s inadequate faith, Peter has acted in greater faith than the other disciples—he is learning. Faith cannot be worked up by formulas or emotion, but it grows through various tests as we continue to trust our Lord and he continues to teach us. Faith grows out of a relationship with the Person of Jesus, and in no other way. Matthew 14:22-33

The religious leadership continued to oppose Jesus despite the great miracles. Jesus countered their criticism by asserting that it was based on human traditions that nullified the very scriptures that they claimed to follow. The key to purity was not outward traditions, like hand-washing, but a heart devoted to relationship with God that would result in words and actions that resembled God's character. This definition of purity would open God's covenant blessing to Gentiles and Matthew follows this section with the stories of the healing of a Canaanite woman's daughter and the miraculous feeding of 4000+ Gentiles. The Canaanite woman humbled herself to recognize that salvation came through the Jews and her great faith was rewarded. Then Jesus shows his love and compassion for Gentiles by giving them the same Moses type miracle He gave to the Jews. The blessing of Abraham promised to the nations was being fulfilled and the Gentiles "gave glory to the God of Israel."

The Pharisees frequently determined morality by extrapolating from tradition. By demanding that we extrapolate morality instead from biblical principles, Jesus takes ethics out of the domain of the academy and courtroom and places it in the daily lives of his followers. To follow Jesus’ guidelines here, church members need to know more Scripture, not more churchly rules not founded in Scripture. Matthew 15:1-20

By hailing Jesus as Son of David, she has already acknowledged him as the rightful king over a nation that had conquered her ancestors—more than many of his own people had done. Like John’s woman at the well, this Canaanite woman publicly acknowledged Jesus’ identity before the disciples who wished her to leave had done so. Now she refuses to dispute that Jesus’ mission is to Israel first and that her status is secondary to that of Israelites; nevertheless, she believes Jesus will have more than enough power left over from what Israel does not need or want. Jesus responds to such striking faith. Jesus has enough bread for Israel, but the following narrative reinforces that plenty of scraps remain over for others. Matthew reminds his community that all, both Jew and Gentile, can approach God only through faith in his Messiah. Matthew 15:21-28

Some theologians have critiqued some forms of Christianity for focusing on “meeting our needs” instead of on glorifying God. The critique is partly right and partly wrong. Jesus met the broken where they were, meeting their needs. Nevertheless, only those who pressed on to become his servant-disciples would really come to know who he was. Even his initial acts of compassion led to God’s glory; though the crowds had exercised some faith in bringing the ailing to Jesus, they still were amazed by the miracles and praised the God of Israel. Matthew 15:29-39

In chapters 16-17 Jesus begins the process of revealing Himself more clearly to His disciples. The Jewish leadership does not get to see this because their requests for heavenly signs only demonstrate their unbelief. Jesus' miracles, including the resurrection should have been enough. But even the disciples have an inadequate understanding of Jesus. So, Jesus takes them into Gentile territory to reveal Himself. Caesarea Philippi was near Paneas, "the gates of hell." It was sacred to Pan and said to be the place where the god of death ruled. He asks the disciples who they think He is and Peter gives the correct answer-the king and Son of God. Jesus responds that they will be the leaders of the new community of God that makes the same confession and will defeat death and the forces of evil. However, they still do not understand that the cross is necessary before resurrection and victory. Peter plays the part of the devil in offering Jesus the kingdom without the cross. All who follow Christ must understand that they must follow His example of giving up their own lives to truly gain eternal life.  

Jesus is crystal clear why they cannot understand him. Spiritual understanding cannot come apart from faith (v. 8) this point his disciples should have more faith, so he corrects them. Their real problem is that they are learning faith so slowly (compare 15:10, 16). He has serious reason for concern: these are his disciples, by definition apprentices expected to take over his earthly ministry after his departure! Yet other instances of his “little-faith” rebuke demonstrate that it represents a reproof like that of a concerned parent, not that of a harsh drill sergeant. Matthew 16:1-12

Outsiders’ recognition of Jesus as a prophet is inadequate (16:14); those who follow Jesus closely know him as the Christ, God’s Son (vv. 15–16). Herod Antipas thought Jesus was John (14:2); many Jewish people anticipated the return of Elijah and other prophets like Baruch. Viewing Jesus in such terms thus fit him into categories of thought that already existed, rather than letting the Lord redefine their categories by his identity. Christ designates Jesus as the rightful king of Israel. Matthew 16:14

Some Western Christians expect unlimited prosperity or teach that Christians will escape all tribulation, while many of our brothers and sisters elsewhere (such as in Iran or the Sudan) die for their faith. Is it not possible that some Christians today still speak for the devil? Matthew 16:22-23

The preliminary revelation of Jesus to His disciples is completed with the transfiguration in chapter 17. The picture reminds one of God's appearance on Sinai with the Shekinah, the voice from heaven and the presence of Moses and Elijah. Jesus is greater than any of the kings or prophets of the Old Covenant. Just like Moses, Jesus' followers who were left behind were lacking faith and unable to do what He had already enabled them to do. The disciples must learn faith through trial and grow. Then they would be able to follow Jesus in great power, but also in persecution, trial and martyrdom. In the meantime God would take care of their needs as demonstrated by Jesus' and Peter's poll tax being paid from the mouth of a fish. Kingdom people must live daily life by faith, sacrificially, and they will see God do remarkable things through them.

The bright cloud that enveloped or “overshadowed” them is described in language reminiscent of the Jewish doctrine of the Shekinah, God’s presence, especially recalling God’s presence in the tabernacle in the wilderness. God then repeats in a bat qôl some of the commendation oracle he uttered at Jesus’ baptism, revealing Jesus’ identity as both Messiah and suffering servant; to this he adds an allusion that indicates that Jesus is the promised “prophet like Moses” as well, for of that prophet God said, Listen to him. Matthew 17:1-8

Faith means willingness to go where God leads, not power to avert all unpleasant circumstances. We mature as the Lord leads us through hard tests for his name’s sake, forcing us to actively trust his provision and power. Matthew 17:14-23

The King’s children can pay the tax because the King gives them the money to do so. Jesus can take care of his people who walk close to him. Matthew 17:24-27

Day 3 of Mobilization at Stanford

20171013_095508 (768x1024)Today was an interesting, but good, day at Stanford. We went into the Infusion Treatment Area at 8am not sure if we could go ahead with the chemotherapy until the needed meds were approved. Our coordinating nurse was confident we’d be approved so she authorized the pre-chemo infusion of fluids and anti-nausea medicine. She was right.20171013_095313 (768x1024) The approval came in just in time and we were able to proceed with the Cytoxan chemotherapy. We were there until 4pm, but they fed me breakfast and lunch and gave me a room with a bed and private bathroom for the day. I felt blessed and thankful. The chemo this time was a much stronger dose than I got before so we were concerned about side effects, but they have not been too bad.  I am taking a lot of anti-nausea medicine, which helps. I get a lot of fluids mixed with a diuretic so I am also spending a lot of time in the bathroom. The only effect I noticed was some dizziness and a little increase in the edema on my right side. So far, so good. I know a lot of people have been praying for me through this and I appreciate it very much. A very big thank you!

20171013_155001 (768x1024)So now I am in a very immune system compromised position. I am on a low microbial diet for at least the next month. The other thing that comes with this position is a hepa mask. I have to wear it any time I am outside or in hospital hallways or waiting areas. I even need to wear it if someone cleans in a room I am in. So the last part of the day was the fitting of the mask and instructions for its correct use. As you can see from the picture we had a successful mask fitting. The only downside was that I had to shave all my facial hair to get an air-tight seal. It has been close to 20 years since I shaved my chin. We were discharged at 4pm and we walked back to our apartment. This time Joyce pushed me in a wheel chair. Tomorrow we will be back in the cancer center at noon for more fluids and for training in administering the neupogen injections. We should be back in Shingle Springs on Saturday night.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Day 2 at Smoky Stanford

20171012_091517 (768x1024)20171012_114852 (768x1024)Actually today was not as smoky as yesterday, but we are still wearing our masks when outside. The day started early with a check-in at the surgery center at 9AM. I had to do a surgical scrub in the shower last night and then again this morning before we checked in for surgery. Basically they removed my old port that was in my chest and placed a Hickman catheter in my chest. The new port is required for the transplant. Overall, the procedure took about 3 hours. It went very well. I have a little discomfort on the cut but nothing major. I was able to eat lunch (right) in the recovery room (right). IMG_20171012_163150 (768x1024)

The new port is already in use. I met with the infusion nurse this afternoon for instruction about tomorrow’s chemo session and about how to take care of the new port. Then I got my portable hydration bag. After some instruction on its use I was hooked up. The bag looks like a small suitcase on wheels. It provides me with constant hydration when I am not in the hospital. I am back in the apartment and hooked up to the bag right now. My port will be connected to the bag for the next 48 hours. I’ll be getting hydrated while I sleep. Right now we are still waiting for approval for my neupogen shots which will build up my new stem cells and move them into my blood stream. Tomorrow’s chemo can not proceed without insurance approval for the neupogen. We think we will get it in time tomorrow morning’s chemo, but we are praying that it will not delay this.

20171011_192059 (768x1024)20171011_192236 (768x1024)We did have a little fun last night. Since that was our last opportunity to eat out at a restaurant for at least a month, because of my soon to be very compromised immune system, we treated ourselves to dinner at Jeff’s Hamburgers in Menlo Park. Jeff’s is a 50’s themed burger joint. I got an old style chocolate shake and Joyce got a root beer float. My bacon cheeseburger and onion rings were pretty good too.