Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Luiz health update

Another two months – another stable health check-up for Luiz. 

Sometimes Luiz can’t help but feel a lump on his shoulder (lymph node) or think that the casual infection in his finger just won’t clear up, or discover a dark splotch on his skin and think: “This damn Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is slowly but surely taking hold and weakening me.”  But then we get the raw data from his complete blood count and are reminded that he is nearly as healthy now as he was three years ago when he got his diagnosis.

You can’t run away from the thoughts that are going to naturally pass through your head:  good ones and bad ones. But it pays to clarify things with periodic blood tests.  Not every tired afternoon or common cold is a sign of CLL lurking in the wings.

I recently had an English student who is a psychologist and holistic medicine Masters student.  She has worked with cancer patients for nearly 20 years.  Lenice said 100 times during our classes how important living a life of happiness, sans stress, is for the survival and quality of life of people living with cancer.  Overall Luiz continues to be a model patient in this regard.  I am SO glad we moved to Brazil for so many reasons, but one big one is the low-stress lifestyle.

This week we are celebrating another check-up that shows Luiz continues to do just fine.  Thank you to all of you who keep Luiz in your thoughts and well wishes.

Oh – one more thing.  We discovered, while at our appointment at the National Cancer Institute in Rio, that patients are entitled to free meals in the cafeteria when they come for appointments, and should the patient be staying in a ward, their companion who is holding vigil is also entitled to free meals. (Public health facility = lots of poor people.)  You are not going to survive your cancer if you can't get a decent meal once in a while.  Are you listening USA?


Ray Adkins said...


Oprah today had a whole show dedicated to "John Of God" from Brazil, you should Google him and find out about it.
Might be interesting to take a look at it.


Stephanie said...

So glad to here things are going so well :)

...and i hope they're listening too..

Sara and Nate said...

This makes my heart smile. I am so glad to hear you both are staying strong through these times. Thinking of you both.


Jim said...

Ray - we have discussed visiting John of God more than once. Luiz's mother is a true believer (and Luiz was once cured of kidney disease in his youth through spiritual means [great story]). But niether Luiz nor I believe sufficiently to make the trek. That may change when the heat gets turned up.

Stephanie and Sara -- thank you for your kind words and thoughts. It always makes a difference.

Ray Adkins said...


Good to hear Luiz is doing great!
You guys have the right attitude and definitely made a great decision regarding the improvement of your quality of life.
Keep strong.

Take care


ppereira said...

Yoo-hoo!! Pra frente Luzinete!!! ;)

michael chae said...

Great to hear Jim. I admire Luiz's outlook! Glad things are going well.