Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia With A Philadelphia Trait

Dear Fans, Friends, Fiends, Foes, Family and Followers,

Here is a young girl named Bella whom my daughter babysat for last year at different times.  Intelligent and witty with a kind and tender heart, she was immediately likeable.  Apparently, Cancer likes her too.  But we don’t like it.

I know that most of my readers are not in much better financial shape than I am, so if you cannot or choose not to give, would you please visit this Gofundme page and share it?  The more it gets shared and the more exposure her story receives, the better.  Thanks.

Swimming The Rio Grande

Tevye: Where are you going?
Lazar Wolf: Chicago. In America.
Tevye: Chicago, America? We are going to New York, America. We’ll be neighbors.

Dear Respected Habitué, Beloved Cronies, little trolls, Regarded Rivals, Clever Clansmen and Super-Duper Supporters, and Everyone Else,

I hope this blog post reaches you in the best of health, that it is meet for your mettle and finds you in fine fettle.

Our English language is a strange and wonderful thing, sometimes, and must be next to impossible for non-English speakers to learn.  But they should learn it.  Assimilation has always been the key.  My ancestors learned to speak English when they got here.  They wanted to fit in.  They wanted to be Americans. Continue reading “Swimming The Rio Grande”

A Flowery Fiendish Conspiracy

Dear Fans, Friends, Fiends, Foes, Foundlings and Flower Children,

I have written about many things on this blog in times past; politics, religion, personal, emotional and spiritual matters and a lot more.  But I have discovered a conspiracy that is profoundly evil and insidious and yet most people do not even realize they are participants in it.  Some times of the year it is more prevalent than others, but it is always around and has been, historically, at least since Roman times (not to be confused wth Times New Roman ).  It is, I suppose, Mankind’s fallen human nature that would take an item that was part of a curse and make it seem wonderful and beautiful but I have seen through that veil and have come to the conclusion that

Continue reading “A Flowery Fiendish Conspiracy”

Resolved(?)

Dear Fans, Friends, Fiends, Foes, Family and Foundlings,

Another year of the 21st century is gone and still no atomic powered flying cars, personal jetpacks or colonies and mining operations on the several planets of the Solar System although we do have instant visual talk on our personal communicators and even the dumbest of most phones has more computer power than a whole roomful of computers would have had when I was growing up and reading stories about the future.  Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein, along with a veritable plethora of others, shaped my views of what the future would be like.

It is customary,  Continue reading “Resolved(?)”

My Lesson On Moses and the Burning Bush or God, the Master Salesman

Dear Fans, Friends, Fiends, Foes, Followers and Foundlings,

I am attempting to use my phone to write this to you! This is a big difference to me and I hope I can make it work.  Some of it on the phone, some on the laptop and some on the desktop.  Instead of writing in Word first, then pasting into the blog, I will write the blog first and save it as a Word document later.  * Edit/Add: I started this a couple of weeks ago and am just now finishing it.  It is longer than my usual offerings, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. *

As you may or may not know, I love Sunday School. I haven’t been telling you all about it any more than I have anything else. I was really pleased with the outcome of this lesson and the prep for it, though.  The curriculum sometimes calls for a broad telling of a story and this was one of those times.  Last week’s lesson was the story of Pharaoh’s daughter and Moses being raised by his own mother.  This week Continue reading “My Lesson On Moses and the Burning Bush or God, the Master Salesman”

Rotten Wretched Book Wreckers

Dear Fans, Friends, Fiends, Foes, Family, Followers and Foundlings,

“I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.” – C.S. Lewis

As some of you may or may not know, there are some books I read over and over, again and again, every few years.  Have Spacesuit Will Travel by Robert Heinlein and all 6 books of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy for fun and on a more serious note, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  I try to read the Bible through every year and this year I might make it twice.  That’s the only one I make it a point to read every year.  The others, along with many more, I pick up when I feel like it every few years.  Many of the Louis L’Amour books I have read several times, too.  Even though I can sometimes remember favorite scenes or endings, I re-read them anyway. Continue reading “Rotten Wretched Book Wreckers”

Four Weeks Later

Dear Fans, Friends, Fiends, Foes, Family, Followers and Foundlings,

I wonder if there is a proper etiquette for dealing with someone who has had a miraculous healing? The Pharisees and religious leaders in Jesus’ time didn’t seem to think so.  When you read in the Bible, John chapter 9, the whole thing is really amazing, from Jesus spitting to the Pharisees kicking the man out of the synagogue.

Is it like that when someone who has been in church for many years comes up several days later and says, “So, how are you doing?  Are you still doing okay?”  Continue reading “Four Weeks Later”

Healing Miracle

Dear Fans, Friends, Fiends, Foes, Family and anyone out there that is left,

I will dispense with all preliminary apologies and promises regarding the consistency of my blogging and lack thereof and tell you a thing that happened.  Your best bet is to subscribe to the e-mail notification if you don’t want to miss anything.

As you may or may not recall, our church has hosted a national youth conference every year called Heritage. Miracles have happened here before (see the entry entitled Strange But True for one detailed account) but this is a notable one, too.

Tabitha got healed. (If you have to ask, “Of what?” then you should probably read some of the entries before this to catch up.)

At the Friday night service last week (7/22/16) we heard a message by Bro. Nathan Dudley called, Let My People Go.  He started out with a text and title from Exodus 8:1

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.”
(Exo 8:1)

Saying that God does not want his people to be in bondage to anything. He went on and basically preached about deliverance. If you have never heard real, old-time Pentecostal preaching, you should treat yourself and visit a Oneness Apostolic church. You can also tune in to our services via the web at http://csfpc.com/ during regular service times when we are streaming or listen to past sermons on the downloads page. There really is no way to describe it other than by actually experiencing it for yourself.

Our building’s official capacity is around a thousand, but for this event we put chairs in the aisles and pews along the side walls and set up a speaker system in the foyer and seat people there as well. Youth groups and ministers and people who love preaching come from all over the country to attend this meeting.  Another scripture he used was Luke 4:18-19.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
(Luk 4:18-19)

Jesus came to do all this and more. Much more. So, what happened?

Well, when I talked to her afterward, she said that for several weeks prior she had been trying to simplify her life and get rid of the distractions that held her back spiritually. She knew that by the time the Heritage conference was going to start that she was going to experience a big change. Something was going to happen, but she was thinking more along the lines of a spiritual breakthrough than anything else. She had accepted that she had this sickness in her body and knew that God could and would heal her when it was His time.
When the part of the service we refer to as the “Altar Call” came, the preacher had all of the ministers who were in attendance, well over 50 in all, line up at the front, facing the crowd of over 1,200 people. The preacher asked for anyone who needed deliverance or healing or a miracle to come and stand in front of the preachers, their own pastor if possible, and get prayed for. The front of the room was immediately crammed with praying young people.

We normally have the young men pray on one side of the room and the young ladies on the other. It just helps maintain the propriety (If you’ve never been to a true Apostolic, Pentecostal prayer meeting you may not understand this. Sorry.). There was no way she was getting through that crowd on two crutches. Not necessarily because no one wanted to let her pass but they were unaware of her presence.

But she wanted to. She knew that she needed to be prayed for and that the one she wanted to pray for her was her own pastor, Pastor Burgess. Of course we understand that the power of God is not limited to one man but there is also a Biblical principal of submitting to authority and a reading of the Bible will show that every time someone submitted their will to God and a man appointed and anointed by Him, good things happened. In our local assembly the only people who are allowed to lay hands on someone’s head and pray are the ministers that are recognized by the pastor and the bishop. Other assemblies may do things differently but that is how we do it.

Getting to where the pastor was at was the problem. Way over on the other side of the church on “the guys’ side.” She knew she would never be able to make it by herself so she asked a nearby sister that she knew and trusted to help her do it. They took a deep breath and began the slow, but determined to be inexorable, process together. This sister told me later that the whole time she kept imagining the woman in the Mark chapter 5 who had been sick for 12 years but pressed her way through the thronging multitude to just be able to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. As they got closer on the men’s side they got the eye of one of our local ministers, a strong man from the islands with a deep, booming voice and no-nonsense attitude, who helped them. He began to, er, “gently nudge” people out of the way and helped make a path for them to get to our pastor.

When they got to him, she handed the sister her crutch and he laid his hand on her head and prayed and when he said, “…by faith in Jesus name!” she “cut loose” worshipping.

Here again, if you have never experienced the power of the baptism of the Spirit you may not understand, but if you read the story of King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant home in 2 Samuel 6 you will see David dancing before the Lord with all his might.

“And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.(2Sa 6:13-14)”

This is not some quiet, choreographed, tippy-toe dance, but is the power of a human being coming face-to-face with the almighty creator of the universe and realizing the significance of such a thing.

All this was going on and I didn’t see it. Grandson Douglas and I were trying to get up close to pray when through the crowd came Tabitha, walking straight as you please and her friend behind carrying her crutch. We hugged and prayed and wept and she kept on walking. And still is. The weakness on her right side is completely gone, along with the pain and loss of balance. She used to wobble and spin and start to fall at random in what her nieces and nephews called “The Tadda Dance.” The “Jesus Dance” fixed that. She has her energy back and is able to drive again.

Here is a picture of Pastor Burgess rejoicing and waving the crutches in the air.

IMGP5996crop

Remember, the Good Book says,

And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.(Mar 5:24-34)

Grand Baby News

Dear Fans, Friends, Fiends, Foes and Family,

Well, this has been an eventful month so far.  I have a new grandbaby, number five for those of you keeping score at home, named Levi and almost lost both him and his mom, my youngest daughter, in the process.  You won’t see his full name here or any pictures because daughter doesn’t want him all over the internet and especially all over social media, but he is a cutie.  Her placenta pulled away from her uterus and she almost bled to death and he almost choked on her blood.  If it wasn’t for Gerson speeding through red lights and a fast-acting nurse (one for sure.  Some were in shock, never having seen that much blood and not knowing what to do.) and a doctor who kept his cool and maintained order and calm in the operating room all would have gone differently.  The doctor told them later that normally at least one of them dies, the mom or the baby and it is a miracle that both survived.  The baby had ingested and breathed in enough blood to fill his lungs and belly but he survived because the nurse got a bunch of mom’s blood out of his lungs.

She got out of the hospital but baby is still in for a bit, although he is doing better every day and is expected to recover completely.  They were finding mom’s blood in his stool for several days after and his numbers need to stabilize.

So, we just flew in from central Indiana, and boy, are our arms tired.  Yes, we had to fly out immediately and if you have never flown from Denver to Chicago to Indianapolis with two disabled people, let me tell you it was an adventure in itself.  I do have to give credit to the American Airlines staff and the staff at all of the airports we dealt with except Denver, they were as helpful as they could be.  Our pastor was an incredible help as well.

What all this means is that the real Christmas present we got, which was grand, was a new baby and a live daughter.

As The Good Book says, “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;”

The Villain

Dear Fans, Friends, Fiends, Foes, Family and Nature Lovers,

We have seen the enemy and he is (insert your favorite dramatic, minor chord, played when the villain slams open the bat-wing saloon doors and takes aim at the good guy wearing the white hat and drinking a glass of milk here.) a super-villain called The Spirochete!

Spirochete01

Yes folks, this is a photo of the bad guy.  His Super-Villain name is The Spirochete alias Borrelia Burgdorferi.  This is the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.  Actually, I think it would be more analogous to a Sci-Fi Horror flick than a Western, though.

One of the many odd things about this bacterium is its shape.  It has a corkscrew shape and is pointy on each end.  The end also has a sharp hook on it.  It moves along by spinning in a counter-clockwise direction to propel itself.  The end with the hook hits a cell and the corkscrew shape digs into healthy cells and either wraps itself around a healthy cell, doing the cellular equivalent of a strangle hold or bores through a healthy cell.  It is also unusual because it does its dirty work without the emission of any toxins and does not generally travel through the blood making it difficult to detect.  It is also one of the only germs that do not feed on iron, but on Manganese.

Spirochete02

Another amazingly insidious feature of this germ is its adaptability.  It has 132 working genes, compared to the germ that causes Syphilis, which is also a spirochete and has some similar properties, at 22 working genes.  This helps them adapt to a wider variety of tissue types and also allows them to adapt to dormancy, meaning they can hide for years in all sorts of tissue.  It can swim in high or low viscosity environments and it can attack and adapt to several areas at the same time.  All the while passing its knowledge on via genetic code to the next generation.

Not only that, but they are also gram negative, which means they are not as susceptible to antibiotics.  Given their high adaptability this means it can be very difficult to fight them.  Frankly I found the explanations of the differences between gram negative and gram positive bacteria somewhat overwhelming but I did learn that gram positive bacteria, like Staph and Strep are easier to battle with antibiotics than gram negatives are.  Other gram negatives include E. Coli and Salmonella.

According to the CDC:

“Gram-negative bacteria cause infections including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis in healthcare settings. Gram-negative bacteria are resistant to multiple drugs and are increasingly resistant to most available antibiotics. These bacteria have built-in abilities to find new ways to be resistant and can pass along genetic materials that allow other bacteria to become drug-resistant as well.”

So, after all of that, I found this from http://www.metapathogen.com/borrelia/:

“In addition to its complex genetic makeup, B. burgdorferi engages in so-called “stealth pathology” to evade the host’s immune response. Stealth pathology involves following strategies: (1) suppression of host immune system; (2) mutagenesis (possible occurrence of antibiotic resistant mutants); (3) life stage switching (dormant cysts and actively reproducing and disseminating bacteria); (4) variable antigen production; (5) physical seclusion (colonization of poorly vascularized tissues); (6) secreted factors (enable dissemination by helping bacteria to adhere to cells and pierce the cell walls).”

When I read the mutagenesis thing I thought of that 50’s movies where the scientists are experimenting with radioactivity and the ants mutate into giants.  The life stage switching would be like the pods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  But then I changed my mind and decided that really, with its multiple genes adapting and changing as it replicated and passed on new information to the next generation, I wonder if it isn’t more like the Michael Crichton book, The Andromeda Strain.  That book, like much of Crichton’s work, was pretty scary when it came out in 1969 and we didn’t really know what was out there.  The Spirochete is pretty scary, too.

So, how does this low-life malefactor even get in to do his filthy business?  He has an accomplice aiding and abetting him.  A good-for-nothing miscreant commonly known as the Blacklegged Tick.  To be fair, this blackguard probably doesn’t even know what it is doing.  When it hatches from its egg as a larva it climbs to the edge of a blade of grass or low-lying leaf and waits for the opportunity to attack some unsuspecting passerby, like a mouse, and bites it.  The tick’s saliva, which has an anesthetic in it, is put on the victim’s skin so the bite is painless.  It then sticks a barbed feeding tube into the bite and sucks blood from the animal.  It is during this process when the germ is passed from host to host.  Mice are referred to as “reservoirs of B. burgdorferi.”  (Yet another reason to hate the vile little vermin.  I hates meeses to pieces!)  It is likely that the larva get it from the mice.  When he has fed enough and is bloated on the blood of his victim he then drops off and grows into a nymph.  Then climbs up again, perhaps a little higher on a plant, closer to humans and repeats the process.  The tick nymph is incredibly small and since the bite is painless it is easy to see how it can be overlooked.  The bite can sometimes, 35% of cases, produce a weird looking rash that is shaped like a ring.

tick_sizes

When I was growing up in Wisconsin my Grandma would check us kids over when we came in from playing in the tall grass and woods but I think that nymph would have escaped detection, depending on where it was located at.  If we had a tick stuck on us, usually our arms, Grandpa would take a match and touch where the head would be and it would back out.  They don’t recommend this method any more.

Now, just as other criminals have come and gone, getting caught by the good guys, B. burgdorferi has an enemy.  Now that we have found out who and what he is and where his hideouts are, we can look at ways to catch him out and gun him down like Bonnie and Clyde.  He is not the unbeatable hidden foe he thought he was.  He may have started out as a Moriarty but he will wind up more like John Dillinger.

We are going to attack this villainous dastard and his gang right where he lives and we will do it by high, long-term doses of antibiotics, a total of four so far, which are all designed to work on a different area.  Along with a regimen of supplements, probiotics, diet and exercise.  This has (and will for the time being) exacerbated the symptoms so she has to take more pills for the symptoms, twenty-nine pills a day in total.  For example, exercising muscle tissue will likely wake up the ne’er-do-wells hiding there, burrowed into the cells.  She was hit by foul ball a couple of years ago which may have stirred all of these guys up to begin with.   They have to come out and fight.  The problem is that this kind of close-quarters fighting is tiring and has been generating more fatigue, more tics, twitches, tremors and muscle spasms and more balance issues.  The more she sticks to her regimen, the tougher it will be for a while.  She may soon have to get a port for self-administering intravenous antibiotics.

Now, rather than try to explain what antibiotics are and how they work (I had kind of a vague idea before) One of the best articles I found while doing the research for this entry was at:  http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/antibiotics/  If you want to read, in plain English, about the basic different types of antibiotics and how they work, I suggest this article.  It was surprisingly easy to read yet very informative.

But, the upshot of this has been having a diagnosis.  Knowing the enemy and where he lay.  We knew that the way she was treated by the other doctors before, being told that her problem was all in her head or that a young person like you can’t have all of these problems or the really bizarre one, that a neurologist in Denver told her, you just need a boyfriend.  It is not all in her head; it is not a conversion disorder caused by some trauma or stress that she is suppressing.

Finally, of course, we know we are blessed to know the Great Physician, who has given unto men a portion of His wisdom and understanding, but who is ultimately in control.  He knows the revelation of knowledge he has given to the doctors and he has his own reasons and timing.  Most people don’t realize it, but there is no record that while Job was alive he ever knew or found out what was going on and why he was suffering.  Even when God healed him and rewarded him, He never told him what it was all about.  Same with many other examples, the man at the Gate Beautiful in Acts 3 for example, how many times had Jesus walked by him?  We believe in Divine Healing and we believe in good doctors who have something wise to say or some knowledge they will use.  One of the ways I have always heard it taught was that when God heals you, the medicine you are taking for your problem will have an adverse effect and you will have to go to the doctor to find out why you are having the new problems only to discover that you don’t have that condition any longer.  While this is a good, solid, common-sense teaching, I think that daughter will know and everyone who knows her or interacts with her will know, because she won’t have severe body pain, severe joint pain or twitching and jerking and losing her balance and spinning around and almost falling.  She will know, long before her doctor tells her, that she no longer needs to take eleven prescriptions and nine supplements for a total of twenty-nine pills a day.  And that will be a good day.

Remember, The Good Book says, “…A certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse…”
And, “a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any…”