August 25, 2005

Greetings Dear Friends:

Terry continues to travel back and forth between Mexico and Arizona. In the meantime, Muriel continues her battle with cancer in Arizona. She is staying with her sister, Robin Gavin, in Phoenix: 1202 W. Vista Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85021, Tel. 602.234.2855.

Being Muriel has only about 100 hairs on her head now, Robin and Muriel went shopping for a wig. That was a hoot! In one wig she looked like Martha Stewart and in another she was Dolly Parton. After trying on 20 wigs they finally settled on a look that was close to Muriel's own hairdo at the age of 16. The thought was that it might take a few years off a 58-year-old face.

Unfortunately not all the cancer experiences are as fun as wig shopping! After Muriel's second and third chemo treatments she became neutropenic, which means there is a decrease in infection-fighting white blood cells called neutrophils. The big risk with Neutropenia is infection when one has a compromised immune system. This is in addition to the other nasty side effects that seem to be worse during the second week after each chemo.

Fortunately Muriel had only one four-day hospital stay where she was in isolation with doctors and nurses using gloves and masks. One exciting moment was when blood started spraying Muriel and her hospital bed. It was less exciting when she discovered that all that blood was coming from the tiny hole in her arm where the IV fluid had previously flowed into her vein! This was due to a low platelet count.

When it was time for chemo again Muriel was well aware of the signs of Neutropenia so she stayed confined to home and notified her oncologist as soon as the symptoms started. Ten days of antibiotics and rest made it possible to avoid another hospital stay. Now that we understand the chemo game plan better we are up to taking on the next chemo treatments.

Terry is in Arizona for a couple of weeks and will return to Mexico the first of September. Even though Muriel's outings are mostly limited to doctor appointments, we are enjoying each other's company as we share all that has happened in two different countries during our separation.

Thank you, dear friends, for your e-mails, cards, and calls. Although Muriel's low energy level doesn't permit her to answer all your communications you have assured us that we remain in your prayers. You have surrounded us with your love and God has blessed us beyond compare.

In His Grasp,

Terry and Muriel Henderson