Dear St. Paul Community,
Those of you who pray morning and evening prayer virtually with us during this time may have noticed that suddenly this past week there were four Dominicans in the chapel, and not the usual five. Bringing that up allows me to provide an update on my cancer treatment.
You all know that I went underwent three significant chemotherapy treatments in Bloomington at the end of December and the beginning of January. Thanks to my care team here in Bloomington (and the “Angel” nurses on 4 East at IU Bloomington Hospital) these treatments were as successful as expected. Post-chemo scans showed that there was “significantly” less cancer. This then leads to the next step of my treatment, which is a stem cell transplant.
I was directed to a bone marrow transplant specialist in Indianapolis, and after a consult with him things were put into motion (albeit slower than I wanted). I made another trip to Indy on March 16 for my pre-transplant work up and began preliminaries for the actual procedures on March 28. My “disappearance” from morning and evening prayer was because I was in Indy last Tuesday through Thursday for the insertion of a central line and the harvesting of my stem cells. Something positive to take from that experience was that the transplant team got all the needed stem cells in one day, so I didn’t have to return for more. I returned to St. Paul’s on Thursday to wait for the next step in my treatment.
Having said that, know that I will be hospitalized for approximately three weeks beginning April 7 for another round of chemotherapy and the stem cell transplant. We all hope this is what kills my cancer once and for all.
While I will not be around the community physically, the wonders of social media will allow me to stay connected. Your prayers continue to be appreciated and needed, and the fact that so many people regularly reach out to me serves as a balm. Our IU students are particularly supportive. Many of the ones I have gotten to know in my relatively brief time here have been very attentive to offering me support. I can still be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The services of the Triduum are my favorite of the entire liturgical year, and I am not looking forward to missing them this year. However, we all have crosses to bear and are reminded at this time of year of the powerful reality of hope. I will get through this, as we all will get through these times. Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers during my time in the hospital. I will provide the Dominican community periodic updates and will make sure Fr. Patrick knows what he can share with you all.
Thank you to all and we will see each other face to face very soon.
Peace and Happy Easter,
Fr. Patrick is a Dominican priest and the Campus Minister.