We are back in Nashville after a three-day, very slow pace return trip from South Florida.
I am in tears when I think about what all you have given me. Without the generous support of our family, friends, and our Rodan + Fields associates, the information you would be receiving would be coming from my wife with her thoughts about me and what our life was like before my death.
But our God is a big God, and He has healing in his wings. I am alive today, only because of your donations and prayers. In the last months of 2010 and first 2 months of 2011, 3 tune-up treatments of extremely powerful antibiotics did not produce any positive results. One of the drugs almost killed me (see previous postings for details). Then in the 2 weeks in the Dominican Republic, I almost died 2 more times.
Due to the stem cell treatment and then a very aggressive 2-week tune-up in South Florida, I am not only alive, but getting stronger and healthier every week. The stem cells made the difference in being able to respond positively this time to medical treatments. Again, I cannot express how grateful I and my wife are for what all of you have given us.
I am breathing more easily than I have in many months, and congestion is present, but not out of control. I am still on oxygen full time, but looking forward to coming off oxygen. My biggest challenge right is getting restful sleep. When I go to sleep and my breathing slows down, the continuous flow of oxygen in my sinus cavities is causing very painful headaches that awaken me. If I remove the oxygen tube, the headache goes away in about 5 minutes. Sounds like a good sign to me that I should start weaning off the oxygen, but I am finding this to be a difficult process. On ox, the headaches wake me…. Off ox, my blood ox level goes down enough to make sleeping difficult, and the pulse mode theoretically works to solve both problems, but there is no way to adjust the sensitivity of the pulse regulator. When my breathing slows down as I fall asleep, my breathing is too shallow to trigger a burst/pulse of oxygen.
I have learned just how sensitive my health is on a daily basis to restful sleep and good nutrition. My highest priorities now are sleeping and eating. Add to that, that we have to move to South Florida for the superior medical community regarding Cystic Fibrosis and the proximity to my stem cell doctor. Yeah, yeah, I can hear the grumbling from the peanut gallery. My life is beginning to sound like a permanent resort vacation. As it turns out, South Florida is also a gold mine for our business. So maybe the resort thing is not so far fetched. After another stem cell treatment or two, and a few months of solid success in our business, maybe it will be a resort life style. I could really use it in my second half of life. I am worn out from the first 50 years, and especially the last 20 years of fighting for every breath.
As we look ahead, Dr. Grekos, tells me that I should probably have the second treatment in 6 to 12 months. So we will be needing help again to anyone who wants to continue being a part or our testimony and healing journey. We will continue to work with the Stem Cell Alliance to handle donations. The 40 year old Cystic Fibrosis woman who had her treatment in Feb, is now jogging. She started at 36% lung function, but I don’t know what her function is now. Mine was at 18% in April and May, and I am guessing it is in the mid to high 20s now. I have not had lung function above 30% since 2006.
PS. Please keep my wife in prayer for strength. She is having to do all the packing herself, as I am not yet strong enough for any physical work.
Again, thanks to all and God Bless YOU.
Til next update,
Guido Angelo DiStefano