Saturday, March 15, 2008

Home Again!

Well, I promised an update when my first round of treatment was complete. I am pleased to report that I tolerated 8 of the planned 9 doses of IL-2. As predicted, each subsequent dose brought with it a new experience: fever, headache, followed by bed-shaking chills and rigors, wild fluctuations in weight due to fluid retention, and ultimately chest heaviness and shortness of breath related to fluid accumulation in the lungs (which determined that I could not tolerate another dose). There were, of course, additional physiologic and chemical changes that required special adjustments and a progressive drop in blood count that has resulted in moderate fatique and weakness, but overall, Dr Grosh was surprised at how well I tolerated the regimen -- thanks to all your prayers!

The course was complicated by a pre-existing prostate condition which required an indwelling bladder catheter. This, perhaps, was the most difficult situation I faced because of how much it limited my mobility. That and the fact that a hospital is no place to get rest. Between bouts of restless legs, interruptions for vital signs, blood draws and medication administrations at all hours, I never slept more than 2 hours at a time.

We are back home now (24 pounds heavier) and looking forward to recuperating from this course, getting more rest, and preparing for the second round of IL-2 therapy. I am very encouraged by the fact that at no time did I experience the generalized pains that I had experienced prior to starting therapy, and currently have almost none of the pre-treatment chest and skeletal pains. I am so grateful for how the Lord prepared me to tolerate this course of treatment.

I am also enormously indebted to my loving wife, Linda, who was a constant companion and servant to my every need. She would read to me every evening from Gordon MacDonald's book The Resilient Life, providing inspiration to endure and persevere. She has gained in strength and perseverence herself, and I know it is a result of your prayers and loving support.

I now need to regain some strength, rid myself of the extra fluid, concentrate on improved nutrition and prepare for the second round of therapy that will begin the day after Easter. Once more, please know that your thoughts and prayers have been a palpable presence each day. We cannot thank you enough.

Praising Him,
PS -- I know some of you are wondering: The hair on my head (such as there is of it) remains in place -- just a few more are now white :-)


  1. We all have had you and Linda in our toughts and prayers Daily. Hope that rest will rejuvenate you and your family will enjoy a pleasant Easter Sunday before your return for the next treatment.
    With all our love and support
    Nat and Jackie Harlow

  2. 3 hours ago, the Bryant family returned from their vacation. Upon our return, I couldn't wait to get to this blog to see how my favorite doctor and his wife are doing. Every day, we thought and prayed for you and now we rejoice that the procedure was better than expected. Now, might God use it to glorify Himself. Get some rest. That glorifies Him too! We love you guys.

  3. Wonderful news! We continue to pray for you daily and are thrilled to hear how God is protecting you and even allowing you to feel a little better. I'm glad you get to enjoy Easter from your own home. God is good.

  4. Dan i am at a loss for words, i just started going back to Sunday services because Amanda my 19yr old is back from the Pet Groomer's Academy in Richmond. I was so looking forward to comming back to Sunday Evening's Fellowship i just felt awful when i read about your major cross to bear. I felt even worse when i realized i was thinking of me and not you and Linda and your family. i know it is customary to say "If there is anything i can do to help either you or your family, and the the last thing i want you to think is this is trivial...It's Not. I mean it with ALL my heart please, if there is anything i can do to help, please let me know.

    Pastor Rich today was great and i learned about Ps 91. For one thing i forgot about the Author, King David, and how he grew up with so many issues, like his father Jessie and his relationship with his brothers. I like how David dealt with things when he was in the zone with our LORD, he wrote about them, or sang about them. I heard also about our choices how we can choose to Love Him, Know Him and Call Upon Him. The verbs as Pastor Rich called it.
    A new scripture Pastor Rich told us about how in the book of 2 Kings 6: 14-17 How Elijah showed his friend who was really surrounded, when the king of Syria surrouned Israel with his army and how fear can be defeated by just looking in GOD's promises. I just think it's so cool how all this plays out when we have our Hearts, Minds and Souls in cohesion with Christ. If you feel like writting anytime drop by leave a comment. Respectfully, JQ (John Quain and family)

  5. I believe you feel the strength of the many prayers sent Heavenward on your behalf. You have the warrior's spirit, like David and a heart of faith towards God. You have much to rejoice over, a faith-filled loving wife, an eternal inheritance, and many friends who love you for who you are, Be strong in the Lord, even when your body is weak, and be of good courage! (Two time Cancer Survivor),

  6. Praise the Lord! We pray that you will find rest and peace from your pain. God is so good, and He always knows exactly what we need.

    In constant hope,
    Sam, Jenny, Samuel, Kathleen, and William

  7. Great news!!!

    We have been praying every day for you and Linda as God will protect you both on this journey of faith. We are so glad and rejoice with you all that it went much better than expected. To God be the Glory!!! I pray that you and Linda will get the much needed rest, so that you may have a wonderful Easter before the next round starts. I am in constant prayer for you, Dr Dan.... God is really good....

    Susan Burtin (Wahl)

  8. Dr. Crabtree,

    This is your problem child! It is a true blessing to hear that your first round of treatments went well for you and the Lord kept his arms tightly around you at that time. I have kept my prayer line to the Lord open for you and your family. I also sent a message to your lovely Linda. Her testimony was so touching to me. We love her and your daughters, yet we don't really know them. May God bless you and your family and give you the strength you so richly deserves. I thank God for you and the spirit of Him even when I visited you in your office before your illness. Anyone that knows the Lord would be able to tell that you are a child of God. Your light shined in your office, and I thank God for that. God Bless you, I love you, I miss you and I wish you a speedy recovery! Your problem child! Y.B. Chesson

    PS I refuse to change your name from being my PCP. You might not practice again and decide to be a family man and I would totally understand that; but I will wait until that time comes.

  9. We will continue to pray for both of you and in particular for your fluid loss and mobility without pain. It is very encouraging to hear that you went through Phase 1 so well and we know God will keep you and Linda in His tender care during the next phase.