Enote From Pastor Ron 2/26/19


Dear Friends,

I promised an update on my doctor visit to City of Hope, which was yesterday. Here is a recap of the last few months. Last December I met with the hematologist at City of Hope and he indicated that the disease is progressing. While I mostly looked at the white cell count, there are so many other indicators of where the disease is going. Two other important indices are hemoglobin and platelets.

In January I had a normal follow up with my hematologist in El Centro and my labs were similar to what they have been for two years. With one exception. My platelets had plummeted. Normal is around 140. Mine were at 60.

By the end of January I was feeling “out of sorts.” Low energy, and loss of appetite were the major symptoms. I had my annual physical with my Primary Care Doctor at the beginning of February and my labs were way out of whack. Which explained my symptoms.

I made an appointment with Dr. Aribi at City of Hope for February 25th. It was not a regularly scheduled appointment.

Again my labs were all over the place. Which Dr. Aribi said was typical of CMML. The numbers are not linear. They can fluctuate from month to month. The one serious change was my platelets. They are at 40 now. Not good.

So, the result is we are now preparing for 1) transfusions, if needed (platelets drop to 20=platelet transfusion; red cells drop any more=red blood cell transfusion) and 2) my eventual bone marrow transplant. The survival rate for the 3 month procedure is about 90%.

Dr. Aribi explained that it’s hard to speculate when all of this will happen, but best guess, it will be in months not years. I remember thinking when I was first diagnosed that it would be great if I had the transplant during the summer months. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

The plan now is I visit my doctor every three weeks, which will alternate between Dr. Razzaque here in El Centro and Dr. Aribi at City of Hope.

In the meantime I am feeling a little better. The doctor said that is normal as my body adjusts to the changes it’s going through. I pace myself and take regular naps. 

Sara and I am in a good place with all of this. We continue to live with the gratitude that you all love us and keep us in prayer. We continue to walk in faith.

Love to you all,

Ron and Sara

The Calendar this Week:

Rummage Sale! You can help out any morning this week. The sale is Saturday, beginning at 8 a.m.

Holy Land Pilgrimage

Visiting the Holy Land is a once in a lifetime experience. Pastor Ron is putting together a trip to the Holy Land. 10 days. Visiting sites that include The Sea of Galilee and Jordan River, Capernaum, Cana, Nazareth, tel Megiddo, Jericho, Qumran, Caesarea, Masada, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Mount of Olives. 

Prices run from 3400-3700 depending of time of year, and include airfare, ground transportation, tour guides, breakfast and dinner, taxes and fees. 

If interested please contact me at (760) 554-5520. Leave a message!

Shared Prayers:

For Healing: For Caroline Stinson. For Pastor Ron.

For Ashley, a 12 year old with terminal cancer. And for her family.

For those in need: The poor and the hungry. Victims of violence. Migrants seeking asylum.

For First Responders, for Teachers, for Public Servants. 

See you Sunday!

Grace and Peace, Ron


Rev. Dr. Ron Griffen
Lead Pastor
First United Methodist Church, El Centro
312 S. 8th St. 

760.554.5520 (cell)

Blog: drgriffen.wordpress.com
Facebook: First United Methodist church El Centro

"Ring the bell that still can ring. Forget the perfect offering. There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." --Leonard Cohen

"You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth." --Jesus of Nazareth