no news is . . .

assumed to be “good news.”

In this case, however, I have to admit to dragging my feet on sending out a current health update.  Really, my strength and activity level for the month we were on our trip east was remarkable.  Well, yes, that tooth did cause fits early on but a dentist friend in Franklin, TN got me on some antibiotics that eventually eased the pressure -then he performed root-canal magic on it after Thanksgiving.

I did start noticing an increase in abdominal pain the last week of our trip and by the time we got home (a week ago) I was taking paid meds pretty much 24/7.  A blood test this past Monday put in black and white what my body had been complaining about -apparently all the inhibing/suppressing meds I was taking have failed and my white blood cell count was over 150,000 which is double what it was at it’s worst and is about 140,000 above normal.  Primary Myelofibrosis is, after all, in the “myelo-proliferative” category which means that the prime attribute is that my body (unnecessarily) causes one or more blood cell to go bananas.  The doctor just looked at us and said, “I’m sure sorry.”

So, I’m horizontal 98% of the time (thankful for memory foam and air-adjustable mattress) and have decided to stop the meds.  We’ll try some vitamin therapy for a while and see what that does for me.

I am still, theoretically, in line to participate in a clinical trial at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC in mid-February, but this sudden decline in my condition makes that prospect questionable from both ends.

It’s been encouraging to receive Christmas cards with more than “Joy to the World” in them.  Several have reminded us of the promises of Romans 5, Gal 6, and one that I’m holding onto for dear life: “our momentary, light afflictions are earning for us an eternal WEIGHT of glory.” 2 Cor. 4

Thanks for upholding the family in your prayers -it can’t be easy for them to watch this painful, slow decline.

Looking for that NEW BODY!

J Dan Small



  1. I am so encouraged by your faith and am continuing in praying for you and your family. I know you’ve raised some pretty wonderful daughters who have blessed my life so thank you for that.


  2. Mr. Small,
    I just want you to know that I and my family are in great prayer for you and your family. It is hard to hear of your decline in health, but God has you in his hand at all times even in the darkest hardest hours, the hours of pain and hurting, He is there no matter what!!!! Praise the Lord for that. Our Heavenly Father holds us in His hands. thank you for your prayers for me during my cancer journey!!!!!!!!! In my many prayers.


  3. Thank you for sharing this difficult post. We have been wondering how you were doing. We got home from our 2-week TX trip yesterday, and we had no internet connection most of the time we were gone, so we haven’t been able to keep up with you for a while. And we have been wondering how you were doing since you returned from your travels. Love you guys so much and definitely praying for you!


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