Encouraging News out of Boston – Transplant Day plus 249

Ash Wednesday, February 13th 2013 — Hope Lodge, Boston.

Rejoice in The Lord always. Again I will say rejoice! Philippians 4:4

How quickly the 3 weeks since last we were in Boston have passed. Where does the time go to?

We have been busy trying to walk more for exercise and have been able to see more of Charlotte and Lucy and get back into daytime care for them. Noel has been more active making ministry calls and doing our taxes. The predicted super snow storm passed us by with just about 8 inches of snow – so nothing unusual, unlike here in Boston, where they had 25 inches and still, today, have mountains everywhere. But Spring seems to be on the way and we are having some lovely sunny days, today being one of them as was yesterday for our drive here which was a blessing after the snow.

Today, at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we had some great encouraging news from Noel’s blood tests… his white blood cells are now within the normal range!!! PTL.

White cells today: 3.8 – Three weeks ago 3.4 – Normal 3.8-9.2. 🙂
Red cells today: 2.92 – Three weeks ago 2.66 – Normal 4.2-5.6
Platelets today: 74 – Three weeks ago 56 – Normal 155-410

So this is an improvement as they have been in the 50’s for so long.

Noel still has some problems with the mouth sores from the GVHD and has been feeling quite fatigued at times during the past 3 weeks. We asked about this today and Amy said it was typical to feel very tired on the lower dose of steroids he has been on. She lowered it again today and said she would expect him to feel very tired as the body tried to adjust to doing with out so much of the drug. She also said his digestive upsets are from one of the medications he takes… At least we know it is not anything serious. But over all she is really pleased with his progress….she said his bigger problem today is his leg! He hurt his right leg just above the ankle about 10 days ago while walking and climbing steps at the Civic Center where we go to walk. It has got no better and is quite painful to walk on. Amy sent him for an X-ray and said she would call us when it has been read by a Doctor. We got a copy of the X-ray on a CD to give to Noel’s Primary Care Doctor, whom he has an appointment with on Friday back in Glens Falls. Noel is trying to rest it but nothing seems to help…. So we wait to know if he damaged it and what the treatment might be…

We discussed again with Amy about the possibility of Noel being able to travel and attend meetings towards the end of March…. It seems much more likely that he will be back to ‘normal’ by the end of May so till then he just has to be patient ….it is only 3 months away and considering how far he has come it will soon be here. Before the transplant we were told the recovery time would be in the region of 12 months so this is no surprise to us…and is within what is normal.

One blessing at the hospital today was providentially running in to one of the Hospital Chaplains who was blessing people and signing them with the sign of the cross using ashes…. A sign to mark the beginning of Lent. She signed both of us.

If you are wondering about the meaning of Ash Wednesday and the Distribution of Ashes in the Christian Church here is what I think is a good article written by a Protestant.

News of our family is good. Both Charles and Toby stay extremely busy in their jobs… Charles, who travels internationally almost every week, was in Mexico last week. And Toby has recently moved to a new position within the company he works for. Both Sarah and JoAnn are busy juggling home and work lives. And all 4 grandchildren are thriving. This month, both Eve and Charlotte have been ‘Student of the Week’ at their schools. Eve also had her 5th Birthday this month. Will is 3 later in February. Charlotte lost her first baby tooth this week, and Lucy and Will increase their language skills daily. Busy days.

Please give great praise to the Lord for the miracle of healing through the Stem Cell Transplant process. The cancer that was in Noel’s bone marrow has gone. we both give praise daily for great medical care and for his donor. Please continue to pray for patience as he fully recovers and eventually comes off many of the drugs he takes. There will be much rejoicing when he can return to a (new) normal life again and all this is just a memory, even though there will be lots of check ups into the future.

Our prayer requests are always the same:

  • For family and friends who have been so wonderful in walking the walk with us.
  • For travel safety.
  • And sufficient finances to cover the continuing costly medical bills and associated expenses (for example two drugs Noel takes cost over $1,000 each month, even with health insurance).
  • Praising the Lord for answering your prayers for us in the past and providing for us.

I am still not up to date with personal replies to messages.. Please forgive me if you feel neglected you are all thought about and one day I will get around to answering all my mail.

Next appointment at the DFCI is March 6th , in 3 weeks time…..

God bless you and all those you love!