Hope Lodge, Boston. Wednesday 9th May 2013.
+ 331 days post transplant!
“The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad” – Psalm 126:3
As we approach the first anniversary of Noel’s stem cell transplant in just 4 weeks time… we reflect on this past year… and all the events… and are grateful for every day. The not so good ones and the good ones… But to name ever blessing would fill a book… But we recognize everyone and are exceedingly glad and praise the Lord.
Today’s appointment with Amy was a good one… She is very pleased with Noel’s continued progress. She said he remains stable, not yet normal but stable. She is happy with his general good health. He remains on the same levels for his drugs although Amy did make a further adjustment in Noel’s favour to the dose level of one of the immunosuppressive drugs he takes. The aim is to get him off this drug altogether and she expects this to also help his kidney levels to improve. Thankfully his liver levels are now back to normal, for the third measurement running. His blood levels remain much the same as 3 weeks ago hence the use of the word “stable”.
White blood cells: Today 4.5, last time 4.3, now within the normal range
Red blood cells: Today 3.24, last time 3.30, still below normal
Platelets: Today 96, last time 100, also still below normal
Noel has had more overall energy and less fatigue the last couple of weeks and is exercising at least 3 times a week, walking 3 or 4 miles in an hour (that is 3 if he walks along with me and 4 if he walks faster than me!). He is also doing 300 plus stairs (way more stairs than I can do) so his strength is returning for which we are so grateful.
Sadly his very sore mouth from the GVHD continues… Amy decided to keep his oral steroids at the same level, the eventual aim is to reduce that level again. But she has prescribed him a steroid mouthwash to use 3 times a day… hopefully this will bring some relief. Please continue to pray for this.
Good news! Noel is moving towards life returning back to normal… Amy said today that if he continues to feel well she is willing to allow him to take part in the Welcome Home Initiative Retreat for Veterans at the Spiritual Life Center on the 20th to 22nd of May. This has been so much the desire of Noel’s heart and one we have given much prayer to… But some restrictions will apply… mostly connected with his food… he will be able to have any food that is freshly cooked but not food that has been kept warm on a buffet and definitely no salad bar type foods. So I will have to make sure he is at the head of the line and not doing his normal thing of talking and being at the end of the line! He will also be allowed to take off his face mask unless in confined and in close contact with people… but as the rooms are spacious that should not be a problem… but no hugging! These retreats are intense and very tiring so I will be there to make sure he does not overtax himself… as although he feels well his body has been through a great deal. Amy giving her permission for this is such a big answer to prayer. PTL, it is such a wonderful move forward on the road to his full recovery!
Family here and in England are all well and enjoying the Spring… and being able to be outside in the fresh air more now winter is just a memory.
Just 3 weeks to go until our family here in the USA will all be taking part in the Greenwich Relay for Life to celebrate and remember those whose lives are forever changed by the word ‘cancer’. Did you know that at some time in their life it is estimated that 1 in every 3 people will suffer from some form of the disease…
The American Cancer Society in the USA does so much to help patients and their families… this year we are raising funds to ‘pay it forward’ so others will also receive the help we have received… We have been so blessed by the many nights of ‘free’ accommodation here at the Hope Lodge in Boston, one of the many such facilities run by the ACS all across the States.
We are so grateful for the donations we have received already but we hope we can raise even more by the end of the month… Please visit our Relay for Life team pages ….and help us reach our goal many, many times over. Thank you for partnering with us in our efforts.
As you may know our granddaughter Charlotte is also a cancer survivor… and this year has her own fund raising page, sadly she has not yet received any donations… If you are able to donate a few dollars to her effort it would such an encouragement to her. She will be be 6 years old in July. It would be good for her to know that she is helping others as she celebrates being a survivor at this year’s Relay for Life… Thank you for considering this.
Please continue to pray for:
- Noel to stay well, giving thanks for the wonderful progress and for there to be an improvement in his sore mouth.
- For the Lord’s blessing on our finances and give thanks for His amazing provisions for us.
- For Charles, Sarah, Eve and Will in the UK and Toby, JoAnn, Charlotte and Lucy here in the USA.
- For continued safe travels.
- For the Welcome Home Initiative…and all those attending. For Noel’s re-growing ministry with US and Canadian Chaplains, for its funding and especially for the development of international relationships, in partnership and cooperation with numerous others who minister to Chaplains.
We are so very grateful to all our family and friends and everyone who takes time to read about our ‘journey’ , to pray for us, and to be there for us in so many ways… You are our encouragers. We thank you all and thank God for His faithfulness.
God bless you!