Give thanks to The Lord, for He is good!
His love and mercy endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16 :34
Time flies, it is already mid January… I hope your Christmas
season was as blessed as ours was with family and friends. We
celebrate the season with JESUS as the REASON right up to January 6th
and the Feast of the Epiphany. Thinking how sad to see Christmas trees
discarded on the curb side on what we call Boxing Day, a day we try to
always host a traditional English Christmas afternoon tea party. For
those on Facebook, you may have seen photos of the food!!! But the new
year is here and the winter weather has sadly wrought havoc all across
the country. We have had very cold temperatures and quite a lot of
snow. We hope you are all keeping free from the winter ills and
We were in Boston last week for Noel’s appointment with Dr Soiffer at
the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. We had had to delay for a week
because a long time friend died suddenly 2 days before Christmas and
we wanted to be able to attend the memorial service and support his
The weather last week was kind and on both travel days to and from
Boston it was cold but dry and sunny driving east (going) and west
(coming back) through hill country called The Berkshires… even in the
winter the countryside is very beautiful… Snow on the ground and
frozen lakes. We were blessed to stay at Hope Lodge again and
blessed by a volunteer group who came in and cooked a very delicious
evening meal on Wednesday for everyone staying there.
The results of the many routine tests (pulmonary, vascular, heart,
blood, bone marrow, kidney, liver) Noel had at his last visit were all
normal and present no cause for concern or need any deeper
investigation. We are very grateful for all this as the body can
sometimes react differently after a transplant, so we are very happy
all is functioning well 19 months later. PTL! His blood work stays
about the same has it has been for some time – acceptably ‘normal’
White cell counts are good and in the normal range, with red cells and
platelets still being lower than normal but of no great concern to the
Specialist. Noel’s overall general health is good. All his medications
remain the same apart from Dr S taking him off one drug (Fluconazole)
which he had been taking since the transplant to prevent fungal type
infections. We trust he will now be able to ward of any infections
himself. If you notice mushrooms growing out of his ears you will know
his immune system needs attention!
Noel still gets times when he is very tired exacerbated by a common
cold he has been fighting this past week. But we continue to try and
keep fit with our walking when we can and have now also joined a
Silver Sneakers water fitness class. This week will be the first
session – I just hope the water is warm!
So, over all at this 19 month point past the transplant Dr Soiffer is
very pleased and life is going well. Noel’s bone marrow is now 100%
donor and not showing any abnormal cells. All Noel’s old diseased bone
marrow is gone!! PTL again! Progress is being made and Noel does not
have to return for another check up for 2 months (lengthened from 6
weeks), so the next appointment is in early March.
Meanwhile, Noel is laying plans and preparing and organizing for
ministry for this year, for example, we plan to attend a military
ministry conference in the area we used to live. It takes place
towards the end of February and will give us a chance to see many old
friends, visit our ‘home’ church (which supports and ‘sends’ us out as
missionaries with ACCTS (www.accts.org), and, we hope and pray, meet
Noel’s donor for the first time. We are also grateful that Noel’s
commissioning as a Lay Chaplain by the Anglican Church in North
America (ACNA) seems to have given added value and endorsement to his
ministry calling to encourage military people, especially chaplains
and veterans around the world that God is on their doorstep and wants
to make them whole in Christ (Luke 10:9. The Message). Please pray for
a wonderful visit to the Hampton Roads area and also for Noel as he
speaks to a multi-faith group in Saratoga Springs on February 13th
about the role of prayer in spiritual healing.
Our lives seem to always be busy… never getting to the end of the ‘to
do’ lists… which of course is a good thing – no time to get
Charlotte and Lucy keep us on our toes and they are great fun. It is
real privilege to live so close to them and share in their lives
almost daily. We miss having such closeness with our other
grandchildren, Eve and Will, in England. But we are still able to stay
well connected through Skype, FaceTime, the phone and email. So,
either side of the ‘pond’, both families are doing well keeping busy
with work and school.
Our very best wishes and prayers for a blessed 2014 to you all. We
were grateful for the many Christmas greetings, letters and cards we
received. Thank you all for you ongoing concern, love, encouragement,
support and prayers. We are truly blessed by you all.
Our prayer requests are that Noel’s progress continues to go really
well. We are very aware that not everyone who has a stem cell
transplant does as well as Noel has done. And we hope that the change
in his health insurance coverage will not add extra financial costs to
us. The previous policy was abruptly ended at the end of last year and
he has now had to take out a different one with different coverage,
making Boston ‘out of network’. Health insurance is very complicated.
I think the health insurance companies only have their profits in
mind, not us the patients!!! I am sure some of you feel the same
way… But thankfully we do have cover.
Please stay in touch. Keep us updated with your news. God Bless you.