This is the day which the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118.24.
Looking back since our last update a couple of months ago, life has
been busy and time has passed quickly… they say the older we get the
faster time goes… The calendar tells us it is the 1st day of
Spring next week and now that we have ‘sprung forward’ here in North
America into Daylight Saving Time (DST) it certainly seems that Winter
may be on the way out, although we still have at least a foot of snow
on the ground and we woke this morning here in Boston to a covering of
fresh snow!! The weather forecasters promise more on Wednesday, both
here and at home. But although long, extremely cold and a more than
average amount of snow (a total of over 60 inches) we have had some
bright sunny days and Noel and Charlotte enjoyed a half day skiing and
tubing during the school break at our local ski hill and we had fun
playing in the snow with both girls when school was closed because of
the snow. We also got lots of exercise clearing our drive and sidewalk
Our drive to Boston yesterday was in brilliant sunshine and with the
snow on the ground and the frozen lakes the scenery was very
beautiful. We are blessed to be staying yet again at the ACS Hope
Lodge. Today’s appointment at the Dana Farber with Dr. S went well.
During the last 2 months Noel has experienced some recurrence of the
mild GVHD, not helped, I am sure, by a very lengthy sinus cold which
his immune system found hard to shake off.
Today’s blood work was stable with acceptable if not perfect levels.
Dr. S made some slight adjustments to his drugs and was still very
pleased with Noel’s continuing great progress. The blessing of this
was brought home by meeting up in the waiting area with a couple we
have often chatted to in the past. She, since we last saw them, has
been told her cancer has returned and she has been hospitalized with a
debilitating recurrence of GVHD. We cannot be grateful enough that
Noel’s progress since his transplant has been so good. Most sadly, in
the past few weeks, we have had news of several friends and others we
know closely who are newly in the battle; of other friends and family
members of friends whose battle with cancer continues to be a
challenge or, sadly, the fight has been lost. Our prayers are with
We are also reminded that here in the USA the ongoing work of the
American Cancer Society is so crucially important. Support is needed
for research to find cure. Support is needed in so many different ways
for patients and families going through the battle. Although by no
means unique, we are a family who know some of the challenges cancer
brings with it. So, we will again this year be participating in the
Relay for Life fund raising event being held at Greenwich, NY. Along
with other members of our team, HEARTS OF HOPE, we hope to raise more
funds for the American Cancer Society than the $2,000 the team raised
last year. We would ask you to consider helping us in this and to
visit our Relay for Life web pages and make a donation. Charlotte, our
cancer survivor granddaughter, is also raising funds as part of the
team so a donation to her page would be a huge encouragement to her
and her effort for Hearts of Hope this year.
For Charlotte, go to: http://tinyurl.com/lh79plo
For Meryl, see: http://tinyurl.com/n8v7aqj
Our families on both sides of the Atlantic are doing well,
grandchildren Eve and Will both celebrated their birthdays in February
in style – they both had Chicken Pox, but are now well again.
Charlotte and Lucy are both doing great and keeping us ever busy.
Now a word from Noel about what he has been doing on the ministry front.
“Meryl has already mentioned about the ‘Granny and Poppa Daycare’ we
enjoy twice or three days each week, and the lovely half day Charlotte
and I spent skiing and tubing. We love this close contact we have with
her and Lucy, even though we are usually quite tired at the end of
“I have also been busy editing and compiling the Leaders and
Participants guides we are preparing to support the Welcome Home
Initiative DVDs which have been made for each healing and teaching
session. We hope these guides will be ready to use on the weekend
conference at the end of May at Virginia Beach to train and equip WHI
retreat organizers. It has been difficult and time consuming to make
progress on these guides and we feel we need to speed up getting them
ready for publication.
“I’ve been quite busy keeping in touch with several Chaplains and
other Combat Veterans through all forms of social media, phone calls
and face to face meetings. By nature this is a discrete ministry and
one cannot say much for reasons of confidentiality. Suffice to say
many are blessed to have a shoulder to lean on or a listening ear.
“Next, I was blessed and privileged to talk about my faith and the
Welcome Home Initiative at an interfaith breakfast meeting in
mid-February which was well received.
“Finally, last week, I was invited to form part of the prayer and
planning team of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy Diocese preparing a
Welcome Home ministry on behalf of the Anglican Church in North
America (ACNA). All good progress in advancing the Kingdom of God
within the military environment.”
Thank you and God bless you for continuing to take this journey with
us. It will be 3 years on April 1st since Noel was rushed to the ER
and the journey began and 2 years in June since his transplant. Your
faithful support, prayers and love have made a world of difference to
us both. Please continue to be in contact with us and keep us updated
with your news and prayer needs so that we can give thanks and pray
Noel’s next appointment here at the Dana Farber. Is scheduled in 2
months time for Monday May 12th. At this time he will receive more of
the childhood immunizations his ‘baby’ immune system needs.