Updates for May 2014

Glens Falls… May 20th 2014

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
Ephesians 1:11-12. The Message

The 2 months since my last update seems to have flown by… life as we get older seems to get busier and busier. Both Noel and I have recently celebrated birthdays, always a joyous time for us as we love to celebrate more birthdays… a gift from The Lord.

During the past few weeks we have been, as always, busy with helping to look after Charlotte and Lucy. We continue with our fitness walking… and Noel is busy once again with his ministry (see his notes below). And, of course, as the seasons change I find myself with yard work to do again, Noel is of course quite happy that he is still restricted from yard work something he has no passion for ! His immune system does not need any attacks from mold etc which is thrown into the air when we mow.

Last Monday we were in Boston again for Noel’s now bimonthly routine appointments at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. We were once again blessed with accommodation at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge… such a comfortable place to stay. We had lovely fine travel weather on both Sunday and Tuesday. The country side is looking beautifully green after a long, white winter.

During the weeks since his last appointment, Noel had a second extremely nasty head cold of this year, with a lot of congestion that was hard to shake off… even with prescription meds… and a return of the mouth sores. Amy, Dr Soiffer’s assistant, said the mouth sores, which are caused by the GVHD (Graft Versus Host Disease) are not uncommon in stem cell transplant patients when they are fighting some other infection such as a cold. Thankfully both the cold and the sores are very much better now.

Otherwise Noel continues to get stronger and feels great. It is now just over 3 years since we found out he had this rare cancer of the bone marrow… I say had, as he is now in remission and does not have any signs of the cancer. It really is a miracle that he is alive… with out the transplant he may not now have been. And we give thanks everyday for God’s amazing grace. Noel celebrates 2 years of new life on June 11th – the day he received the donor stem cells. Praise The Lord!

Amy was happy with all Noel’s blood work even though a couple of numbers could be better (red cells, platelets and liver) but he is doing great. In the process of slowly reducing the drugs Noel has been on for the last 23 months, she took him off one of the immune suppressant drugs he has been taking. We pray this will be a good move, without side effects.

We are now just a few weeks away from participating as a family in our 5th Relay for Life. There are thousands of good causes and fund raising events for a multitude of different reasons and I am sure many are dear to your heart. Cancer research, the care and well being of cancer patients are two of ours… because we as a family have had close encounters with cancer, Noel and I, along with Charlotte, our granddaughter, are all blessed to be survivors. For this reason we Relay and try to raise funds for the American Cancer Society in support of the amazing work they do… but to raise funds we need donations… please would you consider making a donation small or large, it all helps… Last year our team HEARTS OF HOPE raised over $2000. this year we hope to raise even more… Please help us.

Charlotte is trying to also raise funds on her own initiative (with a bit of help to show her how). Last summer, during vacation between Kindergarten and First Grade, she held a Lemonade and Cookie Stand every Saturday afternoon… this gave her a good start to her 2014 fund raising …maybe you could help her reach or surpass her goal… and make a donation to her effort… please visit http://tinyurl.com/lh79plo.

For Meryl and Noel please visit our team page HEARTS OF HOPE At this link and click on our names. The web link is http://tinyurl.com/q438cev. Thank you !

Noel’s next appointment at the DFCI in on the 7th of July… But before we drive to Boston again we have several other trips to make. Noel will be travelling by road and air to Virginia Beach, VA and Columbus, GA, as a panel member for a hands-on workshop training church and ministry leaders how to pray for Veterans and their families suffering from combat stress (May 30/31) and co-leader of a Welcome Home Initiative retreat for Veterans suffering from combat stress (June 5-7). Please pray for significant ‘soul repair’ to take place in the lives of those attending both events. Then, from June 28-30, we will drive about 8 hours to Greensburg, PA to attend the Anglican Armed Forces and Chaplaincy (AAFC) annual training symposium and convocation. These ministry activities will all be carried out as staff members of ACCTS (www.accts.org) and as a Lay Chaplain commissioned in the AAFC. Please pray for safe travels, good meetings and sufficient finances to cover both trips.

Please continue to pray for our sons Charles and Toby; our daughters in law, Sarah and JoAnn; and our grandchildren, Evelyn, William, Charlotte and Lucy. Also pray for safety and good health, as we all look forward to a family reunion, all 10 of us, here in Glens Falls in the summer, when the UK contingent visit for a week.

Thank you for continuing to walk this journey with us, your support has been amazing, we hope we can encourage others as they encourage us… please stay in contact with us, send us your news updates and prayer requests. And our door is always open so if you ever find yourself in our area… please visit us… God Bless you and your loved ones.