Those who put their hope in The Lord will renew their strength, They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.
— Isaiah 40:31 NIV
Last weeks visit to Boston saw us blessed again with accommodation at the Hope Lodge…even though somehow I had not made the booking for the correct date, the first mistake I have made in almost 3 years of making many booking. But Praise the Lord on arrival a room was found for us both nights..on Tuesday we were in room 413 and on Wednesday in room 314… I have now double checked that I have made the booking next time for the correct dates !!!
Noel, has over the past month, has not really seen any improvement in how he feels and has caught yet another head/chest cold/cough and his mouth continues to be very bothersome. Dr Soiffer is now weaning Noel slowly off the high Prednisone (steroid) dose he is on, that has caused him to feel very low and has done nothing to strengthen his immune system and left him with what he describes as a puffy face, bulging belly and swollen ankles, with a lack of energy and a general slowing down and loss of strength. So we hope as the dose reduces he will feel much better. Dr S has also put him back on the antiviral medicine, Acyclovir, to see if any of his symptoms are actually being caused by a virus along with what we know is caused by the GVHD. Dr S has recommended that Dr Treister at the Brigham and Women’s Oral Medicine Department start Noel in a clinical trial for treatment for the GVHD in his mouth. So we will see what Dr T says at the appointment with him on May 14th. If you have ever wondered what oral graft verses host disease is all about this is a very good article.
We are also very grateful for the suggestions of how to treat Noel’s symptoms from many people, because we know you care and are concerned but we hope that none of you are offended because we don’t try your well meaning ideas…we made a decision way back when Noel was diagnosed that we would only follow the doctors instructions and do nothing not sanctioned by them.
We try to live a normal life…around all the medical stuff. The girls, Charlotte and Lucy, help keep us focused and busy…and life seems very full. Funny how as you get older, time seems to go much faster, along with things taking longer to do!
So it’s back to Boston on the 13th of May for appointments at both the Dana Farber and the Brigham and Women’s on the 14th. We’ll do another update after that visit.
Meanwhile, in ministry, Noel was able to attend video-conferences for the management and direction Boards of both By His Wounds ministry and Olive Branch International. Both have significant Christian spiritual impact: BHW for individuals to be healed in soul, mind and body in the USA, and OBI working with seriously traumatized Ukrainian Soldiers and their families, both at the front and when they come back home. At the front, some of our Ukrainian friends act as Chaplains (OBI Ukraine has led their training courses) even though there is no official military Chaplaincy. They take food and other humanitarian supplies as well as, most importantly, pray for folk. We would love to give our colleagues there more support, if anyone feels called to help. In Sierra Leone, we train and support several Hospital Chaplains who continue to spiritually sustain families in contact with ongoing Ebola.
Also, Noel re-started a successful monthly Lay Chaplains video call for the Anglican Armed Forces and Chaplaincy Jurisdiction; as well as taking a leading part in a sub-committee praying, planning and implementing ideas to improve the fund raising and marketing aspects of the Welcome Home Initiative retreats being held at the Greenwich, NY Spiritual Life Center (licensed by BHW). We are praying for the Lord to provide 50 scholarships of $300 each for this year’s retreat (November 9-11) so Veterans can be blessed with their food and accommodation when they come. If you feel called to help, please contact Noel.
Thank you for your love and support as we continue on this journey… Please continue to pray for us and keep in contact with us. We are interested in your news too. God Bless you!