Boston, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2012

Written on December 24th/25th 2012, Hope Lodge Boston.
Transplant Day plus 198 and 199

‘Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared praising God and saying ” Glory to God in the highest and on earth to men on whom his favor rests” Luke 2 :13,14 NIV.

‘For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ Isaiah 9: 6 NIV.

John 3:16 -“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (NLT)

We celebrated Christmas at our home yesterday, Sunday, with Toby, JoAnn, Charlotte and Lucy… Enjoying seeing the girls thrilled with the gifts they unwrapped… and enjoyed a meal of roast pork followed by Christmas pudding and mince pies… while wearing the paper hats from our Christmas Crackers and laughing at the silly jokes we found inside. But I will spare you from those!!! And we all had a great time interacting with Charles, Sarah, Evelyn and William in the UK via Skype. Not quite like all being physically together but fun.

Today, Christmas Eve we drove here to Boston in glorious sunshine… cold and brisk but so beautiful through the Berkshires and what a blessing, only a few heavy vehicles and much lighter traffic than normal on the Interstate… and we were able to get good reception on the Public Radio station so listened to the traditional Christmas service of nine lessons and carols from the King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England. It was very uplifting.

We arrived in good time for Noel’s appointment with Dr. Soiffer at the Dana Faber today… Very few patients being seen today so we had a short waiting time… Still not any great changes in Noel’s levels… Dr. Soiffer says he is not worried with a big W or even worried with a small w but is keeping a close eye on him. Today Noel’s platelets were down very slightly, his Red cells were very very slightly up but his White cells had dropped quite a lot… which is not good for fighting infection at this difficult time of the year when there are so many people fighting different seasonal illnesses. So he will need to be extra careful.

Today’s results (and 12 days ago)
White blood cells: 1.9 — Last time: 3.1 — Normal: 3.8 – 9.2
Red blood cells: 2.65 — Last time: 2.58 — Normal: 4.2 – 5.6
Platelets: 55 — Last time: 58 — Normal: 155 – 410

So all his restrictions stay in place. Noel is still fighting the mild GVHD and the sores and thrush in his mouth. Glucose level is too high so a watch is being kept on that too. Noel’s next appointment is on Wednesday, January 9th, 2013.

Our Christmas Day tomorrow will be quiet as there are few guests here most people having been able to go home for a couple of days break. We do have a friend and his wife coming to visit us around 9am in the morning and although not yet confirmed with the duty manager they hope to play Christmas Carols on the piano and violin for every one to enjoy. Then there is a Brunch at 10:30am kindly put on by local volunteers. Of course Noel cannot eat the food from the buffet but I brought breakfast stuff with us and have a tasty but simple meal planned for tomorrow evening. We will drive home on Boxing Day, 26th… Snow is forecast over the next couple of days but hopefully in this area only about an inch, just enough to make everywhere look picture perfect but not enough to delay our travel plans.

So this year will soon be coming to an end and a new one beginning… We pray for you all to be blessed with the peace of the Lord and to stay safe and healthy. God Bless you!

We were blessed by receiving so many cards and good wishes this Christmas time… Thank you all for your continued prayers and for standing with us though difficult times… We hope you will continue to pray for us in 2013 and continue to follow Noel’s progress on the road to a full recovery.

Prayer requests:

  • For Noel’s blood levels to return to and stay within the normal range.
  • For The Lord to continue to bless us with the resources we need to pay all the medical bills this coming year.
  • For safe travel during winter weather.
  • For both of us to have renewed energy.
  • For our families on both sides of the Atlantic.

Thank you, please do stay in touch, we love hearing from you… Happy New Year!

Christmas Day update:
We have enjoyed our day… Our friends Greg and Diane and their son Matt arrived as planned and permission was given to announce the Carol singing. Sadly the piano was out of key but Greg played his violin. Four other guests came and were all thrilled to hear Noel read the Christmas story and joined in the carol singing. We finished with the prayer of St. Francis and all felt up lifted.

Brunch was a FIVE STAR event… hosted by Hope Lodge Board members… they supplied and cooked a variety of omelets, bacon and pancakes… fresh fruit salad and whole fruits a huge array of pastries and muffins and breakfast cereals… and lots of coffee and juice. As some of it was cooked freshly to order Noel was able to enjoy it. Greg, Diane and Matt were also able to join us for the brunch before driving on to see relatives locally and then drive home to Maine.

We were also blessed by a gift of a hand knitted scarf each… made mostly by one lady who said she wanted to keep us warm in the chilly Boston weather. So a great Christmas Morning. We have much to give praise and thanks for.