Noel’s 5th Birthday

Happy 5th Birthday

June 11th will soon be here… It’s Noel’s 5th re- Birthday!!! Five years ago on this day he received the gift of new life. Stem Cells donated by an unrelated donor, who we now know was a young man named Ryan, to whom we will be forever grateful, a true hero, his unselfish gift saved Noel’s life after being diagnosed just over 6 years ago with a rare form of bone marrow cancer, for which there was no medical cure.

There are many others far too numerous to mention all by name, who were there for us and still are. The Medical teams at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute both in Boston and the CR Wood Cancer Center in Glens Falls. Our family and friends who have always been there for us in so many ways. And we are eternally grateful to God for all our answered prayers. His faithfulness and his mercy are new every morning and His Peace that passes all understanding.

Those who have followed Noel’s story posted here in the journal updates know it has been quite a ride at times. With many ups and downs but here we are celebrating a 5th birthday and it’s 6 months since Noel saw his doctors in Boston, life is good. The GVHD (Graft versus Host disease) that Noel has had since the transplant still from time to time rears it’s head. Making life uncomfortable for Noel with mouth sores. But he takes all his medications and these periods come and go. Life is pretty normal whatever, of course, normal is?

We will be back in Boston this coming week. Noel has appointments with both his doctors, we hope that they will be satisfied that all is well and that Noel won’t have to see them again until December.

We will be home from Boston just in time to be at the Greenwich Relay for Life on Saturday 10th June. This is always a special event for our family. I’m a cancer survivor, Noel is a cancer survivor, and our eldest granddaughter Charlotte, now almost 10 years old, is also a cancer survivor… Every year we try to pay it forward to help others… As they go through the trials and tribulations of fighting cancer. Raising funds for the American Cancer Society who do so much, we know because they have helped us personally so much. Providing ‘free’ to us accommodation in Boston at their amazing Hope Lodge. Saving us thousands of $$$ in hotel bills for the many, many times we have been to appointments at the DFCI and B&W’s over the past 6 years.

Our fund raising is channeled through Charlotte’s Relay for Life page…

If you can help us to pay it forward please make a donation here.

And check this site for updates of our visit to Boston this week and photos of us celebrating life and standing with those who fight and remembering those who fought but lost their fight at The Relay for Life…

Thank you! Meryl, Noel, and Charlotte.

Relay for Life 2017

Relay for Life - Celebrate HopeLess than 30 days to go until this year’s Relay for Life on Saturday, June 10th, and we once again are as a family are trying to “Pay It Forward” so others can benefit from the American Cancer Society as we have done. I will be a 9 year Cancer Survivor this year, and no longer need checks. Noel will celebrate the same weekend as we take part in the Relay, 5 years of being cancer free after his Stem Cell Transplant, back in 2012. Noel is now on 6 month review appointments. Charlotte this year celebrates being cancer free for 8 years, she is on annual review appointments.

Fighting cancer may be the toughest job you ever have to do. The disease can hit you on multiple fronts – the cancer itself, the treatments used to fight it, and the side effects of those treatments. Stress also comes on many levels. The American Cancer Society is there to help you cope on many levels.

A huge thank you for supporting Charlotte in her previous efforts to raise funds for the work of the The American Cancer Society, who are a nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Our family has received a huge amount of support from their services. The American Cancer Society is also fully committed to their obligation to spend donor dollars wisely. And I believe they do.

This year, Charlotte wrote this:

My name is Charlotte Emma. I’m 9 years old, turning 10 in July. I’m a gymnast and a CANCER SURVIVOR!

Please help me to help others to be CANCER SURVIVORS.

I’m raising money for Relay for Life. This year will be my 7th Relay for Life.

If you would like to help Charlotte in her effort this year please visit her page at

The Relay for Life event that Charlotte and her team HEARTS of HOPE participate in takes place the first week of June 2017 in Greenwich, NY. If possible we would like all donations in by the 1st of June.

2015 Greenwich Relay for Life

Noel, Meryl, and Charlotte
2015 Greenwich Relay for Life

If you would rather send a check directly to us, please make out to The ACS Relay for Life and on the memo line write Charlotte Dawes, Greenwich, NY. Please message us for our address where to mail your donation.

Many thanks,

Charlotte, Granny Meryl and Poppa Noel, The Relay Trio

May 2016 UPDATE and just a month until the 2016 RELAY FOR LIFE

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Everyday we give thanks to the Lord as Noel is now 5 years past his first diagnosis of the rare bone marrow cancer and almost 4 years post his Stem Cell transplant,which gave him new life..and he is cancer free . For those of you following the story, you know it has been a journey in which we have had to trust the Lord every step of the way and He has been faithful and shown us great mercy… the journey for Noel was often not been easy..and he still has daily issues with the effects of the GVHD..graft verses host disease, mainly with the nasty mouth sores., At the last visit to the oral doctor he was given steroid injections into his mouth and he is still on a low oral dose of steroids and the 4 times a day mouth wash. But he is back to his ‘old self’ and doing lots of ministry again,,,and my role as his caregiver has returned to just that of a wife.

Daily we are thankful that not only is Noel cancer free but i’m 8 years cancer free and Charlotte is 7 years cancer free….. we will again this year be Celebrating this by taking part in the RELAY FOR LIFE at Greenwich NY on June 3rd and 4th, we hope for good weather unlike the rain of last year ( well actually Noel will miss it as he will be ministering to Veterans on a Welcome Home Initiative Retreat ) But Charlotte and I, along with other members of our team HEARTS OF HOPE will be there. we hope to RELAY, ie walk laps around the track through the’s a 6 pm to 6 am event.

In the 4 years since Noel’s transplant we have had more medical appointments at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston than we can count, but we do know that we have spent in the region of over 200 nights away form home …the American Cancer Society has amazing accommodation available in many areas known as the The HOPE LODGE .and if rooms are available .this saves cancer patients and their caregiver the expense of a hotel, which in a major city it is hard to find for under $150 a night ….so if we had been asked to find in the region of $30,000 for hotel accommodation in the past 4 years..along with all the medical costs ..I have no idea where that money would have come from…but because of the generosity of people who support the American Cancer Society there has been no charge for us to stay at the HOPE LODGE in Boston…

The RELAY FOR LIFE every year is not just a celebration of life.or a time to remember those who’s fight was lost or to support those in the battle but it is a major fund raising event.. we along with many others are raising funds again to help others as we have been helped…

Please if you are able to help us in this, visit Charlotte’s Relay for Life page . where you can make a donation on line or by mail..or you can send a check or money order directly to me and I will do all the paper work for you… our address is 22 Davis St, Glens Falls, NY 12801.. every Dollar makes a difference so no donation is too small and no too big… thank you.

Survivor Trio 2010Here we are at Charlotte’s first RELAY FOR LIFE in 2010 she was the youngest there wearing purple survivor shirt. Me and Charlotte in 2014 ……..the Survivor Trio in 2011 ( actually that was before Noel had his transplant so at that stage he still had cancer but the ACS say you are a Survivor and can wear the purple shirt from the day you hear those awful words “you have cancer’ ……Charlotte in 2014 and our crazy team in 2013 ……
We will update this page again after the Relay with family news and Ministry News…

Thank you and God Bless you for continuing to pray for us and support us..

Noel’s 3rd Re-birthday. Happy Birthday!

Noel’s 3rd re-birthday… Thursday, June 11th.

2015 Greenwich Relay for Life

Noel, Meryl, and Charlotte
2015 Greenwich Relay for Life

It was a Monday back in 2012 and was the day Noel received the donor cells as the stem cell transplant. On June 12th, we participated RELAY for LIFE! And this evening, our health updates… from Boston and Glens Falls.

This day 3 years ago Noel was in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, having undergone intensive chemotherapy to kill his immune system and make his body ready to receive the donor stem cells. These cells would then make their way to his own none functioning bone marrow and take up residence as his new bone marrow and start to manufacture all his blood. The transplant was and is the only possible chance of giving Noel more years to live. The donor cells are still doing a great job, have cured the cancer and are keeping his blood count levels within a normal range. As we thank God for this wonderful blessing of life, we are also incredibly thankful for the amazing gift of life-giving cells from his then unknown, unrelated donor, Ryan. And we are so grateful to have met Ryan and his wife last Fall, much enjoying the evening we had together. As Noel received the cells through the port he had in his chest we asked, “how do these cells know where and how to get to the large bones where the blood is made?” Noel’s eminent oncologist, the head of the stem cell transplant team at Dana-Farber, replied, “we don’t know. We simply don’t have a clue!” So, to us another part of the miracle was that God created the
capability from the beginning for theses cells to ‘know’ exactly where they must go to!

However, those donated cells sometimes really do think they are ‘boss’ and occasionally just try to take over control and reject Noel! This manifests itself as the Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) that we often talk about. This has been a long and somewhat difficult year for Noel after catching a nasty respiratory virus back in January, which was the cause of this latest bout of GVHD but at yesterday’s visit to Dr Soiffer at the Dana-Farber things looked brighter as he reduced the dose of steroids by another 5mg…. down to 15mg. Noel was on 40mg each day last January. So hopefully the side effects of weaning off the Prednisone will begin to improve and be less bothersome. The GVHD is still producing mouth sores and the clinical trial Noel has been in for the last month ended yesterday. Testing a medication as a mouth wash seemed to make little significant difference to the sores… so he will now go back to using the mouthwash he was using before. Dr Treister, the oral care doctor, was grateful for Noel’s participation in the trial and will continue to work with Noel to try and find something to help with the sores. The sores are better than they were and are mostly bearable. Although GVHD is very unpredictable, Noel is a lot better than he was 6 months ago..but we know another extreme flare up could happen again. But we pray not. His fatigue comes and goes… but he perseveres on… Next appointments with both doctors are scheduled for one months time.

I had a funny episode myself last week , with terrible chest pains. Although different to when I had the heart attack just 12 months ago. Noel took me to the ER to get checked out. This ended up with a 30 hour stay in the hospital… And lots of tests. Nothing of any
significance showed up. The pain subsided and it remains a mystery… but I have appointments to follow up with my Cardio and PC doctors and a lung doctor… I guess it is best to get everything checked. But I feel OK now…

2015 Greenwich Relay for LifeLast Friday was our now yearly family event RELAY for LIFE… at Greenwich NY… It’s our 6th. We would like to thank everyone who have supported our efforts to raise money for the American Cancer Society… your donations to Charlotte’s Relay Fund will make a difference. Overall it seems that fundraising for the Relay this year has been down…we also found this. But we will continue to try to pay it forward to the American Cancer Society… because we have benefited so much in being able to stay overnight at the excellent ACS owned and run accommodation in Boston almost every time we have needed to be there for Noel’s appointments over the last 3 years. Although Hope Lodge is responsible for raising it’s own operating costs (more than $1M a year), so direct donations are welcomed, there is no charge to stay there (Relay for Life donations go to the wider work of ACS). With this blessing, we have ‘saved’ thousands of dollars that otherwise we would have found it extremely difficult to pay for hotel rooms at the same time as buying some expensive medications even though Noel’s health insurance policy is a very cost-effective one. One day I will sit down and work the ‘savings’ out!

So a big thank you for supporting us and others by supporting the American Cancer Society. You can still donate by visiting Charlotte’s page… Which remains open for the next few days.

Noel adds, ministry over the last month has become rather busier than earlier in the year, as Spring turned to summer. I have been able to listen to, encourage, pray with and have good one-to-one fellowship with the ten or so Chaplains and combat Veterans I count among my friends. I know the Lord blesses me throughout these relationships and, I pray, they also bless my friends. The main ministry event was the annual Convention of the Diocese of Albany. Held at a purpose-built summer vacation camp about 60 miles from home. Meryl and I, with three others, twice presented a workshop informing those attending about the Welcome Home Initiative. It was successful even though attendance was light. Those who came were clearly in the ‘right’ place and we pray they will either come to a retreat on their own or, better still, with a buddy; help finance a scholarship ($300); feel called to help WHI in some other way; and pass the information on to others. The weekend was blessed with sunny weather, many friends whom we had not seen for a while, wonderfully uplifting worship services, especially the Eucharists, and excellent faith deepening and uplifting preaching by the keynote speaker, former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey. My testimony of healing, given at Saturday evening’s service of healing, was well received and I was able to pray for and encourage several people who were challenged by differing moral, soul injuries due to combat and other military related traumas. Additionally, as a Lay Chaplain and Prior of the Order of St. Martin of Tours, I have been involved in planning for the annual convocation of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy Jurisdiction (aka Diocese) of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). This included the regular monthly video-telephone conference call to keep in touch with our other Lay Chaplains. Please pray that the fruit of these successful activities will bless us at the convocation from July 9-12 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Please also pray for us as we take part in a Welcome Home Initiative at a church in West Palm Beach, Florida from July 16-18, led by our good friend, Rev. Nigel Mumford.

Meryl again, thank you for all your prayers, we know your prayers are being answered, please continue to stay in touch with us, we love hearing your news as well as writing about our own. Both our sons and their families are doing well, no family reunion is planned for this summer but both families have busy summers ahead of them, so please continue to pray for us all.

God bless you and your families as the vacation season gets into full swing.

Mid Clinical Trial and Up Coming Relay for Life

Now mid way through the clinical trial… Noel is finding some relief to the sores in his mouth, that is to the ones he already had, which is good but more sores are now appearing which is not so good… The new mouth wash is working but having little effect on the cause of the sores the GVHD which I guess is to be expected as this is to do with the donor cells attacking him… Generally he is about the same… legs still swollen and energy levels low… although he is trying to walk a little at the YMCA… we need to get in practice for the Relay for Life now only 2 weeks away… when we will be walking in both the SURVIVORS laps and the CAREGIVER lap… since we are both survivors and caregivers!!! And of course we will be joined by Charlotte who is a survivor and if not exactly a caregiver she is a great encourager with her smiles and hugs.and zest for life…

Meryl, Charlotte and Noel

Survivors: This photo is us last year in 2014. This year in 2015 will be our 5th Relay.

People ‘Relay’ for many reasons… because they had cancer, I did, now over 6 years cancer free! Because they have a friend with cancer, I have many, some are fighting, some are cancer free and some sadly have lost the battle. Some ‘Relay’ because they have relatives who have been told ‘you have cancer’ I do, my granddaughter… now a survivor, my husband, now a survivor and my brother who is in maintenance treatments right now as a survivor…

Some ‘Relay’ because they want to see more research in to a cure for all cancers, well we all want that! But the main reason The Dawes Family ‘Relay’ is to support the American Cancer Society in they support of those who need accommodation when their treatment center is far from home… the ACS have wonderful places called the ‘HOPE LODGE’ in many town across the USA. When Noel was told his cancer would needed to be treated at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston MA., 100’s of miles away from our home in Glens Falls, NY and he would require to be in Boston for an extended time of almost a month and then for regular appointments… every week for 6 months. Eventually getting spread further apart. Now almost 3 years since his Stem Cell Transplant they are every month… we spend 2 nights in Boston for each visit… this has added up to 100’s of nights… imagine what our hotel costs would have been… and how difficult it would be to afford, hotels in Boston are expensive… nights at the ‘HOPE LODGE’ are ‘free’ but we all know nothing is free… the ACS need funds to provide this service to cancer patients and their caregivers… So this is why The Dawes Family ‘Relay’ to raise funds so others, can like us, receive this blessing of a safe, clean and comfortable place to stay when needed… will you help us ‘pay it forward’? A donation small or large will help… but without you we can not do this… thank you!!

We have pooled our fund raising efforts to just one fund as we did last year… Charlotte’s RELAY page, where last year with your help she raised over $3,000 for the American Cancer Society… We are now 2 weeks away from our RELAY FOR LIFE and have yet to raise even a 10th of that… Will you please consider making a small ( or large! ) donation… and help us all PAY IT FORWARD… thank you! Please visit Charlotte’s page today

Transplant Day +352 – Continuing Progress

Written in Boston, Wednesday June 29th – Post Transplant Day 352.

Once again we are blessed by being able to stay here at the Hope Lodge, where, through the generosity of donors to the American Cancer Society, we have stayed here ‘free’ on over 40 of our visits to Boston.

“And now abideth faith, hope and charity, these three, but the greatest is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

In our lives, through the grace of God, we have been blessed with much faith and this has given us much hope and we have experienced much charity and love from our God and our family and our friends. And we are so very grateful.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to our effort to raise money to ‘Pay it Forward’ to the American Cancer Society…

Our Relay for Life is this Friday / Saturday… in Greenwich, NY. There is still time to visit our team, Hearts of Hope, web page and make a donation… the fund remains open for a while. Every dollar counts and helps in the war on cancer… and in support of those in the battle zone. One in 3 will hear those life changing words, ‘you have cancer’.

Click on this link and scroll down to our team members, click on their name to make a donation… many, many thanks..

Today’s appointment with Dr. Soiffer at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, was a good one… Noel has been feeling so much better. The steroid mouth wash has taken away most of the the pain and discomfort of the mouth canker sores although not all of them have gone. He has felt like he has had more energy and is motivated to get on with returning to ‘normal life’ ….especially his work in the mission field with the military. Noel does not believe there is any mention of a retirement plan in the Lord’s work or the Bible, so he looks forward to being busy again.

Although his blood levels remain much the same as they were 3 weeks ago – no great change for the better or the worse – he remains stable. Dr Soiffer decided to lower the oral steroid tablet down a little, saying call him if Noel experiences any changes or needs to ask questions. Please pray this lower dose will not cause the GVHD to manifest itself again in a recurrence of the nasty painful mouth problems (thrush and canker sores).

So praise the Lord, progress is taking place. Last Sunday we attended the morning worship service at St Mary’s Church, Lake Luzerne. The service is known by different names such as the Eucharist, Mass or Communion or the Lord’s Supper and is an import part of our life. It was exactly one year since we had last been there… We had a great welcome back from everyone…and we enjoyed being there. We felt we were able to worship in spirit and in truth. The previous week we had both attended the Welcome Home Initiative (WHI) Healing Retreat at the Spiritual Life Center. Noel having had permission from his Doctor in Boston to be there.

I asked Noel to report on the WHI so these are his thoughts in his own words……
Noel coped well with the intense and tiring three day schedule of listening, showing care and compassion and praying for the 8 combat Veterans and 4 wives who came to thIs, the 14th WHI Retreat at the Spiritual Life Center since March 2008. Noel has co-led three more Retreats in Colorado and Ohio. Meryl played a key role too, both making sure Noel ate ‘safe’ food, but particularly in provisioning the beautiful quilts that each combat Veteran is given. There were several active duty Soldiers from Fort Drum including an Army Chaplain and a female officer,whose husband is currently serving in harm’s way on his third deployment. We were able to organize a very meaningful ‘retreat’ for her 10 year old son who came too. Four retreatants were Vietnam Veterans, and an serving Canadian Air Force Chaplain came for the second time. This retreat was characterized by a wonderful spirit of openness and expectation as to what God might do, almost from the start. Usually this does not develop until the second day. So God delivered mightily, with Christ the Healer being tangibly present in the power of the Holy Spirit. Everyone received healing and blessing in some way or other. One beautiful story is of an American helicopter pilot who evacuated many, many terribly wounded and dead from front line battles, receiving much incoming fire as he did so. He mentioned that he never knew what happened to any of those he saved. As he said that, two of the other Vietnam Veterans, unknown previously to each other, said they had each been ‘casevaced’, wondering aloud if it had been our pilot Veteran who might have been their pilot. They will never know, of course, if he was, but it really doesn’t matter. The healing point is that the pilot, Hal, got some very affirmative feedback and thanks for the extremely dangerous and self-sacrificing job he did in combat, and the other two, John and Lewis, thanked their ‘savior’ and their Savior for rescuing them from certain death. Many tears were shed as we saw this scene come to life in our midst, and great was the praise and thanks to God, who promised to never leave us or forsake us, even if we thought He wasn’t there.

One of the beautiful aspects of the WHI Retreat to us was the way the Lord brought into one focus the several ministries we are involved in: healing; combat Veterans; Chaplain care and support; international military contacts; and the imparting and development of Christian growth, sometimes from scratch, sometimes renewal of a long dead faith and encouragement of firm faith. All this is absolutely ‘Gospel Truth’, preaching the Good News (more through example but also with words) and healing the sick! Hallelujah!

Now I, Meryl, continue to write……..Today, Dr Soiffer said ‘Yes’ to the question Noel asked about going back to the YMCA to use the exercise equipment and the indoor running track….but ‘No’ to going into the pool to swim. There are too many germs there for Noel’s still compromised immune system. Dr. S also said we could go to BAD restaurants …??? “What?” we said… He told us that he meant the less popular ones so as to be with fewer people…so, if we do go out to eat we will have to pick a quiet time at a good restaurant as we don’t like bad ones!! Ha, ha!! But all this is great progress towards living normally again as restrictions are lifted but taking care to be sensible about where we go and what we do.

June 11th will be Noel’s re-birthday, as the medical folk like to call it: that is, the day Noel received the gift of a new life! The first anniversary of his Stem Cell Transplant…. The year has seen many ups and downs…it was at one time described to us as a ‘roller coaster’ and a ‘tightrope’. Nothing was certain. But your prayers sustained us! Noel’s resilience was amazing and the love and support of our family and friends saw us through. God proved to be faithful, as His word says, and new every morning new mercies we saw, as he provided for us in so many ways. We are grateful to God and to each and everyone of you. Not least of course to the young man, 28 years old at the time, who donated new life to Noel in the way of his stem cells. We do hope that now the year has passed he will have indicated that he would like to have contact with us… We certainly would like to have contact with him.

The journey into new life will continue for some time yet with Noel still on a number of medications and still frequent trips to Boston, at the moment every 3 weeks…but we hope as time progresses the time between visits will lengthen. His next appointment is on June 17th.

The grandchildren on both sides of the Atlantic are doing well – as are their parents.

Toby and Charlotte will be spending the night together camping out at the Relay for Life… we hope it is a fine night and not plagued with thunderstorms as last year was, when they had to pack up and leave in the early hours of Saturday morning. JoAnn and Toby celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary this coming Sunday, June 2nd.

The building work at Charles’ and Sarah’s house is now complete and they are all enjoying the extra space the extension gives them. It looks good from the photos we have seen. Charles continues his busy work schedule, traveling this week to a trade show and meetings in Mexico City. Next week he is in three European countries, with Washington DC the week after.

Thank you for continuing to take an interest in this journey we are on… Your continuing love, prayers and support are a huge blessing and encouragement to us both.

We look forward to more real contact, not just this virtual contact with many of you soon…

Please continue to pray for us, and families and our transition back into ‘normal’ life.

God Bless you all.

April 1st… not a joke!

April 1st… and this was no Joke!! 2 years ago on April 1st during the Friday afternoon aqua fit class at the YMCA that Noel and I were doing. Noel was taken ill… the EMT guy who came with the Ambulance told me Noel’s condition was potentially fatal from sudden death!! And in the ER at the Hospital the Dr. said the same thing to me… thankfully they stabilized him and then during his stay in Cardiac ICU they could not find a heart problem. He was however, diagnosed with a rare form of bone marrow cancer… the diagnosis was again described as almost certainly fatal within a very few years… the only hope of long term survival would be a Bone Marrow / Stem Cell transplant… itself not with out risks… it is now 2 years later and 9 months post transplant and things are looking so much brighter for the future and for this we thank God and many, many who have prayed and supported us.

One of the blessings we have received during the past 2 years is many nights ‘free’ accommodation in Boston at the American Cancer Society’s facility called Hope Lodge, saving us thousands of dollars in hotel bills, this facility is only made possible by donations… please help us ‘pay it forward’ so others can have this same blessing when they have to be far from home for medical appointments. Please support Noel in this year’s Relay for Life… and the American Cancer Society who through other Hope Lodges in many major cities like Boston provide this ‘free’ accommodation… if you feel able to do so please make a donation using either of the links below… We are both taking part in the Relay, as is Charlotte, the 3 of us will walk the Survivors lap together. Thank you and God Bless you!

Noel’s Relay page:

Meryl’s Relay page:

Transplant Day plus 11

I read a quote from Martin Luther today. ” It is not how well you are doing but how well you are doing when you are not doing well “. So we give praise to the Lord that although just now our circumstances are not great we are doing well. As in 1 Thessalonians ‘be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances..’ so we are and we do !

Yesterday was a short clinic visit just to receive the daily white blood cell boosting shot……….not a great day for Noel but the evening highlight was a icecream and trivia evening, here at Hope Lodge hosted by two college seniors. Noel and I and a lady from Rochester NY and a young man from Georgia, the country not the state, formed a team for the trivia game, we called ourselves The Internationals….sadly Noel had to retire half way through for health reasons but the 3 of us remaining team members went on to win the game…Each receiving a gift card to a local grocery store…One question was.. ” which domesticated animal is not mentioned in the Bible”. I am pleased to tell you was the only person from all the teams who knew this answer…..” the cat” along with being the only person from all teams who knew what language the word Molasses comes from….answer “Portuguese”

Apart from deveioping some large nasty mouth and throat sores ( again seen as normal ) Noel has been a fraction better today but still plagued by all the nasty side effects…and just on a oatmeal and chicken noodle soup diet….

His blood tests to day showed he still needed to get a unit of platelets but his red count was a fraction above the transfussion level so he did not need red cells today, just the platelets and his shot for the white cells both of which are still too low.

Saturday and Sunday he just has to go to the clinic to get that daily shot and Monday it’s back for blood work and seeing the Dr /PA and what ever is needed……. As Monday will be transplant day plus +14 ( yes two weeks ) the Doctors expect to see some improvements in his cell counts…. Then we should begin to see signs of engraftment of the new stem cells in the bone marrow anywhere up to day +30. A real milestone on the road to day +100. Which still seems so far away.

Thank you for all your on going prayers, thoughts and messages….. They so encourage us…..Noel as yet does not feel up to talking on the phone or replying to your messages but he sends you all his love and when he feels more like himself again will be back ‘on line’ as they say……….till then hopefully I am keeping everyone posted but again sorry I can not reply personally too every message……but know every message is important.

A have a blessed and happy weekend end after a mini heat wave here in Boston with record temperatures this evening we got rain and it seems refreshingly cool…..

A huge thank you to those who are generously helping us though this journey, your support is a blessing and greatly appreciated.

Thank you also to the 3 friends who have donated to Caringbridge who provide this free web site donation helps them do that.

If you live in our home area a friend Deacon Alan Hart is putting on a benefit concert of his and others folk songs this coming Thursday evening at 7 pm. In St Mary ‘s Church, Lake Luzerne, New York. Noel and I have greatly enjoyed the other concerts Alan has given in the past and we wish we could be there to hear his great music…..”Thank you Alan”

FUNDRAISER: Songs by Alan Hart

FUNDRAISER: Songs by Alan Hart

FUNDRAISER: Songs by Alan Hart

On THURSDAY, JUNE 28, at 7PM Deacon Alan Hart will present a benefit concert in the sanctuary of St.Mary’s Episcopal Church in Lake Luzerne, NY to help Noel and Meryl Dawes.

Noel is battling a serious illness, and he and Meryl could use our financial and spiritual support as they go through this difficult time. The concert is free, but a freewill offering will be taken and all proceeds will go to the Dawes family to help with out-of-pocket expenses which are mounting.

Deacon Alan will sing many of his own songs he has written over the years, including “Chestertown,” “You and I, You and Me” and “Psalm 23.” Come and join the fun!