Early February 2015 Updates

My help comes from The Lord , who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2

O God our help in ages past. Our hope for years to come . Watts.

Snow in Glens Falls

February Snow in Glens Falls

The last two weeks seem to have flown by. Lots of snow, some sunshine but extremely low temperatures, Glens Falls was reported one night last week to be the coldest location in the whole country. With minus 32’F, now that is cold!

I am pleased to say I am fully recovered from the bronchitis although very tired and Noel has slowly been feeling much better, the medications kicking in and reducing the horrible GVHD symptoms. The rash is gone and the sores in his mouth are getting much better. He began to go from only liquids and blended soups to soft foods and a more normal range of tastes. Today he has eaten a sandwich for the first time in weeks. Talking for him has become easier although his voice is still not quite his normal one yet.

Davies Street Snow in February

Davies Street Snow in February

This week we drove to Boston as normal on Tuesday, thankfully a dry, cold and clear day… the countryside looking beautiful with all the fresh snow. Boston had so much snow travel in the city was extremely congested. Huge snow banks and buried cars along the roads. We had been unable to get a room at the American Cancer Society’s facility, the Hope Lodge, but were able to get a room at reduced rates for hospital patients at the Inn at Longwood, almost next door to the Dana-Farber. For which we were very thankful.

Noel’s appointments on Wednesday were early in the morning so we planned on leaving around lunch time to drive back to Glens Falls ahead of the predicted bad weather coming from the North West.

Noel, we thought, had an ear infection, with a bit of associated dizziness, and this was confirmed by Dr Soiffer. We were disappointed in the fact that Noel’s liver function tests were slightly worse again… So Dr S has ordered blood work to be done at Glens Falls CR Wood Cancer Center next Wednesday as he wants to keep a good check on this. He was also surprised to see that Noel’s platelet count had suddenly dropped. They have never returned to what is considered normal at 150.000 but have been holding steady at around 120,000 to 130,000 +/-, so yesterday’s reading of 57,000 gives cause for concern so along with the blood test for his liver they will also check his platelets again next week. If they should fall below 50,000, I expect he will be given a transfusion. But in the mean time he must take care not to do anything that could cause bleeding.. We will then return to see Dr S in 2 weeks time on Wednesday the 17th February.

Dr Soiffer is a little puzzled as to what these changes mean but he does know there is no sign of rejection of the transplant by Noel’s body as tests show Noel’s bone marrow is 100% that of his donor. So he is pretty sure it all has something to do with the GVHD – Graft verses Host Disease.

The antibiotic that Noel was give yesterday, did not suit him at all… After just one dose, after a few hours he was very, very sick. Vomiting and feeling extremely dizzy.. So today I called the Dana-Farber and he has now been prescribed a different antibiotic for the ear infection. One he has taken before so we hope he will not react to this one.

Playing games with the grandchildren

Playing games with the grandchildren

Apart from the health issues we are enjoying being home, seeing the grandchildren, getting back to our church and reconnecting with folk.

Noel is not able to really get back into his ministry as yet. So until the health issues are resolved everything is on hold… Which is frustrating for him. He estimates he is operating at, perhaps, 80% of normal, at the most. Each day is a bit of a struggle – but improving! For both of us!

This week, Noel has been constantly thinking and praying for the Lay Chaplains Academy, mentioned in detail in our last update. It has been tough for him to be there in his heart but not physically.

Thank you for all your loving support, prayers, phone calls and correspondence… they mean a lot to us. Please keep praising God for all his blessings and praying for speedy a recovery for Noel. Safe travel to and from Boston and the funds to cover the increase in medical expenses at the moment.

For those of you, who like us have lots of snow and more to come. Keep warm. For those of you in sunny places. We wish we were there! Our prayers are with you all. God Bless you!

Meryl and Noel.