Transplant Day plus 128 – Better News from Boston!

Hope Lodge, Boston

Thank you all for all your prayers this past week. Last week’s not so encouraging news turned out today to be much more encouraging. Praise the Lord for strengthening Noel and sustaining us through these difficult days!

The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness. — Psalm 41.3

Today, Noel was scheduled to see Amy, Dr. Soiffer’s NP, although Dr. S did pop into the consulting room to share the better news with us… Noel’s blood work today showed a slight rise in his red cells and platelets. His liver and kidney functions were much better and the chimerism DNA test showed his donor’s cells to be on the increase again back up to nearly 60%. All very good signs. So although he still has the extremely uncomfortable and debilitating GVHD (graft-verses-host-disease) and is not feeling much better, there are good positive signs things, including the building up of a new immune system and fighting the GVHD, are moving in the right direction. This is all very encouraging and we are so grateful to the Lord for answering all the prayers from around the world… Please keep praying- prayer works!

The steroids seem to be having a good effect, so Noel will remain on them at the same low level and continue to see how he feels. It is better for the long term to be on lower doses as this lessens the likelihood of nasty side effects. His very sore mouth makes eating hard so he is mainly on a diet of soup with soft bread and Ensure (a special over-the-counter health drink). He longs for the day he can go out for a nice prime rib or something Chinese or Indian. Thankfully he has not lost any more weight which is also a good sign.

This weeks blood tests
White cells 1.8 — Last week 2.5 — Normal 3.8 – 9.2 — So a slight drop this week 🙁
Red cells 2.78 — Last week 2.42 — Normal 4.2 – 5.6 — So a slight rise 🙂
Platelets 62 — Last week 34 — Normal 155 – 410 — So a better increase here 🙂

Although the oral steroids Noel is taking are helping him generally feel better, he is still tired and fatigued and needs to rest a lot – but his spirit is encouraged by today’s better news, as is mine. Last week when his sister and brother-in-law were here he only got short ‘at home’ visits with them and felt unable to join me when I took them out and about sightseeing in the local area. But even the short time together was enjoyed by everyone and we are so grateful for them making the effort to fly over from London to visit us.

Next week Noel’s brother and sister-in-law, also from London, fly in for a short 4 day visit and we hope Noel will be feeling much better by then. Unfortunately we do have to be in Boston again next Wednesday for more blood work and a review appointment. But we are hoping Toby might be able to be our driver again and we can do it all in the day like last week, so as to maximize the time with Julian and Ann. Charlotte is looking forward to seeing them and they will be meeting Lucy for the first time.

The past 2 Sunday’s we have missed receiving the Reserved Sacrament as Noel has not felt well enough for Deacon Dave to come over for a visit; but hopefully this next week things will be different.

Last week our son Charles was in California and, this week, Florida for his work. Both on the same continent as we are but too far away to visit… He, Sarah, Eve and Will are all well and doing great. So are Toby, JoAnn, Charlotte and Lucy.

Please pray this week for:

  • the donor cells to grow and multiply in Noel’s bone marrow.
  • for all his blood tests to be moving towards being normal.
  • for increased energy and vitality.
  • for the GVHD to subside and his sore mouth and other side effects to get better.
  • for our plans to travel to Boston next Wednesday, October 24th.
  • for Julian and Ann to have safe travel and a good stay in the USA.

We are sorry we have not been better at returning your calls and reply to your messages but even as it is far from normal, life seems more than normally busy. Noel especially has not felt up to either speaking on the phone much or dealing with email etc. But please don’t stop calling or writing as you encourage us so much. God bless you!

I will lift up my eyes to the Hills, from where comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, who made Heaven and Earth… AMEN! — Psalm. 121. 1-2