Praise God for His present help in times of trouble. Psalm 46. 1-2.
For I will restore health to you and heal your wounds, says the Lord. Jeremiah 30.17.
We are thanking the Lord for seeing us through difficult times. This past week has seen Noel with slightly more energy and his appetite has been better but his mouth and throat are still very sore and uncomfortable from the GVHD. He doesn’t want to talk much. Thankfully his spirits have been lifted and he felt well enough this week for Deacon Dave to visit on Sunday and bring us the Reserved Sacrament, having missed the last 3 weeks when Noel was not feeling up to having visitors… this was a blessing to us both, and also a visit on Monday afternoon from Bishop Dan encouraged us.
The highlight of this week has been the visit of Noel’s brother Julian, and his wife Ann, from London… they arrived in Boston and drove up to have a late dinner with us on Monday evening before checking into their hotel here in Glens Falls. We spent Tuesday catching up with them. It has been well over a year since we last saw them. We all enjoyed a happy family evening together with Toby, JoAnn and the girls… today Wednesday we left them to explore the local area and Toby once again took the day off work to drive us to Boston and back in the day… We are so grateful to him. Tomorrow, after breakfast with us here at home, Julian and Ann will leave to drive back to Boston for their return flight early Friday morning to London. Seeing his sister and her husband 2 weeks ago and now his brother and his wife has been an enormous blessing and encouragement to Noel.
This week at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Noel saw Amy and she explained how the GVHD, graft verses host disease, is causing some negative ‘activity’ in Noel’s body… evident in his very sore and dry mouth and in his elevated liver function tests, so she doubled his daily dose of steroids… but still assuring us this is a relatively low dose so we need not worry about adverse side effects.
But on the other hand the results of his latest blood DNA/Chimerism test showed it was 95% that of his donor and could be 100% by now. This is such good news and a wonderful answer to prayer, although it brings a higher risk of more GVHD activity especially in his liver… so a very close watch is now being keep on Noel and we return next week for another appointment… There was little change in his other blood levels. Which this week were…
White blood cells 2.4 — Last week 1.8 — Normal is 3.8 – 9.2 — So a slight rise
Red blood cells 2.76 — Last week 2.78 — Normal is 4.2 – 5.6 — Little difference
Platelets 55 — Last week 62 — Normal is 155 – 410 — Just a slight drop
We hope with the increase of steroids Noel will continue to gain more strength and the GVHD will not become any worse or cause any lasting damage but will soon start to show signs of improvement as the donors cells begin to reconsider Noel as being part of them selves.
He continues to have a compromised immune system so is still restricted in his activities.
JoAnn and her sisters, Judy and Melanie left today for a short cruise. They have been planning this little holiday together for over a year… I am trying to help out more with Charlotte and Lucy while JoAnn is away and to also give her parents a bit of a break as her father has not been well recently. They have been doing their and our share of the girls’ day care for almost 5 months now besides still working their own jobs. We have been so grateful that they have been willing to shoulder this extra load – another answered prayer!
Please give thanks with us for…
- the ways our needs are being met.
- the blessings we see daily.
- for good friends and family.
Prayers please along these lines…
- for Noel to regain his strength.
- for his liver not to be damaged by the GVHD.
- for his sore and dry mouth and throat to heal [then he will want to talk again, :-), hmm!]
- for his new bone marrow to make more good blood cells.
- for safe travel to and from Boston each week….especially as the weather is now changing.
- for our family here and in England.
- for Ron, JoAnn’s father that his health problems will soon be sorted out and he will feel better.
We are grateful that you are still reading our updates and for your messages of encouragement here on the internet and in the mail and on the telephone. 🙂
God Bless you.