Transplant plus 16 months

It’s been 6 weeks since I posted an update… 16 months post transplant

‘…they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint’. Isaiah 40:31.

The six weeks since we returned from the UK and Noel’s last appointment in Boston have gone by very fast. We have been doing a lot of early morning walking trying to build up our stamina and enjoying the lovely Fall weather we have been blessed with this year. Noel has felt good but feeling a little more tired than he has been for some while… and still has a number of mouth sores and the ongoing digestive problems. But everyone tells him he is looking good, including me! I think he is better than the average!!

Today we saw Dr. Soiffer. Noel’s blood tests revealed his levels of red blood cells to be stable but still low at 3.45, white blood cells, stable at 4.2 are within the normal range and his platelets also stable but lower than normal at 102. All these figures are very slightly lower than the last visit on August 23rd.

Today Dr. S showed concern but was not worried about Noel’s liver and kidney function levels, which are both slightly elevated. Dr. S decided to up Noel’s dose of the steroid a little and to see him again in 3 weeks. We are happy with this although we were planning Boston trips every 6 weeks, but we are pleased that Dr. S likes to keep a close eye on Noel.

We are not discouraged but trust in the Lord and mount up with wings as eagles…

We recently had the good news that Noel’s stem cell donor has indicated he would like contact with us. No contact can be made until a year after the transplant… we have now passed that date… and have been given his name and address. He lives in Virginia Beach… which is a sort of coincidence since we lived in that area for 10 years. We hope soon to make contact with him and possibly meet him one day… to thank him for his gift of new life.

Noel also had his ‘flu shot today… which will hopefully protect him in the coming ‘flu season.

We are blessed to again be able to stay this week at the Hope Lodge. We are now on the wait list for a room for Noel’s next appointment at the DFCI , 22 October for 2 nights. Hopefully a room will become available (please pray that this will indeed happen) otherwise we will have to stay in a hotel.

Our lives have been busy, helping with daycare for Lucy and before and after school care for Charlotte… They are both doing well Charlotte is enjoying First Grade and Lucy her 2 mornings at preschool.

We were very proud parents last week when Toby was one of the 20 local people to receive an award “20 under 40” sponsored by our local newspaper. He, along with 19 others, were chosen from a submitted list of 92 names as influential local leaders with excellent potential for the future. We were able to celebrate with him at the Awards Lunch for family and friends from work and his church.

In the last couple of weeks we have also been blessed by visits from 2 sets of good friends from England. Tamsin and Steve came to lunch while touring the Boston and New England area. We had not seen them for more than 6 years. But those years quickly drifted away and we could not believe it had been so long. Ted and Caroline came to stay for the weekend. They last visited us just after we moved to Glens Falls, 6 years ago, but they have hosted us 4 or 5 times in their home in England since then. What a blessing from the Lord good friends are.

Charles and family continue to do well. Sarah in her teaching role and Eve and Will in first grade and Nursery at school. Charles continues to be very busy traveling internationally every week. In the last three weeks he has attended trade shows and meetings in Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Mexico and Luxembourg.

Noel writes… Life has been increasingly busy on the ministry front too, but it is so good to get back into serving God through serving Chaplains and Veterans. There have been two pray and plan Board meetings for Rev. Nigel Mumford’s new ministry, By His Wounds (BHW) (www.byhiswoundsministry.org or facebook.com/ByHisWounds) and Noel and a BHW Colleague are planning and preparing the next Welcome Home Initiative being held at Longfellow’s Hotel and Conference Center, Saratoga Springs, from November 18-20. We will be trying out the new teaching material on DVD, which was made during the summer. Noel is editing a participants booklet for the retreat and would appreciate prayer that a helpful, encouraging and inspiring booklet will result. Noel has also kept in touch with several Chaplains and Veterans and has hopefully been an encouragement to them as he listens, tries to understand them and the points they are making, and then prays with them openly or silently. His role is not to counsel but often he is able to suggest advice borne out of his own experiences. Noel has also begun to try and recruit scholarship donations for international military folk who need help to get to the next AMCF world event (held only once every 10 years) to get to Global Interaction, a huge training and equipping the saints event in South Africa from Nov 30 to Dec 6 next year (for more information, please contact Noel). Lastly, can you pray for an exciting development that we pray will help the healing of male and female Wounded Warriors at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. A lunchtime Alpha course starts at the Warrior Transition Battalion this week. We thank God for ministry cooperation with Cru Military and their staff member, COL, USA Ret, Keith Morgan, an old friend, who will lead the course on behalf of Chaplain D. We pray for a huge outpouring of God’s power to bring spiritual peace to these brave Soldiers and their families.

Prayer needs… AND praises…

  • To be able to stay at Hope Lodge on October 21-23.
  • For ongoing healing progress, especially regularizing of liver and kidney functions, platelets and red blood count; fatigue, mouth sores and alimentary canal issues.
  • For an enjoyable and productive ACCTS staff meeting at White Sulphur Springs, south central Pennsylvania from October 6-12. We are both going to represent our ministry.
  • For the new Alpha course at Fort Belvoir (see details above). To the best of our knowledge, Alpha has not been used in this way before.
  • For the ongoing preparation and planning for the November Welcome Home Initiative at Saratoga Springs (see details above).
  • For ‘being like Jesus with skin on’ as we minister (listening, loving and praying) within our family; at church; on the healing prayer team at the Spiritual Life Center; with By His Wounds; and one-to-one with Chaplains and combat Veterans.

Next update will be after Noel’s next appointment on October 23 rd at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Thank you all for your continuing interest in our journey… We pray for you all as we see your names and when your names pop into our minds which is often. Please continue to keep in touch with us, we greatly value your friendship and faithfulness to us. God bless you and keep you in His perfect peace and fill your hearts with joy…