Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Holy, Hole-y Tunnel

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name. Make known among the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him. Tell of all His wonderful acts. Rejoice in His holy name. Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always." Psalm 105: 1-4

When I taught second grade, we memorized a verse every week. As the weeks went by, we added a verse to our collection and would review them every morning. By the end of the year, we were reviewing up to 33 verses each morning. The verses above are the ones we learned the first two weeks of school, and we reviewed them every single day until the end of the year. Now, on top of that I taught second grade for five years. After reciting this passage roughly 180 days out of the last five years, you can imagine how it is embedded in my heart. Never have I had a direct application for these verses like I did last night. Matt called with the news of the second bone marrow biopsy. Here's a summary of where Jen is at this point in the treatment, in Matt's words:

"In the first bone marrow biopsy, 70% of the cells were cancerous (or blasts). At day 14 (this past Thursday), a second bone marrow biopsy was conducted and the total bone marrow cells that are cancerous is at 7%. Sounds like great news, doesn't it? It is! But, it comes as a little mixed. We were hoping for 0% blast count but in reality expected some. The good news is the blast count is down so low. The bad news is some cancer is still lingering. This mixed news (how fitting for mixed-lineage leukemia to have mixed news!) portends a good outcome but she is still very much in the thick of this. Ideally, we are looking for Jen to be cancer-free. The docs will meet on Monday to discuss the chemo regimen and make decisions on dosage adjustments, if any are needed. We are continuing along hopeful but understand we are still years from a cure."

Right now, from a worldy perspective, there is not even a light at the end of the tunnel yet. But thankfully, God is puncturing holes in this dark tunnel Jen is traveling down and pouring His light and love in from above. Friday night's news was another hole ushering Light into this proverbial tunnel.

Prayerful Ponderings:
Praise the Lord for a significantly reduced blast count. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors in their meeting on Monday. Please prayerfully consider joining the bone marrow registry on-line at Lift up Jennifer's donor in prayer that he/she may be prepared and willing for what will be asked of him/her. Continue to pray for Matt. He went back to work on Wednesday but is still spending a lot of his time during the day and all of his nights with Jen. He is setting a great example for all of us as he is daily on an active lookout for answered prayer.

Vandy Verse:
...They called to the Lord, and He answered them. Psalm 99:6


  1. Lauren/Jennifer,

    Hi there - I learned of Jennifer's diagnosis via Leah Alford Hendrix (my cousin) and have been reading your blog often. Although I have never met you Jennifer, I know everyone around you! Lindsey, Eli, Lauren, Matthew, and Matt Sample! I am truly encouraged by your words and Jennifer's journey. I am praising God for positive news and pray it continues. Also, for strength for your family. May God wrap you in His arms, giving all of you peace on this journey.

    Jenny Cobb Sneed

  2. Jenn!!!! I am so thankful to hear of the good news!! Warms my heart to hear of your progress, I love you so much and am praying so hard for your recovery. I am coming to see you as soon as someone tells me I can!!

  3. Jennifer, I hope this message finds its way to you today, I sent one yesterday after I read about the good news but I guess it got lost. I am so happy about the news of your bone marrow test! God is so good! Jennifer I pray you will continue to improve and also that you have a wonderful and blessed Birthday. Thinking and praying for you and Matt daily. Love to All, Melinda

  4. Jennifer - Awesome to hear great news! Thinking of you, Matt and family daily.


  5. Jen, sorry, I haven't been able to read the blog for a couple of days and then look what happens!! I might should stay off of it! I'm so happy to hear this good news! I think about you all day every day, even if you don't hear from me. When this is all over, Mary Ann says we are going to France so be ready to pack your bags! We love you!
    ....oh, and Im gonna sign up to be a marrow donor, but you know they probably won't take me, but I wanted to at least try! Have a great birthday week!


  6. Hi Jen and Family,
    Me, Paul, Brooke, Wes, Angela,Clint, mom and Dad continue to lift you all up in prayer and think of you daily. In case you don't know who I am..This is Jessica (Ramage)Cleveland, Brookes little sis. This is great news!

  7. Jenn,

    I am happy to hear about your improvement!!! You were talking about the Lord puncturing holes in the dark tunnel to let in the light, I could not agree more. Yesterday, in Brittany and I's small group meeting the talk was actually on “walking in the light”, and as I am sure that is no coincidence, I will share a little of that meeting.

    We began by discussing that if we are living our life as God calls us to we can start to absorb his light and become a beacon of light for others. There are many other ways to receive light; some of these ways that we discussed were to worship, study, and fellowship with God; alone or with others. God calls us to go out and to rescue others from the darkness, because those in pure darkness do not know the light and cannot find their way to it, we must as believers go out into the darkness and shine as a beacon of light to lead others to the lord, the source of all light.

    I think others, including myself, see you as a beacon of light, giving others light and strength so that we may seek out someone in darkness and bring them to light; and as you give so shall you receive. So I imagine that it may be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel because you are already being clothed in God protecting light and that light burns brightest.

    Yall are and will continue to be in our prayers, Love yall,

    Pax & Britt


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