Q and A phone conversation I had with Jen... I forewent typing up the q's though... Hope you enjoy hearing from her as much as I did.
I'm currently getting my second round of consolidation therapy (chemo). The one before targeted the AML side of my leukemia, and this one is targeting the ALL. Today was the first day. It will go through Friday. On Saturday, they will give me a shot to help my white blood cells recover. The side-effects from this round of chemo will likley be mouth sores and nausea, among others... The stem cell physicians will have me evaluated after this round.
They've contacted the donor to work out the timeline of the transplant. I don't know who the donor is. Hopefully, in about three weeks, I'll be recovered from this consolidation round, and then they'll give me about three more weeks to build my strength back up. This will bring us to the point in the timeline where the donor's availability will dictate how we proceed. Right now, the plan is to transplant me anywhere between mid-January and mid-February. We are praying for protection from an infection or something else that could throw a kink in the timeline. The bone marrow will be given through an IV, and I'll have more details to share about that once it draws nearer.
With this round of chemo, I've gone from being fairly normal for the past couple weeks to being sick again. Yesterday was our 3rd anniversary. It was a bit surreal to be sitting in a doctor's office making decisons about chemo and bone marrow transplants. But, sitting there, I couldn't help but be thankful that we were not discussing how we were going to spend our last anniversary or my last Christmas. No, in the Lord's graciousness, we are confident there will be many more of both. My last lumbar puncture was last Friday. This is my last round of consolidation therapy. We are checking off the list our stepping stones to a cure. The Lord has blessed each one of those stepping stones and held my hand, and even carried me, each step of the way. By His goodness and mercy, He will lead us to a cure, to another anniversary, and to many, many more Christmases. During this season of hope, I am thankful for the hope He has given me at every turn but most of all for the Hope that He sent to all of us that blessed Christmas morning. This Hope, not the hope for a cure, but HIS Hope is what sustains me. Blessed be the Lord.
This round of chemo could very well cause mucositis (which causes the aforementioned mouth sores). Please pray that these will not be severe or, even better, that they will not show up! Pray that Jen will respond well to this last round of consolidation. Pray that her spirits will be lifted up through this season of joy, peace, love, and HOPE. Pray for the calming presence of the Lord to be very real to her as the transplant date draws nearer. Please continue to lift up her donor in prayer and that the Lord's hand will continue to guide these wonderful physicians we've had the privilege to come to know and love for their excellent care.
The Vandy Verse:
Jennifer and Matt chose beatitudes (from Jesus' famous Sermon on the Mount recorded in the gospel of Matthew) to be engraved (the verse references that is) into their wedding rings. Jennifer has tiny fingers, hence a tiny ring that had no room for an inscription. She chose a beatitude anyway, as did Matt who does have his verse engraved in his ring. Jen thought these verses were fitting to share in celebratory honor of December 6, 2008- their anniversary.
...Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied...
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy...
Taken from Matthew, chapter five