Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Battle Wages On

As the post title would lead you to believe, Jen is still very much in a battle against the diseases that are waging war on her body. She contracted graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) post-transplant, which surprised no one and is to be expected in many cases. GVHD manifests itself through a wide range of difficulties- with skin rashes at one end of the spectrum and organ failure at the other, more severe, end. Jennifer experienced a skin rash and issues with her gut (both GVHD-related) through the spring and both were thought to be under control after a regimen of treatments. Unfortunately, both have come back, more so the rash than the GI tract issues, and are making Jen quite uncomfortable.

A couple of weeks ago, Jennifer went in to have her lungs tested. At her 100-day post-transplant appointment, her lung function was registering poorly and the doc wanted to test it again. This go-round lung function was down to 25% capacity. After what seemed to be a clear CT scan, the docs concurred that GVHD has entered into the tiny air passageways that feed into her bronchial sacs. (The presumption is because the GVHD is in such a small area, a CT scan could not pick it up and therefore presented clear.) In the lungs, GVHD takes on a new name: BOS (bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome) and can be terminal. The docs decided to begin Jennifer on a new regimen of meds- a clinical trial called FAM. These are anti-inflammatory steroids that should help her air passageways stay open so that she can exhale properly. You see, inhaling is not the problem. She can take a good, deep breath just the same as you and me. It's the exhaling that proves to be tricky. By pursing her lips together, she can force air out but anyone that has ever had trouble with their breathing (for any reason) can attest to it being a scary, uncomfortable thing. In some cases, FAM has proven to reverse damage done by BOS and in a few it has treated the BOS completely.

Now it is a matter of time waiting to see the effect the meds will have on Jen's condition. It can be a frightening, anxiety-laden day-to-day but once again we turn our eyes to Jesus and ask for the comfort, peace, and healing that only he can give. And, O Lord, in your mercy and graciousness we beg you to use this for your glory. Glorify yourself in the life and struggle of Jennifer. Bring her, as well as those impacted by her journey, closer to yourself. Oh, that you would be honored, that you would be glorified, that your name, the name greater than all others, would be praised, lifted high and adored. That you would be seen as a loving, caring, just and sovereign God deserving of all our worship, adoration and praise. This is our prayer. Whether you choose to heal Jennifer on earth or in eternity, let our hearts rest knowing that you hold it all in your hands, and it is all GOOD. We love you, and we thank you for your matchless love towards us.

TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS
Words and Music by Helen H. Lemmel
1922

O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free.

Refrain
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion -
For more than conquerors we are!

Refrain
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.

His Word shall not fail you - He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well;
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell.

Refrain
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace

8 comments:

  1. Jennifer, thinking and praying for you and Matt daily, Love to all, Melinda Mc

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  2. All my prayers are with you through your daily struggles. God bless and keep you both. His strength will not fail you. Love, Melinda

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  3. Prayers.
    God bless you and keep you in his heart.
    Love you.
    Kirsten

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  4. Jennifer and Matt,
    Praying for healing, strength, edurance, and peace for you tonight.
    "This God-His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true. He is a shield for all those who take refuge in him." Psalm 18:30
    Shonna

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  5. Will continue praying for GOd's healing and strength for Jennifer and all. Love and prayers from KO.

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  6. Justin schweitzerJuly 20, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    I have all the faith n the world that you will pull thru this, you are a very strong woman. We'll keep praying for you girl:)

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  7. Praying for Jen and Matt and extended family...for peace...comfort...and healing. Jen has come such a long way....know we love you and pray daily for not only healing....but improved quality of life.
    Cindy Heilbronner

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  8. Praying for you Jennifer and Matt.
    Rae Anne and Jim Haffey

    ReplyDelete

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