Monday, October 22, 2012


271 days ago, Jennifer received a fully ablative bone marrow transplant.  In English, she had an extremely toxic chemotherapy and radiation regimen to totally eradicate her own bone marrow and had another person's bone marrow put in its place.  This was a risky maneuver and fraught with fairly high treatment related mortality, but the trade off for us was that if afforded Jennifer the best chance at disease free survival. Today, we are sad to report that Jennifer's leukemia has returned despite our aggressive approach in treatment.  This was what we all lived in fear of.  We met with Dr. Savani today, Jennifer's transplant doctor, who went over the results of the bone marrow biopsy and the treatment options we have.  Due to Jennifer's recent bone marrow transplant (less than 1 year ago being recent) and her extensive graft versus host disease, an aggressive regimen of chemo to quickly put her back into remission is ill advised.  It is associated with around 30% treatment related death (i.e. death as a direct result of chemo).  We are offered a less intense regimen with the goal of slowly achieving remission.   Our chances of remission are slim, and our chances of sustained remission meaningful for long term survival is even more slim.  However, we are not without hope.  Patients have survived this in the past and Jennifer's attitude is superb.  We will give this our best shot.  We will need your unceasing prayers for remission and safety in treatment.  We will also need your prayers for our steadfastness in this endeavor and that our focus will not be removed from glorifying God through this illness. Jennifer and I along with our families will be taking an impromptu trip to Florida for some much needed R&R and bonding prior to this next round of treatment.  Be prayerful that we will be safe, avoiding infection, and enjoy our time with one another. My best to you always, Matt


  1. Matt, thank you for your candid analysis of what is happening. You can count on my family's fervent prayers. We want you and Jen to know how much we love you. May our Great God provide for and protect and bless you as you glorify Him on this cancer journey.

  2. I asked our whole church to pray. I got my marrow biopsy just four days before Jennifer did (on the same floor, 11 north, at Vanderbilt), so this news hits really close to home. In fact, I left room 11010 last year just two weeks before Jennifer went into it.

    Anyway, I'm praying for all of you.

  3. Matt, thank you for the update. So sorry for this news, but we know she is in God's hands and we will continue to pray for Jennifer and all of you. I pray you all will have a safe and blessed time together the next few days. Love to all.
    Melinda Mc

  4. Love you all......My prayers are with Jennifer and each and every one of you......Enjoy your precious family-time together the next few days.
    Sandra Landrum

  5. Matt and Jennifer, you and your families are in our prayers and thoughts always. I hope you have a lovely trip to Florida and may it bring new strength to you all. Love love love you guys! Meghan

  6. Jennifer....We continue to pray for you and your precious family each day....Praying for comfort, peace, a blessed family time together, and renewed physical, emotional, and mental strength which, of course, comes from the spiritual faith we have in our Lord Jesus Christ. We love you!!! Cindy Heilbronner

  7. Jennifer & Matt, I am keeping you both in constant prayer as well as your family. I pray that you both can take these next few days to be together with your families and enjoy this precious time. God is in control and is the great physician!! Much love all around for you all!
    Louanne Atwood Comfort

  8. Have you any idea of the sweet example of faith and fortitude you have been to all of us? I marvel at your abiding in the promises of the Lord throughout this time and want you to be assured of my prayers and supplication that you truly feel His
    sweet Presence, His healing mercies, His Love, His comfort, strength and peace. We are just around the corner from Nashville and would like to be of assistance upon your return.
    Godspeed, Jennifer and return.

  9. Though you may never know the extent of how your life affects others, KNOW you are loved. There are so many who have been given the task of carrying diseases never before discovered, and so you go into the doctor's books as "new discovery" and they learn more as they treat you. We learn more of God's protective love and His light as we struggle through as the patient or the supporters of that patient. Lean well into the Grace of God and His Tender Mercy which is new every day. Do not ever walk away from the Hope of Our Tomorrows. lI pray God will bless you with peace, love, and tenderness as you travel through this next leg of your journey. Once you have walked in the hearts of God's people, you an never walk back out. Peace be with you!

  10. I will be praying for y'all.

    Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10



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