Tag Archives: Cancer free

The Journey Continues…

Yesterday was day 52. Yesterday we got the results from the  FISH test they did on Mark’s bone marrow…. In case you haven’t heard….

That test showed that the translocation of chromosome #11 is not happening. The test showed no MLL and no signs of Leukemia AT ALL!!! (#11 was the one they were most worried about out of the three that were mutating.)


Mark was pretty much as emotionless as he has seemed all along. He is a rock. I, on the other hand, cried on and off the rest of the day; typical. 🙂

This is EXACTLY what is hoped for when you hit a person with the big guns of chemo, wipe out their immune system and then introduce, new, healthy stem cells! Though we don’t yet have a percentage of how #21’s donor cells are taking over compared to what might be left of Mark’s, we know it must be heading in the right direction because….


#21, in case you missed it before, is how we refer to our anonymous 21 year old male stem cell donor. We all TRULY hope we can meet him one day and let him know how much we appreciate him!

We are so thankful to God, for the way He has taken care of us this ENTIRE time! We are so thankful for the MANY people who have been like His hands and feet to us through this, taking care of our needs and even wants along the way. It has blessed us IMMENSELY! So much so, that words cannot even describe!

From here, we still need prayer. This journey is still just that, a journey. Mark and I are still living the city life and we still have people scheduled to come out and stay with him so that I can be home with our girls half of every week that he has to stay in Denver.  This was basically our first checkpoint post transplant. WE ARE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL for the results of this one, but, another bone marrow biopsy (Poor Mark- he’s had 4 or is it 5 already now.)will happen again around day 60, then around day 90, another around 6 months and then around 1 year.

Also, currently, with his immune system being suppressed, he has a virus which had been dormant, creep up called CMV. He has been taking anti-viral medication for it and keeping it in check- but it is there.

He also has a UTI- a viral UTI so we have to wait it out and just try to help the symptoms he is having- but we are praying that it passes quickly and without complication.

Lastly, he has had some tenderness and swelling in his abdominal region. They had tried to treat for GVHD and as said above, he is on medication for CMV (two things they think could be causing it) but it is not clearing up and the distention in his mid-section continues to grow to uncomfortable proportions, so, Tuesday this week he will have endoscopies done with biopsies taken to determine what the exact cause of this condition is so they can be sure to treat it correctly.

CMV info- http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cmv/basics/definition/con-20029514

GVHD info- http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/bone_marrow_transplantation/hic_graft_vs_host_disease_an_overview_in_bone_marrow_transplant.aspx

What a day! What a weekend! We are planning on continuing our celebration. Yesterday it was just the two of us, but today, we will see some friends and be with three of our girls AND we are having a sleep-over with them at the apartment tonight! (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it when we can all be in the same place together!)

We miss and love our Shyanna, but we are extremely happy (and not surprised to report) that she is doing FANTASTIC as a college student and basketball player! 🙂 AND, she is bringing home a few teammates next weekend for a visit ! 🙂

HAPPY TIMES and we are thankful we can share this part of the journey with you!


HOORAY!!! What’s Next?


I like this picture. Although it is cute, I don’t agree with the name it claim it philosophy. I realize that just because as a kid I wanted ice cream and said I was getting some, my parents had the final say. I believe it is the same with God, as our heavenly Father. I do believe He wants what is best for us always, but I also know His ways are not always my ways and that I will not always get something  simply because I want it or believe I will get it. However, I am extremely thankful to announce:

HOORAYYYY!! Today our sweet doctor came in to happily announce that Mark’s bone marrow is E.M.P.T.Y.!!!!!  Everything is gone, including cancer!!! That’s right- NO CANCER!!! Thank you for your prayers!!

So, we are waiting for his ANC counts – total neutrophils- to come up so that he can come home for a spell before transplant. They will be contacting the best of the best donor that they have chosen, a 21 year old strapping young lad with even the same blood type as Mark, to get his very precise physical done and a date for him to begin shots to stimulate his stem cells and push them out into the peripheral blood where they can be collected and then taken in for transplant and given to Mark.

Praise God, I cannot express in words what a relief it was to hear these words!


What’s next? Once his level comes up (they want him to have something to fight illness, and be able to clot blood, etc. he will be given a little break to come home and spend some time with us. During this time some tests and preparations will be made to ensure he is in good shape and good to go for the next BIG GUNS run of chemotherapy which will wipe out every nook and cranny of his marrow to allow the stem cells from the donor to enter the marrow and take over for Mark’s. The tests for Mark will in total take about a day to a day and a half.

The donor (we will not know who it is for a year), will go through their own set of tests and prepare as stated above to give stem cells. (It is like giving blood and as the blood comes out, it goes through a machine that pulls out stem cells and gives everything else back to the donor) then they refrigerate the stem cells and get them to Mark within 24-48 hours. (Where ever in the world they are coming from.) I cannot wait to meet this young guy who is so willing to give of himself to help save a stranger’s life!

So, as you continue to pray, please pray for Mark’s health, the health of the donor, the transplant to go well and the insurance to approve the 3 month housing Mark needs to stay close to the hospital once he is released from the hospital one month after transplant!

We are blessed to have people all over the world praying!

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