Tag Archives: thankful

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.)

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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….

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#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!

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TRANSPLANT TIME!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5d_gm9zrnY#!

He’s been given some of the toughest chemo to clear out his bone marrow and get rid of his immune system, he’s been given immunoglobulin (something like that) rabbit cells so if the donor cells want to attack, hopefully they attack that. He’s been given Tac… something which suppresses his immune system.

He’s been feeling sick, run down, tired and he’s stayed strong. Today, his ANC dropped about 1000 points! He still walked the halls with me! TODAY, at around 5:30pm MST, we begin again! It’s TRANSPLANT TIME!

It was AWESOME this morning to see him smiling so big from the many texts, messages and posts he received wishing him well and sending him love! <3

Now, we wait and he tries to eat some and he rests in preparation for the next big step- STEM CELL TRANSPLANT! Everything in me wishes I could meet this 21 year old male who just got a tattoo in February! I have such admiration and respect for anyone- let alone someone at this age and stage of life willing to take time from their schedule and life to get physicals, get shots, sit and donate stem cells all day and all for someone they have never met. I hope one day we DO meet and we can all give this guy a gigantic hug! I thank God for you, whoever you are and seriously pray for you every day.

There are lots of potential side effects and issues that could come up from this point. We are praying for this to be as seamless and smooth as possible and for Mark to be HEALED and feeling great as quickly as possible- but these are the details: Please join us in praying against them…. after all our God is GREATER- our God is STRONGER- our God is higher than any other.

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FULL HEARTS

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Sometimes, we may be running on empty. Sometimes, we may be bored. Sometimes, we may be riding a roller coaster of emotion. But, one thing since the first day we learned of this AML has been constant, and that is, we have FULL HEARTS!

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Thursday night we got the call. Already phone calls were coming in asking if people could help us with anything around the house, with meals, anything we might need. People were already praying…. In fact, Wednesday, a couple of our pastors came over to pray with us before we actually even knew what was going on. Can you belive, we actually thought this might be stress related?

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Friday we went to Colorado Blood Cancer Institute to meet with an Oncologist and we were immediately check in and already a sign up had begun for meals to come to our home to keep our kids fed. A friend dropped $ in my hand our first day in the hospital to make sure I would eat and take care of myself while up here with Mark. Soon, people were also sending and giving gas cards as everyone realized that this trip back and forth to Denver to try to keep some family time would get costly.

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Within 48 hours, I heard rumors of 2 fundraising events in Colorado and 2 in Ohio.

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We have had no idea week to week, what exactly this would look like….However, DAILY people have stepped up and provided for us exactly what was needed day to day- sometimes, without us even knowing WHAT we needed.

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Some have donated money, some arranged for our carpets to be cleaned, our vents cleaned, dressers were given to our girls as they had out grown the ones they had, toiletries were dropped off to the house, surprise donations of fresh fruit and protein bars, cards…. lots of cards. Lots of messages, inboxes, phone calls, COUNTLESS prayers! Yard work was done, trash picked up…. Some of the best snacks and desserts in the world have been dropped off at our home. AND in our hospital room!

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Daily, Mark has had visitors come to the hospital which has been very instrumental in him staying so positive, I am sure. It is good to know people miss you and want to see you when you are basically stuck on the 4th floor of a hospital for a month!

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Gifts…. given at just the right time and being just what is needed to pick spirits up!

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People showing their support by wearing orange and posting positive things on our Facebook walls. LOTS of people wanting to be tested to see if they are a match for Mark’s stem cell transplant! Our soccer team wore orange socks, a friend’s son chose orange bands on his braces…. We got our toenails painted orange.

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Some people, who have never met Mark and some who have never met me and the girls, have friended us, have sent money to us, have sent cards…. It’s amazing that people will reach out and help those they barely know in time of need.

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Really, our hearts are so full they are running over!! Full of LOVE. Full of ENCOURAGEMENT. APPRECIATION. AMAZEMENT! SINCERE GRATITUDE!!

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THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!

Each of you has been God’s GIFT to us during the most trying time of our lives. THANK YOU!!!!

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YOU give us courage and strength and we are forever grateful and amazed by you!

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