October 2009


As I mentioned in my last post I had a full day of appointments scheduled for Tuesday and two more appointments for today, Wednesday.  Yesterday we left the house at 6:30 am and didn’t get back home until 6:00 at night.  As you can imagine, we were exhausted when we came home. We were back again for more tests this morning and home late afternoon.  We are all tired and glad to be finished with hospital visits until Monday.

Mark your Calendar: The best news of the day was during the appointment with the transplant team where I was given my admittance date and my transplant date.  I will be admitted on Thursday, November 12 and will have a central line put in for blood draws, transfusions and to generally make my life easier.  Over the next few days I will receive pre-transplant chemo.  On November 17th I will have full body radiation in preparation for my transplant day.  My transplant is scheduled for November 18, 2009.

I am both excited/eager and nervous about how quickly my transplant is coming up. We’ve been talking about it for so long that it’s hard to believe that the time is almost here.

When I woke up on Monday morning one of my first thoughts was this verse from the Bible.

Psalm 3:3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;  you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.

These words were a comfort to me throughout the day and gave me courage to face “just one more appointment”.  In a humorous way I was reminded of this verse throughout my tests as the dental technicians put a bib (shield) around my neck and the x-ray technicians covered me with the heavy “apron”.  It was a tangible reminder that God was/is with me and protecting me at this time.

With continued joy and thanksgiving,

H.

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It’s been a while, but I’ve got some news.  My pre-stem cell transplant tests are scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday.  Tuesday will be a long day and Wednesday just has one appointment. My schedule is as follows:

Tuesday:

8:00 CT Chest/Abdomen/Pelvis (45 minutes)

9:00 Dental Exam (1 hour)

10:15 MUGA Scan (1.5 hours)  This examines my heart functions.

1:30 Clinic Appointment (bloodwork anytime before appointment)

Wednesday:

11:30 Pulmonary Functions Test (45 minutes)

These tests will provide a baseline for the doctors to use as a comparison for all my future tests and for my health/healing post-transplant.  I must admit that while I/we still know that going forward with the bmt is right choice, when I got the news for my tests this week I thought, “whoa, we’re really doing this thing”.

One more thing. Tomorrow morning Jeff and I are meeting with our pastor for prayer.  In the Bible, James (Jesus brother) writes about The Prayer of Faith.  Here’s what he wrote:

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Over the past 11 years I have been prayed over and anointed with oil at some crucial points in my cancer journey.  I know that there have been times that this act of obedience has led to changes and healing in my body. I know that your prayers have made a difference in my healing too.  I am thankful for you all.

With joy and thanksgiving,

Heather

Last week Jeff and I met with one of the doctors from the bmt team and based on my scans, blood work and response to chemo (drumroll please) I was accepted into the bmt program.  I think that if you’ve been following along with our story you’ll understand it when I say that we are eager and excited to move forward with the bmt.

So what does that mean?  The bmt offices will contact the donor centre and “activate the donor” which includes making sure that the donor is still willing, available, healthy and eligible to be a donor.  My next contact with the bmt team will be in about 4 weeks and they “invite” me in for a full day of tests.  These tests will provide a baseline as we move forward with the transplant.  In the meantime I am still meeting with Dr. Crump to evaluate my need for further chemotherapy while we wait for the transplant process to begin.

I’ve mentioned it before but if you are interested in becoming a donor, being on the donor list or learning more about what is involved in a bone marrow transplant you can look at www.onematch.ca.

Jeff and I still believe that a bmt is the best option for me and for our family.  Please note, this is not a “last option”, just the best option given my health at the current time.  We are ready to move forward.

Last week as we were heading into a week full of hospital visits, I was reminded of these verses: Exodus 14:13-14 “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Moses spoke these words to the Israelites just before they were to cross the Red Sea.  They were scared because Pharaoh’s army was coming after them and the sea was raging ahead of them. In the end they all crossed over on dry land and Pharaoh’s army was all killed in the sea.

Another great story of God’s deliverance is found in 2 Chronicles 20.  I am encouraged and reminded that the decision that Jeff and I have made regarding the bmt has been based on wisdom from God, prayer and conversations with friends and family. These biblical accounts remind me of God’s unchanging character and give me hope as we move forward.

Thanks for moving forward with us,

H.