Dear Family and Friends,

Some of you will already have read this news via our mass email on Saturday but I didn’t get a chance to post it here until now.  I will post the email that was sent out and then follow it with some thoughts over the weekend. Thank you again for all your prayers and thoughts towards us. We know that you walk journeys of your own and we would love to walk beside you too.

To Everyone,

Thank you again for your continued prayers, encouraging notes/emails, and your friendship as we’ve bee journeying down this bumpy road the last little while.

Heather has completed her second week of multiple appointments down at PMH & TGH (thank goodness they are right across the street from each other).

Good News

Heather has been told by Dr. Lipton (who heads the bone marrow transplant team) and by Dr. Rotstein (infectious disease doctor) that the infectious spots on her lungs have reduced in size to the point that they are almost gone. That is AWESOME news and we are so thankful to God for allowing the medicine to work and the continued involvement of both medical teams from both hospitals.

Bad News (Maybe)

Heather was also told that she has some spots on her lungs that have grown in the past month. They plan to do a biopsy of her lungs next week to run some tests and to see what these spots could be. They don’t want to rule anything out so Heather was told that these spots could be the CLL returning or even some other form of lymphoma.

Obviously we know that the doctors are just doing their jobs and clearly communicating the many possibilities but this news was disheartening. Even if it the test come back negative those words have been hard to hear, especially at 18 months post bone marrow transplant.

The Plan

Heather has her lung biopsy the week of May 24th and then we will get the results of the biopsy the week of May 30th. Also, Sunday, May 22 we will praying with our pastors and elders from our home church after our morning service, according to the book James chapter 5 which says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”  If you would like to join us in prayer at this time, wherever you are in the world, once everyone gets together we will be praying between 11:30am-12:00pm EST.

Blessings,

Jeff, Heather & Nathan

Thoughts from the Front Lines

Friday was difficult for me in a lot of ways.  It was another early day to be downtown and I had multiple appointments, each with their own waiting times.  I was tired but able to move through the day and the appointments without getting frustrated. When I spoke with Dr. Lipton (bmt team) he had just finished talking with the radiologist about my CT scan and relayed his concern about the spots that had grown since the last scan.  When Dr. Lipton told me about these spots, the possibilities of what they could be and that they were scheduling a lung biopsy I was really caught off guard.  I mentioned before that I’ve been pretty emotional and weepy and his new, of course, set me off.  I had travelled downtown that day expecting a pretty routine set of appointments so this news was a surprise.  Dr. Lipton reassured me that we don’t know what these nodules are but that it is best to investigate and discover what they are.  I/we agree wholeheartedly. I have mentioned before, many times, that I am so thankful for my health team and the care that they provide for me. He gave me a hug before I left and made sure that I was okay before he left. I trust his wisdom and care for me.

Even though this news is (as Jeff says) bad news, maybe… I agree.  I am not scared, I am not angry at God, I was surprised, thinking only of the good news that the infection was clearing up.  I had forgotten that a lung biopsy was a possibility from the beginning.

I/we also need to keep going back to when Jeff and I made the decision to go forward with the bone marrow transplant.  When we made the decision we knew that this was an act of obedience to God and that REGARDLESS of the outcome, whether the transplant was a success, made no difference or if I died as a result that this is what God was calling us to do.  We don’t understand this in it’s entirety (and probably won’t this side of heaven) but we know that we were obedient and that God is faithful.  That said, it is much easier to be happy with our decision to be obedient when I am feeling well, when I can recognize my face in the mirror, when I can sit on the floor and play with Nathan, when I can go out for the day without a box of kleenex or even tie up my own shoes.  But when difficulties set in, when it’s hard to climb the stairs or to sit and watch Jeff and Nathan play ball from the side it is harder to be joyful in our decision.  It is a discipline of the mind and heart to remember that God is still faithful, still watching, still providing and still healing me.

Yesterday Jeff and I asked the elders of our church and some friends to join with us in praying for God’s healing according to James 5 (see above).  For us, this was another act of obedience.  As much as I love my healthcare team, I know that it is God who is my Healer and the One who knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139). We eagerly wait for this coming week and all that will result from our/your prayers, the test results and meetings with the doctors.

There is so much more I want to write, things that God has been teaching me about Love and the idea of dressing in Love everyday and what that means to Love and how this has and is making a difference in my life but I’ll save that for another day.

With love,

Heather

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