Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your prayers for Jeff, Nathan and I over the weekend and yesterday as we went down to PMH and TGH for my appointments with the doctors.

We had a long talk with Dr. Kuruvilla about the treatment option of photopheresis and he confirmed what we had already heard about the treatment and also agreed that this would be a good way to proceed in fighting the skin graft vs host disease (gvhd). We also talked about the MRI that I had a few weeks ago and while nothing was found in the scan, it has been suggested that I go for another MRI with contrast dye in order to just “close this chapter” with certainty. I am waiting for a new appointment date for this procedure.

Afterwards we went to meet with Dr. Barth in the Photopheresis Unit at TGH. Together we walked through my cancer history, the time since the transplant and a physical examination to determine whether or not I would be a candidate for this treatment. Dr. Barth also gave us thorough information about how photopheresis works and why it is a benefit to chronic skin gvhd patients.

As it turns out, I am a good candidate for this treatment and I am scheduled to begin the first week of July. One of the great things that we learned is that this treatment can be done without the use of a central IV line. My veins were examined and the nurse assured me that for now, the veins in my arms will be sufficient for this procedure. What excitement grew as I realized that I would not need to have a central line put in.

My treatment schedule is as follows:

July 5/6 8:30-11

July 19/20 8:30-11

Aug 2/3 8:30-11

I will have two treatments back to back, every two weeks for a long time. The results of this treatment will take a few months to see but Jeff and I are confident as we move forward that we are doing the right thing.

Yesterday I was reflecting on Psalm 91:4 which says, His faithful promises are your armour and protection. The idea that God’s promises are my armour and protection provided me with much strength and comfort. I felt protected, guarded and safe by truth of these words. But I especially love the phrase “faithful promises”.

I have spoken about this to some of you already, but it bears repeating. The phrase “faithful promises” is kind of redundant. I mean a promise itself is a loyal agreement. In fact, it’s defined as a declaration that something will be done or an assurance of an expectation. And the word faithful means the same, loyal, trusted, believed and true. To put these words side by side, “faithful promises” is like a double whammy. To think that these promises are our armour and protection… WOW! But it gets even better. The verse says “HIS faithful promises”… Think about it for a second (or even better, all day). God himself, his very character is faithfulness! Psalm 100:5 says “For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

As I move forward in my treatments, I want to begin collecting God’s faithful promises, taking time to reflect on them and dressing in them as my armour and protection. Would you consider sending me your favourite verses of God’s promises?

With Joyful Thanksgiving,

Heather

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