Saturday, September 21, 2013

Peace In Hard Times

It had been a frustrating and discouraging time since I last wrote -- at least until recently (spoiler alert!).

A super-thick blister (from the chemical burn experienced during the hand and foot syndrome) that covered Krista's whole heel came off, leaving behind tender new skin without a lot of padding.  She can walk on it OK, but not for too long.  Another blister on the forefoot is getting ready to come off.  Hopefully that won't hinder her getting around.

Krista was scheduled to get a biopsy last Thursday (Sept 12), but her platelets were low so she had to get a transfusion first.  Unfortunately, that morning she woke up with a fever -- and that means an infection, and another check into the hospital.  That was hard on her, as she was feeling discouraged with how things have gone so far.

The biopsy turned out with good news: no leukemic cells!  It also revealed that the marrow had some scar tissue which can cause white blood production problems.  The scars were from chemo damage (not from the infection, thankfully), and were likely to be the cause of much of the pain she experienced in the previous week.  Since there were no leukemic cells, the oncologist felt like it was time to begin Neupogen to increase white blood production.  This also causes a really weird bone pain which added to the discouragement.  But the Neopogen was effective, and her white counts shot up and she was released after week in the hospital.

Just as she was at the end of the hospital stay, we began to get news from the City of Hope.  There is a confirmed donor, and the match is perfect -- a 10 out of 10! We have an appointment to get all the details Wednesday.  Here's what we know so far.  Pre-treatment begins October 21, and will last for 9 days.  The donor will have the stem cells extracted on October 29, and they will be shipped overnight for the transplant, which will take place on October 30.  This is a mixed blessing as it means she will share a birthday with Trevor -- and it means we will miss Trevor's birthday this year.  We're starting to work out the details of what to do with the kids and work, so please pray for wisdom to make good decisions there.

In the past couple of days, there have been some major improvements.  Krista has discovered some more effective ways of relieving the pain.  She's also been encouraged in the Lord and is starting to experience the peace that was so hard to feel while going through all of that.  She's also been participating in some of the activities that the Cancer Center offers.  All of this is making for a much better outlook.  With the memories of how things went last time (and the unstable progress she's been having already this time), it's hard not to give in to the fear of things going badly during the transplant.  Please pray for that ongoing peace that goes beyond understanding -- we both really need it now.

Thank you to everyone who has been helping us out.  We really appreciate the meals and rides and everything else -- it's really helping us to make it through this.  Thanks Jaime, Mia, Lori, Marsi, Dawn, Carrie, Cheryl, Linda, Jill, and Ruth -- you guys are awesome!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)

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