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T+37: Chimerism results!

I woke up a few times last night thinking about today’s appointment with Dr. Carroll. My prayers to the Lord were nothing new. He’d heard them many times before, though this time something was different. I felt more peace and confidence. I’m recognizing that each time a major appointment arises, I find myself surrendering more and more to whatever God wants for our lives despite the outcome. I can’t really explain it, but the more we’ve decided to put our trust in God, the more he has revealed himself to us, given peace, patience, and guidance each step of the way. Makes me wonder what else He’s preparing us for? 🙂

I know many of us live life without truly considering or recognizing a need for a relationship with God, but I urge you to take a closer look at Jesus Christ. Putting trust in our Maker and letting Him lead our lives is a challenge and an incredible ride, and so worth it!

Ok, on to the results……Chimerism is at 96%!!!! This is fabulous news, and of course, everyone is very pleased. We will continue to pray for great cell counts as the days continue. The further out we get from transplant day (Jan 14), the better chance of success, as the risk of rejection diminishes. Dr. Carroll said he’s not going to get “super excited” about the results, but come day +60 or +70 he’ll be more likely to celebrate.

So, Todd will continue to go in for daily infusion appointments. Lately, he has only required hydration (mainly cause he’s not drinking enough fluids), a neupogen shot (to increase his white count), and the daily iv medication for the CMV virus. We hope the weekly CMV test results come back negative, as this would allow Todd a few days off here and there.

At some point this morning (I’m not sure if it was before or after the great news) I got this old hymn stuck in my head. What a great way to praise God for all that He has done!!!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me
bless his holy Name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me
bless his holy Name.

King of kings (for ever and ever),
Lord of lords (for ever and ever),
King of kings (for ever and ever),
King of kings and Lord of lords!


T-3: “Near to the Heart of God.”

Frequently, we receive great words of encouragement from friends and family via email, a phone call, and comments on this blog. These words lift us and make us feel loved. Today I was touched by something my Aunt Marie sent, which encapsulates how we should live our lives especially during challenging times. Tell me what you think about this…..

Dr. David Jeremiah’s devotion encouraged my heart today…I hope it encourages yours, as well…

Near to the Heart of God

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.
Hebrews 10:22 (NIV)

Recommended Reading
Hebrews 10:19-23

One day in 1901, the much-loved pastor of Chicago’s First Presbyterian Church, Cleland Boyd McAfee, was shaken by the news that his two beloved nieces had died from diphtheria. Sitting down in pain and in prayer, he penned the words and music of “Near to the Heart of God.”

There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God. A place where sin cannot molest, near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God. A place where we our Savior meet, near to the heart of God.

On the day of the double funeral, McAfee sang his newly composed hymn outside his brother’s quarantined house. The following Sunday, the First Presbyterian choir sang this song as a communion hymn. It expresses a great truth. In our search for inner peace we often go to resources outside ourselves, but real peace with God is found on our knees as we draw near Him and near to His heart.1

O Jesus, blest Redeemer, sent from the heart of God, hold us who wait before Thee near to the heart of God.
Cleland Boyd McAfee

1Adapted from Near to the Heart of God by Robert J. Morgan (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010), installment for September 25.

Todd’s thoughts:
I must say that I feel more at peace now than I did in August/September. Over the last few months, I’ve been wrestling with a lot of questions, most of which start with “why?” I’ve questioned my own performance as a Christian and even my salvation. I’m slowly re-learning that I can’t earn it; it is God’s gift of grace that we can choose to accept. As someone who is stubbornly self-reliant, it is very hard for me to accept something without doing something to earn it or work for it. The more I read, the more I understand what God wants from us. Through this, I feel nearer to Him.

Other updates:
My cold turned out to be not the whopper that many of you out there have experienced. I had a few days of congestion and phlegm production, but it didn’t get into my chest. In fact, I blew my nose a few minutes ago and it was mostly clear!

On the chemo front, I’m just waiting for the Cytoxan side effects. The infusion went fine today, and Dr. Carroll said that most patients experience the nausea on the day after infusion. Tomorrow will bring something, for better or worse.

Location: I’m told that a room is being triple cleaned for me over in the BMT unit, and I will move over there later tonight or tomorrow. My preference is tomorrow, since I’m settled in nicely here for tonight. Once I get moved, I’ll have a room number for those who want to send cards.