Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Will You Please Try???

**Please remember that this is a reposting! While she still needs an immediate match, she has shown many signs of improvement since the symptoms listed below!

I've just found out good news. The cheek-swab test kits are still FREE indefinitely. Just register at the website below to receive your kit in the mail...the more people to register, the more chances to find that life-saving match for my sister.

If you haven't yet, please consider and pass on!!! Many people have even printed this article and handed copies to anyone they know.

Much Appreciation!!!
Where do I even begin? My sister Melissa is in increasing pain from the growing tumor and lymphoma. She sounds weak when I speak to her on the phone...possibly from the pain, or the pain meds, or the lymphoma itself, or a combination of the three. She said she literally feels like she is waiting for a new heart or a new lung....that's what it is like to be dependent on the generosity of donors.

I'm not just trying to encourage you to join the National Bone Marrow Registry because it's a wonderful, humanitarian thing to do.

I'm asking you this because I don't want to lose my sister.

Out of the 7 million people in our country on the registry, only ONE appears right now to be a possible match for her. And that's not even definite yet. Her nurse just told me that yesterday.

THAT is why it's so imporant that I get tons more people to join for her sake right now.

Most people hesitate to become a donor because they think either--
a) it's painful (No pain involved--it's a simple cheek swab.)
b) it's complicated (It's 30 seconds on the internet. We easily spend 30 minutes just here on blogs or email.)

Here is the SIMPLE process:
1) Go to www.marrow.org
2) Click on "Join Registry"
3) It will ask you to agree to terms, give your name, email address, create a password, and give your mailing address.
4) They will mail you a cheek swab kit. You collect the cells and mail it back in.

Once they receive and test your sample, it AUTOMATICALLY goes into the system. Then it is immediately checked to see if it is a match. If you have any questions at all, call 1-800- Marrow2. They are very kind and helpful there. Feel free to message me too.

The registration process usually costs $50 for that initial testing, but is FREE now indefinitely!

There will never be any other cost for you. If you are a match for my sister, her insurance will cover it.

Please take a moment to do this for my sister...
for her husband who is so in love with her...
for her 3 small kids who need their mommy...
for the rest of us, as her family and friends, who want nothing more but to have more years with her.

Thank you BEYOND words...


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Quick Update

I was able to go with my sister to her oncology appt this week, and it went well. It was great to hear both the doctor and the nurse say that she has definitely had clinical signs of improvement. Because of the improvement, they recommended that she not wait for the next chemo. She will be going in this coming Monday and will stay through Friday for her chemo treatment. Unfortunately, there is still no donor match yet. For those who recently signed up on the registry, I believe it takes 5-6 weeks for your samples to be tested and entered. So there are a lot more people that will soon be cross-matched with her soon on the registry.

Let's be praying hard for that match!!!

Thank you MORE than words!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lauren Grace turns Four!

I wanted to share some pictures of our sweet Lauren Grace's birthday party. We had a wonderful time with all of our family. She wanted a mermaid party...specifically an Ariel mermaid party. A mermaid party she had! Thank you, Jesus, for our precious daughter who brings us so much joy and even more laughter!

(The last few pictures show the greatest little performers in the world...Caleb is great on the guitar, Lauren is the lead singer and a dancer, and Audrey is the cutest little tip-toe dancer ever!)

(Please be sure and read the post below. Jennifer gave an update on my latest medical info....and we will learn even more as far as future treatments after my doctor's appointment tomorrow. Thank you for all of your prayers! Melissa)

Some Good Signs and Prayer Requests...

Since my sister's last chemo treatment in June, she has been showing what I believe are some signs of improvement. It's true that she's not had a CAT scan since then, so we don't know about the big picture. But in the meantime, we want to celebrate these little miracles...

First of all, prior to this last chemo treatment, her platelets were dropping quite a bit. She had to go in often to receive more platelets. They even got as low as 5,000 one time. Since this last chemo regimen, her platelets have steadily gone up...from 16,000 to 22,000 to 26,000 and then almost doubled to 45,000. At the very least, this is showing that her bone marrow is able to produce some good stuff like it's supposed to.

Remember the tremendous amount of pain she was in prior to and during this last chemo? I am SOOO thankful to say that she has no more pain now. She has been on ZERO pain medication for the past week.

Also, she has had a visible, raised-up area on her upper chest that is located over where the main mass is located. Since her last chemo treatment, that raised area is completely gone. Now as I share that, we don't know if the raised area was from fluid or from the tumor itself...but still, we celebrate that even the raised area is not there now.

Please continue to pray...She has had an occassional fever and chills for the past several days. We know that is a typical sign of the lymphoma, so we do not like to see that! Please pray that that symptom will subside for her.

The plan right now is for her to go in for another week of that same chemo the first week of August. And we are of course still hoping that a donor match will happen soon! We know that one match located outside of the U.S. had been asked to give blood for the extensive HLA testing. Hopefully I can get an update on her potential donor soon.

We thank God for these good signs and appreciate your continued prayers that her fever will be gone and that a donor will be matched SOON!!!

Thanks to you ALL!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July and August

Please sign up for dates on Melissa's prayer calendar here.
You can do so by adding a comment under the month that you are signing up for. I already added those I remembered that wanted ongoing days. If I got it wrong or forgot someone, please let me know.

Thanks in advance!