Sunday, November 29, 2009

Counting on God

After spending Thanksgiving day with my parents and grandma in Fishers, we were able to travel to Doug's family in northwest Ohio for the weekend.  We have had a great time visiting with everyone, and the kids LOVE being able to play with their cousins.  I'm so thankful for the wonderfully loving and supportive families that we have.

This morning at Doug's home church (Defiance Church of the Nazarene), we sang a song that I have never heard before.  I love it!  I even heard Caleb say to Grandma Rex in the kitchen this afternoon, "Hey, I really liked that song "Counting on God" that we sang in church.  This warmed my heart!  Whether it was the words that he understood or the catchy tune it has, it made me so happy that he liked the song that much.  I wanted to share it with you.  I love the words....it is perfect for me, and I hope you find it true in your life, too.  My favorite line is "the miracle of Christ in me is the mystery that sets me free."  I wish I was a songwriter!  Love it, love it, love it.  I AM COUNTING ON GOD!

(As soon as I know any more details of what step we take next in treatment, I will let you know.)

Please turn your volume on and enjoy the song!  Here are the words.

I'm in a fight not physical
And I'm in a war 
But not with this world
You are the light that's beautiful
And I want more
I want all that's Yours

Joy unspeakable that won't go away
And just enough strength 
To live for today
So I never have to worry
What tomorrow will bring
'Cause my faith is on solid rock
I am counting on God

I am counting on
I am counting on God
I am counting on
I am counting on God

The miracle of Christ in me
Is the mystery that sets me free
I'm nothing like I used to be
Open up your eyes and you'll see

(by Desperation Band)




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Best THANKSGIVING Ever!

I received a call from my nurse this morning. She had a little extra "pep" in her voice. My heart is overflowing with thanks to the Lord to know that EVERYTHING IS SHRINKING in size and activity levels!!!!!!

Do you know how wonderful it was to receive this news....I KNOW YOU ARE JUMPING UP AND DOWN WITH ME RIGHT NOW! (not suggested for those over 70.)

Thank you, Lord, for yet another piece of refreshing news and renewed hope! I know there is still a long road ahead, but let's give Him the praise for this today!!!

I don't know any more details yet as far as what is next....when and where. I will let you know as soon as I do.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love you,
Melissa

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Grateful Heart and Wonderful News!

I know I often find myself saying this to you, but I am so sorry I've let this much time go by without doing any type of a post. During the time since my last round of chemo, I have continued living each day to the fullest with my beautiful family. While I may know that nothing is new during this time, I realize I should let you know that everything is continuing to go as well as expected during the waiting period. Not to mention the fact that my three little kiddos keep me hoppin' through the day, and make it so easy for me to fall straight into bed at night!

I have three main pieces of news that I am so excited to share with you! First, the day of my PET scan has finally arrived. I will be having my scan Tuesday morning (the 24th) at 8:45. To refresh your memory, I have completed the two rounds of chemo that my New York doctor suggested. We are praying, trusting, and believing that the scan will show improvement. If this is the case, there is a very high probability that I will be continuing treatments (chemo or transplant prep) in New York City at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. I have been scared at the thought of being so far away from my children and Doug (who would be with me part of the time), but at the same time scared at the thought of no improvement. I know without a doubt though that giving up the comforts of my own home and a short amount of time with the loves of my life, is so worth the long-term outcome of putting this unwanted disease into remission.

Secondly, I would like to share with you how blessed I am by the bone marrow drive that Mount Vernon Nazarene University held in my honor! ( I am so thankful for each drive that was held in my honor all over the United States! I am eternally grateful to each one of you who headed these up.) My heart is just full of joy and thanks to know that my alma mater would do this for me. There are so many individuals who were involved, but I know that James Smith (dear friend, former class mate, the person who is responsible for Doug and I meeting, and current Admissions Director of the school), Tom West, Kimberly Eades, and ALL of the incredible nursing students....all of these people sacrificed much time and energy to make the drive a reality. THANK YOU! I pray the Lord would bless each of you in an amazing way, as you have been such an amazing blessing to me. I believe there were 400+ people that registered to be donors. I know that many of my friends at MVNU are hoping there is a match for me in that number, but I am also so humbled to think of the many other lives that could be changed forever by these new registrants! I can't wait to see the huge ripple effect this will have. I don't think I have shared this yet on my blog, but there is a young lady that attends Parkview (our previous church in Ohio) who found out she is a match for an eight year old girl! Praise the Lord! Isn't that so exciting?

Side note: The song that is playing first is Love Song for a Savior by Jars of Clay. Writing about MVNU made me want to add it to my song playlist. This was my favorite song my freshman year of college. Listen to the words....it so perfectly summed up my hope for that time in my life. "I want to fall in love with you..." I did, and I still am.

Final piece of news...I was told this past Friday, two things that made my heart skip a beat. First, I am now eligible to participate in a cord blood study in Indy, which does not depend upon any improvement on my PET scan. I know this may be confusing, but to sum it up as simply as possible this means that if there is NO improvement in my scan tomorrow....I still have another option. Thank you, Jesus! I've been wondering where we go from here if nothing has changed. I know that improvement of some kind in the lymphoma is a requirement for the transplant in New York. I was just so happy to hear that I had a plan B! In case you are wondering, I now qualify for this study (cord blood transplant), since I am at least 6 months out from my auto transplant. Okay, now here is the really good news. Are you sitting down? I'm serious...hold onto something, because what I am going to tell you is just incredible. They have found a cord blood match for me...they have found a donor....they have found what I need that may possibly work along with the hands of doctors and grace of God to save my life. It's true. I am feeling a little like it is too good to be true....but it is. I have known they were searching donors as well as cord blood...I never dreamed that the birth of a precious little baby could bring me new life. (How appropriate with the upcoming Christmas season...we have all be given the chance at new life through the gift a precious baby coming to the world!) I am well aware there is a long road ahead. I am not even sure when a transplant will take place. There are so many unknowns that continue to linger, but today I rejoice. Today I am grateful for this news. Today, I am given renewed hope. Thank you, my sweet Lord.

Jesus, I believe in You....I thank you for this gift...and I am praying with every ounce of my being that you can use this for a miracle in my life. I will give you all the praise and honor. I will share my story and your love all the days of my life...


Friday, November 6, 2009

Update

Just wanted to let you know that Miss is home from the hospital now. She is feeling and sounding much better since she had the bad cough earlier.

Thanks for the prayers!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Prayer request

All is okay with Melissa, but she ended up getting a fever along with a pretty bad cold that she's had. She was told this is a side effect of the chemo...her low immunity caused by a very low white cell count. She will be in the hospital for a couple days.

The good news is that her chest x-ray came back clear...so no pneumonia. Please pray that her fever will go away, and the cough will leave quickly too.

Thank you!