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...


15 comments:

Jessica said...

Melissa, this brought tears to my eyes! I am rejoicing with you and continuing to ask God for your healing, and peace and strength in the waiting!

mommapauk said...

Thank you so much for the update. I always get so giddy when you post something. I hope you are dancing after this news Melissa, because I know that reading your wonderful news my heart is dancing too. Praise God for your donor. Praise God for the way that your donor came to you. Praise God for your uplifted spirit. And Praise God for your testimony in him. We faithfully continue to pray for you and your precious family. With much love

nics09 said...

I don't know you, but I know Debbie. I have been following your blog, and praying for you since hearing your story. Your faith is an inspiration. Praise God for the donor! Praise God for your unyielding faith and understanding in His way...

Jess said...

I am so excited to hear that you have a cord blood match! Praying for you as you prepare for the next leg of your journey, that it brings you to remission.

Jocelyn said...

I am so happy to hear about the cord blood. You don't get to know if your cord blood is used and since I donated Gillian's, it gives me hope that her cord blood is benefitting someone!

Praying for and love you,
Jocelyn

FrancisMoore said...

Praise God for good news. This past Sunday there was a special time of prayer in our class (Crusaders Class)for you, Melissa. One of the members of the class, Pastor Freese, prayed aloud as I am sure each person prayed silently for you. I feel this is an answer to our prayers. Francis from Indy First Church

The Camerons said...

Amazing! Amazing! God is so good!

Dave and Julie said...

Melissa,
I have had you on my mind and heart all day. I have been praying for you throughout the day... Our God is a great God and all the glory belongs to him! Rejoicing with you no matter what! Love, Julie

Cindy B said...

Melissa...While I may not know you personally, your story still reached my ears. Our sisters are friends and through their connection, I was able to take part in a free donor drive. Last month, I received my donor card. While only time will tell if I will ever be called upon to serve in this way, I wanted to tell you that you made this difference in my life. Thank you for sharing your testimony.

staci said...

Melissa, I do not know you personally but I was one of the nursing students from Mount Vernon that helped with the be the match. The turn out was great but your story is even better. I just want you to know that you are still in our thoughts and prayers!

Shawn, Becky, Ethan and Gavin said...

Melissa, praying for you daily and rejoicing with you for the wonderful news!

Kelly said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Jumping up and down, jumping up and down!! Thank you Jesus!!

Kristi said...

That is wonderful that a cord blood match. God is good. A little over a week ago, I got in my car and heard the last part of MVNU's chapel service on the radio. I just got this feeling that they were talking about you, though I hadn't heard your name mentioned yet. And sure enough it was. (I am pretty smart, putting those two together! :)) Made me think and pray for you even more that Wednesday. You have touched so many lives with this "dance in the rain" that you are doing. We love you Melissa!

Kimberly and Grace said...

We are rejoicing with you!!!!! What incredible news! God is so good! PTL!!!!

Kimberly

The Burgess Family said...

This post just made me smile. I am so excited for all of the good news!