"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

~Philippians 1:6

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Progress, Progress

Derek is doing great. His numbers continue to go up and he feels really good. There honestly isn't much to report about him. No news is good news!

I hope everyone is doing well. Thank you for reading and praying, we appreciate it.

God bless!

Take Joy My King

I had some song sheets from church stuffed in my Bible. I came across them yesterday when I opened my Bible. There were two songs that really blessed me. I'll talk about one of them (if I went over both this would be a very long entry), I'll talk about the other song in a different entry.

Anyway, the song was I Love You Lord. It goes like this:

I love You Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship You, O my soul, rejoice

Take joy my King, in what You hear
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear

That song got me thinking about God taking joy in me. I've never thought about that before (sadly). I've thought about me taking joy in God. Because lets face it, His joy is awesome! I was thinking though about how I long for God to be joyful about me. For Him to look at me, one of his many creations, and have utter joy.

Joy that I came to Him first. That when everything felt like it was collapsing around me and I couldn't breathe, I got on my knees and cried out to Him. I know that God doesn't take joy in our sufferings and pain. I know He doesn't rejoice that Derek has cancer.

I do think He takes joy in the outcome of our sufferings though. That through all of this I learn to come before Him and be exposed at the first sign of trouble in my life. That while it may be o.k. to have doubts about what is going on in my life, it's not o.k. to hold onto those doubts and try to handle them myself. Because we all know how incompetent we are when it comes to God's job.

"The Lord is with you, while ye be with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you;"
2 Chronicles 15:2a&b

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Is There Anything?

We are home (our temporary home)! Derek was discharged yesterday evening. We had a lab and clinic today and his counts went up again! It's so exciting to actually watch and see the evidence of God's handiwork.

I hope everyone had a blessed Sabbath. I'll update as I get more news, but for now all they'll do is monitor Derek's counts.

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27

God bless!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Triple! Triple I Tell You!

I have good news! Derek's neutrophils tripled! I have more good news! Derek is getting released from the hospital tomorrow! It'll be nice to establish some sort of routine with all this. I'll let you know how things go tomorrow. Hope everyone is doing well.

God bless!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 15...

"1God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. 2That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. 3Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 4O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. 5Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 6Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. 7God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him." Psalm 67

I read that this morning. Isn't it awesome? God is good! Last night after Derek went to bed I picked up my Bible and started reading. While reading I felt such immense joy. That kind of joy that can only come from the Lord. "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." ~1 Peter 4:13. God has definitely been revealing His glory to me through this. God is awesome! I can't say that enough!

Now onto updates, news, and thanks. I'll start with the thank yous. As always thank you for the prayers. They help in ways I don't think we'll know this side of Heaven. I also want to thank you all for being there for my mom, Alexander, Ashley, and Asher. It's so great to know that people we love and trust are taking care of our kids. It enables us to focus on what we need to here. Thanks again.

I have a couple of things to ask of everyone out there. If you guys could please be on the lookout for places to rent in Yakima/Lower Valley we would appreciate it. I'm thinking we will be home sometime in September. It seems like quite a ways off, but I know it will come up fast. Preferably something with 3-4 bedrooms and that would maybe allow Moses. I might also need to get some type of job when we get back. If you guys could be praying about that I would appreciate it.

Now for news on Derek. His white count went up, AGAIN! We don't have the neutrophil number back yet. They have stayed the same the last two days. The neutrophils, to try and explain so it's not confusing (did I go over this already? Hope not), are the first line of defense in your immune system. They are the ones that recognize infections, bacteria, etc... and attack it. They took his neutrophils down to zero. They are slowly coming back, but this is the number they watch to make sure the transplant is really grafting. This is also the number they use as criteria to let him out of the hospital. The neutrophil numbers always come in later than the other ones (the pathologists actually count each and every one of the neutrophils in Derek's blood). I'm using a lot of parenthesis today, I kinda like them. Anyway, the doctors say that Day 15 (which is what today is) is usually when they see the counts really start to go up. It usually takes longer with Myelofibrosis patients because of the amount of scar tissue and fibrous tissue built up in the marrow. It's takes longer for the cells to root in and find their spaces. Once they do though, they will start to heal and push out the fibrous tissue.

So we are just hanging out waiting for Derek's numbers to go up. Praising God for his provision, peace, and joy. I have been feeling immense amounts of peace and joy so I know the prayers are working. Thanks again.

God bless!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Double Double White Counts Aren't Trouble

I couldn't resist rhyming. I love rhyming! On with the reason for the blog.

Derek's white counts doubled! The doctors are amazed at Derek and how well he is/has been doing. He's been feeling a lot better too. He gets better everyday. Thank you for the prayers!

"When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Mark 2:17

God bless!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Woo Hoo!

We have white counts! Which means the transplant is grafting! That's the news for now. I'll update as we get more info.

"I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works."
Psalm 9:1

God Bless!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made

Hello to you all! I hope your fellowship at church was enlightening and nourishing. I apologize for the lack of updates. The truth is that there isn't much to report. Right now we are waiting for his counts to come in. We are Day 11 today and Day 13 is usually when counts come in. In case I didn't explain before about the counts I will now. The chemo killed off Derek's cells. They do daily blood draws to keep track of how is counts are progressing. His white count right now is zero. Which is why we have to be so careful about germs. When Brian's stem cells graph Derek's white count will start to go up. Derek's system will accept Brian's cells, Brian's cells (which are Derek's now) will then go through Derek's system and kill all of the fibrosis to make room for the new cells being made. So right now we are waiting to see Derek's white count go up so we know the transplant was successful. I hope that made sense. If not, in a comment ask questions I will try to clarify.

God has been so faithful and amazing. I'm going to be completely bare in my writings here. I pray that in doing so everyone reading will be able to be apart of our journey. This weekend was pretty rough. My mom and the kids left Thursday and to be honest I was a wreck. I didn't turn to God like I should have. Instead I wallowed in my sadness.

Friday night I was forced to my knees to repent of the state of my heart. I cried out to God. I asked Him to please show me something. To let me know He was still there. I opened up my Bible to a non-specific place and I ended up on the title page for the book of Job. While it is quite laughable I felt that God was indeed telling me something. I was looking through Job and I came to a part that really spoke to my heart.

Job 42:1-6 KJV
(1)"Then Job answered the lord, and said (2) I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. (3) Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me to, which I knew not. (4) Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee (question thee), and declare thou unto me. (5) I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee; (6) Wherefore I abhor(despise) myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

The title of that section is "Job Submits to God". That's exactly what I did. I repented and submitted myself to God. The anxiety I was feeling went away at that point. I experienced "peace that surpasseth all understanding". It was wonderful and amazing. God wants me to Himself. He wants my thoughts and actions to be completely surrendered to Him.

I read psalm 34 this morning, which I recommend reading. You can do that here. It's amazing!

I will add one more thing to this lengthy entry. I'm sure most of you are familiar with Psalm 37:4

"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

I've read this verse tons of times and this never registered with me. If I'm delighting myself in the Lord the desires of my heart will be only Him! So instead of a long list of I wants and I need. My list will have one very large and important thing on it: Christ. He's already given that to me. Anything else is dessert.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for your prayers, they are definitely working.

God bless!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sorry So Late!

I'm sorry it's been awhile since I've updated. My mom and the kids got here Thursday and we've been pretty busy. It's been great though. I'll post pictures later.

Derek is doing well. We are Day 5 today. He was pretty sick the day of the transplant and the doctors said that was normal. As long as they stay up on his anti-nausea meds he does o.k. We won't see a rise in his counts until Day 13. We'll find out then how the transplant actually went. We appreciate all the prayers on the day of the transplant.

I'll blog in length later, but I just wanted you all to know that we are doing well.

God Bless!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday!

Today is Derek's 3rd birthday. He is scheduled to get the transplant at 12 p.m. today.

Derek isn't feeling well at all right now. They say it's normal because the chemo is catching up with him. His counts have also bottomed out. It's frustrating to sit here and watch him be sick and know I can't do anything for him. I want to make it all better. All your prayers are appreciated during this time.

On a more positive note, the kids get here tomorrow! I can't wait to squeeze them! It's Ashley Marie's birthday on Saturday. I love birthdays! Especially ones where I get to buy presents. I don't know if I mentioned in my last blog that I got tickets to take the kids to the aquarium and the Pacific Science Center. They should really enjoy that.

Well, that's all for now. I'll update after the transplant and let you all know how it went. One more note: Happy Birthday Sarah Diane!

God Bless!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

And Then He Rested...

Today is Derek's rest day. He had his last day of chemo yesterday. Derek is doing very well. Brian is going through Apheresis today. Click here to read what that is.

Derek should get his transplant tomorrow! Happy Birthday to him! There isn't much to report (which is a great thing). I just wanted to let you all know that he is doing well and things are on schedule.

One more thing! My mom is bringing the kids on Thursday! I'm so excited!

Thank you for all the prayers. Hope you are all doing well.

God bless!