Thursday, December 18, 2008


Psalm 23:4
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

Psalm 121:1-3
"I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber."

Never before has it been more difficult to write those words. As human beings tonight, we are fearful. We are facing the biggest trial of our lives, and we know only God can get us through it. We believe the verses above, and ask for God's help to keep us reminded of these words.

We had our appointment at KU Medical Center today, and they agreed with the assessment of Barnes Jewish Hospital. Tammy is an ideal candidate for a bone-marrow transplant. She is in good health otherwise and is relatively young. The chances of a successful procedure are good, considering the severity of the condition.

But they also went into much greater detail of the risks and the procedure. This is not a simple case, and the risks are great. They plan to treat her aggressively with chemotherapy and/or radiation, which has greater risks but carries a better long-term prognosis if things go smoothly. They also told us that she would have to be at home with around-the-clock care for 100 days after the transplant, away from work and with very little activity, to reduce the chances of rejectiongraft-versus-host disease (GvHD).

We have several concerns and request your prayers. We are concerned that we can care for Tammy during the 100 days adequately to prevent complications. (Actually, David is concerned; Tammy is fine.) David Lee returned home last night, and he is a big blessing and a big help.

We are concerned about the economics of the situation. The costs of the transplant, the medicines and the reduced income while Tammy is off work, are staggering. We're not sure how we're going to pay for it. But our God is a big God and He can do "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20). We're anxious to see how He will get us through this one.

(We have pretty much made the decision to have the transplant done in Kansas City at KU. The cost of living in St. Louis for 100 days, only 28 of them in the hospital, makes the in-network/out-of-network issue almost moot. We'd spend a lot of money going to and from St. Louis and finding a place for Tammy to stay while she recovers, probably as much as we'd spend even if KU remains out-of-network. And since she would need a care-giver full time, it would be difficult for David to keep his business while taking care of her away from Kansas City.)

Finally, we're concerned about the seriousness of the treatment. A bone-marrow transplant is not without risk, even in the best of situations. The mortality of the situation is chilling. Once again, we ask for your prayers for peace and contentment.

People have told us they appreciate our descriptions of our faith in God's will. We appreciate those comments. It is only through the grace of God that we can have any peace. It's difficult to remain faithful, but God knows we're human and that we have emotions. He knows we're hurting. He is the source of comfort. Please continue to pray for that comfort.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Let me quote to you the beginning of that passage you used because it is my prayer for you:
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

As to the money and daily practicalities: have you contacted a hospital social worker or one involved with a cancer support organization? If not, I can try to look up some in your area and get you the information. They might be able to help you find resources you don't know about a lot of which would be free.