Monday, February 9, 2009

Good News, and a Couple Requests

James 1:17
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

We just returned to work from an appointment with the hematologist. The lab results taken yesterday were as good as they have been in several weeks. Tammy's hemaglobin is holding steady after a transfusion three weeks ago. Her white blood cell counts are climbing, as are her platelets. The best news is that her blast cells are dropping.

Blast cells are the initial cells that transform into red and white blood cells and platelets. They are supposed to remain in a person's bone marrow until they transition into the other cells. When they show up in the blood, that's when there's a problem. When they reach certain levels, that's when leukemia is diagnosed. Three weeks ago, they were above leukemic levels (23), though the doctor thought that might be a temporary spike. Two weeks ago, they had dropped back down to a more tolerable level (7). Last week they were at 2 and yesterday's labs showed ZERO blast cells in her blood.

The doctor believes that she is responding well to the low-grade chemotherapy she gets one week per month. (She started another round this morning.) These treatments are not curative, so he still wants her to go through the transplant, but this is excellent news, because it means she should stay healthy until the transplant, which helps the chances of a successful transplant.

We praise God for these positive results. We know He is the source of all good news.

We do have a couple of things we would like you to pray for. First, our daughter, Julie, is boarding a plane that begins her trip to Ethiopia. She will be there for a little more than a week. She is very excited about this opportunity, and we are as well. God has blessed her richly through her internship in Kentucky, and this is the last trip she'll take as part of that internship. We ask for your prayers during this trip. If you want to keep track of what's going on, log on to her team's blog (

Finally, when Tammy goes into the hospital for her transplant, we will have to do a lot of preparation to our house. Part of that preparation is to find new homes for our cats. Tammy's parents have agreed to keep Hank and Larry, our two upstairs cats, for as long as we can't have them at home.

But we need to find a permanent home for Link and Seprator, David Lee's two cats who live downstairs. They are brothers and are extremely friendly (they just don't get along too well with Hank and Larry, which is why we keep them downstairs). They still have their claws, but they are "fixed," so you don't have to worry about them getting friendly with neighbor cats. (They can go outside, though we have kept them inside.) If you know of anybody who would like to take them, please let us know. Please pray that we can find a home for them. We have become very attached to them.

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