Friday, July 10, 2009
"May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm."
Today is a day we have longed for. When we first found out that Tammy would need a bone-marrow transplant, and that it would require 100 days of round-the-clock at-home attention, it seemed like a terribly long time. Having gone through it, we now know that it's a terribly long time. But we also know how blessed we are. We have been supported by family and friends with meals, gifts, care and most of all prayers. We know for a fact that we couldn't have gotten through this without you.
We owe so much to Tammy's parents, who come to the house several times a week to stay with Tammy so David and I can work. They take her to most of her appointments at the clinic. They have been the blessing we knew they would be, and we appreciate them.
My Mom certainly has done her share too. When Lynn and Carleen can't be here, she's usually the one to step forward. We also thank Barb, Beth, Brooke, Thelma, Gary and Mary for being there when we needed them. We're not through with the need, and it's great to know that we have so many people we can count on.
We haven't taken the opportunity enough to thank the young man who was willing to step forward and donate his bone marrow so Tammy could go on living. We don't know his name, where he's from or anything about him. But God knows who he is and we have asked God to bless him richly. We hope to meet him someday, and we will pass along our deepest thanks.
Finally, our kids have blown us away with their love and sacrifice. David returned home from the mission field just as Tammy got into the routine of preparing for the transplant, and he committed to stay at home so this time would be easier to handle. He has embraced this as his journey as well. He has relieved so many burdens for both of us. Julie has a job out of town, so she can't be here as much, but she has brought joy to us with her writings, her calls, her cute texts and her inspirational support.
Today was just like any other day in many ways. It didn't seem like Day 100 when we got up. Tammy felt a little queasy, to the point that I stayed home for a while to make sure she was okay. As the morning went on, she got better and better, so I eventually left. After a short while, she called me and said that the local reporter who did a news feature on her in January had called and wanted to do a follow-up story. She came to the house at 1 p.m. and interviewed both of us. We'll post a link to the story when they put it on their web site Monday.
During the day, friends and family dropped by to help us celebrate. Others sent bouquets of balloons (Tammy can't have flowers yet) that commemorated Day 100. It's amazing how many different varieties of balloons there are with "100" on them.
Following is Tammy's synopsis of her thoughts as she reaches this milestone.
"The number 100 can be significant. I remember when our kids were in kindergarten. On the 100th day of school they were to bring a group of 100 things to school for show and tell. David took 100 shiny pennies, and Julie chose 100 tiny pink seashells she found in our craft closet. Because of the the two years between David and Julie, Julie had a long time to look forward to her 100th day in kindergarten. It was a very important day.
"Today is my 100th day. It has been 100 days since my bone-marrow transplant. It signifies 100 days of life. It feels like my birthday.
"In the last 100 days, I have collected special cards, letters, gifts, books, devotionals, scarves, phone calls and text messages from dear friends and family. These have all helped encourage me tremendously. I also have gained an even deeper relationship with my Lord, my personal Savior, my Redeemer and Healer. I've gained even more patience and a deeper amazement of nature as I watched the birds, clouds and trees through the front window of our home. Soon I will be able to venture out, bit-by-bit, beyond my house and front porch (and KU's cancer center).
"Every day for the last 100 days, I have awaken in awe and I've been thankful beyond words for another day to experience grace, mercy and total dependence on God to get me through the day. It has been amazing, and my life isn't going to stop at 100. There will be more stories of grace to share with new friends, more time with my family, and more time to praise and worship the God of the 100s.
"I have been praying for a few years for God to "use me in a mighty way." Lots of people tell me that I already have been used in a might way. I know that it's true, but I feel like my journey is still going, just 100 days old. Tomorrow is a new day, a new number, a new start, a new chance. "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23) To make a sports analogy, my two-minute warning has been exchanged for God's time clock. My time is in His hands.
"Thank you all for your love and friendship. We will continue to keep you all updated with how God is working in my life."