"The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you."
It was a Saturday morning, March 24, 2012. I had a meeting at 9 a.m. As I pulled into the parking lot a couple of minutes before 9, Tammy called me, in tears. The day before, we had spent the day at the KUMC Cancer Clinic because she just didn't feel right. She had no energy, to the point where she was holding onto furniture. They did a bunch of tests and found that her counts were very low. They did another bone-marrow biopsy, just to make sure it was only a virus. We were not prepared for the call the next morning.
Tammy answered the phone to the tearful voice of one of the doctors. He said, "Tammy, I need you to get straight to the hospital. Your Leukemia has returned, and it is acute." She called me to tell me the news. I called the person I was supposed to meet and told him that I wouldn't be meeting him. I drove straight home and helped her pack quickly. Then we drove the familiar drive back to KUMC.
It was the start of another long battle, one that looked far more ominous than the first. She was in the hospital for four weeks that time, then home for two weeks before heading back for four more weeks and another bone-marrow transplant. Before she went back in, the doctor told us that she had a 25 percent chance of surviving a year.
I'll never forget her reaction. She smiled, and said, "Somebody has to make up the 25 percent." The doctor paused for a second, then said, "And I think you will be part of that 25 percent, because of your toughness and your faith."
The past year has gone remarkably fast. Tammy's recovery has exceeded all expectations. Her counts at six months were better than what they were at a year in 2009. She's back in church and she's doing exceptionally well.
Our faith is strong. We don't think, "Why did Tammy have to go through this...twice?" We know God has a perfect plan. And we know that He knew that Tammy would bring Him glory with her reaction.
We thank you for your ongoing prayers (please continue them). We thank you for the cards and letters, visits, and countless hugs. You guys are our family, and we are thrilled to be part of God's family with you.
Oh, and you might be wondering why we chose the verse we did. Today is Tammy's brother Jim's 50th birthday. We are celebrating his "Year of Jubilee" today. Happy birthday, Jim.