Friday, December 14, 2012

One year ago today, Beth had her stem cell transplant

On December 14, 2011, my wife, half-dead from a fight with leukemia, “intensive chemotherapy” and full-body radiation, received a new infusion of adult stem cells from a young female donor in Europe. She became radically sick – somehow she got hold of a MRSA infection in her blood; later she had other viral infections that nearly cost her life. She spent the better part of three months in the hospital. You can read more about this struggle here.

She is still weak, and doesn’t have the energy to do much at all. Her immune system perceives her body as “foreign”, and so she is still taking some anti-rejection medications, which keep the immune system suppressed. So she’s still susceptible to pneumonia and other infections. She is looking forward with great anticipation to celebrating Christmas with her family. In another few months, they’ll start to give her the full cycle of baby vaccinations.

In a series of “Chimerism” tests which measure the level of the donor’s DNA vs her own DNA in her blood cells, she has consistently been “100% donor in all three cell lines”. That indicates no sign that the leukemia is coming back. The longer she shows such results, the closer she comes to being declared “cured” (a happy event which happens after two years).

The best news of all is that, over the last year, she has come to a new understanding of how the Lord Jesus Christ saves us in spite of anything else we might do to help or hurt that process, and is becoming deeply engaged in the life of our church.

Again, I’d like to thank all of you who helped us through this very demanding time with your prayers and your support.

6 comments:

  1. I hope that the upward trend continues.

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    1. Thanks Mr Fosi, we do as well :-)

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  2. Thanks for your updates about Beth, John! You've provided a good record of how Christians can trust in the Lord through such a major ordeal. I pray the Lord continues to draw you guys ever nearer to him.

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    1. Patrick, thanks for all your help early on, especially, helping us understand the medical situation we were facing.

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  3. Hey John, The witness of you and your family of God's grace in the midst of suffering has definitely been a blessing to me and I'm sure many others. May the Lord continue to keep and uphold you and your family.

    Ronnie

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