June 15, 2017

Pride Goes Before the Fall…Proverbs 16:18

Let me start by saying that this is not a fun post. It’s heavy. This topic has been heavy on my heart for quite some time. Yesterday, the thoughts could not be stopped and I made a few notes between appointments with my mom.

The consequences of pride and selfishness are some of the most harmful I’ve ever seen. Yet we as Christians seem to glaze over them and not consider those sins as “sinful” as others might be. But the decay of relationship over years of rotten, unchecked habits is destroying the root of our society…our families.

There can be both positive and negative connotations of pride. It is good to take pride in your work, children, family, hobbies, etc. (ie. pleasure, joy, delight, gratification, fulfillment…). But pride out of control is defined as having an excessively high opinion of oneself, of one’s importance: “the sin of pride” (ie. arrogance, vanity, self-importance, hubris, conceit…).

The Bible has much to say about pride. This is just a bit.

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
James 4:6

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
James 4:10

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches.”
Jeremiah 9:23

“To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior
and perverse speech.”
Proverbs 8:13

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Proverbs 11:2

“Where there is strife, there is pride,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”
Proverbs 13:10

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment,
in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
Romans 12:3

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
1 Corinthians 13:4

The definition of selfishness is one who is devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc, regardless of others…characterizied by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself (ie. self-interested, self-seeking, egotistical, self-centered, self-indulgent, mean, narcissistic).

God’s Word also has a great deal to say on this subject.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Philippians 2:3-4

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every evil thing.”
James 3:15

“and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves,
but for him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
2 Corinthians 5:15

“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:4-8

“(Love) does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.”
1 Corinthians 13:5

It would seem that with so much being written and taught about these two topics that they would not be as dismissed as they seem to be. People don’t seem to consider these issues to be as serious as other more flagrant sins. But what do these two do within a relationship or within a family? What happens when a person consistently focuses on him or herself rather than their spouse and/or children? How many weddings have you attended where the preacher has recited the words of 1 Corinthians 13? “…Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails….” Such a beautiful day. So many hopes and promises. Then you go home and discover that just maybe one of you didn’t get the memo! But love suffers long, so you wait and pray and hope and keep no record of wrongs. You protect and trust and hope, but it doesn’t change. And little by little, you lose the person you once were. Becoming…self-protective, artificial, empty, busy. Until, no more. But the cycle continues because sin gives birth and is reborn.

Who will break the cycle? Who will speak up? Who will mentor? Who will guide?

“Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger…. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity….”
Titus 2:2-7

I am very thankful for my sweetheart and for his patient kindness and servant heart. He is one of the most thoughtful and giving men I’ve ever known. I have a couple of cousins who are blessed to be married to men such as him. It does not make life perfect. Waves still crash upon our shore. But when a couple has a mutual giving, selfless, serving relationship, beautiful things happen to your heart.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Luke 6:38

If they only understood.

May 17, 2017

Just When You Think You Have Things Figured Out…

Today was my appointment to meet with Dr. H and the MUD (transplant) Coordinator and go over the details of my upcoming DLI (Donor Lymphocyte Infusion). For those of you keeping up with all the abbreviations connected with my disease and treatment plans, you get a cookie! Call Bethany! ☺

As of right now, the DLI is scheduled for July 26 with Rituxan infusions scheduled the two Fridays before and after. I’ll be getting a PICC line (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) since my veins are 1) so small, 2) so wiggly 3) so tired and 4) I will be receiving so much stuff in such a short period of time. This will definitely be so much easier on me.

However, and here’s the main reason for me still being awake and writing this post tonight, none of this will even happen if this RASH turns out to be what my doctor and I both think it might be. GvHD...Graft versus Host Disease. Yep. Well, how on earth could I possibly have GvHD before I even have anything done, you ask?! Good question! I did have something done…five years ago! And I’ve already had mild GvHD. I asked my doctor today if she thought my mixed up chimerism and increasing lymphocytes might have gotten together and decided to revolt? While a long shot, she said it was definitely possible. Normally, if a transplant patient were going to have ongoing chronic GvHD, they would have continuing visible symptoms. I haven’t. I have had rashes a few times, but not continually. I have also had some minor stomach issues (gut GvHD), but again nothing ongoing.

So what does this mean and how does it affect the DLI. Two fold. First of all, if it is indeed GvHD, the DLI has to be cancelled because I have to be GvHD free for at least six months before treatment. Second, the DLI might not end up being necessary (at this time) IF the rash is GvHD and IF the GvHD prompts the GvT(L) effect. WHAT? You’re killing me, Tamara! There is a negative and a positive side to GvHD. We want a little of it so we know that the donor cells are doing their job. We just don’t want so much where they try and kill me! GvT(L) stands for Graft verses Tumor (or in my case Leukemia) effect where the donor cells seek and destroy the remaining bad guys. So the balance is for the donor cells to kill the bad guys without killing me (the host) in the crossfire.

The possible crazy, miraculous positive that we should be finding out with Friday’s biopsy is whether or not this rash is GvHD. Then we can pray for the GvL effect to take off and perhaps God will choose to miraculously (I can’t think of another word) get my numbers back on track without going through treatment! If it is just a rash, please pray that they can get it under control quickly and we can move on with the plan as it stands now. I’m good either way. God already knows the outcome. I’m just here for the ride. And it always seems a bit crazy from this side!

Stay tuned.

April 29, 2017

Redeeming the Time

A lot of folks have “bucket lists” of things they would like to do, places they would like to go, before it’s too late. But there’s a difference between a list of things you’d like to do and a list of things you’d like to be.

This week, the church family I grew up with gathered to remember the life of a man taken much too soon, much too suddenly. He was only 49. Our lifelong friend, Donny McGinty, brought the Word at the service and I knew it was cultivating something in my heart that I would need to share.

He talked about “redeeming the time.” In Ephesians 5:15-16 we read,

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

If you read the verses just before these, you’ll see in verses 8-10,

“For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”

Paul, the apostle, goes on in Colossians to write in chapter 4, verse 5,

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Make the most of every opportunity.

In the sudden loss of our friend last week, we were all reminded that only God knows the day and hour that our lives will end. Being one who has faced and considered death on perhaps a bit tighter timeline than many others gives me a little different perspective. For the past five and a half years, my outlook on life and on its day to day challenges has continued to change, deepen, and grow as I have learned to look for the better things and to “make the most of every opportunity.”

As Donny spoke about redeeming the time, he referred to it in several aspects. First was in respect to forgiveness. In Psalm 103:12, we read God’s example of forgiveness…

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our
transgressions from us.”

In Ephesians 4:31-32, He commands us,

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

To redeem the time in our lives, we need to make peace and settle issues within ourselves. Forgiveness starts in our own hearts…not with the other person.

Redeeming the time also involves a heart of service. The Bible has a great deal to say about service.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
Galatians 5:13

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,
as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
1 Peter 4:10

“…and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:27-28

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
Romans 12:1

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord.”
Colossians 3:23

Redeem the time in relationships and love.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Romans 12:9-13

“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”
Luke 6:31

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:31

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Redeeming the time includes encouraging others.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up….”
1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we
ourselves receive from God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Redeeming the time is realizing and appreciating God’s good gifts.

“How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.”
Psalm 31:19

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

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come, and let the one who wishes
take the free gift of the water of life.”
Revelation 22:17

So as we consider our own lives and the unknown days God grants us, may we redeem the time by living a life full of forgiveness, full of service, full of love, full of encouragement, and full of the understanding of God’s good gifts.

“Let your speech be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Colossians 4:6

How? Well, that’s for another day.

April 19, 2017

If Your First Name is “United”…

With all the negative press of late surrounding United Airlines, I thought I’d share a little of my own drama about another “United”…United Health Care. Today, my daughter, Bethany, drove down from Dallas to Houston to attend the funeral of the mom of one of her high school youth group friends. As I was waiting for her to swing by afterwards and have lunch with my mom and me before heading home, I was sorting through the mail. I opened a letter from United Health Care, one of many that we get on a regular basis…usually noting all my individual tests, labs, etc.

This one caught my attention because right in the middle of the page it read,
“Type of Treatment…Hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC); allogeneic transplantation per donor.” Oh, wow! This is the approval letter for my DLI, donor lymphocyte infusion. It’s not worded quite the same, but that’s what this is!! Then I looked at the previous section noting the details and one line stood out.

What?!?! What do you mean $0.00???!!!! I read the letter front and back, over and over, and it continued to say $0.00! Needless to say, I was in shock, overwhelmed, mad, upset, worried, totally in control, and losing my mind. I called my handy customer service number and spoke to Kristen (who I am going to officially adopt!). I explained the letter I had just received and read. I told her about my leukemia, my 2012 stem cell transplant (which Blue Cross Blue Shield paid for), my 2015 CAR T-Cell trial (which UHC paid for), and how the ENTIRE STEM CELL TEAM AT MD Anderson had agreed that this procedure was what I needed so that I could hopefully live more than two years or so. I said that there is a small window in which to do this procedure because I still need to HAVE donor cells left to boost! If they choose to deny this request for coverage, they are basically signing my death sentence.

She asked if I minded holding for 3-5 minutes? “No. I’d be happy to.” During this time, Bethany got home, made our sandwiches, and the three of us were sitting at the table. At that point, I asked her to pray. She and mom started praying, not just for lunch but for this situation, for these people making a life or death decision. My life! Before Bethany even finished praying, Kristen came back on the phone and thanked me for holding. She said that there had been a horrible mistake and offered her most heartfelt apology. My procedure WAS, indeed, deemed medically necessary and the acceptance letter had already been mailed to MD Anderson. The letter I had received in error was for an incorrect procedure code or something. I asked if she could please send me a copy of the acceptance letter for my files. ☺

I had maintained my composure this entire time. Once the call (and the survey) were complete, I totally lost it. Tears of relief and “what if’s” flowed. Even though this procedure was not what we had originally planned for, we are convinced that it is what God has for me, and I was devastated to think that the financial hand of man could thwart the plan of God. How silly of me! Nothing can hinder the hand of God.

So it is with a deep breath and sigh of relief that we forge ahead. Insurance…check. Donor…check, check. Our God, Savior, Redeemer, One Who Walks with us every step of the way…check, check, check!

April 15, 2017

Take Up My Cross and Follow Him

A couple weeks ago at church, our music minister filled in for our senior pastor in the pulpit. Caleb shared with me that he and the Lord had been able to spend months preparing for this message and wondered and admired how Dean does this every week! ☺ The Lord did, indeed, use Caleb that day…especially in my heart…as I am still thinking on the verses and thoughts that he shared. They were especially poignant leading up to the verses that were read last night at the Good Friday service.

We have been studying the book of Matthew and we were in chapter 16 when Jesus was speaking to the disciples about what was about to happen to him. In verses 24-26 it reads,

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whosoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

The question was posed if we had ever considered what it meant for us to “take up our cross?” The majority of us have never endured the pain, torture, humiliation, and persecution that the cross represents. So how do we take up our cross and follow Him? The cross for Christ meant ultimate forgiveness for a world of people who didn’t deserve or even ask for it. He willingly offered forgiveness because He and the Father have a covenant relationship with His created people. He loves us and wants us to be restored to Him...and paid the ultimate sacrifice for it. Covenant relationships start with forgiveness. That is our cross. We don’t want to forgive. We want to hold on to our grievances, our pride, our justice, our pain. In the process, we lose family, friends, church members…we lose relationship.

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered,
“I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Matthew 18: 21-22

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-6

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:31-32

“Who has believed our report and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied, by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Isaiah 53

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

April 5, 2017

Timing & The Bucket List

When your doctor calls and drops the kind of news on you that we received recently, you begin to think through all the things you want to do before the big day comes. From the very beginning of this journey, we have been positive, believing, confident in the hope we have in God. Nothing has changed. We still covet your prayers and lay the results at His Feet. We expect the best. But we are not so naïve to realize that things do not always turn out the way we hope and plan. I have lost two very dear friends, plus countless other family and friends, to this dreaded disease. But these two were walking a road very similar to mine. These were the most difficult to accept and move forward.

So now it’s my turn to subject myself again to the wonderful, healing, scary, sometimes deadly hand of treatment. Since my disease is chronic and not acute, I am not dying this month, unless I get hit by a bus! This allows me to choose when I want to schedule my DLI (somewhat), which is actually a process rather than a one-day occurrence. (They give you a little of the cells at a time and then watch and test you to make sure that your organs aren’t going crazy and rejecting everything.)

Anyway, back to timing. First comes our anniversary at the end of May. We have always taken trips that include some type of hiking. Last year, it was fairly minimal due to my knees and inability to walk very far, but we did as much as we could. This year, we will be heading to Wichita Falls for my cousin’s daughter’s wedding the weekend after our anniversary, so we will combine that with our anniversary trip. We have been holding out hope that we would be able to go to Palo Dura Canyon, near Amarillo, this year if my knee healed well enough. After receiving the news of the upcoming treatment, we decided that my knee was good enough! We were going come hell or high water! ☺ Paul said he would carry me if he had to. (Pray that he doesn’t have to!!) We both have camel back (water) backpacks and new tripod stools for if (and when) I need a break. Just like when we climbed Enchanted Rock back in 2014 and I felt that immense sense of accomplishment, we’re going to do it again! We need this, together…before the DLI. So Bucket List #1…Palo Dura Canyon.

Back when my great niece was 8, almost 9, Mama O and I took her to New York City. It was an awesome trip! For all of Dana’s young life, she has been asking when can I take HER to New York?! My daughter, Bethany, and I both LOVE New York and Dana is turning 10 this summer. With Mama O’s health decline, I’m not sure of her ability to make another trip. We’re waiting to see what this week’s appointment tells us. But our hope is that either all four, or at least the three, of us will be able to make that epic trek to the Big Apple as a surprise for Dana’s tenth birthday…a bit early. This one is going to be a bit harder to pull off as it is a bit pricier, and none of us have won the lottery! We are thinking, figuring, ciphering, saving, hoping, praying, and trying to make this happen. This would be a huge Bucket List item for me and my girls. Bucket List #2…New York.

If there is time before MDA gets me scheduled, there is one other trip I’d love to take. It may sound silly to those of you who don’t have grandchildren, but I would love to be able to go with as many of my kids and grandkids as possible to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. It’s just a hop and a skip past Texarkana. It is very affordable. You can dig for diamonds, amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, quartz, and more rocks and minerals. There are hiking trails and a small water park next door. This would be SO MUCH FUN!!! I want to make as many memories with my grandkids as possible. Bucket List #3…Crater of Diamonds Trip

Throughout all of this, we need to get my mom well and independent again. Please pray for our upcoming appointment on Thursday. She is bound and determined to go home. We want that for her, as well. But we want it under the best conditions. This corresponds to Bucket List #4…Time in the Country. We need things to be in order here to free up time for us to spend time away.

Our Bucket List is actually much longer than this and includes things like Paul’s early retirement, building our home and shop in the country, buying a bigger mill so we can have a retirement business that we really enjoy, can do together, and doesn’t kill Paul’s back, traveling, etc. But right now, it seems prudent to focus on the next 2-8 months rather than the next 2-8 years. God willing, we’ll get there. But as always…one day, one step, one prayer at a time.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
Isaiah 40:28-31

“I love you, LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold….
For who is God besides the LORD?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way….
Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations;
I will sing the praises of your name.”
Psalm 18:1-2, 31-36, 49

April 2, 2017


In my last conversation with Dr. H, she let me know that the first step in the DLI process was to get insurance approval. We are with a different provider than we were when I had my transplant, so we are praying that all goes well with that conversation.

The second step is to reconnect with my donor to see if he is still available and willing to donate a second time. MD Anderson cannot reach out until the insurance is secured. Dr. H asked me if I had ever been in communication with my donor, and I told her that I had. I tried to send the required paperwork after my first stem cell anniversary, but it somehow didn’t connect. But the second year it did. So just before my two-year “Re-Birthday,” I was able to send him a long letter and he called me! It was the coolest thing ever!!! Anyway, Dr. H said that while they couldn’t contact him until everything was in order, I could!

So yesterday, I sent Richard, my mailman hero, an email recapping all that has been going on over the last few years…coming out of remission shortly after my 2-year “re-birthday” anniversary, the CAR T-Cell trial in 2015, my knee replacement in 2016, and the continued increase in my CLL numbers and decrease in my donor cell count over the past year. I let him know that the MDA stem cell team had recommended the DLI over other treatment (or non-treatment) options. And I asked if he would be willing to consider donating again. The prep time for him would not be as difficult as the first time, from what I understand. I let him know how very much this means to me, my husband, my family…. But no matter his decision, we knew this was in God’s hands.

This morning, he wrote me back to say that he would gladly help!! ☺ My heart leapt with joy and I immediately began to cry. The DLI could not happen without him. I could not use another donor. That would mean starting completely over with an entirely new transplant, which does not hold particularly good odds. The DLI is simply “boosting” the one I already had, with the goal of kicking down the growing cancer cells and increasing the healthy donor cells. Ultimately, the goal would be for me to be 100% Richard!! ☺ Or at least as close as possible…DNA/cell wise.

So today, our praise to God and thankful hearts is that HE SAID YES!!! Now we just have to wait for insurance approval and the right timing.

That is another story.

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:15