Thursday, August 17, 2006

17 Aug 2006

To All,

Please rejoice with us, for the Lord's Great Blessings and your committed prayers have helped Cheryl get past one of the most difficult and painful times she has encountered. This segment of her story is nothing short of a miracle that is a direct result of fervent prayer.

As of Friday, 11 AUG, 78% of Cheryl's blood was cancer and as you know she made the choice to continue the Chemotherapy treatment, starting Friday night.

She had never had either of the Chemo treatments before, the first one, Idarubicin, a push over five minutes, no complications.

The second Chemo was on Saturday, called Mylotarg, a new one, that runs on an I.V. drip for two hours. Approximately 1 1/2 hours after completing the chemo, Cheryl started having the chills (lasting more than 30 minutes - her body shaking uncontrollably, complete with chattering teeth) and high fevers for a longer period of time. This was just before / during / and slightly after the time everyone was going to pray.

This was also the first time since this ordeal began, last October 13th, that both Cheryl and I thought she was going to die. This new Chemo attacks cancer cells with might and crushes them. Well, as it was working, her body out of self defense called all of the blood back to the major organs to protect them - her limbs turning gray / ash, looking like a cadaver.

Yet, the Glory of God shown through all of this, as by late Sunday afternoon, she had only a minor fever, cancer cells were hardly visible in the blood and she was ready to play hooky from the hospital for a short time to see "The Slingshot Heard Around the World". What a joy it is to see children perform with hearts eager to proclaim the might and majesty of our Lord and Savior. Cheryl really surprised our kids, Emily and Michael as they didn't know she would be there. She was back in the hospital by 9:30.

From there things continued to get better, the doctors and nurses working on helping Cheryl's body get rid of the additional 30 Lbs of water weight she had taken on over the prior three / four days. Well, on 16 AUG (Our 26th Wedding Anniversary), Cheryl came home.

We must go back to the clinic every other day, where she will receive the much needed transfusions of either platelets, blood and/or both, starting Friday, 18 AUG, Sunday, 20 AUG and again on Tuesday, 22 AUG. However, Tuesday's appointment will be much more as they will perform another Bone Marrow Biopsy. They intend to get the results back very fast so they know how to proceed.

This is again where we need your prayers and God's devine intervention as the Doctors have said depending on the results we will either:

1. Continue with another round of the Mylotarg Chemo therapy - only if the cancer cells in the bone marrow are similarly depleted (some may still be present)

Or if the cancer cells in the bone marrow are still present and dominate then

2. Per the doctors own words - we would then have a real problem.

When we go back to clinic on Friday, we will try to get a better understanding of "The Problem" as per possibility two above.

If you feel like talking to Cheryl feel free to call our home phone number (815) 624-0572 and if you want to come visit her, you are more than welcome as long as you abide by the following:

1. You don't have any illnesses, and haven't recently been in contact with someone who is ill.

2. You call and talk with me first to make sure Cheryl is up for a visit.

We are honored and deeply touched to have all of you as friends and family caring and praying for us in the way you do.

To God be the Glory and Honor

Gene & Cheryl

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