Tuesday, September 19, 2006

19 Sep 2006

Dear friends and family,

Praise The Lord! I am finally home. I arrived home about 6:00 Monday night. What a blessing to be home with my children.

I slept so well, since I wasn't awakened in the night to be weighed and temp. taken and all that jazz.

I have an appt. on Thurs for more platelets and whatever else I need. I have an appt. Tues. for another bone marrow biopsy (required by insurance) to make sure the leukemia is still in remission so we can move forward with the stem cell transplant (provided that it is approved by insurance).

Thank you for all your prayers, cards, e-mails, meals etc. We are so appreciative.

I have little to no energy and am tired most of the time. It is very hard for me to accept that I just can't do what I used to do, I keep telling myself "The most important thing is to get well"
My family is so supportative, doing the laundry, fixing meals, doing the dishes. It is great!

Here is a list of prayer requests:
1. The platelets will be readily availabe, since I have to have a special match now
2. The bone marrow biopsy will show I am still in remission
3. Acceptace of my current abilities
4. Strength for Gene, Michael and Emily

Thankyou so much for praying,
Cheryl for the Cummins family

Friday, September 15, 2006

15 Sep 2006

To All,

Well, here it is halfway through September and I am on my 22nd day at UW Hospital, this stay. I think if I added all the time up that I have spent here since last October 14 it would be somewhere around 6 full months.

Anyway, I am still in the hospital due to the continuing fevers and the fact that the doctors have not been able to identify and eliminate the source.

Despite this fact, our wonderful Doctor is pressing to continue on to the next leg of this journey by going through with a second stem cell transplant. As you would expect, there are a great many hurdles to clear in order to accomplish this - most of which deal with the insurance and their approval, the other minor hurdle is that I stay as healthy as I am currently.

Areas for prayer for me and my family include the following:

1. Devine intervention and healing, with or with out the Doctors and medical treatment.

2. If the above healing involves doctors and medical treatment, then prayer that what the doctors want to do the Insurance Company will approve - the insurance company is now questioning the logic of performing a second stem cell transplant and assessing the statistics of success.

3. That God will continue to watch after my two wonderful children in my absence. Many of you have invited them to special events and/or sent cards and more. Thank you so much - you have no idea how much help this has truly been.

4. Praise God for Gene's work place and his work associates who have also been very supportive from the very beginning, with out faltering. In addition to Gene's Army National Guard Unit.

5. Praise for the Church family and my family and friends who continue to shower me with e-mails, cards, letters, phone calls, prayers, humor, meals at home and visits (plus many other things). All of these have helped me to maintain my spirits.

6. Praise God for the fact that even though I have periods where my heart and morale sink very low and I breakdown in tears, there is always a ray of sunshine, a verse, a friend or someone close that helps me to see clearly again that strong faith is the only way.

I don't know what lies ahead for me regarding treatment, but I pray that it will be decided soon so that once again I can go about the business God appointed to me of being a Godly influence to my children and the children at church in Sunday school.

Love in Christ

Cheryl and Family

Friday, September 8, 2006

8 Sep 2006

To All,

I am now working on day 15 of this hospital stay. God blessed me with one night and day without a fever (night of Sept 6th and Sept 7th). Unfortunately, the fevers came back again at 2 AM Sept 8th.

They have started me back on the Nupigen injections. Nupigen is a shot given in the stomach which is used to stimulate bone marrow / Stem Cell growth. They want to see my body start producing it's own cells and get me off of blood and platelet transfusions.

Tonight is Michael's birthday party, it will be the first time I have ever missed his birthday, with God's will it will be the only time.

It will be a great "guy's" party, Order pizza then chase it with lots of sugary cake and ice cream, then have a sleepover-Dad's night for sure.

I feel pretty good most of the time, the fevers wear you out,but I have plenty of time to sleep.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention that in trying to figure out what was wrong with me (i.e. the cause of the fevers) they did another Bone Marrow Biopsy on 5 Sept. Results came back showing no infection in the Bone Marrow (Another of God's many blessings) and no signs of cancer. The collective group of Doctors concluded that the fevers are most likely caused by one of three things:
1. Allergic reaction to one of the Antibiotics they have me on - they will start switching them around.
2. A virus that has yet to be detected - they will do more testing to try and verify / eliminate this as a possibility.
3. An antibody left over from the Chemotherapy drug that is still working within my bone marrow doing it's job, which could go on for another couple of weeks.

That's all from here in Madison - home of the Badgers.

May God bless you all

Cheryl and family

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

5 Sep 2006

To All,

Here it is Tuesday - 05 September and I am still in the hospital (going on my 12th day for this session). Thanks to your many faithful prayers I made it through the Chemotherapy without a scratch, however I am stuck here like a derailed train, due to the never ending fevers.

The fevers started out as a bacterial infection in my blood - great they identified them and with the right antibiotic killed them - no more bacterial infection. Yea!!!!

However the fevers still didn't stop. As of today, I think they have checked every inch of my body humanly possible to look for clues as to why the fevers are hanging on to this body of mine. They did another bone marrow biopsy - only this time to look for an infection of some nature hiding in my bone marrow. They got this idea, I think, from the Doctors from the Infectious Disease. I am starting to believe my brother and sister when they say I am just a mutant.

I do know one thing, that this stay has been one of the hardest for me, Monday I even yelled at the Doctors that I want to go home and be with my children. The Lord saw fit to allow those doctors / nurses to treat me with compassion even after a bad day. Today, I was more like my old self - don't get me wrong I want nothing better than to be able to leave this place and go home to my two lovely children whom I miss very much.

However, I realize that until they are able to solve the puzzle of my fevers I would just end up coming back here in short order.

Please pray for us in the following areas:

1. Praise his name that he made the last Chemotherapy session go by so smooth

2. That God would allow the doctors to discover and cure the source of my fevers

3. Or - that he would provide devine intervention and take this illness away.

4. Praise him for the wonderful children he has given to me - that they have been strong enough to carry on.

5. Praise him for all the wonderful people that call, write, visit and perform acts of kindness and mercy for my family.

May God have mercy and blessing on you and your families

Gene & Cheryl Cummins