Monday, October 30, 2006

30 Oct 2006

Hello to all,

Gene has gone back to the apartment for the night but I wanted to get this out. Thanks for all the support we have already received. The prayers are so appreciated. So we call on you once again.

Tomorrow, Oct. 31, Wednesday, Is the day of the transplant. I am not sure when I will be getting the cells. Sandy will be hooked up from 8:00 a.m. for approximately 6 hours. She will have a needle in each arm. I definately think she has the hard part tomorrow. I then receive the cells in the same way you receive blood. Pretty easy on my end.

We are asking again for "corporate prayer" since we don't have an exact time, we are asking for people to pray between 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. thanks again to those who have been prayer warriors for us.

Pray this will be the final fix.
Please pray that I will be completely healed
Pray that all goes well so I can be released from the hospital on Wed.
Pray for the kids, both Sandy's and ours. as they miss their parents

Once released I have to "live" here for 2-3 weeks and go the clinic daily,pray that will be sooner than later.

The doctor said I look great tne he is thrilled with how well I went throuth the last chemo.

Thanks for praying,


Saturday, October 28, 2006

28 Oct 2006

To All,

Due to logistical issues Cheryl had to change rooms, as such, she now has a new direct dial telephone number:

(612) 273-0205

Sandy, "THE DONOR", is back home, Denver CO, just in time to play in 12-14 inches of snow. She went back home last Thursday to be with her two wonderful and beautiful daughters, who miss their mother.

Sandy will be returning on Sunday and donate on Tuesday.

Please pray for safe travels for Sandy both coming back and returning home and that God would keep her from getting ill between now and Tuesday.

Thank you for your e-mails and phone calls.

Please pray for:

1. This separation from my is very, very difficult.
2. Continued strength to carry on....I will be the first to say the constant poking, prodding and physical side effects from the various medications is, well let's just say I am about at my limit.
3. Praise for those who are back home helping with our children's needs.
4. Praise and prayer for the nurses and doctors here in Minneapolis, may Christ's love and salvation reach one and/or all of them through my actions and words.

That's all for now

God bless to all

Cheryl and family

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

25 Oct 2006

To All,

Hello from Minneapolis, MN. Nothing major, health related, to report at this time. However, God's blessings continue to flow, for example:

  • Sandy, my sister (a.k.a. "The DONOR"), was due to fly from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday, on a flight provided by loving friends in our church. Our friend was watching the flights and on Friday called Sandy to say she should fly From Denver to O'Hare in Chicago otherwise she could be stuck in Dallas Fort Worth. So she flew in on Saturday and on Sunday road up with us to Minneapolis. What a blessing.
  • We booked a place for Gene, and later Gene & I, to stay at the Marriott Town Plaza at a special Hospital Rate for long term, very nice with two bedrooms a mini kitchen combo living room, shower ect. On Tuesday while waiting to go to the clinic to see the Doctor, our Social Worker at the hospital called and said an apartment opened up on campus and would we be interested? Well, I guess you know we snapped that up fast. Again, two bedrooms (with two beds each), nice big bath room, combo kitchen / living room with a "Recliner" for Gene!!! AT HALF THE PRICE and best of all only 5 to 6 blocks from the Hospital / Clinic, so Gene can just walk back to his room.

I was admitted to the hospital on schedule, Wednesday morning at 9 AM to start the Chemo at 8 pm and then daily for the next 5 days following. One thing the Doctor stated that is worth noting was the fact that my cancer is not truly in remission, but is in a state that is just right for this procedure (better, if I were in remission, but we take it as it comes).

Sandy is going to fly home on Thursday 26, October and returns Sunday 29, October to donate her cells on Tuesday.

That is all I know for now except that you can contact us via the following address and phone numbers:
Mailing Address:
Gene and/or Cheryl Cummins
Minneapolis, MN 55414

My Hospital Room Telephone Number:
(612) ###-####- my direct line into my room

Gene's Cell Phone Number:
(608) ###-#### [please note, that while Gene is in my room or on the floor of my wing, his cell phone must be turned off - no wireless appliances may be used. You can leave him a message and he will be stepping out to check periodically]

Love in Christ
Cheryl and family

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

17 Oct 2006

To All,
GREAT NEWS!! The insurance has finally approved the next treatment process. Thank you, all you prayer warriors for staying the course and praying for me and the insurance company.

On Sunday, 22 October, Gene & I will drive up to Minneapolis, MN and meet up with my sister Sandy (a.k.a. - THE DONOR). Monday morning, 23 Oct, we both go to the doctors / clinic for testing, and then I will get a day of rest on Tuesday and be admitted to the Hospital to start Chemo Therapy on the 25. Finally, on 31 October, I will receive the transplant (they call it an infusion in Minnesota), and if I am a good girl - NO FEVERS OR OTHER MUTANT PROBLEMS- I will be discharged to outpatient care on 1 November.

I will be required to stay in Minneapolis, through November (NOT the 100 days that we were originally told), making daily trips to the Clinic to check my progress - with 24 hour care (none other than my loving husband). Again, if I am real good, I might get time off for good behavior.

Even though the waiting was a tremendous strain these past few days, I have still been able to see the Glory of God in all of this by the daily blessings that are happening in mine and my families lives for example:

  • Friends of Gene's at work have offered to stay with the Emily and Michael at our house while we are out of town.
  • Many people continue to bless us with meals, cards, words / prayers of inspiration, visits and more - all from the goodness of their hearts.
  • Being able to attend Sunday morning service (even though it is up in the balcony - I even get hugs up there).
  • Several of the men of church meeting with and praying for me, Gene and the kids.

I can't tell you what the outcome will be at the end of November or next year, but I know and believe that however this does turn out, TO GOD BE THE GLORY AND HONOR in all things.

Love in Christ

Cheryl and Family

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

11 Oct 2006

To All,

On Monday, we met with doctors at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and they left us with 6 options, in order of preferred treatment.
  • The first option is known as a Donor Lymphocyte Infusion (DLI) - which according to the Doctors would be most preferable in Cheryl's case. In addition, they were certain that this procedure could be performed at Madison.
  • The next two are variations on the same treatment known as Killer Cells. Which is only available in Minnesota.
  • The fourth treatment is with the use of an Isotope type cell that (radioactive) that is infused, which the cancer cells respond to by ingesting. Once ingested the Isotope will kill the cancer cells
  • The fifth treatment is modifying Cheryl's immune system, or re-educating, to recognize the cancer cells and kill them.
  • The sixth is to do nothing at all. This would only be a matter of time as to when the cancer returned.

The treatments listed above, the first five involve various forms of additional chemo therapy. The first one is less invasive than the rest. The second and third are current clinical trials, but are very hard on the body. The fourth and fifth are experimental and the doctor wouldn't really recommend them.

The doctor told us that with the exception of the last option, the chances of successfully curing Cheryl are between 20% - 30%. The doctor wasn't certain Cheryl could handle treatments 2-5 as her body has already been through a great deal and may not handle the additional strain. In addition, the one thing that all the doctors agree on is that in order for the treatment to be successful, Cheryl must experience some Graft versus Host disease, which she didn't on the first transplant. Graft versus Host disease can be as mild as a rash or fevers or as deadly as major organ damage.

Tuesday, on the way home, we stopped by to see the doctor in Madison. She is confident that they can perform the DLI at Madison, but needed to talk with the doctor at UMN medical clinic to make sure she fully understands his recommended treatment. We should have a plan of how we will proceed by the end of the week.

To be honest, we are uncertain of the proper course and location of treatment. Please pray in the following areas:

  • That by the end of the week the right treatment and location will be known - both doctors agree that time is of the essence
  • That God continues to place his strength and healing touch on me and the rest of the family
  • That what ever treatment is determined to be the correct action, that I can handle both the physical issues and the hospital stays.

Love in Christ

Cheryl and family

Thursday, October 5, 2006

5 Oct 2006

To All,

We know it has been a while since our last update, but we wanted to wait until we had some truly remarkable news to share with you. We know that you all have been praying for us, as the following results have come about from your prayers and God's blessing me:

  1. The insurance company wanted us to get a second opinion on what the continued treatment should be and recommended we go to Minneapolis, MN to the University of Minnesota Medical Center, which comes highly recommended by our current Doctor in Madison.
    • (quote from their web site - Blood and Marrow Transplant Services at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview has been at the forefront of blood and marrow transplant (BMT) advances since performing the world’s first BMT in 1968.)

  2. That my body is finally recovering from all the treatments and, even though I am still well below normal, as of today, my body is making it's own platelets enough that I will not need any transfusion in the near future.
    • The normal human body has between 160,000 - 375,000 platelets, I am currently at 12,000 which is much better than the 3,000 I was at about three weeks ago.

  3. That the Bone Marrow Biopsy that they performed two weeks ago showed me to be in remission at this time with no sign of the cancer cells.

Please pray for us in the following areas:

  1. On Monday I will be going through a full day of tests at the Minnesota Medical Center to determine what the next step should be - pray that God gives then clear direction and that they can start and finish treatment(s) soon - I am growing very weary.
  2. Pray that if I am to be treated up in Minnesota (MN), that the love of God will sustain my children in my absence and that God will not allow me to be away for to long.
  3. As Gene and I travel and/or stay in MN for a period of time at the medical center, pray that we will both be a strong witness of Faith, Love and Grace of our Lord Jesus.
  4. Pray that the cancer cells continue to remain in remission until final treatment and then will be gone for ever.
  5. Pray for a safe journey to and from MN.

First and foremost you should pray for and believe in Divine intervention and healing as God truly does have the power.

We will send out an update sometime next week when we know more.

Love in Christ

Cheryl and Family