Monday, February 23, 2015

Reversed Roles

December 2, 2010 was my last post about my husband's recovery from lymphoma and leukemia. Charlie has been doing well; in fact, he has not had to go to the oncologist for almost four years now. At 58 years old he is still working in a very physical work field that the doctors never expected him to return to. Many say he is a walking miracle.

The entire time Charlie was battling lymphoma and then leukemia I too was battling with what we now know is a pituitary tumor and an adrenal tumor. Most doctors then thought it was high blood pressure and panic disorder. No medicine was able to get it under control very well. Only those closest to me knew about it. When doctors don't know what is wrong with you they often put labels on you which they did in my case. After a while I even at times believed that they were right. But I now know they were wrong. After almost countless doctor and ER visits I found an endocrinologist miles away in California that found the pituitary tumor and told me that most likely I had some form of Cushings (either Cushings disease or Cushings syndrome). Cushings disease is caused by a pituitary tumor. More than likely I have cyclical Cushings disease which is a form that causes low, high, and normal cortisol which makes it very difficult to diagnose. Cushings syndrome is caused by an adrenal tumor. My doctor thinks that my pituitary tumor came first and then caused the adrenal tumor for me. The only cure for this disease is God curing it or surgery to remove the tumor. At this time I am still testing. I have had very high cortisol at times. I am doing multiple tests and when my endocrinologist thinks I have enough highs he will send me to surgery for removal of the tumor. The surgery is risky and we have to know for certain that I have Cushings disease and not just a non-functioning tumor. I would want my Lord to take it away so I would not have to have surgery, but sometimes it can be God's will for surgery.

It is humbling to write about this disease in me because so many people misunderstand it. A person with it usually gains lots of weight in spite of diet and exercise. The high cortisol released from the tumor causes this. If excess weight was the only and most serious symptom it really would not be so bad. There are a lot more serious problems than being obese with Cushings. It can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, diabetes, kidney stones, osteoporosis, blindness, DEATH, etc. I think I have had this disease for over twenty years. Many people do go that long with it without being diagnosed. The last eight years have been particularly difficult for me.

I have decided to start writing in this blog again so that maybe I can help someone just like me get the help they need. Most likely if a person is diagnosed early with Cushings they have a better chance to fully recover. Even if a doctor tells you nothing serious is wrong with you, if you know that there is, find the help you need. The beginning of my way to recovery was when I found a large group of people just like me on Cushings is called a rare disease, but to be more accurate it is rarely diagnosed. If I could help one person from going through what I went through for all these years it would be worth all the time I spend writing in this blog.

So now my role as a caregiver for Charlie is over. This disease has progressed to the point now that I can barely stand for 10 minutes. So, Charlie now takes care of me in so many ways. I guess it can be said that our roles have been reversed. The Lord has been good even through this. HE has a reason for allowing it in our lives.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Recovery from Second Transplant


It's been a very long time since I last posted on my blog. When I started this blog, my husband was very ill with lymphoma. Since then he had a recovery from lymphoma, but then developed leukemia caused by the chemo in his first transplant. What a discouragement that was!! Charlie's platelet count never returned to normal after his first stem cell transplant, but he did return to work (a very physical occupation). In the fall of 2009 we learned that he needed another stem cell transplant if there was any hope for recovery. My wonderful husband continued to work until February 2010 when he fell on steel cutting himself quite badly. I have to say that I was relieved to see him quit his job. Because of the very low platelet count, Charlie had bruises of all sizes on his body.

In April 2010 Charlie finally was able to have another stem cell transplant. This time it was not his own cells, but that of a 21 year old male that was a perfect 10 of 10 match. The first stem cell transplant was a bit scary since it took 31 days for Charlie's stem cells to engraft. We had no idea of what would happen with the transplant this time. To our amazement the donor's stem cells engrafted in only 8 days. As of today there has been no sign of rejection and Charlie's blood counts are all normal. He was diagnosed with bronchiectasis (lung disease) before the second stem cell transplant. This was due to either the chemo or the low immune system. So far, with daily breathing treatments, the disease still is mild. If it progresses it can cause serious problems and disability.

My wonderful husband is now back at work doing what he loves to do. I have to say that I did enjoy having him at home for about 8 months, but I know that a man is only truly happy when he is able to work. God has truly been very good to us!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

HE Careth for You

The Bible says, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you," I Peter 5:6-7. The word "humble" here means to depress; figuratively to humiliate (in condition or heart): - abase, bring low, humble (self). When you or someone you love dearly is going through a serious illness it is sometimes depressing and you are sometimes brought low. I would say that I have been greatly humbled by the mighty hand of God. Cancer and the long term treatment that goes with it can turn your world upside down. My husband and I are learning to do what the Bible says to do....casting all our care upon God. God loves us more than anyone loves us ("he careth for you"). HE knows exactly what we need and when we need it.

God has been so close to us lately. HE has comforted us in so many ways. The Lord knows that I love to see deer in the wild. A few days ago my best friend (hubby) and I went for the last walk before he entered the hospital for his stem cell transplant. As we walked down a railroad track six deer strolled onto the tracks about 50 yards from us.

More importantly than seeing deer, is spending time with our family and friends. The Lord has placed wonderful people in our lives. Truly we see HIM in our friends and family. They are used to comfort us. Jesus said as recorded in Matthew, "...I was sick, and ye visited me". We have had many such visits and they were like the Lord visiting us to comfort us. Matthew 25:40 says "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." How wonderful it is to be comforted by family & friends!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Daddy Went to Heaven Yesterday

Most of you know that my mom has ovarian cancer. Today I
received a call from my baby sister and knew something was wrong
immediately, but it was not my mom. My dad had suffered a heart
attack and went to Heaven shortly after arriving at the hospital.
We plan to go to Louisiana very soon. Please pray especially for my
mom. They had been married for about 55 years and she is still
having chemo treatments. My dad was her rock.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Everyday is a Blessing from God

It's been a very long time since I have written on this blog. We have been busy having a "normal" life free of cancer. Unfortunately, cancer has returned to my husband's body. This time it is not lymphoma, but MDS/leukemia. He is feeling quite well for having such a diagnosis. For this we are so grateful to our Lord. Another stem cell transplant is in his very near future. Again I will become my husband's caregiver.

Everyday is a blessing from the Lord. Today we got a little taste of spring. There is still snow on the ground and the temperature was probably in the 40's, but after this cold winter it really seems quite warm. Charlie and I went for a 38 minute walk down a country road and railroad track near our home. While walking on the railroad track we were able to watch 4 deer eating left-over corn in a field. What a blessing!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mom Diagnosed with Cancer

About every 6 months my husband has to have a CT scan to see if he is still free of cancer. His next CT will be September 5, 2009. Again we are praying that there will be no evidence of new cancer.

Last week we learned that my Mom has cancer. (The photo with this post is my Mom & Dad who will be married 55 years this fall.) For months now she has not felt well, but we never dreamed that it would be cancer. She will be seeing an oncologist in a day or two. Surgery and chemo are in her near future unfortunately. Please pray for her and our family. It's times like these that we just have to trust that the Lord knows best and believe that God is good all the time. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths," Proverbs 3: 5-6.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Remembering One Year Ago

One year ago today my husband was in the fight of his life. On July 31, 2008 it was Day 22 post transplant and still no stem cell engraftment. Charlie had a Care Page that I posted on almost daily to keep friends and relatives informed. The following is a post from July 30, 2008:

Today's bone marrow biopsy was painless for Charlie. Praise God!! He did feel some pressure but that is all. The staff here did a great job in giving him the proper medicine to deaden the pain. They also allowed me to be at his side. Once again, Charlie's tough bones bent the instrument that they used to extract the marrow. We should get some answers starting tomorrow. It will take 3 days to get all the results. Tonight Charlie also received the immune globulin that will boost his immune system. Charlie's primary oncologist told us today that she looked up data on slow engrafters. There have been some of their patients engraft as late as Day +35. She believes that Charlie is just a slow engrafter. She also said that out of the approximately 1400 stem cell transplants that they have performed here only one person didn't engraft. She said that she doesn't believe that Charlie will be no. 2. His doctors and nurses all say that he is doing so well in all of the other areas of healing. All of this was such an encouragement to us on a most stressful day.

When I remember what God has done in the healing of my husband, I have to rejoice. The Lord was with us through the entire battle. I am convinced that HE will be with us through future battles also.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer is So Wonderful This Year

Summer is so wonderful!!! When you live in Northern Indiana you learn to appreciate the warmth that summer brings. The plants in our garden are growing rapidly. We have enjoyed lettuce, broccoli, beets, spinach, chives, and two tomatoes already. More types of veggies are on the way.

Thinking back on what we were doing last year at this time, I am even more thankful than usual for the simple pleasures of life. Last July my wonderful husband was having a stem cell transplant that kept him in the hospital for 37 days. There was a point when we didn't think that his stem cells would engraft, but God did a miracle in his life and caused the stem cells to start making new cells again. Now one year since the transplant Charlie says that he feels as though he has never had cancer at all. He is working a full-time physically demanding job, playing golf, and most importantly, working as a layman in our church.

When my husband was going through his health battle, I have to admit that I thought that God was preparing me to either say goodbye to Charlie very soon or HE was preparing me to care for a disabled husband for the rest of his life. Boy, was I wrong. Praise God I was wrong!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Still in Remission

My husband Charlie is still in remission and enjoying life. At his last check-up his blood counts revealed all is normal except his platelet count which is still a bit low. This might remain that way for the remainder of his life due to the extreme chemo that Charlie received for the stem cell transplant that he had almost one year ago.

Recently we were blessed to be able to visit our son, daughter-in-law, and 2 grandsons in Arizona. One year ago, I would have never dreamed that this would be possible. What a wonderful God we have!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Chill is Gone

Having spent most of my life in South Louisiana, I have not experienced too many cold winters. Now that I reside in the cold Midwest, I have experienced truly frigid temperatures. This past winter was probably the coldest I have ever experienced in the twelve winters that I have lived here. Our coldest day this winter had an actual temperature of -25 degrees F. and there were many more days that were almost as cold. It is now late April and we are now finally truly warming up. Winter's chill seemed to not want to go away this season.

Cancer's cold chill never seems to end either, at least from the time of diagnosis until remission. Sometimes it seems as though there will never be sunny, warm days ever again, but I am writing this to tell you that it does end. Sometimes the Lord chooses to take our loved one to Heaven taking his/her suffering away. This is perfect healing that only God can do. Sometimes cancer allows our loved one to remain here on earth, but with an altered body. So many people that I know and love have undergone cancer treatment that has left them with other conditions or diseases. The last and best result of cancer and the treatment for cancer is total remission with little or no new condition or disease. The result of my husband's treatment was this or so it appears.

Believe me, I realize that cancer can come back with a vengeance so I live with that thought in the back of my mind every day. I am now also thinking of a friend that had lymphoma that almost killed him almost 20 years ago. To this day the lymphoma has never returned. For now, my husband is well. He returned to his very physical job just one month after having a stem cell transplant. God has truly done a miracle. Winter's cold chill is gone and so is cancer's cold chill in our family.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pesticides & Other Toxins in our Food

Pesticides are one of the most likely causes of lymphoma. There has been an increase of lymphoma in America in recent years. Could it be that we are allowing too many pesticides in our foods? I believe that it is. My husband who has just battled Stage IV lymphoma really didn't eat what most would call a bad diet; in fact, I believe that his diet contains more vegetables than the average person's diet. I have noticed that more and more of our fresh produce is coming from other countries. In my search to improve our family's health, I came across a wonderful blog that included U Tube videos that I would like to share with you. Please listen to Dr. Rima Laibow, M.D. speak on what is happening to our food supply. A trade commission called Codex is behind what is happening. On December 31, 2009 all countries will have to comply with their standards which are not healthful to us at all; in fact, they are very harmful. This is all part of the one world government coming very soon. You can hear the videos if you go to . If you want to go to Dr. Laibow's website, it is Let me say this, I am a born-again Christian that believes that the one world government is just about set up. I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ (all those born again) will be raptured out before the 7 year tribulation where the Antichrist rules, but we don't know how far away that time is. Meanwhile, I want to feed my family the best way. I never thought that cancer would invade our home. I thought that our good diet of plenty of veggies would protect us. Boy, was I mistaken. I hope that you listen to the videos and go to the doctor's website where she can guide you on how to inform your politicians of what is happening. Some of them may not even realize the implications of Codex. God-willing, we are going to grow the biggest organic garden ever this spring and keep praying that lymphoma doesn't invade our family again.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hope with Jesus

"If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning," Psalm 130:3-6.

Sometimes Satan tries to discourage the Christian by reminding them of their past and present iniquities. Because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour those iniquities are forgiven. Verse 3 of Psalm 130 reminds me of that. All men, women, boys, and girls are sinners. None of us would stand if God would not have sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Thank God I believe that he did die on the cross for me personally. His precious blood covers my sin. He sees my sin no more. Psalm 130:4 tells me that there is forgiveness with him. Thirty years ago I made a decision to trust Jesus as my personal Saviour. I became a daughter of the King. You too can become a daughter or a son of the King.

A previous post on this blog included God's Plan of Salvation. I copied and pasted some of the original post here in this post so that you would not have to go looking for it:


You've Got a Friend In Jesus!
GOD LOVES YOU! He wants you to know how to spend eternity with Him in Heaven after you die.

Do you know if you died today if you would be in Heaven tomorrow? You can! To go to Heaven, you must be SAVED. That means you have been born again, or born spiritually. Let's see if you qualify to be saved.

First, do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God?

Secondly, do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins?

Thirdly, do you believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days after He died?

If you answered "Yes" to all three questions, you are qualified to be saved, according to the Bible.

The Bible teaches that you and I are sinners by birth. Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

The Bible further teaches that there is a penalty for being a sinner - namely, death in Hell. Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." I don't like that, but that's why I'm telling you how to be saved. I don't want anyone to go to Hell, and you don't have to go to Hell.

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, paid your penalty of Hell for you. Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Because we are sinners by birth, we have no perfect sacrifice to make for our sin. Even our best efforts are stained by sin, so that no matter how good we try to live or how hard we try to make up for our sins, we fall short of what a holy God requires. But, Jesus Christ is perfect, and His death on the cross was a perfect sacrifice for all of our sin, and God will allow Jesus' sacrifice to pay for all our sin.

The Bible teaches that we must receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour by faith. John 1:12, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Much like a bride and groom receive each other when they exchange vows, you and I must receive Jesus Christ, trusting Him to forgive us of our sins and trusting Him alone to take our souls to Heaven when we die.

Salvation is not found in a church or a good deed or in baptism or any religious act. Salvation is found in a Person, and that Person is Jesus Christ.

Would you like your sins forgiven? Would you like to know you would go to Heaven when you die? Would you like to be SAVED? Let me help you receive Jesus Christ right now.

"Dear God, I admit I am guilty of being a sinner in Your sight. I am sorry for my sins. I believe Jesus Christ is Your perfect Son and that He died for my sins and rose from the dead. I want to be saved. I want my sins forgiven, and right now, I receive Jesus Christ and trust Him to save me. I believe You love me, and I ask You to forgive me of my sins and to take my soul to Heaven when I die. I trust You, and I thank You for saving me. Amen."

Congratulations! And thank you for allowing me to share this good news with you!
Pastor Jack Schaap

Through my husband's illness and now through my health struggles I have looked for hope in the Word of God perhaps more than I have ever in my life. With rapidly changing times and uncertainties in this world and in our personal lives, how can anyone ever not trust in the Lord. "I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning," Psalm 130:5-6. If after reading this blog entry you made a decision to trust Jesus to forgive you and take you to Heaven someday, please email me and let me know. I write this blog to glorify the Lord and would love to know if it is helping anyone.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Our Grandson Born on Christmas Eve

Last Christmas Eve was a great deal different than this Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve 2007 my husband had just been released from the hospital after going through the first round of chemo. This Christmas Eve God gave us a wonderful gift....our second grandson, Luke. He is so handsome. Isn't it just like God to make everything better? "For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods," Psalms 135:5.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What a Difference One Year Makes

Last December we were just learning that Charlie had lymphoma. Fears and uncertainties invaded our hearts at a time when we should have been anticipating Christmas. Most of you that are reading this know that after 6 rounds of chemo and then a stem cell transplant Charlie is in remission and doing quite well. This December he is working 50 hours/week. We are enjoying the Christmas season. Our second grandchild will be born around Christmas day or soon after. Will cancer again invade our home? Only God knows. We are trying very hard to enjoy today. Isn't that all anyone really has? God has been so good to us and we want everyone to know. About two days ago, while reading my Bible in the book of Mark, a certain verse stood out to me. Mark 5:19 says, "Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee." Jesus had just healed a man that was demon possessed. Of course, that wasn't my husband's case, but the same God that did miracles with this demon possessed man can also heal my husband in 2008. The reason I write this post---The Lord hath done great things and has had compassion on the Gieseler family.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cancer- A Detour in Life

A few days ago we received a newsletter from the The Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Included in the newsletter was a story about a 16 year lymphoma survivor. This man says that he looks at his cancer journey as a detour in life. I needed to read this because sometimes I can worry about my husband's future or more accurately, my future without my wonderful husband. God used this man's story to remind me that HE (God) is in control and HE (God) knows what HE is doing. God is good ALL the time.

"O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave; thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit," Psalm 30: 2-3.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God Uses People for Encouragement

PHOTO ON LEFT: Charlie, 4 months post-transplant, is growing hair again.

Throughout our journey of mantle cell lymphoma the Lord has been with us. When the diagnosis was still new to us many times the Lord would send someone to us to encourage us. Of course we still have encouragement from many, but we are now wishing to be an encouragement to others that are going through a rough time especially with medical challenges.

Last December, while waiting in a check-out line in Wal-Mart with my daughter, I invited a man to our church's Christmas concert. I told him that my husband was facing a battle with lymphoma and a stem cell transplant and that he would probably be singing in the choir for the last time for quite awhile. To my surprise he told me that he beat lymphoma and was doing fine. After briefly chatting in the check-out line, I headed for my car. As I approached my car, I heard the same man calling me. Apparently, he wanted to encourage me even more. He wanted to know my husband's age. It just so happened that he was my husband's age, worked in the same industry as my husband at one time, and also lived in the same area in Louisiana as we did when he was doing this work.

Sleet and snow continued to fall as we chatted in the Wal-Mart parking lot, but that didn't hinder me for I wanted to know what this man had to say to me for encouragement. I learned that this gentleman was once a member of our church and had loved attending our church. He had only left to attend his fiance's church, but admitted that he had since broke up with her and had not attended church recently. Of course, I encouraged him to visit our church again. He thanked me and realized that God had allowed our paths to cross. Likewise, thanking him for his encouragement, we departed. I now had great confidence that my husband too would survive lymphoma.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Able to Travel Again

Charlie has been back at work now for about 1 1/2 months. When you consider what he has been through, it really is quite amazing. The fears that I had about the outcome of the stem cell transplant did not come about. Praise God!!

My husband's job requires traveling to other states occasionally. In the fall of 2007 I was able to spend a few weeks with him in South Carolina. I never dreamed that we would be able to do this again once the diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma was made in December 2007. Well, God had a wonderful surprise for me. Last week we were able to travel to Iowa together for 5 days. Never does a day go by that I don't thank the Lord for Charlie's recovery.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When I Say That I Am A Christian....

by Maya Angelou

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean livin''
I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say.. 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain..
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Back to Work

When I said caregiving is over in the last post I never dreamed that my husband would be back to work so soon. I thought that I would have him a bit longer at home. I am thrilled that he is able to go back to work even if it is part-time, yet I will miss having him around the house.

So many are amazed on how well Charlie is doing. Today I read a story in the Bible that reminds me of what we recently experienced. The story of Peter being miraculously released from prison is found in Acts 12. The Bible reads, "Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him." One group of Christians were praying at Mary's house (John Mark's mother) when Peter knocked at the gate. A young lady named Rhoda heard the voice of Peter and was so excited that she didn't even open the gate, but ran in to tell those praying that Peter was at the gate. Those praying then said unto her "Thou art mad, But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel." The Christians gathered to pray for Peter really did not believe that Peter would be released or so it seems. One of Charlie's good friends last night told us that Charlie's condition seemed so bad that he wasn't quite sure that he would make it. Of course this friend was praying for him, but he knows that it is not always God's will to heal us at least on this earth. I too am guilty of not being so sure that God would see Charlie through the stem cell transplant. Of course, I was praying fervantly, but when Charlie's stem cells were taking so long to engraft, I started preparing myself for the worse.

On Thursday we got the news that Charlie's white blood counts and neutrophils are totally normal. The other counts are not totally normal but are coming up. We also got news that it is safe for him to go back to work on light duty. I haven't seen Charlie so happy in months.

For now everything is starting to seem "normal" again. We are attending church again, Charlie is singing in the choir again, etc. We know that things could change in the future, but we KNOW that the Lord will see us through no matter what comes our way. God has supplied our every need and some of our wants also. He has shown us so many things. We have a greater assurance now that it is God and God alone that supplies our needs. I lean on my husband for security, and that is good, but I have learned that when my husband is weak Jesus is there for my security. Jesus supplied my peace and security when I needed it most. I KNOW that when I need it again HE will be there.

If any of you would like to see how well Charlie is doing, you can see and hear him any Sunday at 10:45 a.m. or 7 p.m. or on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Charlie sings in our church's choir and if you watch it online you almost for certain will be able to see him on our church's website He sits on the first row on the right.

I want to say thanks to all of you that have prayed for us, those that wrote notes of encouragement, and to those that just read the updates. We are so grateful to all of you. Please continue to pray for Charlie because he will always have a chance of problems reoccuring.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Caregiving Is Over For Now

On July 3, 2008 my husband entered Northwestern Memorial Hospital to begin a stem cell transplant. After receiving chemo for six days his own cancer-free stem cells were transfused into his blood stream. God directed the stem cells back to the bone marrow where they began to make new cells. This process usually takes 7-21 days. My husband's stem cells took 30 days. We had some anxious moments, days, and weeks as we anticipated the daily blood count reports. My husband had no immune system for almost the entire 30 days. He overcame what the doctors called pneumonia. We give God the glory for this. This could have been fatal, but it quickly disappeared. My husband was able to walk just about all of the 37 days he was hospitalized. It really was quite amazing. God is quite AMAZING.

Forty-eight days have passed since the stem cells have been transfused into my husband. His blood counts are much better now, but not normal yet. He is down to doctor check-ups every 2 weeks now and blood draws only once a week. As far as being his caregiver, well that is over for now and I hope it will not be necessary ever again. Of course, it is a joy to care for my best friend, but it is much better to live a life that is somewhat "normal".

In future posts I plan to share with you the peace that God gave me in the midst of the storm. I never want to forget how God carried our family through this storm of life. Comforting others in such storms will be my goal from now on.