Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3rd Prayer Request

Hello Family and Friends,
Thank you so much for continuing to ask about and pray for my parents.  My father looks so great these days as his coloring is back and he has gained back the weight that he lost.  He tells me that he is enjoying every day.  My mother also continues to stand upon the encouragment and comfort of God's word and is a strong anchor for my father and for the rest of the family.  
His oncologist let us know a few weeks back that his leukemia is in remission, meaning that his bone marrow biopsy shows less than 5% of his cells containing cancer.  However, he also told us that a study of the chromosomes of the infected cells show that this form of leukemia is aggressive and, although it responds well to chemotherapy, will typically return within weeks to months of being in a state of remission.  Thus, the doctor continues to give my father months to live but no less than a year without a bone marrow transplant.  
In the meantime, a patient with this acute leukemia awaiting a transplant would normally go through another round of the aggressive chemo where they are hospitalized and quarantined for a duration of about 3-4 weeks.  The doctor does not believe my father would survive another intense chemo so he has started him on a less intense, 5 day outpatient chemo which started on Monday.  He says that it may or may not keep his cancer in remission, but will keep in on this 5 day treatment every 28 days.  
As I learn more about the bone marrow transplant, I am facinated at how much has changed over the last several years.  To become a bone marrow donor is much simpler of a process than what I thought it was.  Stem cells can now be collected through a process similar to donating blood.  On the other hand, receiving a bone marrow transplant is much more of a dangerous procedure than I had ever imagined.  Statistics show that 1 in 3 people (of all ages) will die from the bone marrow transplant itself.  
With all that said, you can imagine how much there is to pray for.  We are praying that the Lord will continue to keep the Leukemia in remission despite the fact that my father is receiving a less intense form of chemo.  We are also asking that the Lord will lead and guide my father as he decides whether or not he should even get the transplant.  That the Lord would open and close the doors and opportunities for the transplant if it is not in His will.  We are still believing that the Lord has the power to heal my father despite the circumstances but continue to ask for the grace to accept His perfect will.  Most of all that the Lord will be glorified through this trial in our lives!