Friday, August 8, 2014

Consider the Lilies of the Field

If we had another child, and was born a she - her name would be Lily.

Some time ago, which really wasn't that far back (OK, maybe a few years), Tiffany had come across a song, a hymn, called 'Consider the Lilies' (go here to hear it), and in the midst of it, she suggested that she would call our next daughter Lily (and because I have a penchant for double L's in my kids names, it would have to be spelled Lilly - but I digress).

But in that hymn is a small, yet powerful message - that simple trust in God is all we need to survive, or perhaps, even, thrive!  That lilies don't worry or fret over their existence, nor should we.

But alas, we worry.  We fret.  Sometimes it is over the vain things this world has to offer, of money, of fame, of power.  And yes, even health.  But the message contained in the written word, and also in the lyrics of the hymn, are this...

He clothes the lilies of the field,
He feeds the lambs in His fold,
And He will heal those who trust Him,
And make their hearts as gold.
We forget, some more than others, and at times more than others, that the trust in our Father in Heaven is indeed what will take care of us.

If it weren't so late, and if I didn't promise my sweet wife I would post something tonight, I might be tempted to follow that thought some more, but for now, that will do.

Today, we had a visit to Dr. Glenn.  It ended up being the start of a transition to Dr. Boyer.  Dr. Glenn has done everything possible to rid Tiffany of the malignancy she continues to battle, and has done a marvelous job at it.  As there are no more treatment options on the table, we have been relying upon prayers and faith.  And as is any modern day miracle, we have seen something amazing over the last couple of weeks.  Tiffany has made some marketable improvements in her outward health.  And today, again, Dr. Glenn cannot really pinpoint exactly why there has been improvement, calling Tiffany a mystery.  But really, many of us know that mystery is simply the hand of providence.

So improvement came.  Tiffany and I have said all along that we need to follow competent medical advice and have faith.  At times we may have relied more on the medical advice than we have faith, but lately, it has indeed been the other way around.  With this improvement, a bone marrow biopsy was taken last Monday, and today, the results have come back, suggesting that there was just enough improvement to allow a bone marrow transplant!

And it is to be done quickly.

There are a few more tests and requirements that must be passed through, but since this morning, we have had the doctors and nurses scrambling to set up all the required tests to push forward with what seems to be an aggressive push to get the transplant started.

Many weeks ago, we knew there was a donor ready and the hope the doctors had with Tiffany, began to prep the donor.  As the window of opportunity is now open and the donor is just about ready, Dr. Boyer, our transplant doctor, came in with Dr. Glenn, and gave the go ahead to make it happen.

While there are some small hurdles that still need to be hopped over, Tiffany should be going into the Hospital on August 20th to start the conditioning.  This is the phase that will get her body and bone marrow prepped to receive the donors marrow.  This process will take about a week, the donor will donate on August 25 and 26 and Tiffany will then receive the donation on August 27th - informally known in the transplant world as a recipients new birthday, or alternative birthday.  She will then remain in the hospital long enough for the transplant to graft into her own bones and to start producing their own immune system - usually 4-5 weeks from transplant date.  At which point she will return home and continue to improve.  The first 100 days from transplant is a critical stage and while home will need to use all caution to ensure there are no complications.  After that 100 days, as long as things are stable, we will all be able to feel a bit of relief and move on to the next stage that takes her to 180 days, usually not quite as concerning, but need to use caution nonetheless.  As time moves on - we hope to get to two years without the sign of cancer and at that point we will celebrate that it has been eradicated from our Tiffany.

This is absolutely exciting news.  The roller coaster ride has been amazing over the last few weeks.  Going from no options and having only a few weeks to live, to improvement, and now a likely bone marrow transplant, shows us that indeed -  that 'He will heal those who trust Him, And make their hearts as gold.'

That it may continue to be so is our very fervent prayer.  And, to all those who have truly been praying for our Sweet Tiffany... Thank you.

Cheers,

Nathan


7 comments:

  1. This is such great news!!! I am so happy for you guys. Remember there are many willing to help with your home and kids through this. As always, your family is in our prayers!

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  2. What wonderful news!! To have a plan and dates on the calendar - to have the team pushing forward... awesome, awesome, awesome! The transplant will truly be a rescue mission and it is both beautiful and tangible proof that our Father is in charge. Our bodies were created to do amazing things - Tiffany has shown that continually. Your quick summary of the timing and transplant is right on. It's most certainly a birthday... in fact, Eric's nurses sang to him when they were done! The first weeks in the hospital were the most vulnerable ... then graduating from the hospital and focusing on getting to that 100 day mark is a definite milestone to celebrate. We just passed Eric's 180 day mark and things are looking better every day. We even booked a couple of nights at a cabin nearby to celebrate (as he still tires easily and can't travel yet)... such a huge thing for us! It seems we can now measure his progress in leaps and bounds... It's the toughest journey we've endured so far - but with the support you have rallying around you and your amazing faith in the Lord, you guys are more than equipped for battle! I love your family so much and pray for you often - funny how we've never even met... but I feel so connected your journey. If either of you have any questions or just want to chat with someone who's been there... Eric or I would be so happy to help. Sloan in NYC is a pioneer of transplants and had some easy and pretty amazing things they did with him during conditioning that made all the difference - we'd love to share some tips if you would like a few aces for your back pocket. Much love to you both as you journey on... ♥

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  3. I have always loved that song. It was the first solo I ever sang in Sacrament meeting. The words in the earlier choruses say: "He will feed those who trust Him, and guide them with His eye." I always wondered why, in the last chorus, the words were changed. Now I see clearly. And truly, we can be healed, and our hearts are made as gold as we learn meekness, patience, trust, and above all, faith in our Heavenly Father's able hand.

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  4. I was so happy to read this update, this is absolutely amazing news! :)
    'Mighty prayers bring mighty miracles'..and I think we are all seeing this right now with Tiffany. Your family definitely deserve this! You continue to be in our prayers xx

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  5. Tears of joy feel my eyes. I am so very happy for your news. We will continue to fast and pray for you guys.

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  6. Talk about a miracle! How wonderful!!! So grateful she is doing so well. We love you guys! :)

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  7. "A man spent hours watching a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon. It managed to make a small hole, but its body was too large to get through it. After a long struggle, it appeared to be exhausted and remained absolutely still.

    The man decided to help the butterfly and, with a pair of scissors, he cut open the cocoon, thus releasing the butterfly. However, the butterfly’s body was very small and wrinkled and its wings were all crumpled.

    The man continued to watch, hoping that, at any moment, the butterfly would open its wings and fly away. Nothing happened; in fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its brief life dragging around its shrunken body and shriveled wings, incapable of flight.

    What the man – out of kindness and his eagerness to help – had failed to understand was that the tight cocoon and the efforts that the butterfly had to make in order to squeeze out of that tiny hole were Nature’s way of training the butterfly and of strengthening its wings.

    Sometimes, a little extra effort is precisely what prepares us for the next obstacle to be faced. Anyone who refuses to make that effort, or gets the wrong sort of help, is left unprepared to fight the next battle and never manages to fly off to their destiny."

    Tiffany and Fred - I saw this today and thought of you. You are struggling and fighting through this trial, and becoming even more awesome then you were before - as if that's possible! Love you pieces!

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