Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving successful!
The Thanksgiving holidays were truly something to be thankful for. All of my hospital visits went smoothly and successfully.
My family and I went to a Nigerian church today and was blessed with a message that I once have studied on my own, but until today have heard a more detailed sermon on it. The preacher talked about how we should be thankful for this past year, but more importantly he preached on "investments" we make during our lives. He based his sermon on a verse that I find very profound. A verse that should, when read, cause anyone to think for a while. It is found in the book of Matthew.
Matthew 6:
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
This verse relates to my current circumstance greatly. Ever since I was diagnosed and ultimately accepted God's gift of salvation, I have had to make an investment. Either I was going to invest my time, energy, thought, and patience in the "world", or I was going to invest all these things in heaven. I had to ask myself some important questions and make some important decisions. "What am I doing with my time?", "What kind of conversations am I having with people?", "Are my thoughts really doing the best for me?"...I made a decision to store my treasures in heaven from then on. By what we do, what we say, and what we think, all counts towards our treasure.
We all have heard this at one point or another in our lives, this topic...But how many of us have actually chosen to do something about it?
I believe that God has given us all a spiritual gift, and also believe that He has blessed me with a gift of words and writing. I asked Him to give me a poem that I may give to those who need encouragement including the patients and there family. This just may bless you as well.
From my heart to yours

From my heart to yours,
a symbol of my love
tested by fire
shown true
and faithful.

For they say I should be gone,
That there is no hope,
A quite whisper…
To just go home.

To whom do we turn in such a time,
when this world fails,
when our foundation crumbles,
and there seems to be no way?

We cry out,
seeking refuge in a time of war.
An enemy with death in mind,
But we find refuge Alas!

Expected to be defeated,
We find strength in God,
He who comforts us in our sorrows,
Who heard us when we mourned.

But now our eyes are cleared,
We see the truth,
That in our weakness He is made strong,
That after sorrow comes joy,
And through trial comes patience.
So we press on…towards the prize in the end having done all, to stand.

-From my heart to yours.

By: Charles Garcia

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Praisworthy news today!!!

The results of the bone marrow biopsy pleased the doctors. For the FIRST time since the last relapse, they do not see it full of leukemia cells. In other words the treatment that they have been giving me is working and, and am on the track that they want me on. On their "roadmap" they say that the blood counts are where they should be and that means that I soon should be ready for the bone marrow transplant.

I am also excited about this thanksgiving break because I am not scheduled to be in the hospital for the whole week!

But for now my family and I still wait in patience for what is to come and still give thanks to God for every day and what He's doing.

Even though I feel tired a lot and sleepy, and am basically anemic right now, I am enjoying the rest that I am able to take to let my body recooperate.

Scripture of the day:
Proverbs 17:22-
22A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The BIG day!
Today there are several things that will be happening.
  • Platelet transfusion before procedures.
  • Bone marrow aspiration
  • Insert chemotherapy into my spinal cord
  • My dad may have to give his blood that will eventually go into me.

I awoke many times last night with the sweats. But all is well right now.

Here is a current picture of me, I thought it was funny because I am taking a medicine called Prednisone right now and it makes my stomach really bloated and me gain weight as well. I don't mind.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Days of peace and quiet(not literally).

(Look for the scripture references at end of this post to read the scripture that correlates with the (*1))

Well...There has been plenty of things going on in the past several days.

I have been experiencing tremendous pain in all areas of my body, I have had fevers, they discovered the presence of the "Staff" infection in my blood stream, difficulty walking and doing normal every day tasks.

But even though my physical person may suffer, I know that none of this has separated me from the love of God(*1). It even says in scripture that we are more than conquerors in Christ.

The doctors have postponed the procedures until this Monday(Nov. 14), but my family is here in Houston and my father has successfully received his first immune system boostine injections today. The infection that they say I have is being controlled because of the way I feel and look, because if it wasn't I would supposedly be in worse shape. They started me on a high dose of morphine, but now have reduced it by half and still do not have much trouble with the pain. I was thinking the other day and thought to myself, this day full of pain, full of discomfort and "bad reports", is it not a day none the less? It is more than the people who are no longer with us. So for that I told God thank you. God even tells us in the bible that we will experience tribulation but tells us to be of good cheer(*2)!!!

Also I was thinking to myself, how can someone be healed, or even cured, if they have not been sick? How can someone win first place unless something took him through the race? How can you "rise to the top" unless you were first at the bottom? How can someone truly say God's mercy is ever present in my life, unless they have reason to realize it, for it is by God's mercy that some things happen the way they do(*3).

Thank you for your continuous prayers for my family and I during this time. God's hand is ever so present and visible in my life at this time. I pray that others may see this as well.

PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for peace and comfort to be upon my brother and sister as they enter into a new school, that they will be able to enter this school with a confident spirit that they will do well. Also continue to pray for the health of my father during this time, for the injections he is receiving is likely to cause pain and general discomfort for the time being, and his health is also important to my health for they will eventually retrieve his blood and filter out whatever needs to be and graft it into my bone marrow.

Scripture Reference:

  1. Psalm 73:26 -My flesh and my heart failed: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
  2. John 16:33 (King James Version)-These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
  3. Romans 9:16 (King James Version)-So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The chains have been broken!

God's mercy has been upon me and my family and it is able to be seen! I no longer will have to go inpatient until the time of the bone marrow transplant...Much of my family came up to visit with me this weekend and blessed me with there company...I have had no adverse reactions to any of the medications, and been fever free for a while...It appears that my brother and sister will be living with us for the time being and will be attending school here in Houston...I plan to volunteer for a nearby museum...the doctors are very pleased with my blood counts and are energy level has been good as well as my appetite...Is the mercy of God not obvious? In the midst of this illness, that is meant to kill me, I am living more abundantly. What more is there to say?

I have to constantly remind myself that it is by God's mercy that I am alive.

Prayer request: This Friday I will be going in for a bone marrow biopsy and the doctors will determine how stable or unstable the leukemia is. Please join us in prayer that they will see clean bone marrow and that I will be ready for the Bone marrow transplant. Also pray for my father and his body that it will be healthy for it seems as though he is going to be the donor, they will start the preparations on him this Friday.

Scripture of the Day:

Romans 9 (King James Version)

16So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

There has been an atmosphere of confusion lately. There were many doctors telling us different things that brought about uncertainty in our thoughts. The doctor's plan to continue with the experimental drug now that my body has reacted well with a dose of the traditional chemo. So we are thankful to God right now that He is showing himself faithful. This matter is obviously to big for us to handle right now.

My mother, father, and sister were tested the other day to determine which would be the best possible match for a possible blood marrow donor when and if it comes time to proceed with the transplant.

At this time I must be still and allow whatever it is that God has planned for me. He is the one who searches the hearts of man and He knows mine. Now is not the time to play "Christian" and run around doing things artificially. The number of christian CD's or books or sermons I take into possession at this time will not bring about anything but dust. Every day that I awake, am I even more encouraged that there was and is a reason for the things that will follow.

Romans 8:27 (New International Version)
27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.