|Meet the lovely and talented Dr. Nina Shah, my 'rounding' doc for the last 2 weeks|
Happy New Year everyone!! Today we passed a critical and key milestone in the treatment process, as my white count jumped from .3 yesterday to 1.2 today. This quantum leap was accompanied by bone pain that is a signature of high white cell production. When I saw Dr. Shah this morning, she asserted her belief that my grafting-in process had begun - so we have been praising the Lord all day today. The bone pain I have been feeling on and off since about 6 am today is the epitome of "good pain". Dr. Shah predicted that I would be "outta here" in a week, which would be two weeks ahead of schedule (but of course we are not counting any chickens yet). Awesome!!!!
The New Testament teaches that the followers of Christ - the Church - are His body in the post-resurrection world. What we have seen here in Houston is a living example of the truth of that teaching. The body of Christ has reached out to us and wrapped its arms around us and loved us. The members of the First Prebyterian Church of Houston have sent ministers to visit us, sit with us, pray with us, and just support us, and they come back regularly. There are two "Stephen's Ministry" people who have been assigned to Renee and I and we meet individually once a week. Another lady who is part of their local outreach program comes by to chat and pray with us. Another pastor who runs a ministry called Presbyterian outreach Program comes by regularly. Here we are, strangers in a strange town, going through a difficult trial, and these people have committed to ministering to us and befriending us. This is the reality of the body of Christ in action. It is inspiring!
As I exit 2011, I imagine that I will always think of it as 'the Chemo Year'. I started chemo in Houston on January 10th and went through 9 treatments altogether, with the last dose coming on December 19th. I pray that 2012 will be remembered for being the first year of being cancer-free. In addition to the chemo of 2011, I will also always remember the love and support both Renee and I have been blessed with - from family, close friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers. Above all else, I will remember the spiritual journey I have been on and the faithfulness of my Lord and Savior throughout. Whatever uncertainties the future holds, and there are many - the most important things are known and are certain - that the Lord will never leave or forsake me - that nothing in all creation can ever separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus - that because of what Christ has done, I stand forgiven and blameless before Him, that he has a plan to prosper me and give me a future - and many more.
I pray that God will bless you and your loved ones in 2012.