Life after a Stem Cell Transplant

Happy Fall!  I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Life has been busy with gardening and perserving summer produce. I’ve had to buy more canning jars to hold the wonderful abundance of tomatoes the Lord has blessed us with!

I’m sure you’d all like to know how Michael is doing. He’s been doing really well. Getting back to life as normal after a bone marrow stem cell transplant has continued to be full of challenges, but, he has weathered them all with that same German dogged determination that saw him through during the most difficult times of his recovery.

A few months ago he complained of some mild headaches. Well, as you can imagine, that sent everyone into a tizzy because of the toxoplasmosis issues that were first diagnosed as a result of the awful and debilitating headaches he had at that time. These were not like that, but, still, erring on the side of caution, all his Vanderbilt doctors ordered a barrage of tests. After all the results came back normal, everyone relaxed a bit.

Most recently, he had a routine visit and brain MRI a few weeks ago, and there seems to be a new lesion of some sort. So, earler this week we made the trek back to Vanderbilt for a lumbar puncture. While we don’t have all the results back yet, so far everything has been normal which is what he’s been expecting and I have been praying for.

Getting that call from Vanderbilt saying they believe there is a new lesion on Michael’s brain was quite unsettling. It was a hard day for both of us. It’s easy to get discouraged and think that sometimes it seems like all this never ends. However, at those times during which the circumstances of our lives seem overwhelming, and even during those ‘meltdown moments’, God seems most mighty. The verse that comes to mind is written by Paul, an incredible example of a man who went through trials: “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” Oh, the wonderful, all-encompassing grace of God! How it breathes peace and new life to our hearts.

We all strive to get to that place where God’s grace is all we need and how we so often deny our weaknesses because of those things that seem important that really aren’t. If we could just be more transparent so that God’s grace would suffice to the point of shining through us into the darkness of this world. What a rich place that is.

One other thing I have learned recently when faced with yet another series of questions about Michael’s health is a true statement I read somewhere: don’t borrow trouble before it comes. Wise advice.

Wishing you all a wonderful Fall,
Michael and Jan

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