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Jeff’s Story

Chemo for round 35 will start on November 30, 2015 The full story begins 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with Meylodysplastic Syndrom / Acute Meyloginous Leukemia in November 2005. I received two "rounds" of chemotherapy (one "7+3" and one high dose AraC) and then contracted parvovirus, which made me transfusion dependent for six months. This did, however, put it into remission which lasted about 2 1/2 years. In (2008) I was continuing to do well, and starting in about May, things started going downhill again. Through a series of blood and bone marrow tests it was determined that I had relapsed. Jennae and I went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester where I received a total of five "rounds" of chemotherapy (two rounds of 7+3 and three rounds of high dose AraC). The leukemia is back in remission, but the Meylodysplastic Syndrome remains, and so we are using a new chemo drug that came on the market in 2009 in an attempt to control the MDS.

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Look up … God is there

Look up … God is here

Look up!

          Nay 2005


Greetings to all,

Ten years ago this week when I was first diagnosed with MDS/AML we went through all of the wondering, asking questions, searching, and “why me?” was always at the forefront of it all. Then I remembered that a friend on Internship had taught me to turn that question around to “why not me!” Jennae kept searching, looking for signs, and then one day as she looked out my hospital room window, she saw the steeple on the church that was across the street from the hospital in downtown Bismarck. She looked up, and it taught us to continue to look up!

Jennae wrote the poem above then, and we continue to this day to look up. Sometimes we are greeted by the steeple of a church building, sometimes by an eagle flying,sometimes by a snow flake, a rain drop, or the stars above … all symbols of God’s presence through you and your prayers!

          At this time of year, at the anniversary of my diagnosis, we think back to all that has happened in these last ten years. We remember all of the support that you have provided through your thoughts, words, and prayers as we have navigated the twists and turns of this journey with cancer. We know that we are not alone. God was there. God is here. Anywhere we go, God is already there! Look up to see the evidence of God’s presence.

          Again, thank you all for your thought a nd prayers, and know that we think of you often and include you in our prayers as well.

          Blessings and peace,

          Jeff and Jennae

1 person hearted this



Karen Johnson
By Karen Johnson
Thankful that our lives has intersected in so many ways - ministry together in Ashland, a shared meal at Hostfest, connecting through Heldkes. . .so many memories, joys, and hope shared.Your courage and energy inspire. Love you both - Karen
John Grebner
By John
And we give thanks for you. Thanks for your insights, your thoughts, your perspective. And chiefly, just for the two of you.
Donna Eszlinger
By Donna and Delbert
Looking up to see all of Gods miracles, is a reminder, that we so many times forget,, Just today at the senior center, in visiting with a couple who is celebrating their 69th anniversary, they remarked, on how many blessings we all have, and instead of looking up to see those, we look to find something that we don't have.. Yes, God is good to us, and every now and again, we need to have that great reminder show us the way.. You have been on this Journey a long time, and questioning Why, is something that we all do at some time in our lives.. we keep you in our thoughts and Prayers, as you continue on this journey, wishing you a blessed Happy Thanksgiving, as we count all the blessings bestowed upon us.. love and hugs.
Terra Engelhart
By Terra Engelhart
Hugs, prayers and love continue! May God bless you always! Praying for a relaxing Thanksgiving for you both!
Debbie Mayer
By Philip and Deb Machmeier
Dear Jeff and Jennae,
You two are a remarkable couple and We "look up" to you both and we hope we can "lift up" your spirits. This is a time to be thankful and we continue to "lift up" you both in our prayers. Yes, "look up" and we do see the wonders of our Lord's handiwork. There are amazing sights to see and reflect on. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Philip and Deb
Deborah  Conner
Wishing you and your family all the blessings of Thanksgiving!

Peace, Deborah
Sonja Hernes
By Sonja
Thank you Jeff and Jenae and blessings and peace to both of you!