In 2008 Angela was diagnosed with a slow growing blood cancer called polycythemia vera. Over time, it can progress to more serious blood cancers, such as myelofibrosis or acute leukemia. In February we learned that Angela’s has progressed to Myelofibrosis. Myelofibrosis is a rare disease that causes scarring of the bone marrow which in turn causes less and less blood cells to be produced. Some people live months, some live years. The only possible cure for this is a bone marrow transplant which is what her doctor has recommended.
We have been to UAB and consulted with a bone marrow transplant specialist, and the recommendation was confirmed. We have also already found a perfect match for her bone marrow – her brother, Jeff! There are still tests that he and Angela have to undergo to make sure there is nothing that might prevent the transplant from going forward.
A transplant is a very serious thing. It involves an extended hospital stay where she would first receive 5-6 days of chemotherapy. Once all her bone marrow is destroyed, she would get the transplant. Following the transplant, she would be in the hospital for several more weeks. After her discharge, she must stay near the hospital in an apartment for an extended time (sometimes up to 100 days). The hard part for Angela will be being away from our family, especially grandchildren. She is also the caregiver for her mother.
Although we have peace about the transplant, we are concerned about the chemo, the damage it will do to her body, and being isolated for so long from those she loves. To look at her, you would not know she is sick. She actually feels very good these days because of a medication she is taking to combat the symptoms of myelofibrosis.
After a meeting with the bone marrow specialist on May 24th, it appears that the transplant could occur sometime in July. We will be using this site to update family and friends about the process and the progress she is making. You might not see much in the next few weeks because we are still in the waiting mode. During this time of waiting, we have been covered in prayer by so many friends, family, and of course our church family. We ask that you please continue in prayer. We take great comfort in knowing that God is in control.
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43 (NLT)