Footprints |Day + 278|

We measure everything….from how tall someone is to how much it rains. Whenever we use the words, how much or when, it is a measurement of something. This time of year, we measure where we have been and where we are going…..often in the measurement of one year.

The word, “believe” has stood for our word for 2017. Our belief in Jen recovering, our ability to handle everything that has been thrown our way,  and our belief in the power of God,  has been the platform for which we have stood upon throughout the entire year.

God has delivered to us, so much throughout the year. So many words of kindness, gentle hands of healing, and friendship beyond belief. I had debated mentioning a list of names and their kind acts that has brought us here, but decided against it, out of fear I would miss someone and then they think it wasn’t enough to mention. The truth is, because there has been so many, over such a long period of time, I know the list would be incomplete. But if you have graced us with prayer, words, gifts, or gestures, know you have made a difference in our lives.


As some of you already know, our word for 2018, is “blessed.”  Because we chose, to ‘believe’ in all that was mentioned above, we are able to see how blessed we are in the coming year. Blessed with Jen getting stronger each day, blessed with love from so many, and blessed with the joy of knowing we will grow by one in the near year with the birth of my first grandchild, a boy.


The word “blessed” has enabled me to see the words from the prayer “Footprints” so differently. As some of you know, in the prayer, it is during the most troubled times, we only see one set of footprints. For that is when God is carrying us.  When God carries us, it is the blessings delivered to us, that makes getting through these difficult times, possible. Blessings come to us by the thousands, when the weight is the heaviest. By allowing God to carry the load, we find so much. Without Him, there would be no footprints at all.  He delivered to us so much, I can’t even begin to make a list for fear something would be overlooked. I believe this with all my heart.

In 2018, I hope to live each day, knowing how blessed I am. And come next December, through His blessings, I hope I have vision for my for word 2019. May you too find all the blessings in your 2018.  Happy New Year and may God Bless you each day.


I’m back here in Columbus with Jennifer. She is still making others on the transplant floor look bad as she has rolled through day +8 now without fever or vitals being an issue. Her and I went to the support group meetings they have here for patients and caregivers. The nurse and social worker were amazed someone at day +8 allogeneic BMT  (meaning non related donor) was up and going to a support group meeting.

Having said that, I can tell you Jen is feeling fatigued. She still cannot overcome this cough and she told me this evening she just can’t get comfortable and rest like she wants. She fought tears back while telling me this. So now I’m on a mission to find her some relief. I pride myself in being persistent. …. aka Momma Bear.

We found blessings everywhere we could find them today, …maybe more me than her. Her grandparents stopped in Columbus on their way back from Florida.  It is the first she has seen her grandpa since her diagnosis and first she has seen grandma since early December.

I also found a blessing or maybe knowledge I needed to find today at the support group meeting.  I had questioned us going as I thought maybe Jen would just want to rest. But we went. There have been times,  I hope for Jen to be excited about something or looking to go do something she has been wanting to do. I want the world for her and will move mountains to make it happen. But sometimes as I am spinning circles moving mountains, she just wants to stop, rest, and heal. For a while even small things can seem overwhelming.  Reading text messages and responding,  opening a card, calling her insurance company, or filling out a form. I find myself repeating to her what needs done like a mom of a teenager. I actually realized this has been ongoing for nearly a year. Which makes me wonder how long she fought low counts and fatigue. I thought before cancer this was due to laziness. After her diagnosis I thought it was a sign of her surrendering to her illness. I was wrong on both counts.”   It is cancer, chemo, and healing. I needed to learn that.

So prayers tonight for a quieted cough, less fatique, and patience on my part. She will get through all this. And so will I.


Maybe Day 1 yet today….

This morning a new doctor on Jen’s case came to see her. A new look at her brings a new view and a different approach. Although we were disappointed Jen didn’t start chemo yesterday, the delay may have been a blessing in disguise.

The doctor looked at her file before coming in and had a couple questions about why induction chemo and not consolidation. Because her counts remain well and because it seems as the cancer cleared up, so did the rashes, he wondered if she is actually in remission.

He shared with us there was a test that had not yet gotten back that is more specific at looking at the abnormal cells and determine if they are premature new growth cells or cancer cells. And he thought possibly some since her numbers are in average range, this very well can be the case. He also thinks possibly the rashes are leukemia in her skin and as her cancer improves, so did the skin.

So while waiting on that test result, Jen gets results of her echo this morning. Frequently, induction chemo can do heart damage. When young like Jen, the heart repairs itself over time. Jen’s heart showed some damage. Then earlier then expected, the result from her biopsy comes back. And it is a good news, bad news thing.

The good news is because the need for time to repair her heart, they think consolidation chemo is the way to go. This means five to six days in hospital and home. It is not as intensive, shorter stay, and saves the induction chemo for transplant. The bad news is she truly isn’t in remission, as the doctor had hoped.

So now with a different plan, she moves forward with 2 hours on chemo and 12 hours off and that repeats for five days. And to her delight, she gets to come home early next week and be home for her birthday.

Wrist Bands

Rally Together with Jennifer Wrist bands are in!! Child and adult sizes available. I will let you know where you can pick up one as we have locations come available. Available at Main Street Market in Ottoville, The Gentry in Ottoville, and at my house.
Limited quality available.
$5 each. Adult and child sizes



Heroes always show up in those moments you need them most. On the afternoon Jennifer was to have her bone marrow biopsy, I had one heck of a stomach ache and needed tums so badly. But fear if I went down to the gift shop, they would show up to do the biopsy and I wouldn’t be there for Jen. I prayed my stomach ache would subside as I needed to be at her side. But it was not letting up.

In desperation, I asked her nurses if they had anything I could take, but they directed me to the gift shop. That day, Jennifer’s personal care assistant was this spunky young woman. She had a beautiful bed side manner and always a beautiful smile on her face. When she heard of my problem, she came in the room and told me she would run to the gift shop for me. Not 10 minutes later, she showed up with tums. I immediately took them and my stomach ache subsided quickly. Soon there after the team showed up to do Jen’s biopsy and I was able to sit near her and hold her hand through it. I am so grateful for my hero that day. And that God sent her to me.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful to be home with my family. Thankful for my doctors and all of those on my care team at the James. All of those who run the clinical trial. Those who made things happen as quickly as they did when they discovered I was sick.

Thankful for all those who are praying for me and my family. Thankful for those who have sent me cards, gift cards, gas cards, and food. Thankful for those who visited me in the hospital and here at home.

Thankful for my amazing family and their strength. Thankful for my cousin for being here when I can’t be. Thankful for my friends at church. And thankful for my continue faith in God.

My road ahead of me I know is a long and rough one. But I know that I will have God, my family, and friends on my side.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Count your blessings, even the small ones. They matter!