As we were getting excited about the zero blast (as Sami shared with you in his last post) he woke up one morning with a headache and a blurry vision in the left eye. We rushed to the hospital! To make a long story short, testing showed that some of the Leukemia cells had penetrated the brain and spine! It was a huge set back However, we know this was not a surprise to The Lord! We still believe our Loving Heavenly Father is on the throne & in full control! Psalm 11: 3&4.
His doctors suggested immediate spinal Chemo therapy, radiation & proton therapy! He completed the treatment and responded really well! Now, he is recovering from the side effects!
Speaking of side effects, they are unpredictable as each patient’s reaction is completely different. As for Sami, some of what he got: hair loss, some skin burns on the forehead, lack of appetite, and deep somnolence which is leading him to sleep most of the time. One thing we are thankful for is that he has no pain. He is in the hospital and we know that He who started a good work in Sami will continue to completion.
We appreciate your partnership with us in faithful prayers & constant support! Very soon you will hear from Sami about this adventure! Nobody tells it like him
I close knowing that Sami is in the safest place: In His grip!
Much love, ❤Jacqueline
Believe it or not, but I am back, after a battle with pneumonia. I am alive and kicking!!. I was supposed to have pneumonia, which freaked out my physicians, however, the Lord worked it out that I did not get it. The chest x-ray had confirmed that I was going to get pneumonia, however, Praise the Lord, I passed safely through this storm.
Additionally, the blasts (cancer cells) are all gone – YES !!! Praise the Lord !. They are currently considering “another” Donor Lymphocytes Infusion, we are hoping and praying that this one will be it.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. We desperately need them.
In His Grip
This is Lamia, Sami’s sister with an update on his status.
After his last T Cell transplant, the blast cells (cancer cells) started showing up again…The doctors put him on a new dose of chemo to try to control them and allow the T cells to work.
So far the blasts have been slowly decreasing. Thank God, Sami was able to take most of the required meds as an outpatient and hence be home with his family.
However, this past week we have been back in the hospital with fever and pneumonia… the reason why I am updating this blog. The doctors are reassuring us though, that with the right antibiotics, we should be out soon.
Looking back at this long journey, in-spite of everything, we have felt the Lord’s Presence every step of the way and cannot but echo Matt Redman:
“Scars and struggles on the way
But…Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful”
This journey has been long and full of struggles, but the Lord has been so faithful and we feel that all of us are truly “in His Grip”.
Sami is doing well and recovering. Our trust is in the Mighty Physician.
Thank you all for your love, encouraging notes and most of all prayers.
You have no idea what a comfort they are, to Sami first, and to all of us second!
I had my appointment at MDA today and, as usual, I needed Platelets. Well, I got my system filled up and was ready to head home when the Transplant department called (out of nowhere) saying that they were ready to conduct a large T-Lymphocytes infusion on me tomorrow. We then checked with our Leukemia doctor (who was unaware that Transplant was ready so soon). He gladly endorsed the procedure.
To me I felt special since I desperately needed such an infusion … to get it on my birthday … when it was unexpected … hmm, hmm, hmm … immediately a thought came to mind that it was a surprise birthday gift from above – Praise the Lord. Actually, it’s a very unique and custom birthday gift, much better than any gift card (lol). I am ready and I am excited. Please pray for a successful transfusion that will bring me to permanent remission !
I am scheduled for tomorrow after noon Houston time. Not much info beyond that – - – it’s all good when the Lord is in full control!
In His Grip,
The latest new drug, stopped working (ya Salam) and my cancer blasts (bad cells) came back with a vengeance. My Journey’s roller coaster was going up, then all of a sudden, Kaboom, it headed straight down. The new drug stopped working and I started heading down hill … however, if you would think about the roller coaster, you would realize that it was designed to deliver you safe and sound, once the ride is over. It does not matter if you are going up or down, you are being held tightly in your seat. The whole ride was designed with your safety in mind, regardless how you feel.
Same with life. I am tightly held in His Grip regardless the ups and downs. He custom designed my ride for safety and He will carry it on to completion ! Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus
The doctors found me a “temp” drug that is working just fine with little to no side effects (yeah!), while awaiting a new protocol, expected within two months, that would allow us to use “killer cells” vs more Chemo.
I am relaxed (praising & rejoicing) since I know who is in charge. The roller coaster effects are just discouraging feelings along the way, that I chose to totally ignore, but rather to keep my eyes focused on the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. I desperately need them.
In His Grip,
UPDATE (05-11-13): my blasts have fallen 58% on the new drug in just one month !!!! Praise The Lord! The doctors are very happy and plan to keep me on it. So far so blessed! Thank you for your faithful prayers !
UPDATE (05-09-13): I ended up needing both an Aspiration and a Biopsy, however thanks to your faithful prayers I did not feel any pain. Praise The Lord. The results should be out soon.
(05-08-13) They have scheduled a Bone Marrow Aspiration (ouch) for tomorrow (Thursday the 9th) at 10AM. The results will determine if the new drug is working or not. Please pray for favorable results.
I have started walking on my own, however, I still cannot climb steps, even the smallest one without help. I need muscles. So my physiotherapist is focusing on muscle building. All through this journey I realized how many things I have taken for granted in the past. Walking, eating, drinking, etc… an eye opener and a very humble experience, especially when you loose such functionality.
All in all the Lord is still encouraging me, on a daily basis, my spirit is up and I am full of the “peace that surpasses all understanding”. Praise the Lord.
Thank you for faithful prayers and support.
In His Grip
The Bone marrow biopsy and aspiration qualified me for the new Chemo that is supposed to fight this cancer. I started taking the Chemo and so far no side effects (Praise The Lord). Yesterday I spent the whole day at MDA. Seven times they drew blood from me as a requirement for the study. They had it all timed. It was interesting. By the way, I have good news. I am able to take baby steps by myself which is a great accomplishment. I am starting physiotherapy next week which should help me to eventually walk on my own. I AM SO LOOKING FORWARD TO WHEN MY FEET WILL REGAIN THEIR STRENGHT AGAIN !!!! (Luke 5:25-26) The other super news is that I am back home AHHHHHH the comfort of home! this statement brings tears to my eyes. It is so good to be around the kids, my mother and Jacqueline everyday … I cannot say enough.
All in all, I am taking it one day at a time. As the Lord leads, so shall I go.
So far, every day has been better than the day before. So I can’t but … Praise the Lord !!!!!!!
I still rely on your faithful prayers (please)
In His Grip