Anna painting a picture of an American Flag.Sorry, I haven’t updated but we have been running since we got home a month ago.

Jack is doing great and I think we have finally gotten the kinks worked out of switching from the VA in Nashville to the one here in Dallas. We have a dr’s appointment next week for a check-up with the doctor but they draw blood once a week to check levels and everything is pretty much on track.

We have been busy looking for a house to buy. We have found several that we have liked and put offers on but apparently we have wonderful taste in houses because other people also put offers on the same houses and have outbid us. We have an offer on house #4 that is currently at the bank . It is a short sale (pre-forclosure) so the bank has to approve the offer. So we are just waiting on the bank to make a decision on whose offer they are accepting. It is the best house out of all the others we have put an offer on and is almost exactly what we have been wanting. The only thing it doesn’t have are the window looking into the backyard from the kitchen or living area but I can live with that. We need something with space since Jack is not really supposed to be outside anymore because of the tranplant. This house will give us the ability to spread out and not be stepping on top of each other when one of us is needing some alone time. It also gives us room to have families over for fellowship which is something we can’t do in the house we are currently renting. We hopefully will know something by the end of the week but it maybe next week before we hear back from the bank.  So we will see what happens.

We started back on Anna’s schoolwork last week after taking a couple of weeks off while we were traveling home and getting adjusted to being back. This week so far she has learned about the Star Spangled Banner, Davy Crockett and Lewis and Clark in history. We went to the zoo a few weeks ago for homeschool day and learned all about horses, penguins, and owls. We are fixing to start a study on butterflies. We ordered some butterfly catepillars to watch them grow and turn into butterflies while we are studing them. Anna is super excited and asks everyday when they are coming in the mail. So check back I will try to post pics of the butterfly study.

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We finally get to go home tomorrow. YEAH! We will leave in the afternoon since we have to meet with the doctor first and to go over some things. We are driving to Little Rock for the night and we will get to have dinner with Jack’s brother. Then we will finally be home sometime on Wednesday.

Jack is doing very good. He had another good PET scan last week with no cancer showing up. God is so good!

So we are on day 88. Just 12 more days to the magical 100. Even though we are close to reaching day 100 it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will go home on day 100. They will continue to monitor Jack if he starts to run fever or gets sick or if they think something else is going on that would need further monitoring. We hope to be heading home around the 25 at the earliest or the 27th at the latest. Jack is doing really well which is why I haven’t updated much. Jack had mono at one point before we got married, actually I gave it to him…anyway, it has reactivated. The doctors are not really concerned they are just keeping an eye on it and have increased some of his medications to hopefully keep it from getting worse. He feels fine and the number for the mono is only at 800 and concern is at 2000 so it is not really anything of concern but to keep an eye on it.

We are basically keeping ourselves busy by watching movies, playing Wii and working on jigsaw puzzles. I have worked on getting some of Anna’s first grade curriculum together. I have been making flash card books for spelling and workbooks for her memory verses. Anna has been busy visiting the farm and seeing my Grandparents, Aunt, and Uncle. She loves to play Chinese Checkers with Uncle Chuck and making Dump cake for Gramps. She also got to play in 12 inches of snow in Indianapolis a few weeks ago.

I really have nothing new to report. We are just waiting until day 100 and we can go home again. Jack is doing really well and has had no major problems. We are down to going to the doctors two times a week unless something is going on. We thought he would have more testing this week but the doctors are going to wait until around day 100.We have been keeping ourselves entertained by working puzzles, playing Wii and watching movies. We haven’t gone out much because it has been too cold.

Anna is doing good. We won’t get to see her until we go home which is hard but we will be fine. Mom and Dad have done a really good job of keeping up with her school work so by the time we get home she will only have a few weeks left of Kindergarten.

That is about all for now.

Sorry it has been so long since I have updated the blog. Everything is going great with Jack. We are so excited that we get to start the new year cancer free. God has blessed us in so many ways in the last year.  Not only with Jack’s treatment but with family, friends and the people we have met along the way. Jack’s being cancer free is nothing but a miracle that only God could do. Even the doctors are amazed at how well he is doing. They have really expected more problems because of all the chemo he has gotten in the past. It is a miracle at all that he even qualified for the transplant. It is a miracle that they found a perfect match donor halfway around the world who was willing to give bone marrow. Some people say that God doesn’t perform miracles in today’s world that miracles only happened in the Bible. I have news for them…God is doing miracles all around us.

We have wonderful Christmas news…..Jack’s cancer is no longer active. YEAH!!! His PET scan showed no activity in the areas where his cancer has been or any new areas. He has some spots but they think it is just scar tissue from the tumors and some radiation effects since there is no activity in those areas. It is normal for Hodgkins patients to have scar tissue from their cancer. Praise God! He is so good! We have both been nervous about the results mainly because he didn’t have very many side effects from his chemo so we were wondering if it had made an impact on the cancer. They also did a bone marrow biopsy and he is 99% donor. This means that his donor’s bone marrow is making 99% of the red and white cells along with the platelets. Even though his donors cells are making the blood cells he will continue to need blood transfusions for about a year because the donor’s blood type is different from Jack’s. Eventually Jack’s blood type will switch to the donor’s.  We still have a long road ahead of us. We will continue to stay in Nashville until March so they can monitor his medication and graft-versus host problems if any should arise. We went and celebrated our early Christmas present with lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe here in Nashville and a visit to the Harley Davidson shop. Jack can go out as long as he wears a mask but we still try to hang out at the apartment most of the time to cut down on his risk of catching something.

Jack and his meds.

Jack and his meds.

Now that Jack is out of the hospital you are probably wondering what his days are like now. Well, he has a new job….pill swallower, water drinker, and temperature taker. Jack says his new job is Self-Contained Chemical Engineer since he has to keep track of all his body chemistry. Jack is now in charge of making sure he is taking all of his medication at the correct times and doses. The first time he had cancer he took 33 pills a day and right now we are at around 20. They are still trying to figure out which meds are needed and how much. So some days he may take a specific dose of a pill only to find out the next day that the dose needs to change or to quit taking that pill totally. They are trying to give him enough meds to combat illnesses that he is susceptible to now that he has no immune system without irritating his kidneys. They also are monitoring his graft-versus host medication because they have to maintain a certain amount to prevent severe graft-versus host disease but allow the new cells to do their job. The hardest part of the job is drinking enough fluids. They would like for him to drink between 2 and 3 liters a day. If his fluids get too level then his kidneys have to work harder and do not function as well because of the meds. So on days when he has not gotten enough fluids the day before we sit at the hosptial getting IV fluids part of the day. He also has to take his temperature several times a day in order to catch any infection early.

Overall, Jack is doing very well. He has a bone marrow biopsy tomorrow to look at how many of his cells are the donors. He will have a PET scan on Thursday to see how much if any cancer is left in his chest. We should know the results on Friday or Monday at the latest.