Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Light

Matthew 4:16
the people living in darkness
   have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
   a light has dawned.”


Christmas is full of light from candles, trees, decorations, and houses, but the greatest light is God's gift of Jesus, the Light of the World.  I love the candlelight service on Christmas Eve, especially at the end when the lights go down and one candle is lit.  There is no longer complete darkness.  Then one by one, light is increased as the light of one candle is passed to another and another until all are lit. 

At the service last night, the person in front of me was having difficulty keeping her candle lit, due to the overactive vent blowing down on the flame.  The lady was persistent in relighting the wick each time it would go out.  When she finally protected it with her hand, the candle stayed lit.  It reminded me of the importantance of making sure I am diligent about my life continually shining God's light to honor and glorify Him.

And the exciting part is that the gift of God's light, Jesus, can be given and shared all year long.

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hope Renewed

Over and over this week, I have thought about the gift of hope.  We continue to be hopeful about changes that are occurring since the stem cell procedure.  Each week my strength seems to be increasing.  I am able to add a little more weight to the machines at the gym or increase the repetitions of the exercises.  For years now, when the temperature is cold or I hold cold objects in the winter, my fingers lose circulation and are very white on the ends.  I usually have to run warm water over them for several minutes before the color and blood supply return.  There have been three instances the past two weeks where I know that would have happened, but it did not.  I am even full of hope that chores and other "Not Necessarily on my Top 10 List of Things I Want to Do" will soon be added to my day.  It's amazing what joy that brings when it is something I have not been able to do for a while.  This week, I was able to keep my balance and hang pants on hangers and not have to wait for Larry to do that.  Once again, little things bring about much hope.

With the coming of Christmas this week, I am reminded of God's incredible gift of hope to our world, Jesus.  Oh, that I would learn to live expecting every day to be a celebration of Christmas and Easter.  One of the scriptures I read this morning, out of The Message translation, is what Jesus told Paul to do to share His gift of hope with the world.  I know He's offering the invitation to all of us as well.

Acts 26:17-18
 "'I'm sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I'm sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me.'

 I have also been reminded of additional scriptures that God has used to bless me and teach me about hope.


Psalm 33:18
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
   on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

Psalm 42:5b
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.

Psalm 62:5
 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
   my hope comes from him.

Psalm 146:5
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the LORD their God.

Psalm 147:11
The LORD delights in those who fear him,
   who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Titus 2:13
while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

May your Christmas and New Year be overflowing with God's gift of hope, Jesus.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Perseverance

Perseverance is the name of the game.  Exercising with weights and machines, walking in the pool, stretching, and following a specific diet are yielding positive results.  Now I need to keep up the routine so that I am adding strength and ability each day.

The walker continues to be a blessing.  Once again, God provided me with a trainer who has worked with MS patients for years.  She noticed that I tended to tilt to the right when walking with the cane, thus her recommendation to try a walker.  Last Sunday, I surprised Larry and walked from Bible Study to the Worship Center and arrived just as the 10:15 service concluded.  Previously, I waited for him to meet me and either push me in the wheelchair or help me walk with the cane.  Today, I met Larry at Discount Tires to have a new tire put on my car.  It was super windy.  We both noticed that I was able to keep my balance and walk with the aid of the walker.  I would not have been able to do that with the cane.  It seems that each week brings on a new kind of independence.  I am still careful to wait until Larry is around before I try new “tricks”. 

I am noticing some of the same parallels in my spiritual life.  Perseverance is needed for a disciplined walk with the Lord.  My Bible reading, prayer time, and worship need to be practiced every day for me to grow and gain strength in my relationship with the Father.  Then I am able to take a stand for Him, minister in His name, and follow in obedience.  

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's the little things...

It's the little things that can make a BIG difference...

I am learning that as I work with the trainer at the gym, as well as life in general.  Leah is teaching me to concentrate on little things which make the training more productive...and not hurt as much.  The leg presses are much better when I push with the heel and not the toes.  Thinking and working at the same time are getting the job done.  Today at the pool, I walked 16 laps, oops!  Larry said it was 18 laps...the most so far.  Three of the laps I walked backwards.  That was a first and BIG for me because I haven't been able to walk backwards for years now without falling straight back and landing on my elbows or head.  Think that is a little trick I will mainly try in the water for now.

Even this week, I am trying to concentrate on the little things that can make a BIG difference in life...taking time to say thank you to people who are going about their every day job or doing what is expected, writing notes of thanks and encouragement, making phone calls and really listening, not being in such a hurry to check off the items on my to do list that I don't take time to do the extras when the opportunity arises...

I've also been thankful this week for the walker, which is making a BIG difference.  I stand up straighter to walk, speed and confidence have increased, and I find myself wanting to walk and do more since I am more secure with the walker.  Since I can pile the clothes on the seat and roll them to the spot where I fold them, I can even make fewer trips from the dryer now.  It's been somewhat entertaining how I have used the seat of the walker to organize different things that I need to take places.  Another BIG plus is that I find myself doing  things that I would have waited for Larry to help with or do for me.

Even one of the scriptures during my devotional time this week brought this home.  In Ecclesiastes 12:13, after Solomon had studied life and found it all to be meaningless, he concludes that there are two things that will make a BIG difference in life...fear God and do what he tells you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

ThanksLIVING

Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
   and his courts with praise;
   give thanks to him and praise his name.


Psalm 107:1
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.


I Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is
   God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

My prayer is that I will have an attitude of gratitude that transforms Thanksgiving into "ThanksLIVING" during the holidays and the coming year.  What a year of amazing blessings!

This has been a wonderful beginning to the holiday season.  We had lunch with Larry's family and dinner with my side of the family on Thanksgiving Day.  It's always extra special when we spend time with family.

A dear friend came over Friday and put up the greenery on the banister and fireplace.  It is so festive looking.  Larry, Chad, and I decorated the rest of Friday and finished this afternoon.  Larry has already put up all the boxes.

We were able to get in all the exercise times this week.  At the suggestion of the trainer, I began using a walker on Wednesday.  My ability to walk straighter, more upright, and with more speed is already better.  I do not expect to receive  speeding tickets any time soon, but I am noticing an improvement.  Each day seems to bring more strength.  By the way, my ankle has no or very little swelling any more ... and the bruising is gone!

Larry is such an incredible blessing.  He continues to help with the stretching, takes me to exercise, cooks, encourages...all with such a sweet and loving spirit.

Thank YOU for your continued prayers and encouragement during this time.  It definitely makes a difference.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

An Overflowing Thankful Heart


My heart is overflowing with thanksgiving because of...
* God's peace, provision, purpose, and presence in my life.

* Larry's love, prayers, encouragement and continual care 
   during these days
* Family who love me, want the best for me, provide for my
   needs, and are always ready to celebrate
* A medical team in Mexico whose procedure is making a  
   difference in diminishing my MS symptoms
* Tallowood's nonstop prayers, care, provision, rejoicing and
   love during these days
* My growing up (I know I'm still working on that) church
   home, South Main Pasadena, for showing that you can still
   go home again and when you need it most home comes to
   you
* Friends, some people I do not even know but who love my
   family and friends, have prayed, supported, checked the
   blog, and continued to encourage me during these days

This past week I felt like I needed to practice climbing the stairs at home.  It had to have been God's prompting because the doctor nor the trainer had mentioned it.  So every night I would practice.  Don't worry...I don't do tricks like this unless Larry is home.  Last night we went to a rehearsal dinner.  The dinner was upstairs and the building did not have an elevator.  Because of the practicing, I was able to go up and down the stairs without difficulty.  Thank you, Lord, for making sure that even the tiniest details are covered.

I can tell that I am gaining more strength through the weights, machines, pool, exercises at home, and diet.  My walking is somewhat steadier, more even, and faster.  There is a stretching exercise that I have not been able to do with my left leg without Larry helping every time.  This week, Larry helped with the first one each day and then I was able to do the other nine by myself.  I'm trying to concentrate on building the strength on my left side.  Too many times I let the right side "help out", so I am trying to be aware of that and make the left side do its part.

I am so grateful that you are sharing this journey with us.  You are a blessing!

Philippians 1:2-6 (New International Version)


 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
 3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 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.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Observations from Larry - four weeks later

Four weeks ago we were just returning to Houston from Mexico!  A lot has happened in the last month.  We have much to be thankful for these days.

The visible bruising on Debbie's leg is gone.  It still has a couple of sore spots.  The pain Deb was experiencing when she first stepped on her right foot is gone.  Debbie's walking is improving, seems to be more fluid. 

We have been concentrating on exercise and more exercise.  We are most grateful for Leah, Debbie's Certified Personal Trainer.  Deb goes to her twice each week for one hour sessions.  Leah is very good and knows how to get the best out of each workout.  She is well aware of Deb's potential and limits.  Leah is worth the drive to Spring.

We are going to the pool at Bally's twice a week.  Debbie walked 12 lengths on Tuesday.  Two of those lengths she did without holding on to anything.  On Friday she walked 10 lengths (3 lengths without holding on to anything).  This helps with improving her balance and walking.   She is desiring to use the wheel chair less and chooses to walk as much as possible.

Deb walked upstairs and back down last night.  Her only motivation was exercise.  She didn't need anything upstairs.  Then today we went to a Sunday School party and she walked up the spiral stair case even though an elevator was available in the house.  She made it all the way up and back down just fine.

These weeks are most important for training the brain on correct movement.  Increased repetition and strength building are critical toward getting the most benefit from the stem cell transplant. 

Thanks for your continued prayers and support. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

...It's off to Work We Go

The exercise program is in full swing.  I have worked out with the machines and weights twice and have walked in the pool twice this week.  The pool walking is training my brain to learn to walk with an even pace again.  Larry has been holding my hands and walking backwards to keep me steady, since the purpose is to practice walking correctly.  On the 9th lap today, I walked the length of the pool by myself.  That is the first time I have walked without the aid of a cane or person in over five years.  Thank you, Lord!  Our goal is to exercise with the weights and machines 3 times and in the pool 2 times each week.  I will continue to do the exercises I do at home as well.

I was able to work with a personal trainer on Thursday.  It was amazing what we learned and what she had me doing.  Leah has been a trainer for 21 years and has worked with several MS clients.  We plan to train with her twice a week for the next six weeks.  Hopefully, we can then do all the training at the gym that is super close to our house, once we learn the routine.  I could tell I was somewhat stronger when we went to Bally's today.

Answers to prayer...the bruising and swelling of my leg and ankle are much better now.  The deep bruising is still sore, but that too shall pass.

With the holidays fastly approaching, my desire is to be as dependent on God here as I was in Mexico.  I want to believe Him, trust Him, follow and obey Him, and be a delight to Him during these days.

My basket of blessings is overflowing.  Please know that I count each of you as a gift from God.  May you have a blessed week.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Progressing

This week we've noticed...

*  I am able to use my left hand better...typing on the
    computer, when cutting meat, picking up things

*  The only swooning I do now when I hug Larry is for  
    him...and not because I am off balance

*  Before I would have to stop and balance between each
    step...now I can walk without the long pauses in between

*  The bruises are beginning to fade some, as well as the
    swelling...any pressure under my knee still reminds me to
    think twice though

*  I'm stepping up the exercise program little by little

*  God is continuing to provide and bless  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Let the Marathon Begin!

The exercising has begun.  I’m going for the marathon…26.2 miles…just not all at once.

We walked again, Thursday, two more sidewalk sections than before.  It took 35 minutes because I was a little tired.  Kind of felt like I should have packed a picnic dinner to have at the half way point.

Friday night I was able to get up from one of the big, soft chairs in the family room by myself.  It wasn’t graceful, but I wasn’t necessarily graceful before having MS either.  I called Larry into the kitchen Friday night to watch me walk.  I was walking with a somewhat even gait and a faster pace than normal.  I am still being cautious and not too daring at this time, especially when I am by myself, but the improvements have been exciting.

Saturday morning we went to the gym to work out in the pool for an hour.  You would have thought I was in freezing water the way my legs reacted to going in at first.  The doctor said walking in the pool would be one of the best ways to retrain my brain for how to walk correctly.  I did a few other exercises as well.

This next week I will swim again as well as work out with a trainer who works with MS clients.

Please pray for the swelling in my right leg and foot to continue to go down, along with the bruising.

I’ll try to update the blog at least every Saturday.  Hope you have a blessed week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Provisions, Progress, and Pictures

GOD’S PROVISIONS
God provided everything we needed last week, and even more…
·   We were to have had a handicap room with a walk-in shower, but the people who had the room extended their stay.  We were in the room next door so it wouldn’t be hard to move when the room was available.   When we came in Wednesday, after the bone marrow transplant, they told Larry it was ready.  The man came and helped Larry move everything.  Perfect timing…we didn’t actually need the room until Thursday morning.
·  Wednesday night I had a bleed where the spinal tap had been inserted.  Since I sat in a chair, instead of lying on the bed, the opening had not formed a clot to seal it.  Larry called the doctor and he told him to put pressure on the spot and said he was on his way.  The doctor then applied pressure for 45 minutes to give Larry a break.  Then the doctor went to read in the lobby and came back to check after midnight to make sure everything was OK.  He said he would not go home until it was sealed.
·  Thursday morning I was somewhat dizzy and white lipped.  Remember the fruit we were able to pick up on Sunday at the organic store?  I ate a banana and felt great.
·   The other couple left for San Diego on Friday afternoon.  Even with a rapid transit pass it took them 2.5 hours to go through the border.  We left Saturday morning and it took less than 15 minutes to go through customs, with the fast pass.
·  At the airport, they took us to the front of the line for luggage check-in and airport security.  There were over 300 in line inside and about 200 in line outside.  The lady that helped me, with security, had grown up in San Diego, moved to Ft. Worth, TX, and moved back to San Diego.  While in Ft. Worth, she rode in the MS 150.  I was able to thank her for doing that and making a difference for people with MS.
PROGRESS
·  Hands and feet are a normal temperature instead of freezing cold
·  Left foot is no longer purplish color
·  Right leg has not had an involuntary spasm since Wednesday
·  Left fingers can remain straight instead of curved and better use of my left hand
·  Balance returning
·  Able to stand without holding on to anything
·  Back straighter
·  Walked to end of street and back tonight, with Larry’s help and the cane
PICTURES
Chip took additional pictures of the week.
Lucerna Hotel

Circle

Sports World next to hotel

Larry dressed for procedure


Sweet nurse Angelina.  Her smile and caring spirit made the shots and IVs a little less painful.

Debbie, Angelina, Marilee

Chip, Dr. Andrade, and Marilee
Dr. Andrade, Debbie, and Larry

Larry and Debbie

Everything Comes from God!

Larry here:

Yesterday was an incredible day of worship and fellowship with the Community of Joy, called Tallowood! 

This is the passage God gave me this morning in my time with Him!

1 Chronicles 29:10-14 (New International Version)


David's Prayer
 10 David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,
       "Praise be to you, O LORD,
       God of our father Israel,
       from everlasting to everlasting.
 11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
       and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
       for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
       Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
       you are exalted as head over all.

 12 Wealth and honor come from you;
       you are the ruler of all things.
       In your hands are strength and power
       to exalt and give strength to all.

 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
       and praise your glorious name
.

 14 "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

We're Home and Greatly Rejoicing!

More updates soon...

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Philippians 1:2-6 (New International Version)
 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
 3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

We’re Headed Home! 

We’ve completed one chapter in our pilgrimage and are looking forward to the next.  In the coming weeks, I pray that I can process, in words, what I have experienced both spiritually and physically.

We have felt God’s continual presence and care this week.  It is with an overflowing and grateful heart that we thank you for being part of this journey with us.   Your prayers and notes of encouragement are continuing to bless us.  There has been a God given peace because of your constant prayers on our behalf.

We are continuing to see improvements and are anticipating more in the days ahead.  The left arm and hand are straightening some.  My right leg, where they removed the stem cells, is still very bruised, swollen, and stiff because of having to be held down so my leg would not jump during the procedure.  When that heals, it will be amazing to see what happens.

God was glorified in the clinic on Friday.  We had a sweet time of prayer with Marilee and Chip before they left to go to San Diego for a few days of vacation.  After a final meeting with Dr. Andrade, we prayed with him and his nurse Angelina to thank God for using them to bless us this week.  There were tears and heartfelt thanks from all of us. 

Wish I could find the right words to express how special it has been to share this week with Larry and just be with him all week.  He is definitely one of my greatest blessings from God.

We’ll continue to update the blog from time to time.  Please know that God used you in a mighty way to bless us more than we could have ever asked or imagined.  We love and appreciate you.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”- Psalm 19:14

Friday, October 15, 2010

Photo of Dr. Andrade!

So, here it is - a photo of Deb and Dr. Andrade.  I attempted to load a video of Deb standing without holding on to anything.  Guess you will have to see it in person!


We had a great dinner at the hotel restuarant - we shared grilled sea bass and steamed vegatables!  Yum! (only $15)

Last Day at the Clinic

This is an exciting new day!  What a difference two days make since the transplant on Wednesday!  Debbie walked into the clinic pushing the wheelchair instead of riding in it.  She was able to let go of the cane and stand with good balance. When her Dr. saw what she able to do today, he had tears in his eyes and "goose bumps" on his arms.  I shared with him some of the scriptures we have claimed for this week.  He immediately wanted me to email those to him.  I told him about this blog and sent him the address. 


I am attaching photos of Debbie and the staff here:


Nurse Angelina!




Cristina, our driver!



Antonio, the physical therapist!



Deb is off to more therapy!

This Is HUGE

Larry here:

OK! 

This is HUGE!  Debbie's balance seems to be returning!

Keep praying for greater progress!

Friday, October 15, 2010

“How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.”- 2 Samuel 7:22

Nathan and Jenna have made me special notes and projects to open each day of my trip.  Today they made leaf impressions and they each had a scripture on the page.

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving; and his courts with praise.  Give thanks to him and praise his name."  Psalm 100:4

"I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving."  Psalm 69:30


It's Friday!  I slept 9 hours last night and feel great this morning!  My knee is still swollen and bruised, but seems to be getting better.

I am continuing to notice some differences.  Although Dr. Vargas said it will take 4 to 6 weeks for the cells he injected yesterday to complete their cycle, most people begin to notice more improvement on Monday and Tuesday from last Wednesday's procedure.  My legs are seeming stronger and I haven't noticed as much spasticity in my leg, except when they pour cold things on it.  Larry says he is enjoying the warm hands and feet.  We pray that improved circulation will help other things as well.  My left hand is straightening out and seeming more normal, especially when typing.

My nurse, Angelina, has been wonderful.  I have had an IV every day, but I do not have one bruise.  That is a big deal for me.  She has a beautiful servants heart and spirit.  She calls me "My Bebe".

Today I will have another IV of vitamins and lots of therapy.  My work is cut out for me as I exercise and retrain nerves and rebuild muscles, but I know it will be worth it.

Please pray that I can adequately express my gratitude to the doctors, Angelina (nurse), Antonio (physical therapist), and Cristina (driver and errand person).  I want them to know how much God has blessed me through them this week.

It will be a bittersweet time to tell Marilee and Chip goodbye today.  It has been a wonderful time of fellowship with them.  Our friendship will not end here.  They have been so appreciative of Larry's prayers and ministry, as have I.

May you have a wonderfully blessed day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Late Thursday afternoon - back at the Lucerna Hotel

The day got better as it went along.  Deb is still sore but therapy helped that some.  They instructed me on how to do some things in the days ahead that will help "retrain the leg movements" and remove the stiffness.  I will do some of that this evening after dinner. 


Deb received the final portion of her stem cells.  These were processed for 24 hours and and then injected into her hips.  (Add a new location of her anatomy that will be feeling sore!) Dr. Vargas said it will take 4-6 weeks for this set of sells to begin to do a restoring work in her body.  Meeting with him was most informative.

We are about to join the other couple receiving treatment, for dinner.  We have enjoyed spending time with them.  We have spent many hours of conversation with them.

Later...

Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Back in the Clinic

Another IV drip started and now Deb is getting a lot of physical therapy from Antonio on retraining the legs so they are able to move better.  Deb's right leg and knee are sore and bruised from the Dr. holding it very firm and steady when they removed the stem cells.  However, she is still tolerating all he is doing. 

I got Antonio to pose for a photo:




We are scheduled to remain at the clinic past 3:00 pm.  That is when she is scheduled to receive the final bit of her stem cells from a fourth doctor.


On the interesting side, we saw something unusual as we were transported to the Clinic from the hotel.  A pickup truck came racing past us with sirens screaming.  When asked what that was, our driver Cristina informed us that it was "undercover" police.  She told us the four men in the back were actually the bad guys.  Not to worry though, they had their hands and feet handcuffed and shackled to the bed of the truck.


The restaurant had not one but two samples of melon art today.  Enjoy!



Thursday - October 14, 2010

I am struggling to find words to describe yesterday.  From the scripture of the day, to every single detail, God has provided.  Because of all the IVs and injections, I have not had much of an appetite.  I’ve tried eating what I could to keep up my strength, but it’s been limited. 

I went for my procedure at 3:30.  It was absolutely amazing to watch the doctors work together.  Yes, I have a sore back and leg, but that is a small price to pay for healing.  When we were called to go back, I had such an amazing peace.  I knew without a doubt that it was because of God’s faithfulness and your prayers.  Please never take that lightly.  Larry has already told you about the procedure.  By the way, Larry was able to be in the room with me.  He had on scrubs, mask and hairnet (my personal favorite).

When all of the other doctors had gone to another room, Dr. Andrade was still in the room.  He asked how I was doing.  I told him that during the spinal I felt like God was holding me in his arms.  To me that could have been the most dangerous part of this procedure. 

After Marilee finished her procedure, we went into the room they used for the procedure, joined hands, and thanked God for his provision and continued healing.  We all ate dinner together and had a sweet time of fellowship. 

My leg is swollen and bruised because of the pressure of holding my leg down because of the involuntary jumping.

I have already noticed that my hands and feet were not ice cold this morning.  I also seem to have more energy.

Today will be a big physical therapy day plus 3 injections to complete the stem cell procedure.

Thanks for the continued prayers!  More to come…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stem Cells have been harvested

Three doctors, Dr. Andrade, an anesthesiologist, and a surgeon successfully harvested Debbie's stem cells!  Everything went extremely well.  Dr. Andrade was most pleased with the richness and the volume they were able to harvest.  The anesthesiologist did a spinal tap which takes a small amount of stem cells directly into the brain.  She is receiving most of the rest of it by IV at the this time!  She will also receive a final bit of her stems cells from a fourth doctor who will inject it into her hip tomorrow.


Here are a couple of photos.



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This is one handed Debbie updating.  I have an IV that will take about 5 hours.  The stem cell harvesting will begin about 3:00.  This will be a longer day.

This morning we shared the Jeremiah verse with Marilee and Chip at the hotel.  When we arrived at the clinic, Larry went to make coffee.  Chip wanted to make sure he got back in time to pray for us for the day.  That has been a precious time. 

I brought my Bible this morning so I could show Dr. Andrade the scripture in Psalm 103 (1st blog).  Larry also quoted the Jeremiah passage.  Dr. A translated for Antonio, the physical therapist, so he would know what we were saying.

Just looked at the clock and it is 1:30!  Anticipation!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - Day Three in the Clinic

(Update from Larry)

We started the day with our usual breakfast in the hotel restaurant.  We are beginning to feel right at home. The head waiter came up and shook my hand, just like at Guadalajara in Houston.  Deb ordered her usual "one scrambled egg".  The first day had to be at least two eggs.  Today looked more like "four" eggs.  Don't believe me, here's a photo.



This is the Big Day!  The stem cell transplant begins at around 3:00 this afternoon.  Debbie will go first before the other MS patient.

Dr. Andrade just came in a few minutes ago.  We shared with him some of scriptures we are claiming today.  He explained how he likes to take the day slow and prepare spiritually by praying that God will bless all that he does today.  He recognizes the significance of what will happen.

Deb continues to work with Antonio and physical therapy.  He is explaining the exercises he wants her to do tonight at the hotel, and beyond.  Exercise and activity will be extremely important in the days ahead.  Pray for stamina and determination.  We know this will be very important!

The Big Day

Psalm 118:24 
 24 This is the day the LORD has made;
       let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 115:1 
 1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us
       but to your name be the glory,
       because of your love and faithfulness.

Philippians 4:6-7 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


BibleGateway.com sends Larry a verse each morning.  This was his verse for today:
 
Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We are claiming the truth of this passage for today!


My Prayer:

“Father, you did not promise complete, physical healing today, but you did promise me your presence.  That is what I need.  May my desire for spiritual health be as real as my hope for physical health.  I know that faith and obedience please you.  May I be a delight to you today in my thoughts, words, actions, and reactions.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.”


Quote by Richard Alves: "Hope is hearing the melody of the future. Faith is to dance to it now."


From Larry: 
Today is a most important day!  Debbie received chelation and chemo along with a number of other injections the first two days.  Today the neurologist will harvest Debbie's stem cells.  The first 50,000,000 will be put back via spinal tap directly into the meninges of the brain.  The rest of the 500,000,000 harvested will be processed then put back in the next two days through IVs


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 12, 2010 - Tuesday Evening

We enjoyed the cool breeze and sitting by the pool this afternoon.  I lost my appetite, for the first time, this afternoon and evening.  We went to dinner but I ended up bringing mine back with us.  Fortunately, I was able to eat later on and even washed my hair.  I am overwhelmed with God's answers to so many prayers.  I have not experienced the symptoms that many have with this treatment.  Love and appreciate you!

Tuesday Evening - "So Close, Yet So Far Away!"

Well, it's me again!  The one who loves Starbucks Coffee - strong and hot.  Can you imagine the sheer torture seeing a Starbucks sign directly in front of our hotel, only to discover it is located on the other side of a "round-a-bout"?!  It is not just any round-a-bout (intersection of Perthshire and Benignus), but one with four lanes of traffic going around it all hours of the day and night.  To make things worse, we are discovering that the "ALTO" signs do not really mean "STOP".  One of the locals described that it really means, "be careful that you do not hit anyone as you proceed through"!

Take a look at two photos that illustrate.  First, the shot of the Starbucks sign in the distance.


Now the photo of the Mexican round-a-bout!



Not to worry, I'll not be coming home having gone through withdrawls from a week without Starbucks.  I came packed and ready with a hopefully ample supply of Starbucks "VIA" Readybrew!