Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant, Round 2

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

When we left Mexico last October, after the stem cell transplant, we knew we had the option to return for an additional treatment this year.  Over the course of the past four weeks, a doctor and two other people we know have all returned for their second transplant.  That meant my time was rapidly approaching as well.

About three weeks ago, I told Larry that I had been praying about going back to Mexico, but did not have the peace and assurance I had when we went last October.   We both knew that God had used the doctors and medical team to make a noticeable difference with my symptoms of MS.  In July, my neurologist was amazed at the progress.  I also confessed to Larry that I told God that if this was the best I would be that I was content with that unless going back was what I needed to do for His glory and to help and encourage others.  Although puzzled, we agreed to continue to pray for wisdom.

The NEXT morning in church, a friend told Larry about a doctor in Houston who went to South Korea two years ago for a stem cell transplant to treat the debilitating effects of psoriatic arthritis.  He is now able to continue his medical practice, perform surgeries, and live without pain.  Because our friends had noticed progress from my first stem cell transplant, they wanted us to know that Dr. Jones was now licensed to perform the procedure in Houston.  To say the least, we were both excited about the possibilities and timing.

I called Monday morning to make an appointment with the doctor and the receptionist “just happened” to have a time available on Wednesday.  We had an incredible visit with the doctor.  He told us about his stem cell transplant, healing, and time and meetings with Dr. Ra, in Seoul, South Korea.  In obedience to what he felt God was asking him to do, Dr. Ra had built a large top level lab in Seoul. His research led to the stem cell procedure.  They have already performed over 8,000 transplants in Seoul with amazing results.  Because of Dr. Jones’ healing, he invited Dr. Ra to Houston to train doctors to perform the transplants here.  A new Level 4 lab has been built here to cultivate the cells.  As we were leaving, with tears in his eyes, Dr. Jones said, “God has given me my life back.”

The next night, we attended an informational meeting presented by the lab technician along with Dr. Jones.  It was very educational and helpful.  We were able to visit with the lab technician for about 45 minutes after the meeting.

The neurologist, who will help with the procedure, received his training in England from some of the top MS specialists.  We will meet with him on Monday before Tuesday’s stem cell extraction.  That was another amazing answer to prayer to be able to have an appointment in such a short window of time.

Whereas I had a sense of hesitancy of returning to Mexico at this time, God has given me a sense of readiness and anticipation of pursuing the treatment here.  And He continues to work out ALL the details.  So, to officially begin the process, on Tuesday, July 30, we signed the papers and I went to have blood drawn for the preliminary tests.  The results arrived a week later and I received a call Wednesday that the fat cell extraction has been scheduled for Tuesday, September 13!  The stem cells in Mexico were drawn through blood marrow from a bone in my leg; these will be collected from fat cells in my stomach.  Next week I’ll write more about the procedure, time schedule for the next phases, and comparison of the two procedures.  I’ll try to update the blog on Tuesday, after the procedure.

We continue to be amazed and grateful for God’s timing and provision of family, friends, doctors, appointments, procedures, and confirmation during these days.

Proverbs 3:5-8
 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
   and he will make your paths straight.
 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
   fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
   and nourishment to your bones.


  1. Praise God Debbie! I am thrilled for you and know that God will be glorified through this and everything you do and say honors him. I will be praying for you, your doctors, your caretakers. Love you!!
    Rachel King

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