Update June 21, 2017
Family and Friends,
Last night I sent an email to those who subscribe to our family blog and those who have helped with contributions, meals, visits, prayers, and many other methods of support along the way. Everyone probably already knows the substance of the story of how we got to where we are today: Ginger was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in September of 2015 and was given high dose chemotherapy to treat the aggressive disease. She was put into remission shortly thereafter and made the tough decision to forego a bone marrow transplant for the simple reason of not feeling peace about the risky and daunting procedure which only provided a small increase of percentage that the cancer would not return. Instead, she enjoyed life to its fullest by smiling during joy, crying during pain, sharing her faith with others and hoping for full recovery by living cancer free. In August of 2016, our balloon of joy deflated when we learned the cancer had returned. She entered a newly released clinical trail which showed 5 months of success until the cancerous cells began combating the drug enough to disqualify her from continuing the trial. She then began a different chemotherapy regimen. After a total of 9 months of taking pills, crying tears, accepting medication, experiencing pain, receiving transfusions, seeking God, enduring biopsies, and hoping for healing we received the great and somewhat surprising news (May, 2017) that her cancerous cells were at 2% - she was back in remission. The treatment had worked!
Since then, she has continued receiving chemotherapy to keep the cancer away while we waited for the next phase of treatment to begin. She's been admitted to the hospital a few times over the past month and a half due to fevers which after medication and monitoring went away and she's be released. Most of her time has been spent at home with frequent visits an outpatient to the Chao Cancer Center where the condition would be monitored and treated while the next plan for treatment developed. The bone marrow transplant was back on the table and after much thought and prayer Ginger decided to proceed. At this point it was seemingly the only way to reduce (even if slightly) the chance of the cancer's return. The approval process began in order to be transferred to the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles with a plan for the transplant to begin sometime early July.
As a chemotherapy patient Ginger's immune system is wiped out and pretty much non existent. She's been taking a long list of medications ever since this journey began in order to protect her from viruses and infection, but over the past week a cough, a sore throat and ear ache ensued. Ginger was admitted to the hospital where she was treated for a week, then released last Friday for home nurse care where IV antibiotics kept her protected. Over the weekend a fever returned and the Monday outpatient appointment resulted in hospital admission. She spent Monday and Tuesday at the oncology/telemetry wing of the hospital where the fever continued, her heartbeat increased, and had an extremely hard time breathing. That's what brings us to now at 4:00am in Orange, at the University of California Irvine Medical Center, Douglas Hospital, 7th Floor, ICU. I'm laying next to Ginger's bed and asking for your thoughts, support and prayers. Ginger has been placed on intubation to help her breathe while we wait and pray for the heaviest arsenal of antibiotics to battle the infection and bring her wellness back. God bless her and keep her at peace.
Many of you will want to know how you can help. First and foremost please pray, pray, pray. God is all powerful and has blessed us with an incredible team of doctors, nurses, assistants, technicians, students, counselors and support staff at UCI. We ask that that you pray for wisdom, guidance and success for the entire team. We also need prayer for the family, specifically Ginger, who has mental peace, but a physical compromise. The next days or weeks are going to result in me taking some time off from the already limited schedule I've maintained over the past twenty one months years during her care. With the help of family and friends I'll be taking care of the household by maintaining the home, preparing meals and providing the kids with an as normal environment while we wait to see the outcome of this stay. Lord, please heal her. You can contribute to Ginger's Cancer Fund here.