Day +22


We are so thankful for everyone following our blog and praying for Josh and our little family! The Lord has been so kind to us throughout this bumpy journey. Over the weekend we were spoiled with delicious meals from three lovely ladies that are friends of a friend in Arizona–thank you, Angie, Angela, and Tara! Katelynn got a much-deserved break on Saturday and she saw her uncle and cousin just north a few miles in Washington. Plus, we enjoyed having dad Seibert around to help with the kids and to encourage Josh! However, time with family always seems to run too short.

Sundays are always fun for the kids and I because we get to go to church and hear God’s Word! Thank you, Pastor Jim and Clackamas Bible Church! Josh so wishes he could attend church. In fact, it was the first thing he asked one of the nurses about–whether or not he could go to church. Sadly, she said no–but it’s for his good. There were many people coughing at church, including Noah! It’s STILL the flu season! Not only that but when Noah got home from going to a Portland Pilot’s baseball game with Papa–he came down with a low-grade fever! Noah went to bed early and we are hoping his young strong body fights the infection off without passing it around to others in our home. However, Noah threw up in idle of the night and may have the flu. Josh is only on anti-viral and anti-fungus medications, and his immune system is still low. Your ongoing prayers mean the world to us! God is our Refuge during times or fear and moments like these when stormy winds threatening to undo our little ship. There is much that God has given us that keeps us hopeful! God had been faithful and has provided so much already, including a great donor for Josh! He has been doing so well despite his cold! They usually adjust his GVHD medication twice a week and it’s pretty low at this point, meaning that Josh hasn’t had much of it so far! We praise God!

My dad is working toward recovering but has had some pain. Please keep him in your prayers. His landscape business has taken a big hit with him being gone for two weeks for the surgery and he finds it hard to manage it while on medical restriction. Thanks again for your love and prayers!

Day +20

We’ve been enjoying some calmness during the storm.  So far we’ve not experienced having to rush Josh to the emergency room with a high temperature or an infection. However, he has been still fighting the rhino virus which mainly affects his nose.  He still has a persistent runny nose.  Overall, Josh has continued to do well aside from this lingering cold. His counts are exactly where they should be, other than his magnesium is a little bit low and him needing a magnesium infusion again today.  From now on they will just put him on a high-dose magnesium supplement so he won’t need the two hour infusions.  Josh also gets more fatigued; yet he continues to faithfully take daily walks.  He is also drinking plenty of fluids to try to get rid of the rhino virus.  If his cold doesn’t clear up soon, they will need to put Josh on antibiotics to get rid of it.  This evening he complained of some new symptoms–a slight headache and some mild chest congestion.  In addition, Katelynn woke up with a cough this morning and has been coughing on and off throughout the day.  Early on we decide to have her wear a mask unless she’s in her room and the nurse thinks it’s a good idea.  Katelynn has been doing good at trying to get well and keep her distance. Thank you Katelynn!! We so appreciate all you do to help, even to wear a silly mask. Nathan was so cute; when he first saw her wear a mask, he wanted one too! Ultimately, we really need prayer for all these bugs to be altogether cleared out, and for Josh’s cold not to get worst; but to subside by God’s grace alone, since they are suppressing his immune system to prevent GVHD.

The weather today has been crazy windy here in Portland!  On our way to the clinic this morning about half the street lights didn’t work, a dozen trees branches and a few trees had been thorn down.  Traffic was backed up pretty back and when I had tried to take a side street, it was closed off because of trees and electric wires being tangled together on the ground.  Many people lost power or internet.  In the mists of all of that chaos on the roads all over Portland, Doug Gemmill was able to come visit with Josh briefly and bless our family. Thank you Doug!  Also, Josh’s dad arrived safely from LA by flight last night.  However, he wasn’t able to take the kids out to the zoo as planned.  He took them to the children’s museum instead.  Even though they had been there before with Doug & Linda, the kids still love that place and had fun.  although, poor Nathan got very constipated and they did end up having to come home early because the poor little guy couldn’t even get himself to walk of how bad his tummy hurt.  He has a history of digestive issues and is lactose-intolerant.  Please pray for his digestive issues.  We are thankful to God that he doesn’t have a worst medical condition; but still it hurts to watch children suffer.  I can only imagine how much God mourns by watching to many children in this world suffer.  We must pray for the world we live in, and that many around us would know genuine eternal peace through Christ.  Maranatha!

Thank you all for your friendship through prayer and following our blog.  We love you all in the love of Jesus. Blessings!

Day +16

Having Josh at home is such a sweet blessing.  I’m glad to have my shepherd back and the kids have their rock back–their earthly father! We are glad to be able to enjoy simple things together like sitting in the living room while playing a board game with the family, or going outside for a walk around the neighborhood.  We’ve been going for walks every day–rain or shine.  Today we had the delight of another beautiful sunny day in Portland with a high of 60! Thank you, God!

It has been a little hectic at home lately.  However, we may be starting to get into the new swing of things… with new routines now like making sure Josh gets his meds, a new diet, disinfecting counters, dishes, and food thoroughly, and making sure we flush his chest catheter line down with cleaning solution daily.  I don’t know what we’d do without Katelynn! She has been so instrumental in helping the adjustment go more smoothly.  She is always ready to help with the kids,  meals, dishes, or cleaning.  I admire that God would mold an 18-year-old young lady like herself to be so others-oriented and caring! Thank you Katelynn– you’re a life-saver! Thank you, Rob and Traca for your sacrifice to part with her for this season!

Spring is in the air and all kinds of gorgeous flowers and trees are blooming all around us–our favorite being the cherry blossoms.  Yet, there are still more trees and flowers ready to bloom…  We anticipate the roses blooming in the upcoming months!

Josh has started to bloom as well! Over the weekend his counts increased dramatically! His neutrophils went from about 570 to 3,000 in just the last few days! 3,000 is actually in the normal range!  Although, he still feels very fatigued. His platelets have been down and they were expecting to give him a transfusion; however, overnight they somewhat increased instead of decreasing as predicted so he didn’t need a transfusion after all.  However, we are told it’s not uncommon for him to need one in the near future.  Another reason to thank the Lord is for Josh not experiencing any GVHD! Praise the Lord–who hears our supplications!! Therefore, please keep praying! We Hope and anticipate Josh fully blooming with his new ideal donor cells in the upcoming months! That is our prayer!

The process of growth can be painful sometimes.  It’s still painful to see Josh lose his hair, be weak and not be allowed to attend public places including the church. It’s hard waiting… This is where Knowing God who holds the universe together makes all the difference, and having the love and encouragement from friends and family both near and far! Thank you all!  Our friends Ralf and Chris Detloff visited for a short time and uplifted our spirits! Thanks, Detloffs!

The kids are doing much better with Josh back home with some more stability in place.  Yet, they are kids and it can be stressful at times for Josh.  We are trying to teach Nathan to use his “inside” voice at home.  I can’t believe he will turn three years old next month! Aside from Nathan having growing pains, we are all pretty healthy physically!  Josh may still have the rhinovirus, but if so, it seems like it’s on its way out.  He will get tested for it again tomorrow.  They will also have his labs taken again and the doctor will see him.  As always, we much appreciate your continued prayers!