Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Dear friends and family,

I’m doing the post tonight instead of Steve, as he continues to fight a severe upper respiratory virus. Please keep him in your prayers as he has another chemo treatment Thursday and he doesn’t want to go into it with the virus still hanging on.

Thank you all for your continued prayers on our behalf. I am a little anxious about this next phase of my treatment and being away from my family so long. My human nature is always trying to discourage me and rob me of my peace. It is a constant reminder when I go on a walk and start to get winded after a short while, I have Leukemia. When I look at my skinny little legs and weak arms, I get discouraged at how far I have to go to be strong again. When I walk by a mirror and see my ever balding head, the voice says “you have cancer!” When I try to open a jar or unscrew the toothpaste it’s a reminder that the chemo made my fingers and toes numb and sore to use. You see when I focus on myself and my current circumstances, I start feeling discouraged that my life isn’t going as I planned. You see we all have these preconceived ideas of how things were suppose to work out. Then a trial hits and we are forced to halt everything and realize that we were never really in control. I have to daily turn my thought to God and choose to follow where he is leading me, even if I would prefer to not go. I need to die to my plans and be open to receiving Gods best for me and my family. One of my favorite verses comes from Isaiah 55:8-9;

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

When my thoughts are on my weakness, bald head or my fear of more treatments, then I’m not trusting our heavenly father and I have no peace. Isaiah 26:3-4 states;

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.”

Our family’s struggles are really no different than trials that you go through. I get discouraged and have to choose to die to my plans and trust that His plan is far greater than I can imagine.

We are very grateful for each of your prayers, they truly bless us!


Bonnie (& Steve)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


We know we sound like a broken record, but we cannot thank you enough for your outpouring of love through prayer, notes, meals and other forms of serving us. Because of your faithfulness in praying, we wanted to share with you a new prayer request, in addition the ongoing list of you already have.

We have a nasty head cold/sore throat bug going around our house. Thus far, Callie and I (Steve) are the two to be enduring it at this time. Please pray that God will put a shield of protection around Bonnie that she will not fall prey to the bug, as her immune system, although functioning, is fragile. If she does end up catching the bug, please pray in advance that God will use those new white blood cells to fight it off quickly.

She continues to gain strength as we wait word from Karmanos Cancer Center on the HLA typing of her siblings. It will be another 8 to 10 days before we hear anything on potential sibling matches.

Thank you for the prayers on my (Steve) abdominal cramping/ulcer sensation. This past Friday night was the first relief I've had in 10 days. Several of you have asked about the pain in my tailbone from the lymphoma. I'm happy to share that on a scale of 0 to 10, I'm at a 1, without pain medication for the past 6 days. My next chemo treatment is this coming Thursday, July 30th. Bonnie's birthday is the next day, Friday, July 31st. Please pray that I will feel well enough to help coordinate and celebrate Bonnie's birthday with family. Bonnie is willing to skip her birthday, but between the two moms, that isn't likely to happen.

We started this update off thanking you once again for all your support and we will end this update the same way. In some ways, the journey we are on is like the Tour de France. Similar to the start of the race where there is a lot of congestion and crowding causing what appears as mass confusion, such was the case with the commencement of our journey. There was a lot of confusion and unknown ahead of us. As the race wears on, the crowd of those competing thins out and things begin to fall into some sense of order. There are days that travel is flat and the going is a little easier and there are other days where you're climbing the mountains. That is our journey. The other similarity, and really the point we want to make with this correlation, is the cheering spectators offering encouragement to the participants. It doesn't matter the stage of the race, the spectators feel a part of or an association with the race by standing and cheering, passing out water or jumping out to help someone in need.

You are the "cheering" spectators of our race and we are grateful that you continue to line the edge of our road as we continue to engage in the challenges before us. The body of Christ is made up of many parts or members, yet each member shares an association with all the other members of the Body, including those who are going through difficult and challenging times. As much as we have been overwhelmed by our circumstances, we have been equally overwhelmed by the outpouring of support you have shown us. You all have demonstrated Phillipians 2:3-5 to our family:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus

Thank you for showing us how to love and for lifting us up in this race we must endure! Your prayers, notes, words of encouragement, emails, phone calls, meals, gift cards, offers for help, and the list goes on, have demonstrated to us exactly what the apostle Paul encouraged the Phillipians to do for each other.


Steve and Bonnie

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Well it’s been a week since our visit to the Karmanos Cancer Center and we have had some time to let everything sink in a little on Bonnie’s bone marrow transplant. Thank you for your prayers as the overwhelming feeling that we had driving back home last week has diminished. We do, however, continually have to remind ourselves that God is in control and His plan for our lives is perfect and better than our own plans, even though it’s a daily challenge of accepting the fact. We are thankful for the comfort, strength and encouragement we find everyday in God’s word. Combined with the thousands of prayers being lifted up on our behalf, we find ourselves in a situation filled with peace and hope.

At this juncture, we are pretty much status quo from our update last Wednesday. Bonnie continues to gain more strength which has enabled us to do a few normal activities. We were able to attend church as a complete family this past Sunday for the first time since May 10th. Today Bonnie and the kids picked 20 pounds of blueberries. Please continue to pray for her increased strength as this is critical for her to be ready for the bone marrow transplant.

Bonnie’s hair continues to fall out slowly and her hands and feet are peeling once again and her fingers continue to be sensitive. Her sense of taste continues to be restored. We are thankful that she is in remission at this point.

Each Monday, we both go together to Sparrow Labs for our weekly blood draws (Bonnie also goes on Thursdays). Thus far we have yet to receive a call from our oncologist regarding the lab results which means our white blood cells, platelets and hemoglobin levels are acceptable, which is an answer to prayer, particularly for Bonnie. The day Bonnie was discharged; she received a transfusion of platelets as they were still low, so to go for two weeks without a transfusion is a milestone.

We continue to pray that a bone marrow donor will be identified. Bonnie’s siblings are in the process of the HLA typing. This process takes approximately 14 days. If none of them match, then Karmanos will go to the national database to find a donor. We have had many people ask us where than can go to do the typing. For more information on the National Marrow Donor Program, go to www. marrow.org or call 800-MARROW-2. Our BMT coordinator at Karmanos gave us a telephone number for the local office in East Lansing. The number is 800.471.3020. There may be a cost to register, but wanted to get this information out to you all. Thank you to those who have expressed interest in joining the database.

As far as an update on me (Steve), I have been experiencing severe abdominal cramping since last Wednesday. The doctors believe this to be a side effect of the chemo treatment I had 12 days ago. Please pray that this will subside and that God will give me the strength to endure the discomfort.

Our strength today comes from Psalms 86:11-13 which says:

Teach (us) your way, O LORD,
that (we) may walk in your truth;
unite (our) heart(s) to fear your name.
(We) give thanks to you, O Lord (our) God, with (our) whole heart,
and (we) will glorify your name forever.
For great is your steadfast love toward (us);
you have delivered (our) soul(s) from the depths of Sheol.

Thank you once again for all your prayers and offer of support.

Steve and Bonnie

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Overwhelming. That would be the best word to describe our day today as we spent all afternoon at the Karmanos Cancer Center learning about bone marrow transplants and what Bonnie is facing. A lot of questions were answered, but deciphering the volume of information that came at us created additional questions needing clarification.

Before going into detail on the road Bonnie is facing, we need to remind ourselves continually that God is faithful regardless of the incredible circumstances before us. He knows our needs as He is always with us. He knows our frailties and weaknesses. He is our strength and the nourishment we need to draw from as we feel overwhelmed. He is complete and His word is sufficient. Psalm 73:23-26 is a source of nourishment to our souls as we travel this difficult road:

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Please pray for wisdom and discernment as well as a calming peace as we learn more about the bone marrow transplant (BMT) process. First off, the type of leukemia Bonnie is dealing with has a 70-80% chance of resurfacing within the first year if we chose not to do the BMT at this time. Waiting doesn’t appear to be an option.

The process is starts with Karmanos identifying a donor. They will start with Bonnie’s siblings first to see if there is a full match. There are 8 different genes they look to match, but could go with a donor that only matches 7 genes. There is a 1 in 4 chance that a sibling will be a full match. If siblings don’t match then they access the national donor database. We have been asked by a number of people where they can go to do HLA (human leukocyte antigen) typing to see if they are a match with Bonnie. Karmanos will be emailing us information on where to go to do HLA typing. There is an 80% chance as a Caucasian that a match will be made and a donor identified.

Once the donor is identified the transplant is scheduled. This part appears to be the simplest part of the process. The transplant does not involve actual bone marrow. Instead, the donor’s peripheral blood is harvested and put through a process of capturing stem cells and then replaced back into the donor. Once the stem cells are captured and separated they are transfused to the host (Bonnie) like any other blood transfusion. The proteins of the stem cells know to penetrate the bones and reside in the bone marrow cavity where they begin to produce to new white blood cells. It is quite fascinating and just one more argument that we didn’t just happen by chance but were created by an incredible God.

Where things become overwhelming is the physical trials Bonnie will be required to endure and the multiple side effects of the transplant. She will have to go through chemo prior to the transplant to wipe out her immune system so her body won’t fight the foreign stem cells. Once her levels are back in a neutropenic state the transplant occurs. The doctors say she should tolerate this type of chemo better than what she just went through these past two months.

Once the transplant occurs, it will take approximately two weeks for the cells to begin to mature in the bone marrow. The key is how her body will handle the infusion of stem cells. Her WBC can recover or possibly the new WBC can be seen as foreign and reject the transplant. They will use steroids and immune suppression drugs as part of the process for her body to accept the transplant.

Even if her WBCs recover and accept the transplant, the issue of most concern that she will face is called Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD). During the first 100 days, acute GVHD can develop in the gut, liver or skin and is treated with steroids. Because of the advancement in DNA typing, they don’t see acute GVHD as much as they used to. Only a 30% chance with a sibling donor.

After 100 days, there is a 60% chance for some form of chronic GVHD requiring long term treatment. This could be a simple as thicker skin with a rash or less moisture from the salivary glands or tear ducts.

There is an 80 to 90% surviving the first year with a perfect sibling match and the leukemia relapse rate for someone receiving a transplant is 20%.

Facing the prospects of working hard over the next two months to get stronger only to be put back into a physical condition similar to Bonnie’s stay at Sparrow is overwhelming. Being told that you will most likely experience diarrhea, sores in the mouth, rashes, nausea, etc., sounds too familiar and close to home.

Add to that the time estimates for this to occur. Once the donor has been identified and the transplant occurs, the hospital portion of the stay is 4 to 6 weeks. Following that is the first 60 to 100 days where the Center wants Bonnie to stay nearby for monitoring and ongoing treatments. When you start to think of 4 to 5 months away from home, family, and the kid’s education it becomes overwhelming.

Compounding this is Steve’s lymphoma and the pending treatments still ahead of him near term. Please pray that we will manage being overwhelmed and that God’s peace will be even greater than what we experienced with the first round at Sparrow Hospital, that God will rise up wise counsel for us to interact with, and that we will continue to strive to glorify Him with our attitudes and actions. Please pray that our children will rise to the occasion and for wisdom of what to do about Caleb and Callie’s education this fall and winter.

Thank you for your interest, cares, concerns and prayers.

God Bless,

Steve and Bonnie

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday – Sunday

We are thankful for your care and concern about our family by following our updates to know the best way to pray. Bonnie continues to gain strength, albeit, slower than she would desire. She is walking regularly and thankful for the weather we have had since her departure from Sparrow Hospital. Her sense of taste is continuing to improve, but she now is experiencing severe heartburn – something she has never had before. Please pray that this would subside on its own.

Probably the most challenging thing from a physical perspective is Bonnie’s peeling skin and the itching. Her legs are peeling and itching, but it is primarily her hands that are the most troublesome due to the pain and sensitivity of her fingers. Please pray that the pain and sensitivity will subside and that her feet, although they are peeling horribly, will not become painful or sensitive like her hands which would limit her mobility. We are praising and thanking God that she has not had difficulty wearing shoes.

The storm I (Steve) have been waiting for from my chemo treatment this past Thursday started to hit me late Friday night and throughout the early morning hours of Saturday. The anti-nausea medicines I’m on didn’t block the waves of nausea that persisted throughout the night. As I sat awake in the chair, I picked up a little book that our neighbors had just given to us earlier in the evening – What Cancer Cannot Do: Stories of Hope and Encouragement – and read several of the stories. I kept coming back to the very first page that I had read to Bonnie before she went off to bed and kept rereading it to take my mind off the nausea. Following is the devotional:


Nothing – not the probing fingers, the painful needle stabs, the interminable waiting for results, the surgery, the pathology reports, the naming of the dreaded word cancer – can separate us from the love of God.

For God made us, forming us in our mother’s womb, knowing every part of us down to the very DNA of our cells. Yes, he knew that some of those cells would go astray, fleeing the intent for which they were created and following after their own way. He knew those aberrant cells were multiplying in us long before we sensed them.

But just as, in love, God brought us to salvation through the cleansing blood of his son, Jesus Christ, so he will, in love, save us from the truly crippling effects of cancer. For when we are most afraid, his love calms us; when we feel abandoned, he surrounds us with his presence; when we feel we have lost our way, he lights up the darkness; when we are restless with pain, he soothes us with his touch; when we lose heart, thinking we will never be well again, he restores our soul.

He does this through songs in the night and Scriptures by day; through the private prayers of friends and the corporate intercession of the church; through the expert care of doctors and the compassionate hands of nurses; through the testimony of cancer survivors and the shining leadership of saints who die in the Lord. But most of all, he does this through his ever-vigilant, wholly sufficient, eternally satisfying love.

CANCER CANNOT CRIPPLE GOD’S LOVE. He loved us from the beginning, he loves us through disease, he loves us in and out of treatment, and he loves us to the end, where, someday, we will know no more tears, no more sorrow, and no more death – only the incredible wonder of his love.

We thought we would share this devotional with all of you, as none of us are exempt of going through trials and struggles throughout our lives. Yes, the text above focuses on cancer, however it isn’t limited to just cancer. No matter the issue, trial or struggle you may be dealing with, our hope and prayer is that you will find comfort that God knows you, loves you, and desires you to submit to Him every aspect of your life.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Hello to those of you keeping up to date on Bonnie's progress (I guess mine as well). After a long day of chemo yesterday I (Steve) didn't have much left last night to update you on Bonnie's full first day at home.

I think the scripture that Bonnie is holding onto is James 5:7

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.

God is teaching Bonnie patience. She can easily get discouraged with her lack of strength and mobility. Actually she is doing great, but in her mind she wants to be back where she was prior to her admission to Sparrow. She knows she needs to rest in the Lord and in His timing or as the verse says, once she receives "the early and the late rains."

Please pray that her strength will continue to improve. She and I walked about a mile this afternoon and took a three-legged stool along so she could rest a few times. Also pray that her skin will begin to stop peeling. She has already had several layers of skin peel off her hands and feet and her hands are getting sore again which makes it challenging for her to do much with them.

Her appetite seems to be slowly coming back...as mine slowly begins to dissipate. She was able to take her first shower today since May 12th which was a wonderful feeling. The sponge baths do get old.

Yesterday I (Steve) received four different chemo meds from 8:30 to 5:00 with a shot of benedryl and demerol and some steroid to counter an allergic reaction I had to the Rituxan (one of the four chemos). The body naturally tries to fight against the medicine so it's countered with the other drugs. Today I received an injection of Neulasta which promotes good growth in the bone marrow so I don't become neutropenic as Bonnie did during her treatment.

Please continue to pray that I (Steve) will have limited side effects of my treatments. I would like to be clear that the chemo meds I am receiving are no where near as strong as what Bonnie went through, and we are grateful for that. I'm hopeful that I will be able to go to work next week for a few hours as I'm feeling up to it.

Again thank you for your faithfulness in praying for our family. Without it we would not have the outpouring of the Lord's strength that we are resting upon hour by hour.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


HOME. Just the word brings tears of joy to us. Bonnie is home. As we drove out of the parking deck at Sparrow Hospital this afternoon with the sunroof open, Bonnie heard a bird chirping and the tears were streaming down her cheek. Just the simple things in life that we take for granted that get lost in the busyness of life. What a pleasure I (Steve) had today to pull weeds in the flower beds. It's hard to capture in words the pent up feelings and emotions of being together in our home. Please pray that God will protect our lives from spinning out of control where we find ourselves not appreciating every little aspect of God's creation. "Take time to smell the roses" takes on a new meaning as opposed to just being a simple cliche.

HOPE. We have hope in the future because of Christ. Whether it's our earthly or eternal future, we have hope. This is the first time I (Steve) can recall sitting at our kitchen computer doing this update. I happened to glance up on the wall and saw a new plaque that Bonnie had bought quite some time before this journey had started. The plaque was hung by my dad just prior to Cassandra's openhouse as part of the finishing touches to an updated kitchen. The plaque says:

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. Isaiah 40:30

As we cleaned up Bonnie's room and took down all the cards that were taped to the wall, Bonnie had a chance to reread the notes of encouragement from so many, which was an added blessing to her day. We appreciate the outpouring of kindness, including the meals to those of you who had one of our children at one point along the way. So many have reached out to help and we would like to personally thank each one of you but quite frankly are overwhelmed in how to do so.

Please continue to pray for us as we continue on the journey which is far from over. I (Steve) start my chemo tomorrow. Please pray that I will not have a lot of side effects from these harsh drugs.

Please pray for continued wisdom and discernment as we transition to the bone marrow transplant process for Bonnie. We have a meeting a week from today in Detroit with the team that specializes in bone marrow transplants. Pray that a match will be identified quickly.

God is teaching us so much along the journey and we are grateful for this venue to share a little of what He is doing in our lives. All glory and honor and praise belong to Him!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


For those of you who have followed this blog regularly, know that we have attempted to update the status on a nightly basis. Today’s update is serving for both Monday and Tuesday due primarily to Steve dealing with the lingering effects of the anesthesia Monday evening after port being implanted (which was successful).

Today, Bonnie had her port surgically implanted, although her port is a dual port compared to my (Steve) single. Bonnie’s three bone marrow biopsies compared to my two, now a dual port compared to a single port. From a competition standpoint, Bonnie has the upper hand, except she didn’t get four miniscule tattoos and radiation therapy like me (Steve), but I suppose that doesn’t come close to enduring a hospital room for 58 days and all the amenities that come with it.

On a more serious note, we are praising God for the positive news of Bonnie’s recent bone marrow biopsy, which showed that she is in complete remission. As a leukemia patient, even though she is in remission, she will still need a bone marrow transplant and that process will start next Wednesday when we meet with our new team of doctors from Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit. They will handle the bone marrow typing of Bonnie’s siblings and begin the matching process. Please pray that God will bring the donor matching Bonnie’s type as soon as possible so she can avoid having to do follow up consolidation chemo treatment, which will be possibly a couple of months from now. The consolidation treatment is to keep Bonnie in remission.

My radiation treatments were suspended after yesterday’s (Monday) as I now have one full week of treatments completed. My chemotherapy starts Thursday and will run its course over 9 weeks followed by the balance of the radiation therapy remaining (3 weeks – 5 times per week).

The pain I (Steve) had in my side that sent me to the emergency room a couple of weeks ago has finally subsided. I have gone four days without taking Torodol, which is the strong medicine that my oncologist wanted me to stop as soon as possible. Thank you for your specific prayers on this issue.

Assuming everything goes well this evening (Tuesday) for Bonnie, she will be discharged tomorrow! All of Bonnie’s IV hoses have been disconnected so she has been free of the IV tower she has had to cart around with her for the past 8 weeks. I suspect when she is back home that in the middle of the night she will grab my arm and try to drag me to the bathroom as if she were taking the IV tower for a walk. Today she walked stairs and laps around the floor and sat outside for 45 minutes this afternoon. So she is getting stronger by the minute.

It’s amazing what we have learned about blood since we have been here. Once Bonnie’s white blood cell count came up with a high percent being neutrophils, it is amazing the healing that naturally started to occur within her body. For example, the biopsy of the colon revealed that she had a certain type of infection and some of the reason for the problems with diarrhea. Once her WBC counts started coming up, one of the areas in the body that continually renews WBC is the colon and these WBC attacked the infection and it is virtually gone. Overall the blood cleanses the body of it impurities, if the blood is in the right order.

I can’t help but think of the parallel between how our blood cleanses our bodies from impurities and how God used blood to cleanse our souls from the impurities of sin, through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus. Thank you again for all your prayers, cards and notes of encouragement. Psalm 28:6-7 says:

Blessed be the LORD!
For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to Him.

We never could have made it through this segment of our long journey without the prayers of so many.

Thank you.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Hi all. Hope everyone had a nice Fourth of July weekend. Just a quick update as Bonnie and I head into a new week. First of all the updates for the weekend.

Thursday was Bonnie's stepfather's memorial service and that was very hard for us (Bonnie particularly) to miss. Bonnie's brother Rick and his family flew in from Arizona for it. On Friday Rick and his wife Kathryn drove down from Gaylord and visited Bonnie and I for a few hours.

As many of you know we watch fireworks every 4th up at Lake Charlevoix. This is a time we (Bonnie particularly) look forward to and like so many other things that have changed or we have missed since May 12th, this was one of those difficult times. God is faithful and gracious at all times, including those that are more difficult times than others. We were able to go out on the outdoor patio 4 rooms down the hall from Bonnie's room and watch Lansing's fireworks. The interesting thing is that the announced fireworks were in a location almost due west from our patio so we had some obstructions with the view, but was able to get Bonnie out of her wheel chair standing up on a bench for a few minutes so she could enjoy the display. After she sat back down and it appeared the show was over a second longer show started which was directly north of our patio and no obstructions. We sat there and watched another 35 minutes of fireworks and they were better than the first batch. Attached is a poor photo from my camera phone.

Tomorrow at 4:15 I (Steve) have my port surgically implanted. Bonnie's most likely will be Tuesday. It looks very good that Bonnie will be discharged mid-week, which brings great joy along with the fear of the unknown of going on to the next stage of a transplant. Pray that God will be our fear and He will replace the other fear with His continued peace.

Thank you for your continued prayers!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Just a quick update for the night. Besides my (Steve) fourth day of radiation, the only other event of note today was Bonnie's third bone marrow biopsy. She is now one up on me. It went very well and we should have the results on Monday, along with the results of the colonoscopy biopsy. Please pray that the bone marrow is clear of blasts and that she is in remission. Also pray that the biopsy of her colon turns out to be a type of colitis that will heal in time as opposed to a new ongoing thing she will have to deal with on top of the leukemia.

Most likely Bonnie will have her permanent port implanted next Tuesday, so I will get mine before hers. The doctors need to see the results of the biopsies before putting her port in.

Please pray that Bonnie will start to eat and get up and walk now that all the testing is done. She needs to get off the food IV bag and the doctors are ready to see her plan to go home soon. I would suspect sometime next week after the port is implanted.

I (Steve) am dealing with nightly fevers and sweats as part of the lymphoma. Please pray that I can get rest. Even though I'm now spending the night at home now, I'm still not sleeping that well due to the side effects of the radiation as well as the lymphoma symptoms.

It's getting a little more challenging to keep up to date on the nightly blog post due to my condition. I continue to ask God for strength to be able to share with all of you the status of our physical, emotional and spiritual health. Because there really isn't much going on between now and the port I will have implanted Monday due to it being a holiday weekend, Bonnie and I are more or less just hanging out at the hospital.

I've decided that because everyone else has a holiday weekend, we are going to take off the daily updating for a couple of days. If something happens that we want to update you on, we will, otherwise we will post Sunday night.

Thanks again for all your prayers.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Bonnie and I would like to start off tonight by thanking everyone who has somehow been involved with caring for our family, from:

1) Praying fervently
2) Helping out with meals
3) Sending Cards, Notes and e-mails
4) Encouraging gifts
5) Sending care packages to Steve
6) Providing Bonnie’s nursing staff with goodies
7) Dropping off balloon bouquets twisted in the shape of flowers
8) Helping out with our kids
9) Helping out with Cassandra’s openhouse

We’re sure we have missed something, but in general we are so appreciative of all the support we have received since we embarked on this life changing event. Thank you so much!

Bonnie’s colonoscopy was completed today which revealed some small colitis which was part of the yeast infection she previously had. The doctors identified this irritation in part of her intestine and they are treating it with an antibiotic. Because of this, Bonnie also had a CT Scan of her GI tract to see if a spot by her liver was part of that yeast infection as they compare it to an earlier scan. Please pray the colitis is healed quickly so Bonnie can go home.

Tomorrow (Thursday), Bonnie will have another bone marrow biopsy. Please pray it is clear of blast cells so she will be considered in remission. As we have mentioned several times over the weeks, we have to take things one day at a time. As the time nears that we can see Bonnie potentially going home, we still have a long road ahead of us with the bone marrow transplant. She becomes a little overwhelmed thinking about the calendar and how long this process is because of the amount of time we have already spent here at Sparrow. Please pray that Bonnie will continue to be at peace and also have the endurance and stamina as new things come up that she may not have remembered in previous conversations because of the chemo.

I continue to have radiation treatment, but at this point do not have any indication of the mass shrinking. It may take several treatments. Today I had severe pain with my kidney area again as I tried not to take the medication that I was given in the emergency room last Saturday (Toradol). My doctor would like me off it as soon as I can, so I tried today and had a flare up of the same pain that sent me to the emergency room. A good friend of mine who works here at Sparrow had a couple of radiologists read my original MRI and compare to the CT Scans I had. It appears the ureter from the kidney is enflamed indicating a stone may have been passed and the reason for the pain. Please pray that the pain will subside and I can get off this medication that helps the pain.

I continue to have nightly fevers as well as night sweats which is part of the lymphoma. My doctors are stressing the importance of me getting rest and have suggested I sleep at home as opposed to Bonnie’s room. Please pray that Bonnie can adjust and regain the strength she needs to do things for herself, which will accelerate the time frame for her discharge.

Holding strong because of your prayers!

Steve & Bonnie