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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Praying for a miracle

We've met with the doctors and, to be frank - we need a miracle. The leukemia is back & very aggressive. The decision we are facing (I guess, I should say, Mitch is facing) is what to do now. The only treatment option they are suggesting is to move toward a haplo-identical transplant. The cord blood transplant that was part of the original plan is not strong enough to combat the disease. Charese & Sam are (at this point) potential donors. Or, Mitch could decide to fore go further treatment and go home. The transplant is considered very risky because of his health status.

As Mitch said, "We're not grieving, yet." We're still clinging to the Lord and seeking a miracle. We know He "is able to far more than all we ask or imagine" - and we can imagine pretty big stuff.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Looking up!

Two weeks after being readmitted to the hospital, Mitch has weathered another storm and is doing well. His difficult breathing and constant coughing have improved. The doctors have not been able to discern the source of the lung infection that has caused all these challenges but they are encouraged because he is feeling so much better.

His progress toward transplant is dependent upon his healing from the current challenges.

Thanks for your continued prayers. Remember, if you want to get more frequent updates, send a request to


Saturday, July 12, 2008

No news - not necessarily good news

I apologize for not updating the blog this week. It has been a difficult week for Mitch as he has been hospitalized very sick with an unknown fungus and bacterial infection. As of Saturday evening, he is still very tired and they have not been able to discover the source of his illness. He is on a constant rotation of many different antifungals & antibiotics but until they can determine the precise cause of the illness it's a guessing game to get the exact right treatment.

Please pray for God to intervene and heal Mitch miraculously or for Him to reveal to the doctors the best way to use medicine to help him get well.

If you want more frequent updates, please feel free to respond to the with your email address and I will be happy to add you to my email update list. It is distributed more frequently than this blog is updated.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008


This map shows where different ones who read Mitch's blog are located. I thought you'd enjoy seeing it. Thank you all for your interest and your prayers.

Mitch seems to have stabilized somewhat today. The initial reports from yesterday's bronchoscopy ruled out some of the more serious infections that were considered a possibility. So, that's encouraging news. Unfortunately, since the definitive diagnosis has not been made - they have not been able to target the infection with the medicine that would be most effective. He is still on broad-spectrum antibiotics. The preferred option would be to know what is the source of the infection and address it specifically.

Also, Mitch will have a bone marrow biopsy today at 1 pm PDT. We're praying that it shows clear - no leukemia cells whatsoever.

He is scheduled to start pre-transplant conditioning next week so it is important for these infections to clear up and for his marrow to be clear. Please continue to pray.



Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday afternoon

Mitch handled his bronchoscopy this morning very well. The full results will not be available for a day or two, but initial viewing showed that his airways are very irritated. They speculate some viral issues.

Possibly related, is the appearance of red bumps (some look like welts) on his legs, torso & arms. There will be a biopsy done later today which will, hopefully, give some direction to the doctors.

Bottom line - we covet your prayers and God's healing touch.



Monday, July 7, 2008

Late Monday update

We were just told that tomorrow will be another day of tests including a bronchoscopy at 10 am. This is to further investigate the nodules on Mitch's lungs that I mentioned last week. They want to be determine what is causing the infection so they can treat it with the best possible medicine. At one point we were also told that Mitch's bone marrow biopsy (originally scheduled for today) would be tomorrow.

Please pray for good results so they know which meds are the best options to get him in optimum health and proceed with the transplant.



PS - Thanks for letting us know from where you are reading this blog. We are blessed to have so many prayer partners.

Monday, July 7th

Several who read this blog also receive an email update from me periodically. For those of you who don't get the emails - here is the request I just sent out:

You've probably noticed a pattern. You get more email updates when things are a bit more desperate around here.

Two weeks ago, God specifically answered the many prayers requesting a turnaround in Mitch's fevers during chemotherapy. Therefore, I want to ask for you to pray once again - seeking God's intervention in ending the current round of fevers & coughing. Mitch is undergoing an echocardiagram & CT scan right now to see if there is a specific source of infection that should be addressed. Is he dealing with something bacterial? viral? fungal? If they can determine the specific source, they can target it with the right IV drugs.

Please join us in prayer. I'm beyond asking you to pray for specifics. You know the general challenge but, please let the Lord lead your prayers as you lift Mitch before the throne. God is good, faithful and able to heal instantaneously - we rest in that! However, His goodness is not in question even if He takes a bit longer to bring Mitch to complete health.

We are so incredibly thankful for all your prayer support. 2 Corinthians 1:9-11 says, "Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many." We appreciate that you persevere in lifting Mitch & our family before the Lord so often. We would have despaired long ago, if not for that!

I know there are many people following Mitch's journey, of whom we are not aware. We are very thankful and would love to know (just for fun) how many cities/states/countries are represented by the blog readers. If it's not too much trouble, would you let us know by clicking on the "Comments" button (below this entry on the right) and just say, "Spokane (or whatever city/country you are from) is following." Or whatever ... . I realize you're busy, but it encourages us to know you're there.



Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday update

Briefly - Mitch's temperature has spiked and he has developed a cough. They are feeling that he is very well covered by the current range of antibiotics but he is definitely having trouble sleeping because he feels so poorly.

If you're up late, reading this - please pray for the cough to heal up ... that there is nothing more seriously wrong and that he can get some good rest tonight.



Back to the hospital ...

It's Sunday. What better way to spend it than going back to the hospital? We would prefer spending the day going to church and worshiping with friends, but oh well ...

We got a phone call around 1 am this morning from the doctor. Mitch's blood culture showed some growth so they wanted us immediately to get to the hospital for some IV antibiotics. We were at the hospital until shortly after 3 am. The antibiotics were completely infused and they said, "Everything looks fine. You can go home."

We were scheduled for regular lab work & followup at the clinic this morning at 11 am but the triage nurse called us by 9:30 am to come in sooner. Once there, they found Mitch had started to run a fever so they decided he needed to be watched in the hospital. There doesn't seem to be any panic. They just want to watch him more closely than the past few days.

His scheduled bone marrow biopsy will be done tomorrow while he is in the hospital. We don't know how long he will be held here, but are hoping for a short stint this time.

Please continue to pray for clean marrow (both tomorrow and next Monday); quick recovery from whatever is infecting him right now; and God's healing touch overall. Even tho' we are trusting the doctors to make the right decisions, we know it is actually the Lord who is overseeing all the treatment. Thanks for your prayers.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

How Hot is Too Hot?

Friends of Mitch:

Daily trips to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance are comprised of lab work, injections and the occasional infusion of platelets or other sustaining substances. The key at this point is getting the white cell counts up and the temperature down. Fighting infection is the biggest battle. The number one evidence is a high temperature. So, well placed, cold soda cans and ice bags do the trick for the most part.

God is very much in the conversation and center of life. Praise the Lord! We continue to pray for healing and health and a thorough growth through all of this. Mitch's attitude is truly remarkable. Dad and mom took him to dinner at a favorite spot. He excused himself to vomit in the restroom for several minutes. Given the opportunity to leave, Mitch simply returned to the table and said, "Now I've made some room, let's enjoy our meal."

Now is the waiting game to see if more chemo is needed due to returned cancer cells, or if we can proceed to the transplant. Pray for healing and the latter. Chemo is not a welcomed bed-fellow.

Matt and Marlene

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday afternoon

It's not like we've disappeared or anything. There's just not much to report. Everyday we visit the clinic for bloodwork and a Neupogen shot. Then we're free for the rest of the day. It has been a nice change from the past two weeks.

Today we even went to watch "Kung Fu Panda." (We only choose the best movies!!) Matt arrived on Monday evening to spend a couple of days with us so we are enjoying the company.

Mitch's next biopsy is scheduled for next Monday with another one a week later. Please keep lifting him up. Even tho' they've warned us not to expect or be disappointed if his marrow isn't clear with next Monday's biopsy, we are praying that it is clear - both times!!

Thanks for your prayer partnership.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Dena Saying Hi

Mitch's kids from SoCal sent him a video greeting spoofing That 70's Show (what you see is not real!) If you're interested in delivering a video greeting to Mitch and/or his extended prayer family just go to, upload your clip, then send it to Typically Mama T will be filtering them so be aware that not everything will make the page. In fact, I'm pretty confident that this will be gone in a few minutes. Nevertheless, thank you for your continued support and prayer. Remember, we're talking about Mitch - one of the strongest individuals both in body and faith. Don't forget that and start treating him like a victim. Laugh with him like you always have.