5 Updates and a Challenge

It’s Friday morning and I’m here with Susan in the hospital.  She’s resting fairly comfortably now, which is better than last night, apparently.  Martha (her mom) was here and said she had a tough time getting settled, between all the meds, feeling anxious, and nurses constantly coming in and out.

Here’s where we are:

1 – Her Back Pain – she received a dose of radiation yesterday to her back, to hopefully help with the pinched nerve that has been her biggest source of pain.  They want to do 3-4 of those, so #2 will be today.  We’re expecting that to provide some relief pretty soon.  If not, I think they will try a nerve block.

2 – Her Platelets – Good news is that she did get the HLA matched platelets today.  Not so good news is that it only brought her counts up from 30K to 37K.  She needs to be at 50K so they can do this fluid drain around her lung, which we think is causing a few different issues.  Her brother, Brian, is in Charlotte and is going to donate platelets today, which will be given to her.  (It was his idea and he jumped at the chance)  Siblings are the most likely matches.  In the meantime, we think she’ll get more of the HLA-matched platelets from another donor.

3 – Swallowing – they did a test yesterday on her swallowing and determined that some of the liquid/food is actually trying to go down her airways.  She has a good coughing reflex right now so she gets choked and tries to send it back up.  But anything going that direction is not good, so she’s been ordered off of anything – even water and ice chips.  She’s getting nutrition via IV right now, so we’re just happy she’s getting something, since she hasn’t had much of anything in terms of nutrients all week.

4 – CT Scan Results – I wish I had better news here.  She had a brain CT yesterday which showed two small lesions on her brain.  They are going to do a brain MRI today to look more closely at some things, but there is a possibility that something here is causing her swallowing issue.  The CT of her neck did not show any pinched nerves.  Apparently they can still radiate the brain, so there are some options to treat that.

5 – Chemo – she can’t get it right now, when they are doing radiation.  Blessing and a curse here – the chemo drives her blood levels down and makes her feel worse.  But it is the only systemic treatment we have, and she needs something systemic that is actually going to work.

The kids and I are hanging in there.  It’s tough not knowing what to tell them in terms of when she’s coming home, since we really don’t know.  We’re trying to keep things as normal for them as possible.  My folks are in town, her sister Dana is coming back in Saturday morning…we have lots of help with them.  We have Christmas pretty much covered in terms of presents and stuff like that.

I do want you to know that I believe, even in the middle of this, that Susan is experiencing a deep peace with God right now.  It’s pretty remarkable to be around.  We had a great conversation about this the other night, in a few minutes where she was feeling good, and she has an awe-inspiring presence about her that I think is the Holy Spirit’s grace and peace.

I just realized, by the way, that almost 700 people (699) viewed her blog yesterday.  Wow!  What an encouragement to us.  Let me ask each one of you to say a quick prayer for her today – whether you’re a praying person or not – and pass the site on.  I’d love to see 1000 people letting God hear Susan’s name today!

Thanks friends, for all you are to us.  Sending much love your way.

Jerel

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85 Responses to “5 Updates and a Challenge”

  1. Darcy Mason Says:

    Praying for Susan and your family.

  2. Marion Spears Karr Says:

    Jerel, I don’t know and your wife and family but your story was brought to my attention from some mutual friends at the Cove. My heart and prayers go out to you and as my grandmother used to say we are going storm Heaven with prayer and petition for Susan, you, the children, the family, and the medical staff. Just know I have a sense of what you are going through.

  3. Deanne Says:

    We are praying.

  4. Shannon Says:

    Jerel, I do not know your wife and family. Only what I’ve read and I must say my heart has been touched! I am praying for your beautiful family and will be spreading the word. I pray God touches Susan’s body and heals her. I pray for her rest and relief of her pain and I pray that God gives you and your family the strength that you need! What an awesome story your family has and your faith is remarkable!

    God Bless,
    Shannon Heilman

  5. Heid and Christopher McLendon Says:

    We are going to keep all of you in our prayers.

  6. Katie Chipps Says:

    Sending you all love and prayers from Connecticut.

  7. Julie Martin Says:

    We love you guys, Jerel! Please know that we are praying for your family and we really appreciate these updates so that we know how to pray more specifically.

  8. Michelle Reedy Setterstrom Says:

    Susan, Jerel and entire Family and Friends,
    I am praying for a miracle and have been for months now. I am so, so sorry you are having to go through this and witness Susan’s pain. Susan, I am so sorry you are going through this, but when I see Jerel tell us how at peace you are and the Holy Spirit is glowing around you, well, I just bust out in tears! I don’t know what to say that won’t sound insensitive or discouraging…I’m at peace knowing that Jerel can sense Susan’s peace and can acutally see her peace. I pray your children will continue to impress us all with their strength and I pray for peace for them, too. Please try and have a Merry Christmas…I believe it will be the very best Christmas yet!
    Love, Michelle

  9. Penny Willis Says:

    You are a blessed and wonderful family. You have touched the lives of many and your prayers will be heard.

    Penny Willis

  10. Kara Says:

    We love you guys. Praying continually…for healing, for strength, for peace.

  11. parks wilder Says:

    jerel and susan, we learned months ago about the cancer from bert wilder ( son) and holly in charlotte. we want you to know we have prayed and lifted you all up every day since. susan has been at the very top even when we were going through surgery at duke for bert /esophogo/ gastrectomy for cancer of the esophagus. we are praying for a miracle and linking our prayers up with the hundreds praying. as we are helping to bear your burden please know we are loving you from a distance, praying wisdom for the doctors, nurses and staff, for you jerel and for the children.
    parks wilder/ greensboro

  12. Allison Pugh Says:

    Prayers are being sent from Katy, Texas. We are so sorry to read about the challenges you face. We were forwarded the link to your blog from a dear friend, Julie B. May you experience joy and peace this holiday season and beyond.

  13. Sheryl Says:

    I have put Susan’s name on our church’s Expect A Miracle board. Pastors, Lay leaders, elders, prayer warriors, and church members will be participating in fasting and prayers for her!!!! We will be lifting her name up to the throne room!!!

  14. Mary Dunn Says:

    Jerel, in your prayers take Susan to the throne room and lay her at the feet of Jesus. Her name has been spoken there.

  15. Elizabeth Says:

    Keeping you all in our prayers, have those prayer warriors out there for your family. Keep strong.

  16. Michelle Says:

    My neice just forwarded me your post. I have stopped and prayed for Susan’s healing and inner strength (Him) to manifest in her physical body. How blessed you are to know Jesus and have such an inspiring outlook. With this, your children will flourish in Him. May His peace guard their minds and hearts today and in the days ahead. Love in Jesus, fellow saint

  17. Kevin Rayfield Says:

    Know that we are praying for you guys and the kids. Thanks for keeping us posted, Jerel.

  18. Angie Says:

    Praying for you all …..thank you for your honesty in sharing….will continue to pray for that peace that truly transcends all understanding…..

  19. Geo Says:

    Jerel, Susan and family…..we love you and are praying for you. Please let me know if I can do anything to help out.

    Psalm 36:5 “Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”

    Praying right now for you all.

  20. Julie Says:

    We just stopped and took a moment to pray as a family..sending up powerful prayers for you all!! I know what a joy it is when Dana comes to town, I’m sure everyone is excited to see her!! When I got to hang with Christopher the other day he was telling me how she will play chess with him. He asked, “Do you know Aunt Dana?” I told him I’ve only met her and he replied, “Man, my Aunt Dana…she is just the BEST!!” It was said with such love. You’ve got an amazing family!!

  21. Brent J. Says:

    Prayers & tears … please be merciful, O God! We love you, Susan … your wonderful parents, brother Brian, sister Dana, and your lovely husband & children.

    We want you healed, happy, and rejoicing with your family again this Christmas. Ps. 37:4

  22. chowe Says:

    Blessed Be to dear Susan that she may find her way to what is in her highest good and to her family also. It’s uplifting to read all of the love here.

  23. Bill Shapcott Says:

    Jerel and Susan–

    You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

    Bill, Beth, Brett and Samantha

  24. Carole Krug Says:

    Susan and Jerel,
    We are staying very positive! I think you and I were diagnosed around the same time right after Christopher and Connor were in the four yr. old class at DUMC. It’s a tough road you are on right now. Stay strong and fight hard! We’ll be sending positive thoughts and lots of love your way! Carole, John, Jake and Connor Krug

  25. joy warner Says:

    Jerel and Susan,
    I hope you feel our love and prayers wrapped around you and your precious children.
    Joy

  26. Brian Says:

    I just learned about your family through a Facebook post by a friend. I’ve spent the last several minutes reading through your posts. They are so powerful and touching–particularly today’s post. I pray that you and your family experience peace and grace during this difficult time.

  27. Andrea Says:

    The Law family is in our hearts and prayers!

  28. mia baugher Says:

    Prayers for healing and peace. Mia Baugher (CSD family)

  29. lisa Nageotte Says:

    I am a good friend of Dianna Hosse. She keeps us updated, and many people from CSD are praying for you. Said a prayer for Susan, and I hope that she gets some relief from the pain.
    Sending love too.

    Lisa (CSD)

  30. Dani Says:

    We were touched and inspired by your blog. We are sending thoughts, love, and prayers Susan’s way!
    Blessings,
    The Angell Family
    (CSD friends)

  31. Leslie Says:

    I am not sure if you remember me, but I met you several years ago when we were opening a school and you let us use space at your church. What an incredible family you all are! I am sending you all many prayers of peace and healing. May you find comfort in one another and the love that so many people are sending your way.

  32. Shannon Says:

    I teach at the Community School of Davidson and I know of you through the beautiful people I work with. I am sending specials prayers for Susan tonight.

  33. Melissa Says:

    Wishing you peace, happiness and family togetherness during this trying time. Know that thoughts and prayers are being sent your way!

    Melissa
    (Community School of Davidson, North Carolina)

  34. Pauline Carter Says:

    The link to your blog was sent to me by colleagues of mine at the Community School of Davidson and I just want you to know that you will all be in my heart and prayers. May you feel God’s grace and peace surrounding you right now as healing is taking place!

  35. Heidi West Says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Susan and the whole family. We will continue to pray for healing, strength and peace. God Bless You all…

  36. Jen CSD Says:

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts. I know several of your friends and all are praying for you daily.

  37. megan britt Says:

    praying unceasingly for Susan, you, your kids, and the rest of your family.

  38. Cammie Howard Says:

    We love you all so much and we are praying for a miracle.

  39. Jim Webb Says:

    My daughter, Mary, asked that I pray for Susan and her family. This I do gladly. My prayers will continue until our Lord answers your request for a miracle.

  40. Nichole Says:

    My prayers are with you and your family. I hope that you get the healing and peace that you need from God above.

    Nichole (CSD)

  41. Rhea Russell Says:

    Please know that you are in my thoughts and I’m sending healing strength to the whole family.

  42. Sue McCutcheon Says:

    Susan-
    I know of your family from CSD collegues and neighbor friends as well. Sending prayers that GOD will wrap his arms around you and your family. I know HE is with you always.

  43. Michael Jones Says:

    I found this quote that I wanted to share with you. “When praying for healing, ask great things of God and expect great things from God. But let us seek for that healing that really matters, the healing of the heart, enabling us to trust God simply, face God honestly, and live triumphantly.
    Arlo F. Newel” You and your family are in our prayers.l

  44. Shari Braendel Says:

    Dear Susan and Jerel, just got this update from Cammie via Facebook…had no idea Susan had taken this turn. I will be praying for all of you….HEALING over Susan! Praying for a Christmas miracle.
    love, Shari

  45. THe Vilsecks Says:

    Susan,

    We’ve never met, yet everywhere I turn…your name is in the air….in conversations kind words are spoken of you…you’ve touched so many lives…so many people love you…so I hope you FEEL all this love come back to you at this time…and I hope it brings you peace..and brings strength to your family…
    cyndy (CSD Family)

  46. Angie Says:

    Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and say a prayer for your family…

  47. Nicole Jones Says:

    I said a prayer for you tonight. Bless you and your sweet family. My family keeps up with you continuously and we lift you up, sweet Susan. Merry Christmas.

  48. Judy Says:

    Your faith is a testimony to all of us! I know of your family through a dear friend of mine. May God bless you and your family. You will be in my prayers.

  49. Kim A Says:

    My prayers are with you and your family. I pray for God to give you peace and help relieve your pain.
    Kim, CSD

  50. Kim Says:

    Praying for strength and healing for you. God bless!

  51. Mama Henley Says:

    I am praying for a miracle,and specifically for comfort and peace for Susan. I am also praying for your children as they adapt to Mama being in the hospital,a nd for you, Jerel, as you juggle all of this. God is with you.

  52. laurie loomer Says:

    I don’t know if you remember me, but I was the music teacher for our little CCS school that was housed at your church many years ago. My family and I are praying for you all. Your hospitality was the beginning of our growing school so I’m hoping that our collective prayers will help you through this very difficult time.

  53. Tim Porter Says:

    Our God Heals. Speaking to the mountain with you.
    Mark 11:23; I Peter 2:24

  54. Leshia Cortese Says:

    Just to let you know, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Leshia and family (CSD)

  55. Janey Says:

    I learned of your story through a Facebook friend. I am praying for Susan and your whole family.

  56. Richard Marsh Says:

    Dear Charlotte,

    Nancy and I are friends of Jean Bailey. We have you in our prayers as well and wish the best for you.

    Richard Marsh

  57. Susan Bost Says:

    Although we have not met, I have learned of Susan’s illness through the Community School of Davidson. Susan and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. May God surround you with His healing love, comfort and peace.

    Susan Bost

  58. Mac Robinson Says:

    Dear mrs. susan,I hope you feel better from cancer and I hope you get out of the hospital. I am sorry that I missed the party that we had for your cancer. I was sick. I had fun playing with Christopher and Luke at our church.I prayed for you right before sending this email [I prayed at 4:40 and right now it is 4:50.][ i’ve been sending this email for 10 minutes.] i’de like to see Chris. and luke soon. Hope you feel better!Love,mac.

  59. Stephanie Larson Graham Says:

    I am sorry to got you on my prayer this list late but you are now on it and my kids Joey(3) Jack(2) and Gabi (5 months) pray for you every night along with their Grandma Joy who has been battleing stage 4 breast cancer since March of 2007. This is how it went last night
    “Dear God, thank you for a fun day, all my dinosaurs and all my friends, and mommy and daddy and jack and princess Gabi but god please pray for Grandma Joy and Mommy’s friend Susan to kick boobie cancer in the butt, also pray for Grier, Liam and Taylor as they kick cancer too. I love you god and please give me answers to all my prayers tomorrow. In your name I pray! Joey”
    It makes me cry every night when we say prayers but I think at 3 he is pretty good at them, he knows he is thankful and he knows people need gods help in many ways. I wish his list would get smaller for the cancer people and hopefully God will answer that shortly as Grandma Joy and Grier have been on that list since the same month when he was still in my tummy. Hard for me to grasp that but glad they are still here. In God’s glory and delight know we are praying for a Christmas miracle for Susan, Joy, Grier, Liam and Taylor! xoxo from Pittsburgh and the Graham family!

  60. Nancy Ellington Says:

    I pray for your healing and strength. Your blog has been sent to your friends at the Community School of Davidson. We will continue to pray for you and your family.

  61. Monika Says:

    You don’t know me, but I go to Glenstone Chapel and heard you speak a couple of times, Jerel. I’m praying for you this morning. May you sense God’s arms upholding you throughout this day. He has not abandoned you, and He loves you very much!

  62. Kathleen Says:

    What a awe inspiring blog. I am deeply honored to be able to read it. My prayers to you and your family.
    Kathleen (CSD)

  63. Ann Marie McAfee Says:

    Our family at Community School of Davidson is thinking and praying for Susan and your family throughout the season. Thank you all for touching so many lives. I am sure you will never truly understand the extent of how much and how many you have touched but we will be forever grateful!

  64. Jamie Says:

    Hey Law Family,

    We are praying for a complete recovery.
    Love,
    Jamie

  65. Alison Lillard RN Says:

    Susan and family…My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Everyone here on the Outpatient Infusion Unit are thinking about you everyday and are your biggest fans!

  66. Barb (CSD family) Says:

    Susan, I don’t know you or your family, but I have heard wonderful, kind words spoken of you at CSD. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and my prayers. God bless you! ~The Lavella Family

  67. Linda Love Says:

    Blessings, blessings, blessings. My daughter-in-law Joy Warner sent an email and I remember when her school just started at your church. Angels all around and we ask for the most benevolent outcome, the highest and best for everyone with love and great peace to all involved.

  68. Bindy Says:

    Please know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers. Bindy (CSD)

  69. Jerry Says:

    My prayers with you and your beautiful family.

  70. Patricia McDermott Holmes Says:

    My sister, Donna Sevilla, asked for prayers for Susan. Just wanted you all to know our family is praying for Susan and the entire family. May God bless you and keep you all in the palm of His hands.

  71. Paula Wilson Says:

    Susan, Blessings to you and the sustaining power of God’s healing presence and the love of your dear family and friends be with you. A candle is lit for you.

  72. jesse Says:

    I was forwarded this blog from some of my family. I just wanted your family to know that you are in our prayers. This story brings tears to my eyes as a mother myself, I can’t fathom what Susan is going through or your family. But I will pray with all my heart. Sending over lots of love and healing.

  73. Beth Knight Says:

    I don’t know your family other than through friends at CSD and what I just read on your blog. However as my family prepares to celebrate Christmas, yours will be in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you can feel the strength from this large circle of prayer now extending past those you know personally.

  74. Susan Rosenblatt Says:

    Hi Susan,
    My name is Susan & I am a friend of Whitney Gray. She shared that you were in the hospital and needed prayer. I wanted to let you know that you and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers in the weeks and months to come. I hope your pain subsides quickly and you are able to get some much needed rest. Dr. Boyd was my mom’s oncologist – just the sweetest doctor. I will be praying for discernment for him as well.
    In His Grace,
    Susan Rosenblatt

  75. gillian Says:

    Praying!!! He is Mighty and Able –

  76. Wendy Bezek Says:

    Susan,
    Know that the Bezek’s continue to lift you up in prayer daily! You are one strong lady! Your friends in Northstone and at HES love you!
    Wendy B.

  77. Carol CSD Says:

    We are praying for you and your family.

  78. Megan Says:

    Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers, and wishing you peace and happiness during this time.
    Megan (CSD family)

  79. Abby Says:

    My heart goes out to all of you. Praying for Susan and the whole family.

    With love and hope in Christ,
    Abby (Farson) Pratt

  80. Leslie Bragg Says:

    I’m a member of your extended CSD family and you are in my prayers –

  81. Bj Larson Says:

    Praying for a miracle for Susan and giving HIM all the glory and honor. “By HIS strips we are healed”! Please let me know if I could ever help out with kids, etc. I know you have lots of friends, but if ever a need, I can be there to help. 704 947-2485 Love and prayers Bj Larson

  82. Kimberly Reynolds Says:

    Dear Susan and Family,

    You dont know me, I learned of your trials through a mutual friend on facebook. This friend had asked for prayer for you and your family. As I sat down to see exactly what I needed to be praying for, I soon realized the desperate need your were facing. As I read your blogs from the beginning, I was in awe reading the day to day struggles of this battle. I thought to myself, wow, Im just reading about this ordeal, They are living it. I was humbled. All day today, I could only think of you. As I gathered with family today for an early christmas gathering, my mind went back to how you were doing today. It reminded me that the only thing that matters is what you have in life right now. I thank you for the message that you are sharing even if you dont know it. I pray God will send his angels down to comfort you and your family. I pray that God’s will is for you to be completely healed. I pray right now for the pain you are experiencing to ease, I pray for a good nights rest, I pray for some good news, I pray for hope. God bless you and your family. In His Love, Kimberly Reynolds, cameron, nc

  83. Debbie Jonas Says:

    We continue to pray for you and your family. We are hopeful that Susan has a peaceful and comfortable night.

  84. Ross Andresen Says:

    I am a “praying person” and will pray for your dear Susan, you and your children each day. May you find God’s peace in knowing that so many of us, total strangers, care about you and your family and the position you are in. I pray that your children will not be afraid when they visit their mom, but will see how much she continues to love them. My love to you all.

  85. Jean Bailey Says:

    Dear Jerel Thank you for your insightful updates. Susan , You and the children will continue to be in my prayers . The prayer partners in my church in Jacksonville have been also praying that you will feel God’s abiding love and that Susan will have some relief from her pain and other symptoms. Peace, Jean

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