The Journal of Donny’s Journey through Leukemia – Part 1

runyourrace

2008

February 28:

The Leukemia came out of nowhere 18 months ago and within a month, Donny was in remission. He attended his sister’s wedding in September, 2006, just three weeks after being diagnosed. He had a hard climb back up, but then in January, 2007 was married to his southern belle sweetheart, Amy. He got a blood transfusion just three hours before his wedding. The Leukemia was gone, but his body was pretty beat. By his birthday in mid-March he was feeling great and back to work. Then in November of 2007 he started having lots of pain in his legs. Some days he couldn’t feel his legs or walk. He was working out at the gym pretty regularly and intensely, so we all thought that something has gotten itself pulled out of place. We prayed and it didn’t change. Then we knew this was something that the Lord was going to walk him through so we waited. Donny underwent many tests, even for cancer… there was none. The pain increased. Terrible migraines, bruises all over his body and pain in his legs that was unbearable. So, after a couple months of searching, there it was. Cancer. It was different than the one he had before and hard to kill, but the Lord walks with us at all times… difficult times and easy times. This Leukemia has formed a mass at the base of his spine and it was inoperable as his spinal cord was wrapped around it. More Chemo in the spine and brain and now radiation. No results, just pain. The Leukemia is in his blood, destroying everything in its path, so we wait and pray. His body is bearing bruises all over it as a testimony to the battle that is going on inside of him. Terrible bruises everywhere, bad blood counts. His joints have pain that is sending him through the roof in pain. Today his feet have swollen up to be huge stumps. They don’t know why. I do. The devil is a liar and wants to make a bad situation worse. He cannot.

Because of the nature of the Leukemia, the specialist decided to send him to UC San Francisco to undergo more tests and to receive more ChemoTherapy there and have his sister, Cynthia, tested to be a bone marrow donor match. We will know in two weeks if she is a match. So, he is in the midst of his first of three rounds of Chemo of this new type that they haven’t used before. He should be done with this part by the end of March. He will spend his birthday in the hospital this year. If Cynthia is a match and if Donny’s body accepts the donor marrow, then he will be done with this process by the end of June. He must go into remission from the Leukemia and stay there to be built back up before they can do the transplant.

We are all taking shifts here so that life can continue as we attempt to glorify the Lord by ministering to those around us the best we can. So, we are staying in San Francisco during the week and coming home on the weekends for services while Amy is with him. Amy has also been traveling back and forth during the week around her work schedule, so please keep this sweet little newlywed in your prayers. Cynthia is very worried about her brother, so please remember her as well. We give it to Jesus and are sure in our conviction to stand at the foot of the cross and watch the redemption of the Lord in this. We watch the angels dance in the midst of the glory of God as the peace of the Lord filters down upon us with reckless abandon.

March 1:

The tumor at the base of Donny’s spinal cord is gone! He is taking the new ChemoTherapy very well. Not as horrible as all the other times over the last year and a half. The swelling in his feet is gone, the pain in his joints is reducing. Two more weeks of Chemo to go. Please keep praying.

March 3:

Thanks for the help and the prayers. We are blessed! Family and Bay Area friends are a good hour away, so staying with them doesn’t work, with the commute in traffic and the late night drives out of the hospital at midnight. We really need to be within five miles of the hospital so we can get here quickly (or as quick as San Francisco traffic will allow!). So, thanks for making it happen for us. Last week, we stayed at a nearby hotel that was a converted apartment building and boy… what a nightmare. The bed was worse than when I was in India, I think wood is softer. the noise was unbelievable, no heat, no air, dust everywhere. I got there straight from Sunday service and stayed with Donny until around midnight, then I couldn’t get out of my skirt because the zipper broke. So, I had to sleep in it, and couldn’t shower the next day, because nobody had scissors and the restaurant was closed, so I couldn’t even cut my way out of it with a steak knife! So, I had to wear it all day again. Finally got some scissors and got out of it. Sheesh! Anyway, tonight I “upgraded” thanks to your help to a hotel with a nicer bed and I pray the Lord heals up my twisted back. I thought the hospital chair was a tough deal, but this is unbelievable. This hospital doesn’t let you sleep in a chair in the room like Fresno did. So, I won’t be sleeping in the chair like before, which at this point, would be a welcome treat! There is a huge convention in San Francisco right now, so I’m working hard to secure hotel rooms for the rest of the month, afte the convention leaves, and we will find a happy middle ground place. Just have to look. We ended up here so fast, there was no time for logistics, so I am working all that out now.

Donny’s immune system continues to drop, but his hope is in the Lord. He has two more weeks of Chemo and then we believe that he will be in remission, waiting for the Bone Marrow Transplant from his sister; we find out at the end of the week if she is a match. The bruises covering his body are a bit much to look at, but they have stopped growing and now beginning to reduce. He feels pretty good, upset stomach off and on, but he is not complaining. Donny will spend his 27th birthday next week in the hospital, so just like spending the last two Christmases in the Hospital, this year, he will spend his birthday there and Easter as well. So, we plan ahead and will string lights in his room and make happy noises!

We have met a lot of wonderful people here, some need the Lord, some are rejoicing in Him!

March 10th

The Lord has allowed Donny and Amy to undergo a time of joyful expectation during this time of being newlyweds with Leukemia and they are weathering the storm beautifully; thanks so much for praying. They are excited about what is next, never complain and it’s a joy as I see their love grow for one another during this time which God has ordained for them. There is no dismay or depression. No anxiety or fear. Joy unspeakable and full of glory and we know this is a miracle! Thank you.
Well the news is official… Cynthia, Donny’s sister, is a bone marrow donor match! Sibling’s have a one if 25% chance in being a match and then not a perfect match often. We met a woman on the ward who had five siblings, maybe more, I can’t remember, and none were a match. So, we are grateful to the Lord for His kindnesses to us. They have a scale that goes to “6” and they won’t do a donor match if it’s under a “5”. Cynthia is a “6.” So, it looks like his birthday this week will be at the hospital. (I planned a party with music and cake and all the family and many of his friends. He can’t have the cake because his immune system is non-existent and he can only eat pre-packaged food created under clinical and sterile conditions. But we will eat his cake while he smiles under his sterile mask!) Then after he goes into remission, (and we are hoping it will be the week before Easter…) he will be home the week after that to recuperate. We believe that he will be home for Easter!
Then, the “emergency” part happens. The doctor said that when he goes back into the hospital a week later and will need to stay for 6-8 weeks. They will give him the highest dose of Chemo allowable, destroy his bone marrow, do full body radiation… this will continue for about two weeks and then they will inject him with Cynthia’s bone marrow and we wait. They say this will be a very difficult and painful time for Donny. This process is supposed to make my son sterile as well. Sperm has been banked, but they are not too sure how healthy it is because of the Leukemia. We wait. The Lord has promised me grandchildren and so I know they come. We have fought for them and it is set.
Thank you for covering this in prayer. Many people suffer from what they call host/graft disease and get many infections that draw the process out for months or even years. The perfect scenario would be that he start building his immune system back up using Cynthia’s bone marrow and within a couple months he comes home. After he is home, for 3 months he needs to go twice a week to San Francisco to be checked.
In September of 2006, just four months before his wedding he was diagnosed with Leukemia. So it appears that in September of 2008, as all goes according to plan, we shall be free of this Leukemia once and for all. When I sought the Lord for his miracle, the Lord told me that my son would walk a road with Him and that I had to trust the Lord no matter what it looked like. He told me that “He had him” I believed Him then and I believe Him now. I came to realize that I can’t tell God what “I got him” looks like. Sometimes it looks like a very sick child who is in a horrible amount of pain covered in the tears of those who love him. God STILL has him, even now. Until death do us part Lord… no matter when death comes or what life looks like in the meantime! I will love you here and then abound with you in glory knowing your love got me there and my love was all along just a filthy rag. But, your love oh Lord, has carried me until I understand fully, when I sit at your feet.

March 14 –

Yesterday was Donny’s 27th birthday. So, family and friends came in force to wish him well. We were able to “take over” the Doctors’ lounge area and my niece made a wonderful cake and my nephew came to sing. There were a good couple dozen, maybe three, of friends and family there and we had a wonderful time. Donny has had a powerful headache and stomach ache for three days, so we pray. His blood counts haven’t come back up yet, so we pray.


When his blood counts come back up, he will come home for two to three weeks, some “outpatient” Chemo in Fresno, and then he will go back to UCSF in April and May and possibly some of June for the bone marrow transplant. So, we are waiting and praying. Hoping he will be home for Easter.
This round of Chemo has not made him horribly sick like he has been most of the other times. So, we are grateful. Here’s the news you have been waiting for: Donny is officially in remission!
So, now, as soon as his blood counts come back up, he will be eligible for the last round of Chemo and then the bone marrow transplant! Thanks for praying and waiting with us and for helping. I actually slept on a decent bed this week, thanks for that. I have not had a worry in the world… God in you has seen to that. Thanks a ton.
The weeks are long and full here in San Francisco. It is my joy to see you at church over the weekend! Here we go…………
Sandi

March 25 —-

Well, Donny did not come home for Easter as we had hoped and planned. Instead, he slipped out of remission and became violently ill. Last week was a rough week and we all grieved as he lay in such tremendous pain, with aggressive nosebleeds and vomiting up stuff that looked like tar, while enduring headaches that had his veins protruding out of his skull. They worry about mouth sores and skin disorders now on top of everything else. He has not received these extra “bonuses” and we are grateful. His body is experiencing symptoms like intense body aches with the flu or severe arthritis the doctor said, while his blood counts struggle to come back up. They have said that he will remain in the hospital for the next 10 weeks, if all goes according to plan and there are no setbacks. The bone marrow transplant should take place either the second or third week of April. So please remember to keep little Cynthia, his sister/donor, in your prayers during that time as well. They keep trying to tell me about the dangers and hazards of a bone marrow transplant (a disease all its own that can get created through the process, kidney failure, destruction of liver… blah, blah, blah, on and on and on) we listen and then give it to the Lord. He has chosen this path and so we walk with Him through it. I am intensely aware that the Lord could have done anything else and chose not to… so this is by design. The devil comes from time to time and throws a rock and tries to get in our pond, but like I told him last week…”you cannot splash in this pond.” So he runs away, wet and defeated. I spent last week in the hospital chair with him. When nobody else is there, the guy left needs to stay in the chair. This makes a nice hotel room that much nicer, when I get one! Thanks for that, you’ve all been great. Even if I don’t get to sleep in the hotel room, I get to run over and get a shower and stop a minute there without all the urgency of the hospital around me. I really can’t thank you enough for the help. I can get office email here at the administration desk on this floor… Every once in awhile I can log on. Thanks for praying. We are holding on for a better week this week!

March 27 —-

Donny has been unbelievably ill in the last two weeks. But he continues to draw his strength from the Lord. His little wife, Amy, is such a trooper… I stand amazed! He has developed “post radiation” burns down his spine. Blisters are on top of blisters. They had to break one open this week and scrape it to do a biopsy. No infection! The pain was pretty bad for Donny. He got up to sit in a chair on Easter for about an hour and that was it. He’s been down ever since. If he moves, he vomits and the pain is very intense.
Then the prayer meeting… and around midnight last night he has started to do better; so a few hours ago, we went for a walk. The hospital has “laps” marked off and we went for a mile walk. I tried to get him to stop after 1/4 mile (okay, I was tired!) but, he wouldn’t hear of it. He pushed himself around each corner. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised… this from a child who crawled to his high chair at six months old, scaled the side of it and got in. I know you have been praying and holding prayer meetings for him; Martin and I thank you for that. Surely the Lord hears our prayers. My heart is full.

PHOTOS FROM EASTER:

April 1 –

The doctors say that he may come home on April 7th to rest up for the month before the transplant in May. I know the enemy is just throwing rocks, but some of them are trying to leave a mark. He is in intense pain again and now has an infection and there is not enough oxygen in his blood. He needs to get much better before he can come home. Thanks for fighting for us. I stay in a continued state of awe and appreciation over you with a grateful heart toward our Lord…

APRIL 3 —

We’ve been up all night fighting a 102.5 fever. Donny’s immune system is gone, so they consider this somewhat of an emergency. BUT, a couple hours ago, the fever broke. All through the night the nurse kept saying, “I’ve never seen this before” and she had to check her equipment… His fever jumped from 102.5 to 98 every few minutes and it did this for hours. He would burn up and then chill. His pain isn’t as bad, but his stomach is hurting pretty good. Headache off and on. We had an intense battle over his body all night long.
From a mother’s heart… we give birth and give them roots. We pray that those roots give way to wings and they live their lives to glorify the Lord, the One who sent them. Martin and I are blessed in that Donny has found a wonderful mate and that his life’s quest is to glorify Jesus. It is, however, hard to watch the pain. But, all in all… we know Whom we have believed and are grateful.
I met the new idea this week! The athiest down the hall. I have become his friend and today he will find Christ. This trip will not be wasted. Donny smiles!

April 9th:

Martin and I thank you for checking in and praying for our family. Instead of coming home this week, Donny contracted another infection. One is in the intestines; one is in the respiratory system. He is now being fed by IV and has been vomiting again. The fever seems to be under control. Over the weekend, he began to feel better, got up and shaved his head (of what hair was left!) and spent some extra time with his wife, Amy, and sister, Cynthia (after her car blew up on the way to the hospital… she got a rental car and kept coming… what a trooper!). His condition began to turn around and the infections came to cause some delays. We believe the Lord will allow him to come home for a rest before the transplant, so we keep holding on to that. Every promise of our God is sure! In the meantime… it is well with my soul…

April 18 –

April 15th was my 50th Birthday and I got a beautiful present… Donny was discharged from the hospital. Cynthia, Amy, Donny, and I (Martin and Omar had to be at work) waited and waited for the paperwork to be completed and then when we went outside (Donny’s first visit to the outdoors in over seven weeks). The girls had written all over my car “Honk for the Birthday Girl!” “50.50.50.” They then proceeded to take me on a scavenger hunt all over San Francisco. Donny was weak and tired and didn’t feel the greatest, but insisted on being part of the fun from the back seat. We had a hotel room for him to rest, but he wanted to be part of the birthday party. So, here are a few pictures of the fun day. The girls had me running around in a green wig for a big part of the day, I fit right in. We had a ton of fun and now Donny is home. He is still a bit weak and not feeling swift, but in a few days he will be feeling better and able to enjoy the rest of his month off before he goes back into the hospital for the Transplant. I will keep you posted. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all my birthday gifts, cards, and notes. I was so excited to receive them. You made my 50th the best birthday ever! I appreciate all you have done.

April 21 –

Donny is doing better. He’s getting stronger every day. We love having him out of the hospital. Amy has never wavered in her belief that the Lord will rescue her man. And Miss Cynthia looks forward to “owning her brother” with her bone marrow. The “games will begin” mid-May and I’ll keep you posted. We appreciate all your help in financial support and prayer.

Many have asked for updates on our Buddhist and Atheist. The “X-ers” have called to talk and receive prayer. I gave them my cell number after they accepted Christ. The Buddhist monk was transferred to Iowa three days after he found Christ. He is pursuing the Lord there and has a great church. The atheist found the Lord with many tears. The day Donny was discharged I went to his room and prayed with him. He told me that he was transferring that week to Arizona to a special clinic where they hoped he could get help. He is one of the most grateful men I have met for a long time. He started out screaming at me and ending up hugging me and weeping as we prayed and said good-bye. The Agnostic went home and took Jesus with him too. Every time he got a new roommate, he would come find me and have me come to pray for him in front of them, as he would say, “So they would get the picture.” It was his way of sharing his faith. He wanted them to know what he believed, but didn’t quite know how to say it yet! The Lord is amazing and beyond our understanding of good! Thanks so very much for walking with us.

May 12 –

The children decided to create St. Mother’s Day from some St. Patrick’s Day shirts. The day was full of surprises. Although Donny wasn’t feeling well, he was a trooper and we had a wonderful time together at Cynthia and Omar’s place near Monterey, three days before the Leukemia returned and he fell out of remission.


Donny is doing better. He’s getting stronger every day. We love having him out of the hospital. Amy has never wavered in her belief that the Lord will rescue her man. And Miss Cynthia looks forward to “owning her brother” with her bone marrow. The “games will begin” mid-May and I’ll keep you posted. We appreciate all your help in financial support and prayer.
Many have asked for updates on our Buddhist and Atheist. The “X-ers” have called to talk and receive prayer. I gave them my cell number after they accepted Christ. The Buddhist monk was transferred to Iowa three days after he found Christ. He is pursuing the Lord there and has a great church. The atheist found the Lord with many tears. The day Donny was discharged I went to his room and prayed with him. He told me that he was transferring that week to Arizona to a special clinic where they hoped he could get help. He is one of the most grateful men I have met for a long time. He started out screaming at me and ending up hugging me and weeping as we prayed and said good-bye. The Agnostic went home and took Jesus with him too. Every time he got a new roommate, he would come find me and have me come to pray for him in front of them, as he would say, “So they would get the picture.” It was his way of sharing his faith. He wanted them to know what he believed, but didn’t quite know how to say it yet! The Lord is amazing and beyond our understanding of good! Thanks so very much for walking with us.

At UCSF “checking in” for the pre-transplant meetings.


May 15, 2008

It wasn’t until a couple days later that we found out that he wasn’t going in for the transplant after all, not right now. You can only have a transplant if you are in remission. He was in remission and then it slipped away just days before the transplant was scheduled. Donny has been very, very ill through all the process, but the Leukemia cells didn’t show up until now. So, 2-3 weeks in the hospital to fight the Leukemia again. Then he will be rushed to get the pre-transplant treatment for a couple weeks, then the transplant. He won’t be home until September-October. We travel back and forth trading off the privilege of tending to his needs in San Francisco. The Word of God says that the Lord will “complete the Good work that He has begun in us” and Jeremiah says that if we ask the Lord, He will show us “great and mighty things that we know not of.” Some have said they believe the report of the Lord. Truth is, I just believe the Lord! At this point, I’m going to let Him read the fine print on the back of the page. It doesn’t matter where we go, as long as Jesus is going with us. The Lord said not to be afraid of how it looks, so we endeavor to follow that leading and simply trust Him. It is just the devil throwing rocks, they hurt for a minute, but cannot leave any permanent marks! And because of Jesus, we command him to leave and he does. We just have to walk and we know Jesus goes with us! Please pray for the ground where we will go in this vast and complicated “missionary journey” to the hurting people in the hospital. It is our desire for everyone to know the love and have the peace of our Jesus. Thanks for all your prayers, love and support during this time, and, always.

May 28, 2008 –

It’s been almost two weeks since Donny was admitted back into the hospital in Fresno. It has been hard, very hard. We wait for the Leukemia to go away and know that the Lord has it on the run. The Chemotherapy that has worked the best cannot be used any longer. Anymore of it will damage his heart. So, we wait for a new plan. Donny has been awful sick, but in the last couple days has been feeling better and it is a joy to all of us.
I cannot explain the gentle power and comfort the Lord provides during this time. As Zephaniah says in 3:17 “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty!” When the Leukemia goes into remission, he will be home for two days and then rushed to San Francisco to begin the process at UCSF for the bone marrow transplant. At that point, he won’t be home again until November. Thanks for praying. I cannot begin to tell you how much your help and prayers have meant during this time.

June 6, 2008 –

Donny was released from the hospital this morning! He is feeling great and building his strength up for the bone marrow transplant. As we have learned, things change daily with this process! So, it looks like he may be home for a week or two running out-patient tests and letting his system “recover” before we have to go to San Francisco for the long process of the Bone Marrow Transplant. I will keep you posted as the time draws near. In the meantime… he and Amy are so happy to be “among the living together!” Blessings and appreciation to you for walking this with us. The support in every way has been amazing! Psalm 121

June 23, 2008

Donny has been suffering with Leukemia for almost two years now. Today after a long journey of fight and trust he is admitted to UC Medical Center in San Francisco for the bone marrow transplant! He will undergo intensive full body radiation this week and then next week, more chemotherapy. The doctors say these next couple of weeks will be traumatic and painful. Somewhere during the first week of July, he will receive the Transplant. I am planning a party for that day! I will take pictures for you and try to give weekly updates here. He will not be home until November. So, we will be traveling back and forth trading the privilege of being his caretaker with his wife, Amy. I marvel at how Donny and Amy embrace this journey as God’s choice for them and they truly “count it all joy.” They are walking in such peace and abandonment to the Lord Jesus… It has been an inspiration to many. As a mother, I prayed for a manifested immediate miracle, but as a woman of God, I must receive and believe what comes this way, knowing God is in control of the package it arrives in, as well as what is in the package. The Lord told me when my boy got sick, “I’ve got him.” And, I instinctively knew that I don’t get to tell God what “I’ve got him” looks like. So, we trust and learn to love the waiting! We know it is still true today, “The Lord our God in the midst of us is Mighty!” Zephaniah 3:17. No matter what it looks like, this is truth! Thanks so much for the help in every way that you have given. We are encouraged, helped and blessed by so many people the Lord has set in our path. Thank you for being that person. We have walked on clouds in a time of dismay because of your prayers and the clouds were comfortable thanks to your financial support.

June 25, 2008

Please pray. Donny’s liver enzymes are thirty times normal. The total body radiation is two times a day for half an hour. He cannot get the transplant until he has done it for a week. They had to stop the radiation because his liver is in danger of permanent damage. The transplant has again been delayed. We are disappointed, but trusting the Lord. We appreciate your prayers. We’ll keep you posted.
June 26, 2008
Thank you for praying. Donny’s liver enzyme count went down overnight and he will be resuming radiation today. The transplant will only be delayed by a few days.
June 27, 2008
UCSF found another Leukemia mass in Donny’s chest tonight. He has slipped out of remission again. Just a week before the transplant. He is tired and wore out, but has not forsaken his Hope in the Lord. When the tumor is dissolved, he will undergo more tests, radiation and chemo and then be lined up once again for the transplant. His body is full of blisters and pain, inside and out. We are still hoping for a July transplant.
June 30, 2008
Please hold in fasting and prayer this week especially. Today is Cynthia’s surgery to “harvest her bone marrow.” She is not feeling well. They will do this for two days and freeze it, then when Donny is ready, the tumor gone, his liver continues to maintain strength, they will infuse him with it. The Doctors are hoping for this week. We have never been so close to “end of the race.” If all goes well, this time next week, he will be successfully making his sister’s bone marrow and calling it his own. The Lord is good. I thank you for staying in the fight with us. We have all surely felt and known your prayers.
Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do continue to minister.”
Every Blessing to you. Love, Sandi
July 1, 2008
PLEASE PRAY! Donny is in an emergency situation and had to be rushed to ICU…….
Yesterday Cynthia underwent the surgery and procedure to harvest her bone marrow. It was a complete success. The doctors got more than they needed and it was all perfect quality. The pain for her was immense. She vomited during the process and felt pretty bad throughout. Then, to get the catheter out of her neck, they had to cut away stitches and go through a process of general abuse to her. The nurses were great, but it was an extremely painful process. So, now she has a big slash in her neck which is all bandaged up. She is still in a lot of pain, but was happy to give her marrow to her brother. They had a wonderful time together afterwards visiting… and we had of course, cake and pictures!
Donny’s liver is holding strong, the leukemia mass seems to still be in his chest. He has been very weak with no immune system and his bone marrow is slowly dying, preparing to receive Cynthia’s. The bone marrow transplant is still tentatively scheduled for tomorrow around 4:00. THEN this morning we had an emergency… pain that came hard and fast to Donny. He said it was the worst pain of his life. He’s been in terrible pain all day. His chest feels like it is collapsing. He had to be rushed to the Intensive Care Unit a few hours ago. The doctors think it is either a blood clot or his lung trying to collapse. As of this moment (4:00 today) he is finally able to lay down flat to get the CAT scan done. So, I will know tomorrow what is happening to our boy. Cynthia and Omar are here, Cynthia is still in a lot of pain, but we are leaning on each other and the Lord. My two sisters and their husbands are on the way over here. Thanks for praying. Now I know why I asked the church to Fast until Wednesday night for Donny. Thanks for all your help. The Lord will prevail.
July 2, 2008
Continue to fast and pray earnestly. Today is the day. The mass is still in his chest. No blood clot. His liver is still good. The crisis has passed, but he is still in ICU. He is able to breathe and the pain has subsided. Critical that we pray until 4:00, when we will know if they can do the transplant.
July 2, 2008, 10:40 am
They are keeping him in ICU to do the transplant. They are speeding it up. The transplant will take place at noon. The doctor said, “Somebody is trying to stop this from happening, but we are just going to go forward.” The mass is still there. They aren’t worrying about it. It will be a good test for Cynthia’s bone marrow. They believe it can kill it. Cynthia is very pleased with that! He is being fed by a tube because everything is raw from the blisters. It’s a go!
July 3, 2008
The transplant in the Intensive Care Unit went off without a hitch. The Lord is so good and He alone knows why the transplant had to take place in the ICU. At Noon yesterday Cynthia’s bone marrow was successfully deposited into Donny’s system. THANK YOU FOR PRAYING. It was a complete success. Now we wait for the Lord to take the new marrow to new heights for Donny. Donny is out of the ICU now and back in the Bone Marrow Transplant Room. Three to four more weeks in the hospital here in San Francisco and then three to four months with family near San Francisco so he will be only an hour from the hospital. I will keep you updated. Thanks ever so much for all the fasting, finance, love, prayers and help of every and any kind. We are all so very grateful.
July 3, 2008, 1:45 pm
Donny walked 16 laps around the 11th floor of the hospital today, which is about a mile. He is still in pain from the radiation, chemotherapy, gall bladder trouble, lung swelling and all the mouth and intestinal sores, but overall is feeling much better. The doctors are pleased with the outcome. Cynthia is doing well and proudly wears a small scar on her neck where the tube invaded her to retrieve the bone marrow for her brother! Jesus said it in John 16:33 and it’s true: “In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer I have overcome this world.” We are forever grateful to have the Lord walk this with us.
July 4th

Donny’s breathing is getting better and easier. The Doctors have said that this weekend will be a very hard one for him. They anticipate the pain in his intestines and mouth to greatly increase and to continue that way for the next two weeks. We wait in hope of relief for him. Thanks for all the prayers and fasting.
July 8, 2008
Donny is suffering from mucousitis from intense total body radiation and excessive chemotherapy, as well as a lack of an immune system. They expect it to get worse, and for it to continue for a week. It brings a lot of pain. On a scale of 1-10 his pain is at a 10. It is excruciating. He cannot swallow, and he is being fed by a tube. They are supressing Cynthia’s bone marrow for one week so his system can get acclimated to it. They will stop suppressing in one week, and then they will know how it is working. In the meantime he is in a lot of pain. This week is crucial. Please pray hard this week.
Note from the webmaster: Sandi asked me to put a photo of mucositis on this page, however I think you need to be prepared to see it. So instead I am putting a link to a web page that includes a photo. Click here when you are ready then scroll down. He has this in all of the mucous membranes throughout his body.
July 11, 2008
As of this morning, Donny’s liver is doing well, his gall bladder is still having problems, and the lining of his lung which was burned by radiation is getting better. The lining around his heart is full of water and causing extreme and intense pain. They are doing things to get rid of the water. He had an allergic reaction to one of the medications. He had very distressing adverse reactions to another. After staying up for two nights, it looks like he will be OK. The water around his heart should be gone by Monday. Now the good news! Cynthia’s bone marrow has accepted Donny as a host! The white blood count is good and her bone marrow is pushing him past the leukemia.
July 14, 2008
Donny has been awake for four days with terrible pain. So we wait and hope. I know that Jesus is the rescuer and He will come and rescue us. He never fails. Nonetheless, it is hard to see my boy in such horrible, horrible pain…
The things that helped with the pain have quit working. And the things that are working now bring with them such terrible side effects that they can no longer be used. So, we do this the old fashioned way!
Donny stands strong and continues to say that this is such a privilege to go down a hard road that the Lord has carved out for him. He is unwavering in his pursuit of God being glorified. In the midst of this, there is such a profound peace! We are tired, but nestled in the arms of the Lord; covered by His peace, His great peace as a blanket.
Cynthia’s bone marrow continues to grow in him. His White Blood Counts are shooting through the roof and building his immune system back up; which is good! We praise the Lord for that and for your continued love and prayers on our journey.
July 15, 2008
The doctors have confirmed that the leukemia is completely gone and Donny’s body has successfully accepted Cynthia’s bone marrow! All counts are excellent. The doctor said, “It’s unheard of that his body accepted transplanted marrow so quickly.” He is still in pain and continues to appreciate your prayers. God is answering. The pain is coming from the mucositis in his intestinal tract, the sack around his heart is swollen, and the lining of his lung was burned by the radiation. The mass in his chest is benign, but under attack from healthy white cells, which is also causing pain.
July 21, 2008

Donny is still being fed by a tube, but is now able to eat some food. True to his Italian heritage, the thing he can eat is pasta. Next week they will let him out. He will live in the area for three to four months. The side effects are gone, and only the pain remains, but he can handle it.
July 23, 2008

Donny is off of the feeding tube and I-V’s! They are releasing him from the hospital on Friday.


The Journal of Donny’s Journey through Leukemia – Part 2

The Journal Of Donny’s Journey through Leukemia – Part 3

The Journal Of Donny’s Journey through Leukemia – Part 4