The last update said that we would travel to Seattle on October 10, 2012. However, one week before we were to leave, a MRI showed John’s brain tumor had returned and unless they could stop the growth there would be no need of the transplant. John underwent three rounds of radiation that appeared to reduce the tumor and stop its growth. Further tests revealed the radiation was successful and John did not have any cancer cells in his brain fluid. The transplant was again on and we arrived in Seattle on January 24, 2013. We left our three girls behind in the care of my mother while we fought to give John more time with them.
John had the first stem cell transplant of his own cells and everything went well. Again, John had another MRI and everything seemed okay as far as the tumor. John’s brother Paul came to Seattle on April 1st to begin the process of donating his stem cells to save John’s life. He harvested 12 million stem cells! The medication given to fight rejection of those stem cells gave John severe nausea. The medication to calm the nausea left John sleeping about 22 hours a day. We were so hopeful waiting for the cells to engraft and give John his new lease on life. Sadly that was not to be. Within days, the tumor began growing with a vengeance. Surgery was out of the question and a team of the best doctors said no options were left and told John, “go home, be with your family.”
Every mile towards home brought us closer to the glaring finality of this journey. But through God’s graciousness it would not be alone. We stopped in Wenatchee so John could say goodbye to his mother and the many friends and family living there. As we traveled closer to Spokane we were unexpectedly met by a motorcycle escort home. We stopped at John’s home fire station for many hugs, well wishes and tears. The firefighters gave John one last ride in the fire truck to our home. When we rounded the corner, the sight was amazing. Hundreds of firefighters, friends and family lined the streets to honor John. We felt blessed to have so many people care about us.
This journey has not been just about John and our family. Each of you has played a major part in your prayers, kind words and the many things you have done to ease our suffering. Words cannot express how much this has meant to all of us and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for traveling this road together with our family. Thank you in advance for your prayers and support in the following days ahead.