Thursday, April 10, 2003

Well, the day started in the sweetest way.
Frank's cell phone rang at 3 am with Chandler singing Happy Birthday to herself on the other end. I awoke to sound of Frank joining in. Such precious music. She was born at 3 am, and I guess her body more than mine recognized the time because I was sound asleep!

Chandler Welles Carlton, Daddy and I love you so much, and we wish you a very,very happy birthday!! We can't wait to get home and celebrate in style!

The rest of the day was just as wonderful. But you need background to really appreciate this. Frank and I played a lot of backgammon in college and in our earlier years of marriage. You know, before night feeding and crying babies! Anyway, Frank always had a nack for "calling" his roll. He'd say, "double sixes", and sure enough, he's roll them! Happened all the time.

Well today, Frank woke up and said, "I'm gonna do this today. All of them - today." Well, he did. We won't know for sure until tomorrow, but the doctor said he thinks they got 20 million! Most conservative - 15 million, at the most - 24.

Regardless of how successful today was, they always follow up with a "partial" collection. So, we return tomorrow for partial collection, see the doctor, and head home for Memphis!!

I have cried quite a bit today. Tears of joy, anticipation, gratitude, thankfulness, and tears of concern for our fellow friends that haven't collected yet. We started this process with other patients that we have seen everyday, lived next door to and grown to like very much. If you would, pray for them to have successful collections as well.

That is the big picture. Now for some details. Frank - who is on pain meds and says he'll catch up later - said the process wasn't as bad as he had anticipated. Since Tuesday, his back had been throbbing because of the growth factor shots. That was to be expected, but it didn't make it feel any better! The larger catheter went in today without difficulty, and he rested comfortably for the 4 hours it took to get the stem cells. His shoulder is very sore right now, and that's his only complaint at the moment.

Frank's parents have been here since Sunday, and left this evening. We had a sweet time together, watched a lot of TV, seen a few movies and had lots of laughs. As always, their encouragement and support of the five of us collectively and as individuals means so much.

At home, Mom has been very busy. She and Lisa and Daddy stepped in and took care of all the things I had planned to do for the Wed and Thurs. I was planning to come home. And in between all of that, Chase was nice enough to share his strep throat with Zach and Chandler. Momma, you've been mommy and daddy for about a month, and there aren't even enough words to say what you've done means to us. You have sacrificed much, and we thank you.

This process has been long and draining, but God has seen us through. He's gone before and behind us and protected every step. He has answered every prayer. He has heard every cry and bottled every tear. Frank and I both want to give God all the praise and glory for this process going like it has. We are thankful for the body of Christ that has taken such good care of us while we've been gone. For the meals and help with the kids and the prayers and encouragement - for everything - we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Memphis - here we come!!! Peggy and Frank

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