November 2000 Updates on

Mary Beth


The following page contains updates regarding Mary Beth's progress for November of 2000.

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Mary Beth enjoyed seeing all the trick-or-treaters last night.  When comparing candy piles with her siblings, she won hands down and she didn't leave the house!  She was in an isolation room at the hospital, so she could not participate in the Halloween activities.  Cindy, her favorite child life specialist, went from floor to floor gathering goodies and surprised Mary Beth with an overstuffed pillow case.  In addition to this cavity-generating cuisine, she is consuming healthy food as her appetite improves.

She feels better now that she is home and sleeping in her own bed.  While hospitalized, she managed to keep abreast of her Geometry and took a test today.

This Friday marks the 8-week anniversary since her stem cell transplant and another measuring point to determine the continued success of her treatments.  She will be having her second post-transplant MRI on Monday, November 6 at 6:00 PM.  Please join us in prayer as we ask for positive results.

We want to express our gratitude to each and everyone of you for your continued outpouring of prayer and support.

God bless you,


Tonight is Mary Beth's second MRI since her stem cell transplant.  We will be advised of the results tomorrow when she visits the clinic to get her immune system tested.  If all goes well, we will receive positive news on the MRI tomorrow and she will have some of her food restrictions lifted.  She can't wait to dive into some fast food, especially a large order of fries!  If her immune system test results are exceptional, she may even be released to attend school earlier than the planned date of early December.

She is feeling very good and is no longer bothered by her shingles, other than the continuous IV.  She should be receiving her last IV tomorrow.  If this occurs, the doctors will start planning a surgery date to remove her central line as well.  So far, her hair is still hiding from us.  I think there is a hint of it breaking through, but MB doesn't seem to think so.  She has enjoyed not worrying about fixing her hair for the past months, especially for 8th grade graduation when a lot of her friends were spending hours getting their hair ready.

We thank you for your continued prayers for a full recovery.

God bless you,

11-7-00 - GOOD NEWS!

We received good news today regarding the MRI Mary Beth received last night.  Her scans looked identical to those administered four weeks ago.  She was informed that her next MRI wouldn't be for 3 months.  This may not sound like a long time, but Mary Beth was pleased that she would not have to lie in the chamber again for almost three hours until around Valentine's Day.

Her immune system is being tested in the next few days and we should know the results by the end of the day on Friday.  She told Dr. Shenoy that she would await her phone call on Friday to hear that she could eat anything and go back to school.  She said she would be wearing her St Joe uniform and as soon as she heard good news, she was going to McDonald's on the way to school.

Seriously, her food restrictions may be lifted on Friday and there is an outside possibility that she may return to school soon, pending the results of these tests.  She also received her last home-administered IV this morning.  We all look forward to having her three IV pumps picked up by the healthcare company never to return to our home.

Thank you for all of your prayers.  And thank God and all the angels and saints for answering them.

God bless you,

11-9-00 - What a Difference a Year Makes!

It was one year ago today when we were informed that Mary Beth had a malignant brain tumor and she had her first brain surgery a few hours later.  It was one of the worst days our family has ever experienced.  

Today is one of the best days.  Mary Beth received a phone call this evening from her wonderful physician, Dr. Shenoy.  She was informed that her immune system test results had come in.  Mary Beth's lymphocytes have recovered to more than half of their normal level.

Translated in English: Mary Beth can go to St. Joe tomorrow and can eat virtually anything!  The outside chance that I spoke about two days ago has come true.  I think she is going to sleep in her uniform tonight.  She really wanted to return this week because Mission Week started today at St. Joe.  This is a weeklong series of events in which the four classes compete against one another to raise money for the missions.  

Again, prayers continue to be answered.

Thank you and God bless you,


Since receiving the news about being able to do more, Mary Beth has left few stones unturned.  On Friday she visited McDonald's on the way to St. Joe in the afternoon and had three friends over after school for about two hours.  She ordered pizza for delivery on Friday night.  Saturday morning at 8:00 AM, she was at Dillard's at Crestwood Plaza Christmas shopping as a guest of the Dream Factory.  Taco Bell was the fare for lunch.  Saturday night, she helped fellow freshmen by serving a pasta dinner to parents at Kate Quaka's home as a fundraiser for Mission Week.

On Sunday evening, our family dined out for the first time in months in celebration of our wonderful news.  Mary Beth attended school yesterday and plans to attend for half days until her stamina allows her to return full time.  She is enjoying meeting her new classmates and getting acclimated to her new environment.

Her smile never left her during the past year but it has become even more vibrant in the past week.  Thanks to all of your prayers and support, we get to enjoy it.

God bless you,


Mary Beth is out of school today because the Mission Week carnival was held last night at St Joe.  As typical, the seniors came in first place as the class earning the most money for the Peruvian missions.  In total, the school raised over $55,000 in the past week and Mary Beth was very excited to be a part of it all.  With each day, she continues to get stronger physically and loves to be back in her element.  Her biggest problem now is remembering everyone's name that she meets.  They all know her name because she is the only SJA Angel that is currently follicly-challenged.  She been called Rachel on occasion, which she considers a great compliment.  Speaking of hair, it is on its way back, so she will soon have more than all of her uncles combined.

She has had several friends visit her, both old and new, and is adjusting to her new lease on life quite well.  MB and her siblings get a reprieve from their parents this weekend, so if you see multiple cars lining the streets of Chaminade Park and hear music blaring from our house, please ignore it.  They need a break too!

Thank you for your continued outpouring of love and prayer.  We are able to report good news because of it. 

God bless you,


A Prayer of Thanksgiving


We enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday by surrounding ourselves with family and friends to express our gratitude for our many blessings.  We smiled, laughed, and cried as we thought about our year which included the additions of Clayton Ricken and Nate Teckman to our family and the losses of our loved ones, Great Grandma Nett and our dear Joan, Nate's mother.

Mary Beth made a cameo appearance Thanksgiving morning at the annual Chaminade Park Turkey Bowl.  This "touch" football game ended in a tie with Team Fava calling for a recount - when will it end.  Mary Beth's stamina was up and down over the weekend.  On Saturday, she joined Sheila and Barbie by braving the crowds for an afternoon of shopping after sleeping until after noon.  She planned to attend school for a full day on Monday for the first time this year but her body had other plans.  She spent the entire day Monday at the Children's Hospital oncology clinic getting a boost by receiving a blood transfusion.

She left the clinic yesterday energized and is at St Joe for the entire day today, provided her body holds up.  She instructed me that the total raised for the missions by the St Joe Angels was north of $60,000.  My apology to all for misstating this total in a prior update.

We trust that all of you had a very special and blessed Thanksgiving and want each of you to know that we consider your presence in our lives among the most wonderful blessings we could ever have.

God bless you,

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