7/14/2007: Hope is a 4-Letter Word


But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. Psalm 71:14 (NIV)
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Seldom do we know the value of something until that value is tested. So it is with HOPE.
No professional group may rely more on hope than those fund-raisers who work for nonprofit organizations.
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They ...
... HOPE that their organizations will be effective, worthy stewards of the funds entrusted to them.
... HOPE that they can create and manage effective appeals that will garner the support needed by their causes.
... HOPE that some donors will give at levels exceeding their expectations and that many will give at the "best possible" level.
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Over time, all fund-raisers deal with the reality of HOPE fulfilled and sometimes with HOPES dashed or delayed. No effort is conducted in a straight line. There are twists and bends in the road to any goal.
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As anyone knows who has followed this journal and read my e-mail or CarePage updates, we are now in the preparation phase for the matched unrelated donor (MUD) stem cell transplant (SCT) that is due to happen August 13. This is a few weeks behind the original schedule due to the fact that Dr. Nakamura and the rest of his team wanted to observe my most recent response to the latest round of chemotherapy that ended last Wednesday.
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Again, the good news is that the last 5-day round of chemo has successfully diminished the tumor sites, but the question remains: Will these sites remain “in control” up until the August 13 date for the SCT? That is our hope; that is our prayer.
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Meanwhile, the next significant personal step in this saga is the start of my medical leave on July 20. Because we have so many tests and procedures to be done before the SCT, my medical team believes it best that the work routine be suspended at this time. My leave may last for six months or longer.
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When the SCT begins, we are told to prepare for an initial six weeks of recovery in the hospital, the sixth-floor transplant unit at City of Hope (COH). That “watch” will be extended up to 100 days with residency for Dee Dee and me in one of the outpatient cottages on the COH campus. After that, we will be confined to home for the duration of recovery (the remainder of the six months or longer, as needed).
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Frankly, because of our hope in finding the lasting cure for this mantle cell lymphoma, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to reach that destination. There is much about my care that is out of our control, but being ready and willing to undergo the procedures, tests, and hospital stays are welcomed as necessary intrusions because they have HOPE of leading to full recovery. Despite the ups and downs of the journey, we remain hopeful that these ordeals will be behind us in the not too-distant future.

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