Saturday, March 29, 2014

Art Life Takes a Back Seat

If you are a regular viewer of my blog, you may have noticed a lack of activity. I would like to give you a brief explanation of why my art life has taken a backseat for awhile.

My younger daughter has MS, which those of you who know me, probably know. She was diagnosed in 2000 and had about 10 years with few symptoms, although we now know a lot was happening to her brain. About 2 years ago she began a rapid decline with many periods where maintaining her normal life needed days of extra support, mostly from Mike and me. We are separated by 3 hours of driving, so it was not so simple as running next door.

Six months ago, Rachel learned about a stem cell transplant that was being done in a few hospitals around the US, as well as in Italy, Germany, Canada, India and Russia. (There could be more countries doing this treatment.) Mike and Rachel's husband, Josh, began an energized research effort to get Rachel into one of the studies in the US, with backup plans overseas.

(There are many places you can learn more about the treatment if you want more details, but I am going to concentrate on the changes in my own life.)

As we planned this as a team, Mike and I offered all that we could to make this happen. With the hope of a complete cure, and the success rate of 80% for stopping the progression of the disease, Mike and I dedicated the time it would take to cover the needs of Rachel's family for the months the treatment and recovery would take.

Josh's family has provided a temporary home to Marin (9) where she can attend school with her cousins and participate in sports and activities. The two youngest children are living in Blue River with us. Noah (6) is attending kindergarten here, and Hannah (3) goes to preschool twice a week.

Mike and I are trading places every couple of weeks, to have one of us in Blue River with the little ones and one of us in Seattle as Rachel's treatment goes forward. Josh goes to work everyday and travels to Seattle on weekends. It takes a lot of people to cover all the bases when Mom is out of commission!
If you are interested in following Rachel's treatment and progress in Seattle you can read journal entries on


Anonymous said...

Hi Margaret---Thanks for the update on what is going on in your life. I am praying that the stem cell procedure works. So sorry you and Rachel are having to go through this. Hang in there.
Hugs, Linda

Anonymous said...

Love reading about Rachel's progress and how your wonder family is working together. My heart goes out to all of you. Jennie OC

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike and have a wonderful family. Rachel must take such comfort from the way you support her and each other. You're in my thoughts. I hope all goes well. Warmly, Julie

Anonymous said...

Thank you Margaret, for letting us know the statis of Rachel & family. We have been in Palm Desert, CA for 2 months & I don't DO the computer when we travel. Both Mike & I have been wondering what has developed for Rachel's care and are glad you were able to find treatment in the States. You all are in our thoughts & prayers. You have a wonderful, loving family. Stay well and if there is anything we can do for you or the youngsters, please don't hesitate to call.
Marline & Mike