February 6, 2008

A Note from Dr. Cook

Dear Friends:

Thank you so much for your prayers. I am so happy to tell you that my blood platelets are now back to normal, so I will not have any problems with the possibility of bleeding. I do need for you to continue praying for my white blood cells to return to the normal range. This relates to my immunity system. I went to the doctor yesterday and they had moved to 2.3 from 1.8 on Friday and from 1.2 a week ago. They need to get to 4.5 which is the lower level of the normal range. The doctor feels really good that they are moving in the right direction. As you may remember, they were at 0.4 the week before. I surely would appreciate your prayers in regard to this and also your prayers for total healing.

I am so fortunate, indeed, to have friends like you praying for me. I have felt God’s presence so very close during these last nearly four months. It is hard to believe that this chapter in my life began on October 12 and it has been almost four months. I have been particularly touched by the love and encouragement of friends who have reached out to me during this crisis in my life.

I wanted to share with you an email that was sent to me on October 14, 2007 – two days after I entered the hospital. This came from a wonderful friend who has meant so much to me. I had just had dinner with him two nights before I entered the hospital, and I had particularly talked with him about Jeremiah 29:11-13. This is the email that he sent to me. It surely was a comfort to me during my early days, and I have read it and reread it many times, and I just wanted to share it with you.

"You have brought Jeremiah 29:11 to life in my life during the last month. So I offer one of God's most profound blessings as found in that verse -- as well as the promise found in another of my favorite verses – as a blessing for you as you start your chemo treatment.

Here's my paraphrased version:

'For I know the plans I have for you, Gary,' declares the Lord, 'plans to continue to prosper you and your work for me even more immensely, and certainly not to harm you; plans to give you an even greater hope, and an even brighter future than I had planned for you before. And never lose sight that I work all things – even a diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia and the difficult treatment plan to follow – together for the good of people like you, Gary, people who genuinely love me and who have been called according to my purpose.' Jeremiah 29:11, Roman 8:28"

I have realized during my illness how much I need hope to cling on to. Words like this email message have provided comfort and hope during some dark and difficult days.

Thank you for letting me share my journey with you and thank you for your continued prayers. My prayer is that as I recover, I can be a person who provides comfort and hope to individuals who are facing trials and difficulties.


Gary Cook