Sunday, December 17, 2006

Better Christmas this year!


We received the final reports from the bone marrow biopsy with an "All Normal and Merry Christmas" note from M.D. Anderson. What wonderful news!
Andrea goes to the retina doctor this week and the doctor who removes cataracts just after the beginning of the year. The left eye cataract surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, Januaray 17, 2007. Progress is slow but we are still hopeful Andrea will be able to drive again. Please keep her eyes in your prayers. God has answered so many of our prayers. Praying and believing are so important to us all.
We wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Feeling Blessed


Andrea was thrilled to attend her cousin's wedding with J. recently. It feels so good to plan to go somewhere else other than the hospital!

Feeling Better


Andrea was feeling better in October and went to the Grand Canyon to cheer on her PiPhi sister, Brooke (far right) who Hiked for a Cure.
Thank you, Brooke, for all you've done this year!
Lisa is in the middle and works for the Leukemia Society to set up these much needed events.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Closer to Normal

Thursday, Nov. 16, Andrea went through blood and bone marrow biopsy tests as part of the 6 month tests from the bone marrow transplant in May. She continues to be the doctor's "prize patient". He took her off all drugs so she now takes vitamins and eye drops. It will be a while before tests are back from the biopsy, but from all other indicators, the doctor expects those to have great results. He gave her the okay to eat whatever she wants. Andrea says since she hasn't had a salad since April, that's what she want to eat for the next 6 months!

Please continue to pray that her retinas in her eyes heal as quickly as her body has. She needs at least one more cataract surgery in her left eye, which should be in the next month or so. She asks for prayers for "sight to drive again".

We give Prayers of Thanksgiving for all of you, and all praise to God.
Kathy

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tuesday, 11-7-06 Surgery

Andrea had left eye surgery Tuesday and the doctor did everything he planned to. He peeled a membrane in the back of the eye that had scar tissue on it, cleaned the vitreous (jellylike fluid in the eye), took the oil out of the eye and gave her a steriod shot in the eye in hopes of easing the swelling behind the retina. There is scarring that he cannot remove. She could see 20/200 when he removed the eye patch on Wednesday, and we do not know if it will be correctable because of the scarring. Prayers of healing and time will tell.
Andrea is looking forward to the cataract surgery in the left eye, which may be sometime in December.
Thank you for your continued concern and prayers. You are wonderful and so uplifting to us.
Love to all,
Kathy

Friday, November 03, 2006

Rollercoaster

At the 3 week check up of Andrea's cataract surgery, the best corrected vision check was 20/80 in her right eye, which was worse than the day after surgery. This disappointed us even though we know the retina can be very tricky and takes time to heal. This event reminds us that this is a healing process with ups and downs. Patience and perserverence is necessary to endure. We are blessed that all of your and our belief and prayers are sustaining truths that allow us to look forward with hope.

Tuesday Nov. 7 Andrea is scheduled to have the oil removed from her left eye. She will need to heal several weeks before having cataract surgery for that eye.

Your prayers are still crucial for Andrea's sight. Many of you share your health-related stories with us and we are praying for you too. With the ups and downs of daily living, we are blessed to be here for one another.
Love to all,
Kathy

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Good Things Happening!

We have had such wonderful support from friends and family. We simply could not have made it this far without your prayers.
Now I have exciting news - Linda Jarnagin, (Taylor High School classmate of Andrea, Ryan Jarnagin's MOM)is in training to run a half marathon in January 2007 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of Andrea. This is Linda's website: www.active.com/donate/tnttxgc/tnttxgcLJarnag
The Leukemia Society is wonderful and is all about helping those with the disease and providing research to cure it. If you can, please help us support Linda in her marathon.
Our doctor at MDA is wonderful. He has been there a long time and we have a suspicion he could retire, but he doesn't because we feel he knows with more research just one more life could be saved. We are sure glad he stuck around for Andrea! When Andrea wrote and read him her poem on her 100th day after bone marrow transplant and exit from the Ambulatory Transplant Clinic, he said, "Andrea, you are our prize patient". He saw what condition she entered MDA, and is so very pleased about the progress she has made and where she is right now in healing.
When we went to MDA Monday, Andrea was dismissed from her Prograf pills which suppresses the immune system for the transplant to "take". The doctor was able to do this since Andrea is not showing any signs of rejecting her sister's bone marrow. She got her flu shot and is also gaining weight. These are such positive steps in her recovery.
Your prayers are working, God is listening. Please keep them going!
Love to all,
Kathy

Friday, October 13, 2006

More to praise God for!

Today we went back to the retina doctor. He tested Andrea through a filered lens and she tested at 20/60 without corrective lenses. For the first time since we met him in January, he said "Andrea, I believe you will be able to read again". What joy! Then she admitted she was using a magnifying glass Thursday night to test herself, and she could read a magazine briefly before her eye was becoming strained. Then he said he wanted to take the oil out of her left eye November 7, ahead of schedule. Andrea is healing quickly, praise God again.
You all have been so good about praying for Andrea. She is with us today and reading because God listened to your prayers. Please put Nov. 7 on your calendars, too for her left eye. We really feel the power of your requests granted by God.
J. is still there, every step of the way and going to work through all this. Andrea continues to be blessed by the Martin family.
Love to all,
Kathy

Thursday, October 12, 2006

20/125 Amazing Grace

It was so exciting when the eye patch was removed today and the doctor measured Andrea's vision at 20/125. He wants her eye to heal for 3 weeks and he will give her a prescription for eye glasses. She said everything looks slanted right now, but that should straighten out with the healing process. She is seeing, though, praise God! - And attmepting to read a magazine with a magnifying glass for the first time since last November. The surgery involved removing her damaged cataract lens and putting in an acrylic lens in her eye. It corrects only distance vision, so that is why she'll be getting glasses for close up vision.
We also went to MD Anderson and her blood counts continue to look good. Again, praise God!
It was a very successful 'doctor' day!
Thank you for your prayers,
Kathy

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Lifted Up and Uplifting

The Grand Canyon "Hike for a Cure" weekend was wonderful. Brooke raised over $4000 and her unit raised over $450,000 to help find a cure for leukemia. We rode a bus shuttle to fantastic views as the hikers went to challenging trails, then we ate dinner with them at night. The survivors were inspired by the love and concern of the hikers raising money for research to save just one more life and the hikers were inspired by survivors telling their story.

Andrea would be honored to have her name added to Light the Night program banner in Oklahoma October 14. It is truly touching to know all of you continue to pray for her progress.

In the morning, Wed. Oct. 11 at 7:30 a.m., Andrea will have surgery to remove cataracts in her right eye only. We pray that the retina has not only unfolded, but has had time for miraculous healing. The doctor puts a bandage on that will be removed Thursday afternoon. Andrea asked him, "But can I peek?" He laughed and told her that unfortunately, she cannot peek.

Thank you for your continued prayers,
Kathy

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cheers for bikers, climbers and runners

Our hearts are truly touched and uplifted as sweet, big-hearted people raise money for the Leukemia Society.
As soon as Kelly Fox, (a counselor at McDonald Jr. High where I used to work), heard about Andrea in November 2005, she signed up to ride a bike from Houston to Shiner, Texas in honor of Andrea.
Now we are going to Flagstaff, Arizona tomorrow to cheer on Brooke Sawyer,one of Andrea's sorority sisters, as she climbs a wall of the Grand Canyon. Some other TCU and high school girlfriends will be there. Andrea will speak at the Leukemia Society dinner, so we are all planning on having a great time.
Two of Andrea's high school friends' moms, Linda Jarnagin Ann Locke, are in training for a run in January 2007.
We are amazed at the energy that goes into each of these events to raise money to help people with leukemia and search for a cure for this awful ailment.
Thank you just does not feel adequate, but each of these ladies know we truly appreciate every step and ache and pain they have while doing so much for others.
Love to all,
Kathy and Andrea

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sooner rather than Later!

We went to the cataract specialist Friday, Sept 29 and he wants to remove the cataracts from Andrea's right eye on Wednesday, Oct 11, but we needed to get approval from the retina specialist. Today (Monday Oct. 2), the retina specialist did a sonogram of her eye and he said it would be okay to go ahead with the Oct. 11 cataract remvoval. The cataracts have gotten so bad that Andrea cannot see anything out of it. Other than the sonogram image, the doctors cannot see in to know what is going on throughout her eye.
We are asking again for your faithful prayers for Andrea to see. Her positive spirit amazes me as she relies on God to get her through this. She was really happy to be getting this surgery 5 weeks after the oil was removed, rather than waiting the full 8 weeks for healing.
Love to all,
Kathy

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Good Report

Preliminary reports from today's blood draw at MD Anderson are better than lab tests two weeks ago. One thing we learned quick was there will be mountaintop highs and valley lows, so we rejoice and thank God for good reports.

Thank you all for giving names of doctors and encouragement for more eye surgeries. Just like her retina specialist predicted about her right eye, the refractory is very different now and with post surgery she has to keep it dilated for a month. We just pray with the cataract surgery in November that all the blur will be gone.

Andrea and I followed your other good advice also. While J. is at work, we've gone shopping. I'm at a loss sometimes trying to describe what she is wanting to see and buy, but she's managed to spend a bundle anyway.

We have faith your prayers for Andrea's sight is at work. I feel like the blind man's miracle of seeing was recorded in the Bible so that we too have hope.
Prayers of thanksgiving for you,
Kathy

Monday, September 11, 2006

What will we do? or Who is the next doctor?

I took Andrea to the eye surgeon and MDA today. Both doctors checked Andrea very thoroughly and said, "You are doing well, and I do not need to see you for a couple of weeks". We walked out of those visits, kind of dancing on Cloud 9, and by the time we left the last parking lot, Andrea had a list of things she wanted accomplished in the next couple of weeks. She is a full time job with doctor's visits and a long list of meds, but going somewhere else other than the doctor's office will be great!
Please keep the prayers coming, especially for Andrea's sight. Her eyesight is so very, very blurry at this time. The retina specialist gave us one name of a cataract doctor, but he said we could choose one of many good ones in Houston. If any of you know of a wonderful cataract specialist, we would like to hear your story.
Thank you for your continued faithful prayers,
Kathy

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Eye Check-up Wed

This morning the surgeon took off the eye patch from yesterday's surgery. He explained that the gas bubble he put in will dissolve within a few days, but now it is a "black hole" that Andrea is trying to see around. The gas bubble keeps the retina in place as it gets used to the absence of the silicone oil. The cataracts are getting worse, too, so needless to say, her vision is still very blurry. But, we know that progress is being made and God will see Andrea through this. Her left eye isn't much help since there is not central vision, and the cataracts in that eye causes double vision. She is still happy that the surgery phase has begun and we have a lot to look forward to.
Thank you for your continued prayers,
Kathy

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

1st Eye Surgery Complete

Andrea was the first eye surgery with her surgeon Tuesday morning and we were home by 10 a.m. The surgeon removed the silicone oil and cleared the vitreous which is the clear jellylike substance between the retina and lens. He said the retina was back in place and unfolded. Andrea has 3 stitches which will dissolved on their own, so her eye will feel itchy or scratchy for a few days. The bandage will be removed tomorrow morning when we go to the doctor's office. We are already looking forward to the cataract surgery in 8 weeks.
A realization about health during this long period illness is that as you or your parents have health problems, please know that we are praying for you too. We know how much it means to us and we care about each of you too. Thank you for your faithful continued prayers.
Love to all,
Kathy

Monday, August 28, 2006

Free as a Bird

Well, not quite free as a bird, but that is how Andrea felt as she left MD Andreson today. Her blood count numbers looked very good after a week of no additional fluids or medicine. The doctor ordered the CVC line taken out of her chest and it was a very happy day.
Andrea is now scheduled for one day a week at MDA for testing and doctor visits. She takes about 13 pills a day and has to drink liquid all day to keep her body hydrated because of the medicine.
So, with MDA visits minimized, we go to St. Luke's Hospital tomorrow for pre-admission for her 1st of 4 eye surgeries on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
One step at a time, and we thank you so very much for your continued prayers. All you great prayer warriors are getting us through this! We really feel God answering our prayers. Thank you.
Love to all,
Kathy

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Medal of Honor


The nurses at MDA Ambulatory Treatment Center gave Andrea a medal and a ribbon because her doctor graduated her from this phase of treatment. She passed the test of skipping days of fluids and now they are testing her this whole week without fluids.
We will see the doctor in his regular clinic at MDA on Monday to see if Andrea needs more fluids or if they can take out the CVC line in her chest. That will also be another huge step for Andrea to take.
Next week we will be also working on preadmission to St. Luke's for her Sept. 5 eye surgery. Andrea will not be able to wear her eyeglasses because the refractory will be so different. Please pray for her sight. We know the miracles that can happen.
Thank you for your faithful continued prayers,
Kathy

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Testing, testing

This Friday is Andrea's "100th day" from bone marrow transplant. The team of experts at MDA are having her skip a day or so of fluids and other meds to see what her system can do on its own. It is very exciting yet tense for us standing by. "All things are possible through prayer".
Even the nurses at MDA have commented on how Andrea's hair is starting to grow. It is about 1/4 inch long now!
Thank you for checking in on Andrea and continuing in prayer.
Love to all,
Kathy

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Great news

Andrea had a bone marrow biopsy Monday morning. The prelimiary tests came back with Zero Blasts, no leukemia present. Thank you for continuing your prayers and thank you God for answering our prayers!
Andrea went grocery shopping with me today which tired her out (and me!). This humid summer heat is enough to tire any of us..... She is in good spirits and a joy to be around.
She needs lots and lots of prayer for her eyesight.
Love to all,
Kathy

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Slow and Easy

Andrea received encouragement from her eye specialist on Monday. He said the retinas had unfolded completely now, which means he still wants to go ahead with the first of four operations in September when MDA gives him the okay. He'll take the oil out of the right eye, wait for an 8 week healing process, then remove the cataracts. There'll be another 8 week healing process and do the same on the left eye. Andrea still does not have central vision in her left eye that he does not think she'll recover, but that is where we know great things can happen with the power of your prayers. As many of you know with eye operations, the doctor said 4 operations with a 2 month healing time in between each does seem to draw out the process, but the eyes can't be rushed.
MDA also said Andrea is progressing nicely and she will need to come in on Tuesday and Friday of this coming week for blood draws, fluids and meds. I will give her the fluids at home each day that we are not at MDA.
We have great faith in more healing to come. Thank you for your continued faithful prayers.
Love to all,
Kathy

Monday, July 24, 2006

Working through the valleys

Andrea is progressing, but it is such a struggle at times with bouts of nausea and fatigue. She is such a go-getter, Type A personality, that it is hard for her sometimes to concentrate on being still and healing. Friday she broke the 110 lb. stalemate to weigh in at 111.8 lbs. Yeah!

We are asking you to especially keep her eyesight in your daily prayers. The cataracts got worse during the bone marrow transplant and she is seeing some objects differently. It is frightening to go from perfect vision in November to where she is now. I wrote down some "Fear Not" verses from Greg's Sunday lesson for me to concentrate on - Hebrews 13:6, 2 Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 41:13, Proverbs 29:25, Psalms 46:1- 2.

Please continue your faithful prayers for Andrea to see so she can read and drive again. Right now it looks like the surgeries may begin to take place in September. Her specialist said he plans to start with two surgeries in each eye, then he will determine what comes next.
Andrea feels the power of your prayers.
Love to all,
Kathy

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hike for a Cure, Pray for a Cure

Thank you all so much for your response to Hike for a Cure. Brooke has a great network and we appreciate her so very much. Please continue to pray for her good works. So much good will be done from the money she has raised and will raise for the cause. In Andrea's fight for her life, we sense everyone's need at M.D. Anderson for a cure every day that we are there. We have met so many amazing doctors, nurses and other patients.
We still go to MDA half of the week for Andrea to have blood drawn and receive meds and fluids. I am able to give her fluids at home with a battery pump the other half. Hopefully after the "100 days" from her transplant in mid-August we will only have to go once a week. We are always looking for the next positive step to take.
We still appreciate your never-ending prayers so much. They keep us going, literally. Andrea is very positive and anxious to feel better again. There are still so many after effects from the chemo and the drugs she takes now to keep her system at a level that will not reject Kristin's bone marrow. We thank God each day that Kristin matched Andrea's bone marrow. Andrea's hair is starting to grow just a little bit again and that is so good.
We have had some inquires about Zeus, and he is just fine. I fuss at him when he gets too "close" to Andrea and he acts so funny and "what did I do?" that keeps me from being too protective. Betty and John did such a good job of taking care of him during Andrea's hosptial stay that I need to watch how Zeus wants to take care of Andrea. All of you who have beloved pets know what I mean. Pet therapy is great. And by the way, on Wednesday and Fridays, Andrea's physical therapy is going pretty good, too.
Please continue your faithful prayers.
Love to all, Kathy

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hike for a Cure

For those of you who don't know, one of Andrea's sorority sisters, Brooke Sawyer, is hiking the Grand Canyon in Andrea's honor for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Several people have asked me what they can do to help and one of the things you can do is help Brooke raise money for her hike. You can do this by going to her website @ http://www.active.com/donate/hfddms/hfdBSawyer where you can donate and monitor her progress. Brooke is an ambitious and courageous person and we thank her for her support and determination.

Andrea continues her treatments at MDA for the next several months. We appreciate all the continued support and prayers. Please also pray for one of my fellow coworkers, Jane O'Connor, who just completed three treatments for colon cancer and will receive nine more in the following months. She too is a courageous lady who I admire and thank for the support she has provided me through this tough time. The power of prayer has and continues to work like I would have never imagined.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New month, continued healing

Andrea continues to go to MDA everyday, get a blood draw, receive fluids and then additional medication as needed. It takes about 5 hours and sometimes longer, depending on her blood levels each day. This weekend she was able to bring fluids home with her and I hook up a portable pump for fluids to run for 4 hours each day. Hopefully, Andrea will be able to do this more and more. It is such a long process that takes a lot of patience.
Thank you so much for your patience in continuing to pray for Andrea. She says she feels the power of prayer, and knowing that each of you continues to do that is awesome and reassuring. God bless you.
Love to all,
Kathy

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

100% Donor (June 21)

We received the report today that Andrea's bone marrow is 100% donor cells. She continues to amaze us every step of the way. Please keep your prayers coming and will help her through this healing time. Thanks again for all the support and prayers.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Encouraging week (June 18)

We're all happy that Andrea gained 5 pounds since leaving the hospital. She's at a whopping 110 pounds now. She continues to go in every day, including weekends, to MDA for blood levels to be taken and receive fluids. A couple of times she wore a fanny pack full of fluid to run all night to get her creatine level down to an acceptable level. (This has to do with the kidney.) She started to complain that the fanny pack was in the way, then the next day she had to wear a backpack full of fluids to run all night. She made us laugh because she said she wouldn't complain about the fanny pack anymore because next time it may be a suitcase! She's a trooper and is trying to keep a sense of humor. She still has itching from the graft versus host disease, but it has calmed down some so she can at least sleep at night now.
The retina specialist said that he wanted to do at least 2 surgeries on each eye as soon as Andrea can get stablized, which will probably be as soon as summer is over. He confirmed the cataracts have gotten worse, which Andrea could already tell.
Thank you, thank you for your continued prayers. Kathy

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Update 6-11-06

Sorry its been almost a week since I posted something, but the last several days have flown by. Andrea came home on Tuesday and has been going back to MDA each day. Her blood numbers have been looking good (no need for platelets or whole blood) and she has just been receiving fluids to keep up with all the meds she is taking. The issue she has been facing is a rash that has kept her itching all over. On Thursday they did another bone marrow biopsy and then Friday they did a skin biopsy to check out the rash. We won't know the results until sometime this week.

Andrea is so happy to be a home away from the hospital. She was really getting down the last couple of days there at MDA, but you would have to expect that I guess. I would have gone crazy. This week will be a healing week and we are praying the rash will go away. Thanks again to everyone out there who have being donating blood product. It looks like we can lay low for a while and I will make the announcement if and when she is in need. Also thanks to all who have been praying daily for Andrea's recovery. God has really heard our calling and answered our prayers. Andrea isn't out of the woods but she is getting much closer to that light at the end of the tunnel. God Bless.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Going Home Today (6-6-06)

Andrea will be leaving the hospital this morning and start getting all treatment on an outpatient basis. She is extremely excited to be leaving and can't wait to step out of the hospital. Thanks for everyone's support through this tough time and please keep the prayers coming her way.

She will begin going to the hospital daily starting tomorrow until her blood count all come back up to normal. Her platelets are still low (25), but she has not received a transfusion in 3 day. Any blood product donations are still greatly appreciated and will not go unused. Thanks again and talk to everyone soon. God Bless.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Tough Road as of June 3

Hi, this is Kathy, Andrea's mom posting tonight. As everyone knows by now, Andrea is one tough, determined young lady. She has also been in some excruciating pain, but WITH YOUR PRAYERS, she is pulling through pain after pain, moment after moment. As soon as she checked in May 4, she was determined to get on with what she knew would be a "tough treatment". She named her IV stand "Wheely" and started her walking exercises with it as it pumped her with every kind of hydration fluid, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral drug along with 2 very strong chemotherapies and the precious bone marrow stem cells from Kristin. The week she could not even put water in her mouth because it felt like acid, she did not walk but still did some bed exercises. Today she went to the gym for 25 minutes with the physical therapist and I thought did well, but she was disappointed at the strength she has lost. She clearly remembers running 3 miles a day in November. The doctor says "maybe next week" Andrea can go home, so they are in the process of changing the IV fluids to pill form since she can swallow again. They monitor her blood levels every day then prescribe the appropriate medicine and drugs and will need to continue doing that for many weeks to come, so once we get home we will need to either trek to MDA or maybe home health service may do some. Andrea's eyesight is still blurry and we know she does have cataracts in addition to the retina problem, so as soon as she gets discharged, we will go back to her retina specialist and see what miracles he can perform. SO, we're calling on you again to petition God. He is faithful, and we know you are too, with your prayers. Thank you all, so very much. We have our precious Andrea with us here because God listened to each and every one of you.
God bless and love to all, Kathy

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Going Well (Day +21)

The afternoon of Day +19, Andrea's fever spike again. Then yesterday (Day +20) she didn't have a fever and today there has been no fever. The cultures from the lung procedure have not grown anything, but Andrea's blood from several days ago did grow some bacteria. Hopefully the antibiotics and fever took care of that and there is none left in her blood. The doctors said that it may take several week for her lungs to clear, but she is having no trouble breathing. Her lungs will not hold her in the hospital unless the cultures finally grow something. The doctors feel that if she continues the way she has for the last two days, she will be going home next week. Let's all pray for this to be the case. God Bless and talk to everyone tomorrow.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Fever is Gone (+19 morning)

This morning the fever was gone and Andrea woke up and had some french toast and yogurt for breakfast. We saw the infectious disease team and they said that all the cultures have come back negative, but we won't get the results from the procedure performed Saturday night till midweek. Then we should know if these fevers are related to fluid in her lung or just the engrafting of the new marrow. Let's pray for the latter.

We have already taken a walk and we just got done playing cards and checkers. Keep on praying for the doctors to figure out what is causing these fevers and that they will stop soon. Thanks everyone for the support and God Bless.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Fever is Back (+18 afternoon)

As soon as I tell everyone she is doing great Andrea spikes another fever. Hopefully the fever is just related to the grafting which can cause fevers. Around 6PM I left to go get Andrea and I some Italian food and when I got back she had spike another fever (104). I am trying to cool her down so she can get some sleep. Let's all pray again that the fever will break and that they are due to the grafting and not an infection. God Bless and Good Night.

Fever Break (Day +18)

Last night the fever broke and Andrea is feeling much better today. We just took a walk and she ate some quesadillas and a piece of angel food cake. No sign of fever today and she is in such a better mood. Hopefully the days to come will continue to be something like today. Please continue your prayers and we will have her out of this place before no long. God Bless and see you on the next post.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Please Pray (Day +17)

Yesterday Andrea continued to have a fever which finally broke this morning around 10am. Then she slowly developed another high fever today and the doctors have become concerned. They think that the bone marrow is grafting well but are trying to figure out what is causing these fevers. Here white blood cell count was 9.0 today and she did need platelets this morning. Today the doctors looked a current x-ray of Andrea chest and saw that there was some cloudiness in her left lung at the bottom. This is same lung that she had trouble with a St. Lukes.

Just a few hours ago they did a procedure to get a sample of this fluid and will running test to determine how to treat it. Currently she is not having any trouble breathing, but the doctors are trying to make the determination if she has pneumonia or not. Hopefully we got on this early enough that she will sail right through this and we can get her out of the hospital on the road to recovery. We should have results from the skin biopsy they did yesterday and the lung procedure they did tonight sometime next week. Please take time to pray for her especially tonight. Today she was really burning up with that fever so ask the lord to help her break this fever and comfort her in this time of need. God Bless and Good Night.

Friday, May 26, 2006

We Have Grafting (Day +16)

Yesterday, Andrea's white blood cell count went up to 0.7. Then in the afternoon she started having severe bone pain in her hips. It took them a while to control the pain and she developed a fever which went away in the middle of the night. The bone pain is a sure sign that the grafting has begun.

This morning her white blood cell count had risen to 3.2 and the normal range is about 5-10. This afternoon she started to have more bone pain, but not like yesterday. Again, this a sign that the new marrow has started to grow. She did develop another fever and it is beginning to go down. They pulled blood to run test but they assure us that this is not out of the ordinary. They also did a skin biopsy of her back since her skin was a little flush. The biopsy will tell them whether the skin reaction is due to GVHD or a medication she is taking.

Her throat has begun to fell better and she is able to get some lighter foods and drinks down the hatch. It won't be long before she is able to eat everything she wants. Thanks to everyone for the support and keep her in your prayers. Hopefully Andrea will be leaving this place before we know it. It won't be long. God Bless.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Day (+12) and Day (+13)

Another delayed post. Yesterday Andrea had a pretty good day but today was difficult. Her throat is still giving her problems and she hasn't been able to eat. Last night and today her stomach started bothering her and she threw up several times. She has been in a high level of pain for the last week. Today she received platelets and blood. The grafting hasn't taken place up to this point so please keep on praying. Today her white blood count remained at 0.1. Like I have been saying, as soon as this occurs she will start improving fairly quickly. Hopefully this will happen in this next couple of days. Please keep your prayers coming her way and God will pull her through this. Thanks again for all the gifts and she send her love to each and every one of you. God Bless.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Another Morning (Day +11)

We are awake once again. Last night I spent another night with Andrea here in the hospital. We spent most of our night talking about what kind of house we are going to buy. Then we finally made it to sleep around midnight. Yesterday she did receive platelets and a unit of whole blood. Her mouth and throat continued to hurt and she was only able to eat Italian Ices and popsicles.

Today her platelets are at 48 and her hemoglobin is at 8.7 so she will not need a transfusion. Kidney, Liver, and Lungs seem to be working great and we are just waiting for the grafting to take place in her marrow. As soon as this happens we will see the increase in her white blood cell count. Currently her WBC is at 0.1, and the neupogen shot she is receiving each day is suppose to cause the cells to begin increasing.

Let's all pray that this happens very soon so that her throat and mouth will repair their selves and she can begin pigging out. Her spirits are still high and she continues to make me laugh all the time. She still needs platelet and whole blood donations so if you feel the urge please go to one of the MD Anderson blood bank locations to donate. Her patient number is 667690 which will give her credit for your donation. Thanks again for all the support and keep the prayers coming her way. She loves each and every one of you so much. Have a wonderful day and God Bless.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Morning of Day +10

We just woke up and ordered breakfast. Actually I ordered breakfast and Andrea ordered a milkshake. Her throat still hurts. The doctor just walked in while we were laying in Andrea's bed and didn't seem to mind. We had to get close for the time being. Andrea is still right where he expects her to be and he thinks the throat will get better sooner than later. Her platelet count and hemoglobin this morning were 19 and 7.8 respectively. Therefore she will receive a unit of each today. Other than that it will be normal day and we will continue to pray for Andrea's throat to heal quickly. Thanks for all the support and I will update everyone further when the day is over. Good Morning and God Bless.

Day (+8 and +9)

Sorry for the delayed post. Yesterday (day +8) Andrea's throat hurt even worse than the day before and she couldn't swallow anything. She couldn't even swallow her own saliva. The doctors reassured her that this was totally normal with the chemotherapy that she received and when her new white blood cells begin to reproduce again this will go away. Yesterday her platelets were at 9 and hemoglobin was at 7.8. Like I said before when these are below 20 and 8 respectively they are going to transfuse her with platelets and whole blood. Therefore yesterday she received a unit of platelets and whole blood.

This morning (day +9) her platelets were at 35 and hemoglobin was at 8.7. Therefore she didn't need a transfusion. Today she said that her throat isn't as bad as yesterday, but she is still not able to eat anything except Italian ice. The doctors aren't two concerned and they are confident this will be a short lived situation. As soon as her white blood cells rebound, her mouth will heal, and she will be pigging out again. Let's all pray that her throat gets better quickly and she can get back to packing food away.

I spent my whole day up at the hospital and right now I am laying down on the pull out bed. Andrea is already asleep on the other side of the room. I appreciate everyone's support out there. The presents have really helped keep her spirits up and she looks forward to the moment each day. I didn't think I would have enough presents when I decided to do the gifts. I was wrong. In fact I have been giving more than one gift since the beginning and I am no where near running out. Andrea truly has some wonderful friends out there and we pray for each and every one of you each night. Keep the prayers coming our way too and God will continue to bless us all. Good Night and God Bless.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Day (+7)

As to be expected Andrea's platelet count dropped to 20 today and she will most likely need a transfusion. All this is something that the doctors are used to for bone marrow transplants, but it sure is rough. Due to the chemo Andrea's throat hurts extremely bad. She is on pain meds 24/7, but this is said to reverse itself after the new marrow starts to graft. The doctors say around day +10 to +14 day. She started receiving Nuepogen shots today to stimulate the new marrow.

As far as donating platelets, I would advise you to go to the location on Fannin which is a more equipped facility. The blood center in MD Anderson at the Medical Center doesn't operate the most efficiently for the most part. You should be able to find the link and more information on donating platelets in the post before this one.

Please continue to pray for Andrea and she will make it through this tough week. I will post another update sometime tomorrow. God Bless and Good Night.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Day (+5) and Morning of (+6)

Yesterday Andrea started to feel bad which is to be expected. Her counts continued to drop and she had a hard time keeping all of her food down. Her throat started to bother her again. When I visited yesterday she was still in a pretty good mood and we watched tv till about 10PM.

This morning I talked to her and she said that her counts had dropped again (this is still what the doctors are looking for). Her throat was hurting more than yesterday, but she said that she had kept all her food down. Her platelet count was at 32 this morning and when it drops below 20 they will infuse her with a set of donor platelets. It is now a good time to start donating platelets on her behalf at MD Anderson. If you don't have time to donate platelets or would rather donate blood feel free to do so. Remember to specify that the donation is for Andrea Luthringer. More information about donating can be found at this link http://www.mdanderson.org/departments/bloodbank/dIndex.cfm?pn=0A133F7B-C05C-4906-A3B0DB0161B9CD6C. If you have any questions or concerns please email me at jmartiniv@houston.rr.com.

Thanks for all the support and will update everyone again after I see her this afternoon. Take care and God Bless.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Day (+4) - Still going well

Yesterday Andrea was feeling fine with the occasional period of nausea. We slept in till 10AM or so and had breakfast around 11AM. Then we played a game of checkers and spades till around 5PM. The surprising thing was that we never turned the tv on until Andrea had to watch her normal shows (Desperate Housewives and Gray's Anatomy). Andrea and her mother had Mother's Day dinner provided by MD Anderson. The day flew by and we moved closer to the day when Andrea gets to go home. Best case scenario she will be going home on May 31st. Lets all pray that this is the case.

Her counts are still dropping but still haven't bottomed out. All organ functions are where they need to be and her spirits are high. Thanks again for all the support and gifts. She really has enjoyed all the gifts and it continues to brighten her day when she opens a new one. You guys are really great for sending each and every gift. Please continue your prayers and we will make it through this one day at a time. God Bless.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Day (+2) and Morning of (+3)

Andrea's count continue to drop just like the doctors want. Her immunity is very low at this point and will probably get lower before it comes back. Overall she is doing well battling the nausea and discomfort. During the night her throat was hurting so the nurses gave her some pain meds. The doctor checked her out this morning and saw no mouth sores, but will keep an eye out. This morning her immunity reached a lower point, but this is all expected.

Please keep Andrea in your prayers and God will pull her through this trial. Again she thanks everyone for the gifts and messages. The ride so far has been so much better than her time at St. Lukes. Let's keep it that way. God Bless.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Day (+1) - All is Well

Everything is going fine with the new bone marrow. Andrea's counts have not completely dropped, but they will eventually. Today she still is experiencing nausea, but it seems a little better than yesterday. She was able to eat a little more today than yesterday.

She continues to get up and get around just fine and her organ function is perfect. Hopefully everything will continue to go well and we will be out of the hospital in 21 days. Andrea has been in for a week now today. Emotional she is doing well and she says the process has gone by faster than she expected.

Please continue your prayers and I will keep you updated. Thanks again for the outpouring of gift and she really liked the messages everyone sent yesterday. Like I said in my last post you send messages to her through MD Anderson using the link to the left. God Bless and keep the prayers headed Andrea's way.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Day (0) - Happy Birthday Andrea!!!

Mark it up in your calendars. Andrea had her new birthday today (May 10th, 2006). Around noon the transplant was complete and Andrea is full of new marrow. She received over 200 million new cells today all on the behalf of her sister Kristin. What a miracle.

It will probably be several days (7-10) before her immune system bottoms out and then the new marrow starts to produce new blood cells. There have been no complications and she continues to get out of bed to walk, shower, watch tv, and go to bathroom. All is well and keep praying for things to continue in this fashion.

Andrea is real trooper and has the heart of champion. If you feel like cheering her on you can send her a message through the link I placed on the left side of blog homepage. A volunteer will personally deliver the messages each day. Also the nurse said everyone who is into giving platelets should get ready when her platelets drop. As of now she is ok, but it is inevitable that she will need some platelets later on. Thanks for all the support and keep on praying.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Day (-1)

Andrea had another good day with no complications and was able to get her day of rest before the transplant. The actual transplant will be just like getting a unit of blood. They will hang the bag and the marrow will drip for a hour or so. Please continue to pray that Andrea's body will take Kristin's marrow with no complications. Tomorrow truly is going to be miraculous day. Lets all stop and say a prayer for Andrea.

Andrea is still getting around just fine. She gets out of bed to use the restroom and take walks throughout the day. She has lost part of her appetite but that goes with the territory. There has been no concern about her organ functions like last time. Heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs all look good.

Thank again to everyone who sent gifts. I continue to take her one each day after work and it sure does brighten her day. I am truly amazed by the spirit Andrea shows through these hard times and it sure does make my life a little easier. Even during times like this Andrea is very concerned about everyone else. She is such a caring person and loves each and every one of you so much. God Bless.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Day (-2)

Today I didn't get to spend the whole day with Andrea, but I got up to the hospital around 4PM. This was the last day of chemo and they started her on Prograf, which is a drug that helps prevent Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD). GVHD is a condition in which the donor's marrow attacks the recipient of the new marrow. Overall today was fine even though she began to get a little more nauseous throughout the day. This is definitely something to be expected throughout this treatment. Her immune system hasn't made the quick dive yet, but that will inevitability happen in the near future. This will prevent Andrea's immune system from attacking Kristin's marrow.

Today when I wasn't there she tried running down the hall will her IV stand and got a bunch of laughs from several doctors walking by. She also tried doing lunges down the hall. Later today she told me that she wants to be the most active transplant patient on the floor. I can say that I haven't seen any patient doing lunges or trying to make any runs. Every two hours she breaths on her incentive spirometer to prevent her from getting pneumonia and washes her mouth out with salt and baking soda to prevent mouth sores. Tomorrow will be a day of rest and she will receive Kristin's marrow on Wednesday. Everyone should pray for great miracles on this day. Just ask the Lord to lift her up and let Kristin's marrow cleanse her veins.

Her spirits continue to amaze me, but she does mentions things about being normal again from time to time. I tell her that she is normal and everyone has trials throughout their life, but most are never as tough as the one she was dealt. Also I stress to her that life will continue and we will put all this behind us eventually. She is really tough and I mean tough. If I was in her shoes I would have probably giving up ages ago. Maybe not with her by my side though. I know she would do exactly what I am doing for her and most likely more. I will continue my journey with her and I am continually amazed by her courage and spirit. God is truly working through her and it is definitely working. God Bless.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Day (-3)

If you are wondering about the title this is bone marrow transplant terminology. The negative three means we are three days away from the actual transplant. Today Andrea received another dose of chemo like she did the two prior days. She continues to be lively like always and we walk three times a day. Everything is working properly and her spirits are high.

Since she started receiving everyone's gifts on Friday, she began to wonder what was going on. Today I told her about what we have all been doing and it really brightened her day. Every time I give her a new gift there is just a huge smile that comes across her face. It make may day and more importantly her day a more special one. Thanks again for everyone support and continue praying for a successful transplant and a quick recovery.

Tomorrow she will receive her last infusion of chemo (2 drugs today) and then Tuesday she will rest. Overall things are right where they need to be for the transplant and no complications have arisen. On to the next update and God Bless.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Andrea, Dad, John, and Chris Posted by Picasa

Andrea, The Heads, The Barber, Betty, and Zues Posted by Picasa

Andrea and Chris Posted by Picasa

Andrea and Dad Posted by Picasa

Andrea and John Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Journey Begins

Last night we got Andrea situated in her room at MD Anderson. The room seems so much more pleasant than the one at St. Lukes. Not to knock St. Lukes but it sure was loud in that hospital and privacy was to a minimum. Her room at MDA is quiet and more private.

Last night after I left they started an IV to begin hydration. She went to sleep around 10:30PM and I talked to her this morning around 8:00AM. Every four hours they take her vital signs which means they woke her at midnight and 4am. Everyone who enters her room has to wear a mask and gloves. Visitors are to be kept to a minimum.

Today they will begin chemo which will be a four day process. The next four days she will receive Fludarabine for 30 min/day. Then on the fourth day (Monday) she will also receive Melphalan for 30 min. On the fifth day she will get to rest and on the sixth day she will receive Kristin's bone marrow which will probably take around an hour. Then the recovery process will begin.

Andrea is required to walk around the unit for 10 min/day three times each day. Every two hours she must do breathing exercises with a incentive spirometer to keep her lungs clear. Also she must rinse her mouth every two hours with baking soda to keep her mouth clean and prevent mouth sores which are very common with chemo treatment. There are many more requirements which will all help her stay healthy.

Thanks to everyone for all the gifts and I will start giving them to her today. She is good spirits and continues to make all of us laugh. I think she is going to be comedian when she conquers this disease. In the mean time she will continue to amaze us. Thanks for the support and I will keep you all inform to the best of my ability. Have a wonderful day and God Bless.

Oh I forgot to tell everyone. On Wednesday night my Dad, Bob (Robert), and Chris McIntosh all let Andrea shave their heads. They look great and I will post a picture when Bob emails them to me.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

After two days of tests

Hi. This is Kathy. Andrea's appointments start at either 7 or 7:30 a.m. this week, so we are tired just from the early hours of trekking down the Westpark Tollway. After two days of tests, Andrea is still set to enter MDA Thursday. So far good results have come from blood tests (she gave 12 vials), echocardiogram, EKG, chest x-ray, and a complete pulmonary function test. We won't know the results from the bone marrow aspiration and biopsy for another day or so. Wednesday morning she is set to have the subclavian catheter inserted where she will receive the chemo and meds. Andrea is in good spirits. Last Friday the eye doctor told us he is looking forward to surgeries in the fall or just as soon as Andrea can tolerate them.
We all thank you for your continued faithful prayers,
Kathy

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Thirty Days of Gifts

As Andrea's Mom said in the last post, Andrea will start her thirty day stay at the hospital on May 4th. She will receive four days of chemotherapy followed by a day of rest and then she will receive Kristin's bone marrow. During this time I will be able to see her, but we will have to seriously limit the visitors.

To make her stay more pleasant I thought we could all come together and do something special for her each day. I was thinking we could have a special present for her to open each day of her stay in the hospital. It would be something to look forward to each day and make her day a much brighter one. Like I said her first night at MD Anderson will be the 4th of May so lets start this on the 5th of May. If you are interested in participating, please send a gift to my parent's home in Katy:

Andrea Luthringer
c/o J. Martin
722 Enford Ct.
Katy, TX 77450

I will be sure she has a gift each day to open and enjoy. Please don't send flowers our items that might make her sick. Good ideas are:

-Things to decorate her hospital room
-Pictures of times you shared with her or just a picture of yourself
-CD's
-VCR tapes/DVD's
-Books on tape
-girlie Magazines (she really likes gossip Hollywood mags)
-Use your imagination and if you have questions email me @ jmartiniv@houston.rr.com

If you are interested in participating please comment on this blog topic so I know an estimate of how many gift I need to buy. Let's make this stay a more enjoyable one and keep the prayers coming her way. Thank you everyone for your support and we will get Andrea through this obstacle.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Andrea's heroes, please keep praying

Hi. This is Kathy, Andrea's mom, posting tonight. So much has been happening with Andrea continuing to get check ups and growing a bit stronger each day.
Plans now are for her to start the bone marrow transplant process May 1. It is supposed to last 100 days, with at least 30 of those being admitted to M.D. Anderson Hospital.
I thank each and every one of you reading this blog for praying for Andrea and saving her life. There was only so much that the doctors and nurses could do at St. Luke's Hospital and it was you who prayed with us for God to perform His miracles to keep her alive again and again. You are her heroes. God heard you and saved her. While at St. Luke's, Andrea got the boost she needed to survive from the platelets from J., Mark and Debbie. What special heroes! And each of you who gave blood to Andrea, thank you. I read the list to Andrea of over 100 of you who gave blood and we cry with gratitude. What heroes! And many of you gave over and over again. Thank you so very much.
Kristin, Andrea's sister, is a her hero by donating her bone marrow. There is only a 25% chance that a sibling's marrow will match, so when the pathologist personally delivered the great news that Kristin was a match, we were all elated. Thank you, Kristin, for undergoing a week's hospital rigorous process and turning your arm black and blue to give the gift of life. Thank you, Jimbo, for being such a support through this process. You are our heroes.
The whole Martin family has heroically supported us through the daily process of physical and emotional needs. Thank you for being there, time and time again. It is awesome to witness and experience sacrifical love being poured out upon Andrea.
The special cards, messagaes and telephone calls are so much appreciated.
Our church friends, Jim, Jim, Cheryl, Randy and Beall, were our heroes getting us moved into our house and we really, really appreciate that. Perry is not only a good wig coordinator, but a good room organizer, too. Thank you so much to each of you.
I could go on and on about how wonderful you all are, so I'll make it short by saying that thank you to each of you will never be enough. One thing for sure, though, I do see the love of God and Christ shining through each of you. For those of you who live far away, we do feel the blessings of your prayers. God is listening. He is healing. Please keep praying for Andrea's sight and for complete cure.
Love to all,
Kathy

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

All is Well 4-5-06

Sorry I haven't written in a while. I have been out of town away from the computer for some time. Andrea was unhooked from the chemo on Saturday and she went to see the doctor on Monday. From what I understand all is well and she is not having any complications. She will return to MD Anderson tomorrow to have another check of her blood. Please pray for good results tomorrow.

Andrea's sister came in on Wednesday of last week to get prepared for the bone marrow harvest. They gave her some shots for several days and ran tests. Yesterday they completed the harvest and we found out today that the doctors recovered the amount they need for Andrea. Thank God Andrea has a sister that is so generous and would bend over backwards to help her only sister at the drop of a hat. It surely must be such a rewarding experience knowing that you are saving someone's life and especially your sister's. Not all of us will get to make that kind of contribution in our life, but it is truly a miracle when the chance arises. We should all get test for bone marrow donation and when the chance arises save a life.

Today Andrea is off to the eye doctor since she began seeing color. I am sure that he will be amazed at the progress she has made is the last several weeks. She is excited about going back and showing him what she can see. Her glasses did come in last week and they are helping her see even more. I have not seen her since she got her glasses, but I will give a better update when I do.

Please continue your support and prayers. God Bless.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Chemo Today 3-27-06

Last week Andrea said that her eyes changed dramatically. She claims that she can see all the color in the world now and everything is a little blurry. She visited the Low Vision Clinic in Houston early last week and they gave her a prescription for glasses. On Friday we went to Eye Masters and picked out frames for her lenses. They should be in this week so we'll see how she does with those. This is a huge improvement and one I honestly didn't always expect. Truly another miracle has occurred and will continue to occur forever.

Last Friday Andrea and I went to an Italian restaurant with a group of friends to celebrate her 25th birthday. Her birthday is not till Wednesday of this week, but we wanted to do it before she started her chemo treatment. We all had a great time and she loved it. On Saturday Andrea and I went to Fort Worth for one of her friend's wedding reception (Alex and Bart Hall). We stayed at her friend Erin's house in Bedford and had a wonderful time.

Today Andrea begins her second chemo treatment. She will be able to do it at home as long as there are no complications or precautions that must be taken. Please stop sometime today and say a prayer for Andrea. Continue these prayers throughout her treatment and we will keep her out of the hospital and on the road to complete recovery. Thank you so much for your support and prayers. God Bless.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Me and Andrea Posted by Picasa

Andrea at the Lakehouse Posted by Picasa

Dustin's Wedding Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Weight is On

Andrea has made significant improvements over the past week. She has described it like a switch turned on inside of her. She has not gotten sick in ten days, and she has been pigging out. Not only has she gained nine pounds in one week, she has been able to see a lot more color. Andrea is thrilled about the changes and it shows in her attitude and energy levels.

This weekend was her first trip away from Houston. We went to one of my best friend's wedding, Dustin Duhon, in Austin, Texas. We also went to my parent's lake house on Canyon Lake on Saturday. She has not visited there since the week before she was in the hospital. I will post some pictures of the weekend on the blog very soon.

Andrea's doctor has decided to do a half dose of chemo next week to keep the leukemia from coming back before the bone marrow transplant. She was also informed that the doctor would like for her to do the transplant in about two months. Please continue to pray for her and we will bring her through this terrible ordeal. She would like to thank to all of you again for all the support and prayers.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

All is Well 3-12-06

The surgery went well and hopefully Andrea's trachea will heal properly now. She spent the weekend recovering and catching up on her movies. We think we might have nailed down which medication was causing the nausea. The dosage of the medication will be complete tomorrow so we are keeping our fingers crossed that this will allow her to start gaining some weight. We will keep everyone informed if anything comes up this week. Keep praying for her tummy and eyes. Good night and God Bless.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Pray Today 3-10-06

This week has been much better than last. Andrea doesn't have the headaches anymore and is beginning to hold more and more food down. She did visit the eye doctor this week and some improvement have been made since the last visit. The doctor also told her that at this point he is not trying to correct her vision, but stabilize her eyes for the bone marrow transplant. Once the transplant is over he can go back in and focus more on correction of her vision to some degree. This was very encouraging to Andrea.

Earlier this week the doctors at MD Anderson discovered a small amount of bacteria on Andrea's trachea site and put in a pick line so that she could receive an antibiotic drip from home. She returned to MDA yesterday and saw a head and neck doctor. They decided to do a minor surgery today to help close her trachea site and help it heal more quickly. She will be going into surgery today (Friday) around 11:30AM. Please pray especially for this procedure and we will get her through another obstacle. Hopefully the procedure will not set her back a bit and we will continue on the road to recovery.

Thank you for your support and please keep Andrea in your prayers. God Bless.

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Little Set Back 3-6-06

On Monday of last week Andrea had a spinal tap to determine whether the leukemia was in her nervous system. The good news was that test was negative, but the bad news was the spinal tap caused extremely painful headaches. They lasted all week and she couldn't keep any food down during that time. We started all over in the weight gaining arena.

Saturday the headaches ceased and she had a great time with her friends that night. Monday we went back to the doctor and the IV fluids from the week before lowered the Calcium level but not the Creatine in the kidneys. They found bacteria around her trachea and prescribed a drip that can be done at home.

She will be resting and eating as much as she can all week. Please continue to pray for her kidneys, tummy, and eyes. She loves each and every one of you. God night and God Bless.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Another Week 2-27-06

This past week was somewhat uneventfully, but Andrea continues to show signs of improvement. The cough that she had been battling since we returned from the hospital finally ceased, even though she has developed some sinus pressure. They did any MRI on the brain last week and it showed no signs of trouble. MD Anderson also did more blood work and there was 0% blasts in the blood. They did discover that her creatine (kidney number) was elevated and today they started a four hour drip of NaCl for the next three days. Hopefully the drip will take care of the problem. The doctors tell us that they want her back to atleast 90% before the bone marrow transplant and we are not real clear on what this means. The main thing we are focusing on is getting her to gain weight. She needs to put on another 10-15 pounds so that she will weigh 90% of what she did when she arrived at the hospital in November. She has experienced a hard time eating larger meals and holding all of it down. Let's all pray this changes soon. In my opinion her eye sight continues to improve. She is not using her hands as much to get around and lately she has begun to recognize more color. I am truly impressed with the strides her eyes have made over the last few week. Well enough about the medical stuff.

Emotional she is doing better and the support has been wonderful. Perry has a done a great job taking her shopping and helping her find wigs. This weekend she got another wig custom made and it looks great. This coming weekend Andrea is going to have a group of girlfriends over to spend the night which should be really fun. I will be taking off to do a little hunting with some of my friends.

Please continue to pray for Andrea's blood, tummy, eyes, and kidneys. We really appreciate the support everyone has provided in this time of need and I don't know how to repay each and everyone of you. Just know that Andrea and I are so thankful to have a group of people out there that care for us the way you all do. God Bless and keep the prayers coming.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

All Week 2-19-06

This past week Andrea went to MD Anderson and had an MRI of her abdomen on Wednesday. We have not heard the test results yet, but we will keep you all posted. The only other doctor she saw this week was the eye doctor. Even though her vision is extremely blurry she is gaining more central vision with her right eye instead of just peripheral. She ordered one of her wigs on Tuesday and she picked it up Thursday.

The day before Andrea got sick and went the hospital, we picked out a ring for our engagement. While she was sick I went and bought the ring so I could give it to her when she felt better. I expected to give it to her much sooner, but she was feeling horrible and couldn't see all that good. On Valentines day this week I decided the time had come and I gave her the ring that she picked out months ago.

On Saturday night we had a wedding shower (really just a party) for one of my best friends and his bride to be (Dustin Duhon and Cheryl Sparks). Lupe's Tortillas Mexican restaurant catered the party and we had about 50 guests. Andrea was able to see many familiar faces and chatted all night long. She also got wear her new wig and makeup (courtesy of Perry) for the first time.

We don't know what our schedule looks like this coming week, but we will keep you all informed. Please continue your prayers for Andrea's eyes and tummy. God Bless and goodbye.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Back from the Ranch 2-13-06

This weekend we went to the ranch and Andrea rode on the 4-wheelers. She had a great time relaxing by the outdoor fire and breathing the country air with friends. We grilled steak, chicken, and baked potatoes. Zues had a wonderful time running wild around the house. In the morning she watched the guys shoot skeet and rifles. She really enjoyed getting out the house for a change of scenery.

When she returned to Katy on Sunday she was happy to see her father who had returned from overseas for good. Today was a good day and we don't have any appointments this week. This week will hopefully be a healing week and we can just relax. We will let everyone know if anything changes and please continue your prayers. She needs everyone support for her eyes and for her tummy to except more food. Continue your prayers and God Bless.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

What Can I Say?

It's been a while since we left St. Lukes's and I realized that I wanted to express to each and everyone of you how much I love and appreciate you for being there for Andrea and our families (Luthringer and Martin)! I then thought, "What Can I possibly say?"

What could I possibly say to communicate the debt we owe so many for caring so deeply that you came and stood by our side and cried with us, talked with us, laughed with us, consoled us, prayed for us, cooked for us and loved us into healing. It is unbelievable how many opened your veins and poured out your blood for Andrea not unlike someone we know who poured out His blood for us. When I think of the sacrifice of time (at least 2 hours a session) to give platelets I am overwhelmed by such blessing. I also want to give special thank-you's to the churches, Kristin, Angela and to the Martins.

May churches know the positive results of their labor as they prayed for Andreas healing. It was the 5th day of chemo when the oncologist approached me with his concern that she may not be tolerating the chemo as at this point at that time he expected to see white cell count around the 10% range. I asked what the range was and he said 37% and we only have two days to go. I called both churches of christ and they lifted simultaneaous prayers on her behalf at 11:00am as well as did the church in Karnes City. The results the next blood test were 0% blast cells. Five days later the doctors call us in for a special meeting and tell us that the Leukemia is back, that they did a blood smear and it showed the return of blasts. We were asked what level of care to keep Andrea. We were told neither St. Lukes nor MD Anderson had programs to extend her for further treatment. This was December 15th and we were devistated. But we told them we wanted to pray about it some more and after Ken Shumate and I cried and prayed a while Kathy and I as well as others prayed all night for Andrea. The next moring the doctors said, "We don't understand it but there is an anomoliy in your Daughter's blood test today and we want to examin it further, don't change your code designation. I stated, "so you don't want me to lower her level of care." No, we don't understand it, it looks like she is in remission. Doctor I understand--- "Prayer got into your way"!

We know He is the One to thank, but Thanks to the churches and the believers who rallied prayer warriors and who prayed for Andrea to return from the brink of death, not once but several times. We were particularly uplifted by local churches such as Cinco Ranch CoC, West Houston CoC, 1st Baptist, 2nd Baptist, St. Peters, Epiphany as well as by many other local and even distant churches including those in Mississippi, Canton, Tyler, Karnes City and just about where ever else our friends attended they placed Andrea on local prayer lists.

I was shocked and pleased when I recently was told by many of my islamic collegues in Indonesian that they too were raising Andrea up in their prayers to Allah. Wow, imagine how the world could look if people prayed for their friends needs. If, "in the best interest of God" we Loved one another as God so loved his church. Wouldn't that equate to peace??????????

Believe as I believe that they worked!!! Also, please know we continue to covet those healing prayers as we look forward to additional treatment.

Kristin, thank you for supporting your sister during her illness. I want the public to know how much you love your sister as you prepare to share your life's marrow with her. There is a deep bond between sisters and yours will become deeper. It is a relief to know that Jimbo is with you, in your new hometown, and holding you close and taking care of you when your Dad's arms aren't there to do it any longer. We also received blessings from Angella and Wes as they opened their home to guest who came by to support Andrea.

We respected and appreciated the Martins because they did a fine job in raising a great young man in J. (John). Our bond was Andrea and J. Now, after our experiences, I especially want to thank John, Betty and Mary for opening their hearts and home and bringing not only Andrea, but both Kathy and I as well as into their family. We are forever indebted, as well as we will forever love you for your sacrifice and demonstration of love. I didn't forget J.

J. has made a place for himself in my heart and all I can say is that I too love the man Andrea has placed in her heart. I have witnessed him grow in personal and spiritual grace and am very proud of the man he is.

All I can say to all of you above is, "Thank you and may God bless you!"

Bob

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Going to the Ranch 2-11-06

This week was full of more doctors appointments and Andrea's condition is being tested. My Mom bought an elliptical machine and she was able to stay on it for 45 seconds! She is beginning to walk to more of her appointments without the aid of the wheelchair. Everyday we have been taking walks down the street and we lengthen them each time.

The cardiogram done on Tuesday looked good, but she struggled a little bit with the lung test on Thursday. This is due to her cough which is slowly getting better since the doctor prescribed her new antibiotics. The blood tests this week are looking better and better. Her calcium levels still look good and the deposits on her hand and arm are going away. The liver numbers are down again and almost normal. At one time her liver numbers were nearly 30 times what is normal. Her white blood count is normal and indicates that her body is not fighting any sort of infection. Andrea's eye sight is still very limited, but we are keeping the faith that over time she will gain more and more sight. Earlier this week she found a magnifying glass that helps her see. She was able to see detail for the first time since November. She could actually see my face.

Tomorrow we are going to get Andrea out of the house for a full night. We are planning to take a short trip to my parent's ranch in Wharton, TX. It is probably going to be really cold, but I still plan on doing a little fishing. This will be good chance for us to relax in a different setting with several friends. Andrea and I send everyone love and appreciate all the cards, gifts, and comments on this blog. God Bless and good night.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Getting Better 2-7-06

Andrea had a great weekend and continues to improve. She gets more and more energy everyday and gains more strength on a daily basis. On Friday her friend Krista came over and spend the night with her and they watched movies and chatted all night. Saturday I stayed with her and she was doing so good. On Sunday we went to her friend Perry's house and watched the Superbowl. She has begun to eat more each day and is having a better time keeping the food down. On Monday she didn't have any doctor appointments and continued to relax. Her cough is getting much better and her Calcium level has come back to a normal level. Today she went to MD Anderson for a liver ultrasound and a heart cardiogram. Everything at MD Anderson seems very promising and we are glad to be at one of the best hospitals in the world. Tonight Andrea decided she wanted to go out to eat at an Italian restaurant and she had a great time.

The one thing that is still bothering Andrea is her sight. She continues to see more and more, but it is such a slow process. Please pray for her sight to improve and for her health to continue to improve. She loves all of you and appreciates all of your support. God Bless and good night.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Wiggin'out

Today Andrea went with Krista and her mother to start looking at wigs, she wants to play around with colors but let's just say she's not a blonde! After that she had a doctor's appointment at MD Anderson to check out the calcium deposits on her hands and arms. The doctor was not absolotuly positive on how to get rid of it & wanted to run more tests before he could prescribe medication. She found out from xrays this week she has broken 2 of her ribs from coughing. Tonight she is having friends stay over and plans on spending the rest of the weekend shopping for wigs and gaining more strength. Love, Hugs, & Prayers.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Remission!

Andrea went back to MD Anderson today thank God she is still in Remission! We just have to get our baby to gain weight so she can get stronger, as well as getting rid of this nasty cough before we can proceed with the bone marrow transplant. The doctor was very optimistic when the results came back from her bone marrow biopsy...only 3 blast cells (5 & below are normal). It was a very long day for Andrea, she was at the hospital from 10 AM to 6:30 tonight and is very happy to be home again. Tomorrow the doctor will be examining the calcification on her hand and arm, so far it appears to be healing. Right now her major challenge is he nasuea, which is caused by all of the anti-biotic medication they had her on, hopefully we found a way to remody this today with new prescriptions. Andrea really appreciates everyone's thoughtful prayers, they are truly working & we love you all for that!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

MD Anderson 1-31-06

Sorry we haven't posted in a while, but we are back at it again. Yesterday we made our first trip to MD Anderson to meet with the doctors about a bone marrow transplant. They ran several tests taking up to 13 vials of blood and did a x-ray on Andrea's chest. The plan down the road is for Andrea to receive a bone marrow transplant from her sister, Kristin. In order for this Andrea will have to take another round of chemo followed directly by the transplant. She will have to stay in the hospital for 30 days then for the next 70 days she will have to visit MD Anderson for daily blood draws.

Right now Andrea is taking antibiotics for a respiratory infection. She continues to have more energy and is getting around better each day. Tomorrow we will make another trip to MD Anderson to see more doctors and stop by the eye doctor for a check up. Thursday she will have to do a bone marrow biopsy at MD Anderson. Our plate is full again, but we now have an idea of what's ahead.

Everyone should pray for Andrea's biopsy to come back good, her lungs to clear up, her eye sight, and for her overall strength and faith. Thank you everyone for the support and keep the prayers coming. We love all you guys.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Recovery 1-27-06

Yesterday we went back to the eye doctor and the left eye was still too swollen to find out how much she could see. She was able to see another line of letters with her right eye with the aid of a lens. The whole eye recovery process is still going to take a lot of time and patience.

The physical therapist also came by to go over exercises and do an evaluation of Andrea's condition. She will continue to come by twice a week for the next four week. Andrea continues to gain more strength and we will not stop encouraging her to get up and do more.

We also have an appointment with MD Andersen on Monday to find out more about the next steps of treatment. She will also return to the eye doctor on Wednesday for a check up. Other than that keep praying for her eyes, lungs, and overall strength. She continues to have an extremely annoying cough that we are praying for to stop and give her some relief. Andrea wants to thank everyone for all the flowers, cards, and prayers. She can't see the flowers at this time but loves the smell and we have taken pictures to show her in the future. Take care and God Bless.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

No Pain No Gain 1-26-06

Today we woke up early to go back to the hospital for Andrea's eye surgery. It all went well however she is in a lot of pain and it will take many months to know the full result of the surgery. We just have to continue to pray and ask God for her sight to be restored.

Tomorrow she has an appointment to revisit the eye doctor for a check up. She will be receiving physical therapy for the first time at home. The lung doctor is also sending breathing treatment to the house to help clear her lungs.

Andrea has begun to really love hearing the blog comments now that she is more awake and at home where we have internet 24/7. Please keep the comments coming and I will continue to read them each day. Also keep the prayers headed her way and will get this girl healed. God night and God Bless.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Healing from Home 1-25-06

Today was another healing day for Andrea. We all went to her apartment and was her first time back there since Thanksgiving. She enjoyed getting out the house and taking a ride in the car.

She wanted everyone to know that the ends of two of her toes fell off last night. There were two perfectly new toes underneath the old ones. We were scared that she might lose these two toes completely, but thank God that wasn't the result.

Tomorrow she will be going into surgery on her left eye at 10AM. Please continue to pray for her eyes, lungs, and overall strength. She is doing great but is very weak. Everyday I can see her gain more and more strength. Keep the prayers coming and God Bless.

Home Address

The address you can send cards, flowers, and etc is:

Andrea Luthringer
c/o J. Martin
722 Enford Ct.
Katy, TX 77450

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Home At Last 1-24-06

Yesterday Andrea got to come home at 1PM. She was up at 4AM taking a shower and getting out of her hospital gown. They finally let her go and we headed to the eye doctor for a check up on her right eye and a pre-op for her left. She was able to read some big letters and her right eye continues to improve.

She was so happy to be home from the hospital. We just sat around till about 10PM talking and celebrating with family. It was my Mom's birthday and she received the greatest present of all. Andrea is finally home. She is still scheduled to receive surgery on her left eye on Thursday of this week.

Her trachea is still healing and she has an annoying cough. Once it heals she have an easier time coughing up the junk still left in her lungs. We worked out today and she walked down the street this afternoon with me. She also got to take a ride in her wheelchair down the street on this beautiful afternoon. She also did some walking and is getting stronger each and every day. Keep the prayers coming and we God will heal Andrea. She is so beautiful and needs everyone's support. God Bless and talk to everyone tomorrow.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Looks like tomorrow

The way things looked today, Andrea will be coming home tomorrow. She is so excited and I doubt she will sleep tonight. All she could talk about today was how she was coming home tomorrow. She said that when see wakes up at 5AM she will be putting her civilian clothes on and unhooking any monitors still stuck to her. She is determined to leave the hospital tomorrow. Everything is set up and I will be going to the hospital tomorrow prepared to take her home.

Today she removed the patch on her right eye and was able to see the outline of everyone in the room and movement. I also turned off the lights and she was able to see the colors on the TV. This is a very good sign considering the damage that was done to her eye. The eye still has a long road of healing, but this is definitely very encouraging to her. When she saw that today her spirits were lifted immediately and she realized for the first time that that she would gain some vision. We are so excited for her.

The rest of the day went fine and I am about to hit the sack. I will wake up to hopefully make my trip to St. Lukes and bring my baby home. We still have a tough long road ahead, but this is such a huge step. When I look back and remember the doctors telling us she had hours to live, I just stop and thank God for every miracle that has occurred. Behind all of this he was the "Great Physician." We couldn't have done this without him and we will continue to need him. If there is one thing I have learned to this point it is that nothing is impossible with God. Keep the prayers coming and we will talk to you soon from the comfort of my parents home. God Bless.

Closer and Closer to Home 1-21-06

Yesterday Andrea had a great and finally got to get out of her hospital room for an extended period of time. I took her on ride through the hospital and outside to catch so fresh air. See enjoyed the chance to feel something new.

She also walked a long distance down the hall like the day before and did all of her exercises. It's amazing how fast she went from only being able to sit on the side of the bed for a minute to walking down the hall with a walker under her own strength. She's got a ways to go on her walking, but she has already made leaps and bounds. When we get her I home she will be wanting to get around more and this will just speed up the process.

The only thing holding her in the hospital right now is the elevated calcium level which came down again yesterday. As long as this continues I think she will be coming home on Monday. The liver doctor told us yesterday that he felt her liver would make a full recovery. She still has a cough, but aside from that her lungs are in good shape. The eye doctor didn't come by yesterday, but will see her on Monday. We hope to be taking her home soon where she can start her true recovery. When we get her out she will feel so much better emotional and physically. Let's all pray for eyes to make a full recovery, her calcium level to continue downward, and for her to walk out of the hospital on Monday. God Bless and keep the prayers coming.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Encouraging News 1-20-06

Last night I was really upset with the results of the surgery, but today we saw some encouraging signs that made me feel much differently. Yesterdays surgery was due to a large amount of damage to the eye's retinas. This damage was caused by the bleeding and clotting that took place in the first couple of weeks she was in the hospital. At that time they were unable to perform any eye procedure due to the imunosuppresive state she was in. The doctor who performed the eye surgery knew that her right eye had severe retina damage which would require an extensive surgery. After the surgery was complete he told us that she might gain some peripheral vision in her right eye, but she had little chance of any central vision. This would mean that she could gain some "walking vision" and could read large letters. He didn't make it clear as to the time table she would gain this vision. We expected must vision to be restored as a result of the doctors assessments earlier on. Last night we expected them to remove the patch and for her to be able to see a significant amount. This was not the case and we were very disappointed. Things changed when we visited with the eye doctor today and requested her eye.

The eye surgeon came in to reevaluate her eyes and performed a couple of tests. First he shined a circular light in her eye and asked her what shape she saw. She responded and said that she could see a circle. Then the doctor shined a green light in her eye and she said that she could see green. The doctor said this means that she may gain some central vision. Something he didn't expect after he performed the surgery yesterday. Then he waved his hand in front of her eye and she asked if he was moving his hand in front of his hand. Next he held up two fingers and she said that she thought she saw two fingers. Then we turned off all the lights and asked her what she could see. She said that she saw a single light and pointed right to it. The doctor said that her sight will definitely take time. Something he didn't really express clearly when he completed the surgery. We just have to continue to pray and she will gain more vision as the days progress. The surgery on her left eye will be scheduled for this coming Thursday unless things change. If anyone has recommending for the best retina specialist in the US please feel free to contact me through this site. The doctor we have used is well known and seems to have done a really good job so far. We just want the best possible chance for eyes no matter what the cost.

I forgot to tell everyone yesterday that she got her trachea tube removed and it is beginning to heal. This is just another huge step in her recovery and she continues to breath better each day. Today she walked four times further than she has in the past (approximately 250ft). She did all this with a walker under her own support. At the end of her walk she had 100% oxygen saturation in her blood. Most people's saturation would drop lower after they walked that far if they were having a really hard time breathing. This is just another step for her to get out of the hospital. On the pulmonary stand point she is ready to go home.

Her liver numbers continue to trend downward and get closer and closer to reaching normal levels. The liver doctor feels she can go home at this point and their is no need for her to be in the hospital. She can take all the tests needed for her liver from home. The main thing holding her in the hospital right now is the kidneys. Right now her calcium level is elevated, but we feel this can be monitored from home. The calcium level came down today and we should pray this continue so the kidney doctor send her home.

Let's all pray for her eyes and for her kidneys to flush the calcium from her system so she come home. We suspect that she will be coming home sometime early next week. It could be earlier if the kidney doctors feel comfortable her being at home and getting tested from there. Arrangements are beginning to made for home health care and we already have everything set up for her at my parents house. She can't wait to get there with Zeus and sleep in a real bed. It want be long, but Andrea will continue to need all your prayers and support. Talk to everyone tomorrow. God Bless.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Eye Surgery 1-19-06

Today Andrea had the surgery on her right eye. As of now we don't know the full result, but the doctor seems to think she might gain so partial vision. When I know more I will keep let everyone know. She was very upset that she could see tonight when they took the patch off the eye to put drops in. Let's all pray that her right eye vision will improve over time. The surgery on her left eye will happen sometime soon, but we unsure if we will be using the same doctor. We'll just have to see.

Other than that the day was pretty uneventfully. Hopefully we will be able to take her home soon. They are not doing anything in the hospital that couldn't be done from home. Everyone keep praying and we will have her home soon. She loves every one of you and appreciates all the support. Tomorrow I will have some more good news I am sure. Talk to everyone soon. God Bless.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Let's Pray for Her Eyes 1-18-06

Today was another eventful day for Andrea. Around noon my Mom snuck Zeus (her dog) into her room with the nurse and she got to pet him for a couple of minutes. It was good at first but then she started to cry and get upset. She was afraid that he didn't recognize her and upset that she couldn't see him. I am so surprised that Zeus didn't bark at all in the room, but I really think that he sensed that Andrea was sick and that he should behave. All he did was lick her hands and sit on her lap.

The eye doctor came this afternoon and she is scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning. The doctor said that the procedure will probably be more serious than expected, but we are still very optimistic. They will do one eye tomorrow and see what the effect is. If successful they will do the other eye sometime next week. We really need to pray hard tonight and tomorrow morning that all goes well and her vision is restored.

Her walking continues to improve and she gets stronger everyday. Today she walked further than yesterday and without as much support. She also took another shower today. Keep praying and our Lord will get her through this terrible ordeal. Keep the faith and God Bless.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Way to go Andrea 1-17-06

Today Andrea was able to get up and walk down the hall over 60 feet with a walker under her own strength. The only help she had was getting up and guiding her in the right direction because she can't see. She is getting better and better at walking every day. Andrea also got up today and walked to the shower to get her first real shower in 55 days. These are both huge steps for her and we continue to encourage her every step of the way.

The doctors are still extremely impressed with her progress and she is getting closer to the day when she go home. Our plan for her when she gets out the hospital is for her to go to my parents house where we will sleep in my parents downstairs room. There we can cuddle with Zeus (her dog) and she can get stronger in the heated pool. Every day she expresses how she wants to go home after she has her eye procedure. The eye doctor will be in tomorrow and will do the procedure very soon. As soon as the procedure is complete they will take the trachea out. I think this will help with her cough and make her feel so much better. I can't wait to get her home. She will do so much better emotionally when we get her out of that hospital.

Today was another great day and we are so proud of her. Please continue to pray for her eyes and for all of her organ to continue to improve so she can go home. Thank you everyone for all the support and encouragement. I continue to read her all you comment everyday and it always puts a smile on her face. God Bless.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Keep on Walking 1-16-06

Andrea is doing so well and continues to get out of bed to walk in the room. Today she got up to walk to the bathroom in her room six or seven times. She still requires support, but she is getting better each and every day. Today Physical Therapy came and she stood with a walker five times. They will continue to come each day until she leaves the hospital.

They switched her diet again to a solid diet and she did very well on supper. She ate a baked potato, pudding, milk shake, and some cherry cobbler. No more puree diet. They also took her off of all oxygen support today and she did fine. Tomorrow she will finish the last of her antibiotics. They continue to monitor her elevated calcium levels and are trying to control them with some meds. Let's pray they get this under control.

The liver doctor was extremely impressed with Andrea's current condition. Her pulmonary doctor told me that if she continues to progress at the rate she is going he doesn't see why she couldn't leave the hospital in 4-5 days. We are still waiting on the eye doctor to come by which is suppose to be Wed. If he wants to do surgery later in the week they will leave the trachea in till this is complete. Let's all continue to pray that her vision will be restored with the minor surgery. Her kidneys have gotten better and continue their improvement.

Andrea just wants out of the hospital so she can cuddle up next to her dog and sleep in a normal bed. Let's all pray this happens quickly and she regains her vision, gets better at walking, and keeps her spirits high. Thank you everyone for all the support and keep the prayers coming. We will have this woman out in no time. God Bless.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

What a Weekend 1-15-06

Today Andrea got out of bed five or six times to use the bathroom. With my help she made it to the toilet and didn't have to use the bed pan. All this wore her out, but was a huge step that she had to make. All she could talk about today was how she wants to go home after they fix her eyes. She misses her dog Zeus so much and I hope she can be around him soon.

Tomorrow they might take her off of the oxygen and she will be breathing totally on her own. They didn't do any blood tests today so I don't have any numbers for her liver and kidneys. Although she does look a less jaundice today so her liver numbers probably came down. We will see tomorrow since they are planning to draw some blood. Today she continued with the same diet and ate more than yesterday without throwing up all day.

Let's all pray real hard for the eye doctors to come soon and successful repair her eyes so she can see again. Also, for the doctors to release her to go home soon where we can take care of her. Pray hard and God Bless.

Wonderful Weekend 1-14-06

It sure does look like this is going to turn out to be a wonderful weekend. Yesterday Andrea was in high spirits and made progress throughout the day. At lunch she started a puree diet that included chicken, greens, and sweet potatoes. She was able to each all the chicken and parts of the greens and potatoes. We also provided high calorie drinks throughout the day to pump her up.

Before dinner she got out of bed and walked half way around the bed with my help. She did bear a good deal of her own weight. Then she sat in her recliner for a hour or so. After her dinner arrived she ate pureed steak, broccoli, and mashed potatoes. Then she got out of the chair and I helped her walk back to the bed. This was the most that she had attempted to walk in 53 days. Our goal today is to go all the way around the bed and try to get on the bedside toilet.

I forgot to tell everyone yesterday that her platelet count was at 181. They didn't run any blood tests yesterday so I don't know the liver and kidney numbers. The doctors are considering an eye procedure sometime this week, so Andrea might get her vision back. She told us yesterday that once her eyes are fixed she wants to go home. We could take care of her from there, but I don't know if they would let us. Let's just continue to pray for eyes, stomach, and for her walking skills. She is doing so well and impresses me everyday with her strength and spirit.

Everyone take care and get ready for more and more good news to come. Pray, Pray, and Pray.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

What a great day 1-13-06

Yesterday Andrea's trachea was down-sized and corked off. She was given the standard oxygen tubes to the nostrils and she can now talk with her real voice. No more voice box. The whole day was wonderful and she ate more than the day before. She was also able to hold the food down. We are now searching for higher calorie drinks that will give her an extra boost. I think that I have located a few that she will like.

Her kidneys continue to improve and the liver numbers came down to their lowest point since more than a month ago. The pulmonary doctor would have pulled the trachea today, but since she might be receiving an eye procedure soon they are just going to leave it in for now. This doctor also mentioned he felt she was in the recovery stage and it is only a matter of time before she is up and about. We really have to work with her and get her out of bed so she can learn to walk again. When you have been in bed for 52 days your muscles forget how to walk.

Yesterday was the first day I was able to hold the phone to her ear and she could have a normal conversation. She is still weak so everyone shouldn't try calling her, but it won't be long and this woman is going to be attached to that phone.

I am sure that I forgot something about yesterday, but there will better news today. Take care and thanks again for all the support. Let's continue to pray for her eyes to heal, her tummy to work better, and for her to gain more strength to get out of bed. Get the prayers going and we will have this beautiful woman out of bed soon. God Bless.