Sunday, April 27, 2008

The good news and the bad news

I really hestitate to post good news because of so many other things going on. But.....
There really is good news, like Andrea making her own plateltets now, (and thank you to all those who contributed, because of privacy laws we do not know exactly whose platelets she got, but she got a real boost from some of you who I KNOW were in there on particular days....). Andrea is above 100 platelets and has been making her own for the last couple of days now, which Great News. (140 platelets is normal, so she still has a few more to go on her own.)
Her bone marrow biopsy also came back very encouraging with all donor cells in 40 percent of bone marrow. (Yeah!)
But, she is having difficulty in some other areas she did not have during the last transplant process. Some irritations and viruses are popping up that are causing havoc, so she continues to really need prayers for comfort and healing. The itchiness, burning or sleeplessness is awful. Any and all of these are "normal" for stem cell transplant patients, but that does not really help when there is no real relief other than "time".
We do thank you for each and every prayer.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hey, how about that?

I just mention the possibility of Andrea getting to take home her backpack of fluids, everyone keeps praying for her, and it happens! Andrea had been going through a routine of receiving platelets and gradually losing them by "15" each day until she hit bottom and needed them again. Well, Friday for the first time since her transplant, Andrea gained "3" instead of losing "15". So, that meant that she did go home and J. became the one in charge of hooking up bags of fluid and medicine with a battery powered pump over the weekend so Andrea could stay at home instead of reporting to MDA.
She is slowly regaining strength each day and we appreciate you thinking of her.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

One Month Down

Today is April 17, and Andrea received the stem cell transplant on St, Patrick's Day, March 17. One month down, and she feels awful in many ways but the doctor and nurses say that she is doing Good. But, then they want to know how, when and where the yuckiness is and how bad, so they can determine how they can help. This is the ritual for the next two and a half months which make up the 100 days release time out of the hospital, which was April 1. No fooling. Last time I counted, Andrea was taking 24 pills a day, which did not account for the IV fluids she is hooked up to. They are talking about sending Andrea home Friday with a backpack of fluids with a pump to sustain her so she will not have to tumble out of bed Saturday morning to come to the hospital. We'll see....
So, please keep praying, as we do believe in the power of God over all.
We send love to all who keep reading this blog and keeping positive thoughts coming our way.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Rough Week

We haven't posted any progress because it really has been much of the same pains and all the strength Andrea can pull together to get up each morning and go to MDA for the whole day receiving the meds and fluids she needs.
But, Sunday night she had a major rash outbreak from her ankles to the back of her ears. Her main Stem Cell Transplant doctor made a special visit during his regular clinic lunch hour to the special MDA unit Andrea goes to each day to verify that he thinks it is the "graft versus host" syndrome that transplant patients need in order for the transplant to work. It causes extreme itching which they can try to control with medication. They also took a biopsy of her skin which will help confirm it is "graft versus host". We are just hoping that this, too, will pass with the best results possible and total healing.
We continue to keep Andrea updated on your prayers and comments. They are such a comfort.

Monday, April 07, 2008

+21 days

On this 21st day from the stem cell transplant, Andrea is experiencing bone pain (maybe from stem cell grafting) that was bad enough for her doctor to prescribe 2 more medicines. On the last transplant, she was still in the hospital with a pain pump and nurses and doctors around the clock. This time, she is working it through with us and about 5-8 hours at the hospital each day getting fluids and platelets while a nurse monitors the blood draw numbers and calls the doctor when medicine needs to be prescribed. It has been a week since we saw a doctor and tomorrow we finally get to actually see him again. She is still in a lot of discomfort tonight. We pray for better days ahead!

Friday, April 04, 2008


Thank you all for your encouragement. Andrea's stomach, head and bones are still very sensitive and anything (or who knows medicine, the rest of the chemo in her body, or grafting cells) can set off a an adverse reaction. She has averaged platelets every other day in the Ambulatory Treatment Center 10th floor outpatient unit. It really is like a full time job going to it all day to receive fluids and meds, then returning home at night. She even has to go over the weekend. BUT at least Andrea gets to sleep in their own bed at night and that alone is worth A LOT.
It is great you keep praying for her strength each day. She feels it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No April Fools!

No April Fools joke: Andrea is at home tonight, getting to sleep in her and J's own bed! The new doctor "on rounds" saw Andrea when she was out this morning doing her exercise walking and was impressed by her spunk even before he got to her room to do her assessment. He looked at her blood draw numbers, nurses' reports and by what she was telling him that she felt better today than yesterday, he let her go home.
Now, she has 100 days of returning to MDA each day for fluids, meds and assessment to really get well again..... but at least she can go home each night to sleep peacefully.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and an extra thank you for those who gave platelets because Andrea is still receiving those platelets and will be assessed each day to see if she needs more. You ALL are terrific!