This is Amy's mom helping her post tonight. She wanted you to know how things were going. Radiation and chemo both went fairly well for her. She does have one side effect from the chemo. Her mouth has gotten pretty sore, no mouth ulcers but more of a break down of the lining in her mouth and throat. She is able to take pain medication before she eats to try to make that easier for her. Amy orders food that is soft and easy to swallow right now. She is enjoying the smoothies that they make here. At last weight check Amy has gained weight and this is certainly a praise. She has had some fever today. It is not high but she asks that you continue to remember her in this area. She would also like to experience a good night of sleep. They have had to give her lots of fluid post chemotherapy to keep the drug from becoming toxic in her kidneys. And we all know what lots of water does to us! We try to walk a couple of laps around the halls as she feels able to do so. With her mask on, we feel fairly safe walking on 5900. Her blood counts from yesterday show that she is neutropenic now. We need to be careful that she is not knowingly exposed to illnesses. She is grateful to the Lord for all the help He has given to her.
Amy's brother Daniel is doing a great job getting his growth factor shots - Neupogen. We commented to the nurse today that we hope they only increase his bone marrow production and not his height. Daniel is about 6 foot 4 inches tall at 17 years old. He has not had any noticeable side effects from the shots. He will receive one more shot tomorrow morning and then the pheresis will occur on Monday, November 13 beginning around 8 a.m., Lord willing. The collection should take approximately 5 hours. The collection of stem cells will be counted. They need around 2.5 million cells to transplant to Amy. It will also undergo other lab tests and then it will be transplanted into her sometime Monday evening. If the count of stem cells is not high enough Daniel will need to return on Tuesday to give more. It is truly amazing what God has allowed us to understand so that many people with blood cancers and other blood disorders can be helped. I have met other family members here on the floor and so many of them have good reports about their loved ones. That is good for me to hear.
Amy is so thankful to those who have sent cards to her and have contacted her in other ways. Thanks also to the Rodriguez, Quinones, and Ymker families for their gifts. She also wants to thank her family for all the help they have given to her -- to Aunt Linda and Uncle Ron for helping Daniel get to his appointments and letting him stay at their house during these days, to Emma, Christianne, and Lizzy for helping with Gary, and to Daddy for letting Mom spend so much time with her. She loves you all. Thanks to you all for your continued prayers for Amy and Daniel. We will keep you posted.
Anita, Amy's mom