Thursday, December 14, 2006

General Update

I thought I should write a general update so you all know what life is like right now. I'm down to one doctor visit a week -- at Barnes in St. Louis. Much better than the original 2-3 appointments for blood draws that I originally thought I'd have. That could change, but I'm happy with it for now. I have an appointment tomorrow and I am curious to find out what my counts are because my energy level is really low. I'm hoping I won't need a blood transfusion, but that's not uncommon at this point and is a distinct possibility.

Originally they wanted to do the bone marrow biopsy tomorrow but they didn't have an opening, so it is scheduled for next Friday, which I believe is the 22nd. We discussed various options regarding pain medication/sedation and I expect this one to go much better. Hopefully I won't have the swelling and pain for days afterwards. I just want to have a very special Christmas with my family this year.

Two of my sisters are still here assisting me as my strength has been slow to return. I'm so thankful for their willingness to serve me and sometimes it seems be my personal maids. Mom pointed out that it's only been a month since I was basically dead -- all my counts at zero, and to not be hard on myself. One of my old friends wrote on the blog to "Rest in the Lord, and trust in His strength." I needed to hear that today, thank you.

Other than the overall weakness, my only other struggle has been with side effects from either the radiation, chemo, or both. I've developed what I think is neuropathy, mostly in my feet, and for some reason mostly at night. The pain is bad enough to keep me from sleeping, though enough pain meds eventually knock me out. I'll be talking to the doctor about it tomorrow. Thankfully from what I've read this is a less common side effect that should eventually go away. I've also lost most of my eye brows and eye lashes, and the hair on my head is still falling out. I had about 3/4" growth prior to the transplant but we had to shave it off while I was at Barnes. I think the chemo they gave me was some rough stuff. I'm anxious for the growth to return. The radiation also leaves me with very, very dry skin that also feels like a sunburn, and even lukewarm water feels hot to the touch. These are little things in comparison to the overall picture, but as I said, I just wanted to let you know what life is like right now.



Kent & Susan Egger said...

We are so glad you are able to be home with your family. We will continue to pray.

Kent, Susan, Emliy & Garrett

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the update, Amy. We've been wondering how you are doing. We will pray that both tomorrow's doctor's appointment and the biopsy next week will go smoothly and the results will be good. We will also pray that your side effects will be healed. God is so good to have brought you this far! Don't lose faith that He will continue healing you.

What a blessing that your sisters are there helping you.

Have a blessed Christmas! Hope you are feeling better soon.

Love from the Spaulding family in KY

Anonymous said...

OH Amy,you are so amazing...Please do keep in mind exactly what your mama said, you do need to let your sisters do for you now, praise God they will receive such a reward for the endless stewardship and I believe that there is a bond being made that few siblings have. I love to read your blog and get to find out how you are feeling. I will most certaintly be praying about the checking of your bone marrow, I read that it has been hurtful in the past, next time I just know it will be better. I am sorry to hear that your skin is feeling sunburned, that is something. It first made me draw the conclustion that you might get cold easily because when you shower, you may use too cool of a temperature of water and end up shivering... that is my brain trying to keep you warm...that must be the mama in me. I am anxious to one day meet you but for now I will most certaintly be patient and will pray for your complete health. Again I am so happy that you are home with Gary and Brandon. God Bless you and heal you. With our love,
April Martin and Family

Barb said...

Bless your heart, Amy. This is rough. But I'm so glad you're in the arms of your family. I'll never ever stop praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Amy, Thanks for the update. We were with your family last night and found out from Anita about your present needs. I (Linda) have peripheral neuropathy and it is much worse at night. I guess I can go about my work and block it out a lot during the day but when I lie down it starts to hurt. We are praying for that to be healed for you too. You don't need something else to make you miserable. May God bless you. We are so glad you are able to be at home with Brandon and Gary and that Christi and Lizzie are there helping you. I know it is much easier to help someone than to accept help, but Charley always reminded me that I should graciously accept help when it was needed. So, you just accept everyone's help and thank the Lord for it. We pray you will have a good day tomorrow and a productive one with answers to relieve your pain and your mind. God bless you. Love, Grandpa Ed and Grandma Linda

Anonymous said...

Dearest Amy, So good to hear from you again. I know how difficult peripheral neuropathy is. My stepmother had it in her hands and feet, and she found that by wearing gloves and socks all year and keeping them warm helped her a lot. She had pain meds too, and with the warmth and medication, she did well most of the time. I do hope this is a temporary bump in the road for you and will be gone quickly along with the effects of the radiation. Keep trusting the Lord. He knows your heart and will take care of you. I'm so glad that you are home with your little family for Christmas. What a wonderful answer to prayer. Take care of yourself as well as Brandon and Gary, and don't ever feel bad about accepting help from your sisters. They love you and want to help you. Praise the Lord for them. Take care.
Love and prayers,
Jackie Dennison

Anonymous said...

Dear Amy,
I am always so glad to see your updates and see how the Lord is answering all of our prayers.
What a relief to only have to go to the hospital once a week.
You are always in my prayers.
God is so faithful and when we are our weakest, He is strongest!

Anonymous said...

Dear Amy and Family,

It is good to hear from you in this manner and know how you are doing. We take you before the Lord in prayer often each day and while we know He ministers to you our hearts go out to Him for you.

We are thankful for your progress and you are indeed progressing. Hope you can have a good Christmas time with your family. It is getting close for sure.

Hope you can rest tonight and the feet pain subsides soon.

Love to You All,
Don and Lilan

Anonymous said...

Amy, I am praying for you every day! And remember, you have hope, because you weren't were just "mostly dead" (insert Billy Crystal's voice from The Princess Bride here). Yeah, I know...bad joke...inappropriate timing...well, that's what I do!

Emily B.

Anonymous said...


So glad to hear you're update and happy that you are home with your family. It's great that you have so much family support and help. I check your blog often and you are in my prayers always.

Angela (Washington State)

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to share an additional verse I found to the hymn (which is one of my favorites) in your last post.

Praise thou the Lord who with marvelous wisdom has made thee,

Decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee,

How oft in grief Hath not he brought thee relief,

Spreading his wings to o'er shade thee.

I will continue to pray that He will 'deck you with health', and bring you relief.

In Christ
Patrick's mama (and now Elisabeth's mom-in-law)

Anonymous said...

....I suppose that was like verse three, but I liked the 'marvelous wisdom' part. I guess the world would not agree that His wisdom has decreed this course for you, but we know that the "foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger..."

I remain in prayer,
Mrs. C

Rachel Davis said...

Your Mom is right...You've got no reason to be hard on yourself in any way, shape or form. You're amazing, and deserve a couple pats on the back.

Your sisters love you and I'm sure are more than happy to do anything they can for you.

It sounds like you're facing some rough thing still...I'm still praying that God would smooth out your path to full recovery!

Love you!

Carrie said...

Thanks for the update so your cyberfriends can "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." My kids and I pray for you often. I hope you have an energetic Christmas with your family. :o)

Anonymous said...


Eden said...

Thank you for the update, Amy. I'm so glad you'll be home with your family. What a blessing!

I'm having trouble leaving you a comment. Hopefully, my new tactic will work!!

Air Force Family said...

Thank you for the update, Amy. I'm so glad you'll be home with your family. What a blessing!

Air Force Family said...

Thank you for the update, Amy. I'm so glad you'll be home with your family. What a blessing!

Anonymous said...


I take a medication "Lyrica" for my neuropathy. I have had excellent results with some challenging side effects,but worth the risk! I hope you have an opportunity to try it, if you do not find another medication more effective.

Life is today, celebrate!!
I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas! I continue to pray for you daily, and grateful for your blessings!!

In Christ,
Lynn Hensel

Kim said...

I am so thankful you are home! I pray your Christmas will be so very wonderful! I'm also praying for the side effects to all the chemo and everything will lessen...You've been on my heart and I will keep praying.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Amy. We're thinking of you. When I'm awake at night I'll be praying that you aren't, and getting all the rest you need!

Rachel E

Christy in TN said...

Amy - Continuing to pray for you and your family.

Christina said...

Sounds like things are moving along smoothly. Sorry to hear you have some pain, but hopefully all this will work itself out as you get stronger. It must be nice to be home and I am glad you are able to be. I hope you have a nice Christmas and am praying for you to have a Christmas miracle.

Anonymous said...

Amy, you are such a brave and blessed young women!
I pray to the Lord that He gives you health and stamina in the knowledge that you will be blessing His name than as you do now.
Joyful Christmas to you.

N.B. Please read the Joy entry in momrn2's "My quiet corner" blog. And may God bless you with Joy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Amy and Brandon,
Hope you are doing well and seeing progress in strength. You all are on our minds and we continue to speak of you in prayer. We know the Lord will sustain you.

Know we love you,
Don and Lilan

Anonymous said...

We are praying for special comfort and strength as you go to St. Louis tomorrow for the biopsy, and for minimal side effects (none would be even better, huh?! :>))
So glad you've been at home these past few weeks, and we're also praying that you can continue to stay there to regain your strength.
Merry Christmas --
Clayton, Lisa, Sadie, Maggie

Abby Ymker said...

I'm praying for you today Amy! I hope everything went ok.
Love, Abby

Laura said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours - may God shower you with blessings all your life through. Keeping you in our prayers each night...

Anonymous said...

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas at home with your wonderful family. Having mommy home with Gary was probably the best gift he could have ever received. Hang in there girl, you are one tough cookie, and while I pray you never have to go through anything like this ever again in your life, I know that you can make it through this. God bless you Amy, you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

Anna Beckett

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy, Hope you had a great Christmas w/your family. I'm sure it was wonderful to be at home. Just wanted you to know I am thinking of you and look forward to hearing how you are doing when you get a chance.
You continue to be in my prayers.

Wendy in IA

Kim said...

I hope you had a wonderfully blessed Christmas with your family! I have been thinking about you and praying for you.

I hope things are going well.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Dawn said...

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas at home with your family, and that the lack of an update means things are going GREAT!

Have a much better 2007!