Thursday, January 18, 2007

60 Day Update

This past week marked 60 days since the transplant. A nice milestone, and I'm happy to say things are still looking good. I fully expected to need a blood transfusion due to low hemoglobin (iron) levels on Friday, as the week before they were in the range for transfusion, but I declined. Turns out those red cells were hard at work for me all week and my hemoglobin levels actually climbed for the first time. (From 8.9 to 9.2 in a week.) They have been offering me shots to kick my system into rebuilding faster. So far I've declined those. I'd prefer to do it on my own and avoid yet another drug with more side effects. My platelets have also been climbing on their own and I'm almost in the normal range. I haven't seen my actual transplant doctor in quite some time, though, so I'll see what he has to say about everything at my upcoming appointment on Friday. I am hoping that I can start going every other week or so now that I have hit the 60 day mark, but we'll see. Eventually I'll be able to transfer back to my local oncologist at Ellis Fischel. I look forward to that day! The drive to Barnes is about 240 miles round trip every Friday, and tends to be an exhausting day.

We received more good news from my 30 day biopsy on Friday. The results were back from California and show 100% engraftment. This means the transplant "took" and was a success. The nurse practitioner I've been seeing seemed very pleased. Brandon said from what he's read it's unusual to have 100% engraftment so soon, so we are very grateful. I should now have my brother's DNA and blood type. As my husband jokingly put it, I can get away with murder. :-) My next bone marrow biopsy and aspiration will be around day 100. It's the "big one" and will determine a lot, so as much as I don't want to go through another one, I recognize how important it is. We went ahead and scheduled it for 10 a.m. on February 23rd.

I am still experiencing various side effects from the chemo (neuropathy, specifically) and other problems that I relate to either mild GVHD or side effects of the many medications I'm on right now. We've been staying in to avoid the flu, so I only get out for doctor appointments. That gives me lots of time to spend with Gary, and I've slowly been taking on more responsibility around the house. Brandon still takes care of most things, though. I'm very thankful for him.

Thank you for your continued prayer on our behalf. We are so grateful to the Lord for the good news and His many mercies on our behalf.