We're now traveling to Barnes every other week for appointments, as hoped. On the "off" week I have bloodwork done at Ellis Fischel here in Columbia. That's been really nice. Dr. Westervelt (Barnes) recommended yesterday that I have an Aranesp shot to help build the red blood cells in my body. He said I will feel a lot better if they can get my hematocrit over 30, and my hemoglobin up as well. (It is still sitting in the 9s.) I do get out of breath easily, and I've been anemic for so long I don't really remember what it feels like not to be...so I am anxious to see how this works. It comes with some nasty side effects, but other than the pain of the shot I've only noticed some additional fatigue. I go back to Barnes in two weeks and we rescheduled my bone marrow biopsy for that date so we don't have to go two weeks in a row. It is now scheduled for February 16th at 9 a.m. Dr. Westervelt said I will have another one done in about three months and then one year from transplant (so sometime in November) and then that will be all unless bloodwork indicates a need for another one. That will bring my total up to 10. Sounds like a nice stopping point to me. :-)
If the biopsy results are good, they will begin weaning me off of the immune suppressant I am currently taking. (Prograf, specifically). The purpose of this drug is to keep my brother's immune system from attacking my body (otherwise known as GVHD). I'm not entirely sure what to expect during this process. For now I'm just taking it a day at a time. We're still staying in to avoid illness. Strep, mono, and pneumonia have been going around at my husband's office, but thankfully the Lord has kept him in good health. I know several of you have been praying to that end, specifically -- thank you!