Saturday, March 31, 2007

DLI

Thanks to everyone for your prayers yesterday. We had an eventful day, though most of the action involved driving to and from the hospital and not the actual procedure. Our tire went flat on the way up, but seemed to be o.k. after a stop at the gas station for air. It made it through the day and all the way home (120+ miles), though upon further inspection today we discovered it to be completely blown and shredded. We had a very rainy drive up, and at one point on the interstate the vehicle in front of us lost control and we immediately followed. Brandon was able to keep control of the vehicle for the most part and thankfully there were no cars in the lane next to us at the time. I'm very shaky about things like that. Even a minor fender bender can be fatal when your platelets are below 20. On the way home, driving slow on a very bad tire, we ended up putting the car in a ditch. Thanks to the Lord and some helpful friends and neighbors, everything is going well today.

Regarding the procedure, Daniel did about five hours of pheresis yesterday. They were able to give me 10 million lymphocytes (the goal was 5-7 million) so I call that a success. The procedure itself was quite simple. I had premeds (benadryl and ativan) and then they injected the 14 ccs of blood product into my Hickman line. Took about ten seconds. The doctor told us he wants to see significant GVHD. The important thing is to catch it early so they can treat it with medication so I don't have long term damage. If I don't have GVHD with this infusion, they will probably do another. He said it often takes 2 or 3 treatments before they see significant GVHD. I don't know if I have that long, so I'm honestly praying we'll see it with this round -- normally flares within about a week. Praying to get sick seems odd, but it would definitely be the answer we need. We met a 26 yo AML patient yesterday who is currently in remission after having a stem cell transplant and subsequent DLI. (He was similar to me in that everything looked good until the 100 day biopsy.) That was definitely encouraging.

I'll see Dr. Perry this Wednesday, and the plan is to begin chemo again on the 9th. If I don't have GVHD with this DLI, we'll do another about 10-14 days out from this next round of chemo. The cells are frozen now so I shouldn't have to ask my brother to go under the needle again, which is nice. He's definitely been a trooper. Those are some BIG needles.

28 comments:

Kim said...

Thanks for the update, Amy. We have been praying for you.

I am praying this will work and you will go onto remission...what an encouraging event to meet someone in the same situation in remission. I know that gives you extreme hope!

I don't know what all is involved in having the GVHD...I did read about it online, though...so I kinda understand it...I am praying that all will go well for you and that you will not experience too many negative effects from it.

I'm sorry about all the troubles on your trip there and back! Glad it all went well.

Your faithfulness shines as an example for us all.

Kim

Chad and Sandy said...

PRAYING here! I've been checking the blog all day. Update when you can.

Sandy

Jessica said...

Thanks for updating us! Still praying for you and I check often for updates! God bless you and keep you this week!

april said...

A positive update and I'm so glad to hear that God watched over your drive up, as well! Continued prayers for you as you await your next round of chemo and the hope that remission is in your story!

Hugs and prayers!

Carol said...

Hi Amy,

I'm like Kim--I researched GVHD to find out what it was on the internet! Graft-Versus-Host Disease sounds almost like a complication you would not want, but I know that there is probably something significant in it that somehow will bring a positive effect on your situation.

I know you will pull through this Amy and come out strong on the other side. There is hope for you to go into remission-just like that other AML guy did! I'm so glad that you got to meet him--what a real encouragement that must of been.

Don't ya just hate car troubles?! I am so glad that you guys all stayed safe---you definitely had angels protecting you on the drive there and back!

I think about you all the time~

Love and prayers,

Carol (Aaron's Mom)

Andrea said...

Glad to have an update. Was thinking of you and wondering how things went. Will continue to pray for you and your family.

Barb said...

Praying for remission, Amy. What a blessing your brother is. You're always in my prayers.

Carey said...

I too am praying for remissions for you. I pray this procedure is just what you needed.

Im also glad to hear you made it home ok. That must have been a scary time.

Rachel said...

I'm glad the trip was safe, even though shaky!

I have been checking back regularly to see about updates, so thanks for updating. I'm glad to hear that all went well.

I'll keep you in my prayers!

annb said...

Amy,
I have just finished reading your complete journey and I am touched by your strength and your faith! You have been given such a cross to bear and have shown such amazing dignity and a love for the Lord that I'm not sure I have ever witnessed before! I have added you to my special prayer list and will be praying for you that God will continue to bless you and your family and that you will be able to spend quality time with them and continue to share in your son's life! I am in awe of you and you are certainly an inspiration to me! Thank you so much for sharing this journey and I pray God's continued strength and mercy on you and your family!

Teresa said...

Dear Amy,

Thanks to "Amy's Blogging Friends", I know a little more than I did before about GVHD.

I am thinking of how it is like trials. We don't want trials but it is the very thing that we are told in the book of James to count as joy! It will produce-- something good-- patience!! That is not how we would choose to get patience!

I am praying that this very trial (GVHD), will produce good results.

Thanks for sharing and how glad we are that you are all safe.

Teresa

Carrie said...

You continue to be in our prayers.

Leslie said...

Thanks for the update, Amy!! We're praying for you!! I know you don't have time to worry about stuff like this, but I've awarded you as one of my five thinking bloggers. All that really means is that you've made me think!! If you have time, stop by my blog to see.

Anonymous said...

Amy,
What a great testimony you are going to have when you are completely healed. I love you and I believe you are more valuble to this world than you realize. Talk about healing, think about healing, feel your healing. Release any negative thoughts and words. In Christ, Amanda

Our 4 Munchkins...6 pigtales & a buzzcut! said...

We are praying for you so much and constantly thinking about all the time. Keep your spirits up remember your a strong woman Amy! Will continue too check in for updates.

Kimberly Alexandra said...

Praying for remission. Found this today and thought it might encourage you.

Cancer is limited:


It cannot cripple love,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot eat away peace,
It cannot destroy confidence,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot shut out memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot reduce eternal life,
It cannot quench the Spirit,
It cannot lessen the power of the resurrection.

How truly powerless this and other deadly diseases are. The things that are of real value are totally unaffected. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

We may fear the unknown and the suffering we may face, but we can, at the same time, confidently face all that troubles us knowing that He waits to take us home with Him for eternity. Cancer is so limited. This world is so limited. Satan is soooo limited. Praise God for His power over ALL things.

Kim

Julie's Jewels said...

I'm glad to hear things continue to go well. I check your site several times a day to look for new updates. We're continuing to pray. I'm so thankful that God is on His throne and that He is in control. Because He does and He is...there is hope!!

Rachel D said...

Amy...I know that GVHD has been a very, very negative thing from the begining so ASKING for it seems insane and scary.

Praying for continued grace.

Emmie said...

This is Emmie in Central Texas. I forgot how I found your blog, but please know I have been praying for you and your dear family. May you give glory to our wonderful God in all you go through. If you haven't already, I would encourage you and your husband to read Desiring God by John Piper. If you can't read the whole thing, please read the chapter on suffering. It's one of the best I've ever read.

Anonymous said...

Amy - all the best in the upcoming weeks. You are always in my thoughts.

Dawn said...

God is definitely saving you for something big. Sounds like a very dangerous trip!

God is working His miracle in His own way and His own time.

Deidre said...

Wow, what an eventful trip to and from. I'm glad you are safe. Thanks for the update. I'm continuing to pray for you.

Anonymous said...

We definantly serve an AMAZING God!! So glad to hear all of that wonderful news, the 26 yr old patient was a message along your road in life, I believe God always is putting people in our paths when we are walking in His way. God keep you and heal you.
With love
April Martin

Rene' Losurdo said...

Hi Amy,

I heard a song I love on the radio today and as I sang along, I instantly thought of you.

I am sure you know it:


"You Never Let Go" by Matt Redman

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Chorus:
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

Chorus:

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

(you can listen to it for free at:

http://www.myspace.com/mattredmanmusic )


If you know this song take some time right now to sing it and surrender your day, your heart, your worries, your burdens, your fears and your plans to the Lord. He cares and knows every single detail of your life.

Lifting you up in prayer,

Rene' Losurdo
(Gina Dunn's cousin)


www.caringbridge.org/visit/christianlosurdo

Anonymous said...

I think you are very brave and I know God has His hand on you. I think of you and pray for you often.

monicac2 said...

I am praying for GVHD - thank you, Lord, for sending it her way, fast! You're always in my prayers!

gold said...

Still paraying for you on this Easter weekend!

Anonymous said...

My daughter-in-law, Kelly Julian, referred me to your sight. I am praying for you. I, too, am a cancer survivor, though not the type you have. I had colon cancer 4 1/2 years ago and am still cancer free since surgery, chemo and radiation. I pray that you will be blessed as I was. God is good and always there for us.
Diana Julian