Saturday, March 24, 2007

Preparing for the DLI

My brother (stem cell donor) and I will be going to Barnes in STL on Monday for blood work. We each have to give up about 15 vials in preparation for the donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) on Friday. I don't have Friday's appointment time yet, but we'll both be there again for pheresis and the infusion. If all goes well I can come home immediately afterwards. I am expecting to get sick as a result of the DLI. We are trying to cause GVHD in hopes of also having GVL (graft versus leukemia) to fight the disease. From what I've read, GVHD of the gut, mouth, skin and eyes are most common. The seriousness varies. It could land me in the hospital or be controlled with prescription steriods. If it doesn't kill me, I have hope of remission. The risks are very similar to having another transplant in a lot of ways. I'm approaching it with much fear and trembling. I've never been the adventurous type, yet find myself doing experimental chemo and procedures in an attempt to save my life. Quite ironic coming from the person who would never consider white water rafting or sky diving. I read about a woman the other day with AML who has undergone four transplants. I told my mom I have more respect for her than any olympian I've ever heard of.

In the meantime I'm staying in. My ANC was down to 200 on Thursday, so my immune system is basically non-existent. I still have to go out for labs twice a week. On Thursday I received blood and platelets. My platelets had dropped to 7, and I expect to need more again soon because one infusion doesn't usually bring them up that much. I hate when they get so low, because it's a battle to get them up again. In the meantime I face a lot of risks, as well as discomfort (easy bruising, petechiae rash, etc). Gary has learned that mommy is fragile and tries to be very careful around me.


Kelli said...

Amy, we continue to pray and hug you from all over. Your strength through this encourages me, though I am still waiting for an organ tranplant. At least I made the list this week, Praise God.

Breath by breath, step by step. God surrounds us.

Amber D.M. said...

Still praying for you all! We love you! *hugs*

april said...

Continued prayers for you, as well as your brother this week! I speak of you often and all of your courage, I am certain that there are more prayers for you than any of us know. Take it easy this week and know that you are in the hands of a loving God. I know you know that, though!


Dawn said...

My Sunday school class asks about you every week - you are prayed for and thought of. I am so glad you are continuing to fight with every breath you have.

Barb said...

It just makes me sad that Gary knows he has to be careful with Mommy.

But, oh my word, Amy. To imagine that you've made it to the point that he is able to understand that ... he was a little baby when you were diagnosed...God is giving you and Gary time with each other.

God bless you, Sweetheart.

Just Me (The Bubble) said...

May God give you the health of Abraham, and the patience of Job, and the faith of the woman with the issue of blood in this time of trials!!!

I'm just a random reader here, but I would like to make a suggestion...go to:
That website has books and tapes on healing and such. Maybe you will find something that God wants you to have.

Good luck and God Bless you and your family!!!

Jessica said...

Still praying for you! We'll be praying specifically that the germs will stay away and that God will give you extra strength to make it through each day! You are a huge encouragement to me!

Anniesue said...

You may not consider yourself adventurous...but you are!!! Prayers are being lifted up everywhere for you!!!

Anonymous said...

Amy, we are praying for you!!! Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed, for the Lord will go before you!

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

We continue to pray for you and wish that all this works out for you..and I respect you as a woman/ person..once again Amy you are such a brave and strong woman.

Grace Smith said...

Amy, I hear reports from my brother Andy Eldredge who works with your brother Josh, and from Rachel Eldredge. Just wanted you to know I am thinking of you and praying for you.
With love and prayers,
Grace Smith

Christy said...

Amy, Praying for sweet you and your sweet family from here in Middle Tennessee.

Krissy said...

Amy, you are an amazing woman and better than an Olympian in my book. Praying for complete success on Friday and for every bug, virus, bacteria, and potential illness to stay miles away from you. God Bless you.

"God has a course mapped out for your life, and all the inadequacies in the world will not change His mind. He will be with you every step of the way. And though it may take time, He has a celebration planned for when you cross over the "Red Seas" of your life." --Charles Stanley

"He knows when we go into the storm, He watches over us in the storm, and He can bring us out of the storm when His purposes have been fulfilled." --Warren W. Wiersbe

Pamela said...

I am praying that the Spirit goes before you and cleanses all things -

Gena said...


I continue to pray for you. You ARE stronger and more courageous than any Olympian I've ever heard of. I will also pray for your brother during this next round of treatment.

May God be with you and give you His peace.


Rachel said...

I think of you often and I'm still praying. Thanks for the update. I hope all goes well with the DLI. God Bless!

Kim said...


Psalm 62:5-8
My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My STRONGHOLD; I shall not be shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times,O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 46: 1-2a
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear...
vs 7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

I have no words, but may God's Words comfort you tonight.
And...we are praying!

Lisa said...

We continue to pray for you and for your family, Amy. We hold you up as you take on the next lap of this race.

Heather said...

Amy, I am continuing to pray for you!

Sis. Julie said...

My church, my family and I are still lifting you and your family up in prayer daily!! You seem to be ever on our hearts and minds. We're praying for God's will to be done in these treatments you receive and will be receiving. May God's loving hands of protection remain around you and protect you from all that can hurt you. We love you!!

Isaiah 26:3-4 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength."

Stacey said...

Amy-Thank you for sharing your life with everyone and being an inspiration of hope and faith. We will pray fervently for you and your family.

Andrea said...

Thanks for the update. Continuing to pray for you, your brother, and your family. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Keep up your spirits Amy, just know that people who have never meet you think of you as their inspiration. People who have never meet you think of you every day. You are an amazing person with great strength. Love to your beautiful family.

Monica C. said...


Your words are a blessing to us all; thank you for sharing them. It is so natural to approach something like this with fear and trembling, and I just want to remind you that the Lord of Lords, the Almighty, will be with you EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. I pray that you would feel His mighty arms carrying you along this journey. Please know that as you go through this, so many of us are praying for you. We have faith and believe that you are going to make it through. May God bless you and keep you,

Anonymous said...

You are fighting this with your actions (of which you are proving to be an inspiration to many and a true warrior); you need to fight this with your mind as well. Believe that you have received the healing that so many are praying for you.

Mark 10:46-52 (New International Version)

Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."

"Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Kristen, and I found you through this ladie's site She is praying for you, and I will be too.

Laura said...

You are ALWAYS in my prayers.

Terri @ In His Hands said...

I continue to pray and lift you up!

Anonymous said...

Amy, I am praying for you and your family. I know anything is possible with God.

Wendy in IA

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how the Web brings strangers together. I clicked on a link, clicked on another link and found this blog. You inspire me! You will be on my mind and in my prayers.

--A fellow Amy

Rene' Losurdo said...

Amy and family,

Keep fighting the good are amazing and by the good grace of God, you CAN beat the beast!

Here is a link to a little girl in our neighborhood who is also battling AML:

I thought you might like to stop by and give her some words of encouragement as she has just had a relapse while on treatment.

As scary as this is for you, imagine facing all of this and being in the fourth grade. I figure anything you could offer her (like the woman who had the 4 transplants did for you) would mean more than anything any of us could say.

We continue to keep you in our prayers.

Love and HUGE HUGS,

Rene' Losurdo (Gina Dunn's cousin)

flipflop said...

many prayer and ((easy hugs))

Mindy said...

Dear Amy,
I just wanted to say that I pray for you often and that you really are a source of encouragement for me! I praise God for that!

In Him-

Doug and Terrye said...

Dear Amy,

Thank you for your willingnes to share your journey with me as a reader. I am praying for you.

Terrye in FL

gold said...

My one and only sister is going through the same thing.Each day I pray for her I will pray for you also. God is real.

Anonymous said...

My heart at some moments just beat for you Amy... Hope, faith, trust, unbelievable strength, God's Holy presence is my prayer for you for every moment. God please keep her healthy so she can stay with her husband and Gary.. With my heart
April Martin

Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but here in Wisconsin, I know of you through a friend of a friend of a friend. You have been, and still are in my prayers, and I offer heartfelt prayers for you and your family. I wish you complete success on Friday, and I pray that our loving God will be at your side, giving you strength and calming your fears. I am anxiously awaiting the blog that says you are well enough to hug and kiss that little guy of yours. God bless you all.

Max's Family said...

Yesterday Amy Stevens gave me your blog site. I just finished reading almost your entire archives. I just want you to know that my family will be praying for you and I will tell others about you. Your strength is so encouraging. Kelly Julian

melody said...

You don't know me, I don't know you. But you are remembered in my prayer.