Thursday, September 20, 2007

Did Someone Mention A Book?

As some of you may have noticed, there have been numerous comments posted over the last several months to the effect of publishing Amy's blog in book form. We've also received several emails and personal offers to help us do just that. Well, the intent of this post is to inform you that a book was in the works by Amy, and is now one of my top priorities.

She initially started to compile her blog postings with added commentary and details, but after ninety-some pages decided she wanted to do something a little different. So, she started from scratch, from the beginning, all over again... and got a good portion written up. It is my goal to finish what she started, as well as to include this blog, and her other, private, blog into one work. This is a massive undertaking in some respects and I don't have a time frame. However, I am striving to finish within a year and will continue to post progress updates and other information on this blog.

And Katie, if you're still reading this... I don't know what suffering, struggles, or trials you have in your life right now that would have you try to take your own life; and I won't pretend to have all the answers for you. But, I wanted to let you know you are being prayed for, and that if you ever wanted me to try to explain where Amy's strength and faith came from you can feel free to write me at the email address posted in the sidebar.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Memorial Service

A memorial service will be held for Amy this coming Sunday. The details are as follows:

Sunday, September 16th 2007 beginning at 4:00 PM at Maramec Spring Park -- Furnace Shelter (maps to follow).

We will have someone at the park's entrance from 3:00 PM to 3:50 PM to allow for free entry into the park. Otherwise there is a $3.00 per vehicle entry fee so you may want to carpool, if possible, to minimize the expense.

There are a large number of tables and benches at the Furnace shelter, however, there may not be enough for everyone, so you may want to bring a lawn chair to assure yourself of a place to sit (should you want to) or for a more comfortable seat.

As far as attire goes, please feel free to wear whatever you are comfortable wearing and don't feel obligated to wear your Sunday best. I already know there will be some attending in their best suits, and others in shorts and a nice T-shirt.

In honor of Amy, a memorial trust fund has been set up for Gary. In lieu of flowers, a donation to this trust fund would be most appreciated.

Donations can be sent directly to:

P. O. BOX 370
DIXON, MO 65459

TELEPHONE NUMBER 573-759-3399 FAX NUMBER 573-759-3398

The checks can be made out to Gary L. Wilhoite II or Amy Wilhoite Memorial Fund with Donation written on the Memo line of the check.

Again, thank you for your prayers and your support -- she was always so encouraged by your prayers.

The two yellow circles are where you can park your vehicle and the big red X is where we will be. This map (without my additions) is also available at the park entrance.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ultimate Healing

Once again, I'm not sure the best way to say this, so out it comes.

My dear beloved Amy has gone home to meet her Lord. Shortly after 4:00 PM on this, September 10th, 2007, she took her last sweet breath. Moments before, she leaned up to me, and with much effort, told me she loved me - and gave me a kiss through her oxygen mask.

As someone else said on another blog when their dear one passed away, I never knew one could be at so much peace and have such a broken heart at the same time.

Thank you once again for all of your prayer.

And know that for all of you we've come to know that are still fighting your own battes that we're still praying for you.

Once Again, Please Pray

I don't know where to begin, so I'll just be blunt. Amy is need of much prayer. The fungal infection in her lungs is taking its toll. She is having a very difficult time breathing, on top of which she is also now dealing with mucositis from the methotrexate dose on Friday and the same pain issues she's had these last couple of weeks.

At this point the transplant is being put on hold. There is a lot of doubt as to whether she will survive this infection. One of the doctors yeterday said we could be looking at a couple of hours, or a couple of days. She's not talking much anymore as all of her energy is going into just trying to breathe (and for those that were wondering, she is hooked up to a rebreather with the oxygen level turned all the way up).

So we ask for prayer. Prayer that the Lord might bring her once again back from death's doorstep. Prayer that should God deem this the time to bring her ultimate healing and call her home that she will pass quickly and peacefully. Prayer that as the doctors keep asking me what to do that I'll have the wisdom to make the right decisions. Prayer for the doctors as they come up with ideas to care for dear Amy.

Thank you all for your faithfullness in praying for Amy.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Moving Forward -- A Quick Update

As has already been touched on in the last couple of posts, this last week has been hard on Amy. She's still in a significant amount of pain from her marrow working hard to produce cells, as well as from her fungal infection -- which the doctors believe may be both inside and outside her lungs. The fungal infection is presenting as a type of pneumonia and is making it difficult for her to breathe and is painful. She's also had to be on oxygen these last few days to help with her oxygen levels in the blood and the aforementioned breathing.

Earlier this week she had a few days when she was very confused about where she was. The doctors have changed around her medicine a little bit to help combat that and she is, thankfully, back to her normal self once again -- aware of her surroundings and what is going on. As a precaution they did an MRI on her head (which was clear) and decided to go ahead with the spinal tap to rule out neurological involvement of her disease. They did the spinal tap this morning after giving her both platelet and plasma transfusions, as well as some vitamin K to help with blood clotting. As a further precaution they went ahead and gave her a dose of chemo (methotrexate) into her spinal fluids while they were tapped in so as to not have to do another spinal tap on her in the future. We should have some preliminary results from the spinal tap tomorrow with final results by Monday.

Though we don't have an exact time frame yet, we are moving full steam ahead into the second transplant. The doctor met with Amy & I yesterday to let us know that they were committed to the transplant as long as we were committed to it. Aside from the risks already present with the transplant, her infection increases her risks severely. So we ask that you would pray that the antibiotics she's getting for it will help to contain it before we get to that point. She is currently getting caspofungin, meropenum, vancomycin, and amphotericin B -- a drug she had last year that she did not do well with, though she has not had any of the serious side effects this time that she had last time around (praise the Lord).

Amy & I are always grateful and appreciative of your thoughts and prayers, and of your comments. Thank you all for caring so much for our hardships and well-being. We continue to hold out hope that Amy will be healed and beat this disease, but know that whichever way this ends up that God has gone before us.

We're also thinking of and praying for those of our friends dealing with their own battles with cancer or other serious ailments.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wednesday Prayer Request

Yesterday Amy was taken downstairs for an MRI of her head and the results came back normal. The doctor let us know shortly after the procedure was done. We are very thankful for those results. Dr. Westervelt has suggested that a lumbar puncture would be done soon to check Amy's spinal fluid. He wants to rule out that there is any leukemia present there. She has requested prayer for this procedure. We don't have a time schedule for that yet but they tell us it will be tomorrow. Amy is still experiencing pain and some confusion. These seem to be the rough days for her. Her counts are slowly inching their way back up but there are still no neutrophils. The doctor has changed her anti-fungal medication today. She will receive platelets before the procedure tomorrow. Her sister Lizzie is here today for the pre-donor testing. So far, so good. We have not been given a transplant timeline yet. Thank you for remembering her in prayer as she faces the test tomorrow.
Sincerely, Anita -- for Amy

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tuesday Morning Update and Prayer Requests

This is Anita, Amy's mom, posting for her this morning. Brandon was able to spend a long weekend with her but had to return home last evening so he could get to work today. One of Amy's latest chest x-rays showed that the fungal pneumonia is still persisting and has caused her to feel pretty poorly. The doctors have begun several new medications to try to fight the infection. In the meantime, Amy is experiencing a lot of pain, difficulty sleeping, and numerous side effects from these drugs. She is struggling with confusion. Another chest x-ray was taken early this morning and we still wait for the doctor to make rounds to learn the result. She is also having swelling due to fluid retention. Drugs will most likely be administered for that problem today. Overall, Amy just feels pretty lousy and I know if she were the one writing she would ask you to pray for her -- for freedom from this pain, for rest, and for progress toward the second transplant. Her sister Elizabeth, Lizzie, will be here at Barnes tomorrow to begin her pre-donor testing. As always we thank you as her family for faithfully remembering her in prayer. We continue to trust her health to the Lord, her Creator and Great Physician. I will let you know more as the day progresses. Hopefully she will feel better by this evening and can have a good night of rest. We are also remembering our other friends who suffer with various forms of cancer and pain -- Joe, Brian, Robin, Sandy, Paige, Heather, Joel, Donna, Colleen, Marie. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely, Anita for Amy