Monday, November 27, 2006

27 Nov 2006


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was unique to say the least, it was the first time I have eaten my Thanksgiving dinner at Perkins Restaurant. It was very good - Gene and I both had the traditional Turkey dinner.

Well, I can tell you that we have a lot to praise God and give thanks;
  1. On 20 Nov I received my first HLA Platelets - not much boost at first, but as of today, my platelets are at 30,000. Still a bit off of the normal 150,000 - 375,000, but significantly greater than the 2,000 that I had on the morning of the 20th.

  2. Praise for the fact that I haven't had to go back into the hospital since the last time.

  3. Praise for a wonderful family reunion with my children on Sunday, 26 NOV, thanks to friends from Church for brining them up. They will be returning on 28 NOV - please pray for safe travels.

  4. Praise for all of you who have helped keep my children safe...what a relief you have provided me and Gene.

  5. Praise for the fact that the rash that covered over 75% of my body is now in remission.

I believe that I am making progress in the healing department, but I do still get very tired. God willing I will be able to leave Minnesota somewhere around Saturday, 02 DEC and transfer the remainder of my clinic care back to Madison. Please pray for me in the following areas;

  1. That my platelets and white blood cells continue to multiply.
  2. That the bone marrow biopsy that I am scheduled for on Wednesday will go smoothly and produce the results to show healing.
  3. That this weeks schedule continues as planned with out any unwanted surprises -
    • Tuesday - platelets - meet with the primary doctor to review my status
    • Wednesday - double infusion of platelets - bone marrow biopsy
    • Thursday - platelets.
    • Friday - meet with primary doctor review results and hear his decision if Gene and I come home as I mentioned above or need to remain for an unspecified period of time (not to exceed 100 days).

That is all I know at this point will post more as I know it.

Love in Christ

Cheryl and Family

Sunday, November 19, 2006

19 Nov 2006


Wow what a week. First and foremost, thank you all for praying for me and my family. I can tell you that I know God is ever present and that you all are praying. This past week started out being a real downer, but turned around very least for me, mentally.

A quick overview:

On Monday / Tuesday 13-14 Nov, I was experiencing fevers and still contending with low platelet's, white & red blood cells and voluntary bloody noses (about 15 - 20 / day). On Tuesday night, my fever peaked to 101.9 just under the 102 (where they would hospitalize me).

Wednesday (15 Nov) - at clinic, they found that I still had a low fever, a rash had returned to approx 75% of my body and I needed blood products (both whole blood and platelets).
  • They identified the rash as the Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) that they were hoping to see
  • They finally understood that I really did need HLA matched platelets (we knew this and informed them when we first arrived - only they thought I could use general pooled donor platelets)
  • They put me in the hospital, around 10 AM, where they gave me two units of whole blood and by the next morning had given me four units of platelets (cross matched - a step above general pooled donors, but still not HLA matched).
    • On Wed my platelets were around 2,000 - normal people have between 150,000 - 450,000.
    • They started me on prednisone (a steroid) to help fight the GVHD - none of us wanted it to get worse, beyond the skin rash. I guess it gets very ugly past this point.
    • They had me put two different types of hydrocortisone creams on my body - a light one on my face and a heavy duty one for every thing below the neck - I called on Gene to help me get it on all the rash spots.
    • Late that night my fever broke....Yea - yahoo.

  • Thursday they moved me from the room and floor I was in to another room and floor as they needed the room for a transplant patient. Gene was really upset over this, but surprisingly I was at peace (again the fact that you all were praying for me).
  • My fevers stayed away, but they couldn't identify the cause of the fevers - they thought that the fevers may have been a precursor to GVHD.
    • They confirmed that I would need HLA matched platelets, but that Red Cross wouldn't be able to have them to me until Monday.
    • They would continue to give me the crossed matched platelets until the others come along.

  • Friday - time for them to send me back to the apartment.
    • I have promised both the doctors and Gene to be extremely careful not to bump into anything or play with sharp objects. Gene promised to watch me like a hawk...what a dear.

  • Saturday / Sunday I have gone to clinic both days for transfusions of platelets
    • On Saturday morning my platelet's were 4,000 pre-transfusion
    • 30,000 post transfusion
    • Sunday morning pre-transfusion they were 3,000 I don't know what they were post transfusion.
    • Still struggling with the bloody noses, but this should go away Monday or Tuesday if they can get me HLA matched platelets.

  • Please pray for the following:
    • Praise God for all of you who have sent me e-mails, phone calls, cards and gifts and most of all your prayers - you may ask how I maintain my moral, a great deal of it is because of you.
    • Praise God for all of the people who have been helping our children in our absence - You will never know how much relief from stress just knowing that loving caring people are looking after the needs of our children.
    • Praise God that the GVHD came on as a rash only - I know it can still come on like gang busters in other forms for up to a year from now, but all I can do is know I am in God's hands - thus only the rash.
    • Pray that the the Red Cross up hear finds a donor that is an HLA match.
    • Pray for our Children as they head into one of their busiest weeks - culminating, Saturday, in the dual performance of the NutCracker.
    • Pray for safe travel Sunday, 26 NOV, for our children and the Knaul's as they travel to see us.
    • Praise God for the Knaul family for bring them up here.
    • Pray that this will all work and that when I come home I will be healed for life - if it be God's will.

I really miss, my children, my home, my church (and church family) and desire once more to serve the Lord as a God fearing / loving Mother, Wife and Servant of Christ.
Love in Christ

Cheryl and family

Monday, November 13, 2006

13 Nov 2006

To All;

Hello from the land of 10,000 lakes. It has been a while since the last update. In my last update I had asked for prayer for Gene as he traveled back home to see the kids. The Lord blessed him with safe travel and I was in good hands spending time with my "Donor", my sister doing what I love, sewing.

Currently I go to clinic everyday, generally to get transfusions of platelets and sometimes whole blood. They were trying to have me go every other day, but my platelets were not coming around soon enough, so now everyday for a while.

When my platelets are low, I have spots all over my body, I bruise easy and I get bloody noses with out doing anything. The normal person has between 150,000 - 375,000 platelets at any point in time, currently mine are 5,000.

It would appear that we will be hear at least through the end of November and possibly the first week in December, I will find out more on Tuesday when I meet with my Main Doctor.

Yes I still have a rash on my body, but not as bad. Gene has been applying special cream on the areas of the rash twice a day and it has finally begun to subside. Thanks be to God, I must say the itching was driving my crazy.

The doctors are looking for me to exhibit "Graft Versus Host" (GVHD) disease symptoms, which can be as simple as a rash to major organ failure. This hasn't happened yet...I guess the rash I have had is a reaction to one of my Chemotherapy drugs.

Please pray for my family and I in the following areas:

1. Praise for those at Gene's work and our church family that continue to provide assistance looking after the needs of our children in our absence.
2. Praise for Sandy, "THE DONOR" (my Sister) and her family for the sacrifices they have made helping to save me.
3. Praise to God for providing me with the strength to continue to face the day with the desire to live and serve him.
4. Pray for Emily and Michael - now is one of their busiest and most stressful times - getting ready for and performing in the Nutcracker on top of all the other daily activities. Pray that God will give them peace of mind and heart and provide them with the needed rest.
5. Pray that my body will exhibit the GVHD symptoms and Lord willing that it will be in such a manner as to not cause me to much pain and/or stress.
6. Pray that our family remains strong during this long separation. I miss my children soooo very much.

Again, thank you all for your continued support and rest assured I am fight the good fight and will not give up.

Love in Christ

Cheryl and Family

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

1 Nov 2006

Dear Friends and family,

The transfusion went well. I received the lukecytes about 8:00p.m. It took as long to process them as it did for Sandy to donate them.

I am at the apartment right now. It is so good to be out of the hospital. I feel like a free person. I feel good, tired but good.

Thanks to all who are praying for our family. Sandy decided to stay on over the weekend so that Gene could run home and see the kids. They will be thrilled. He should be there about 9:00 tonight.

I have to go to the clinic everyday for awhile, still beter than being in the hospital.

Sandy is doing well also, I guess since she didn't have to take the shots it went better, she was tired yesterday but is well today. We are contemplating doing some sewing. I brought my machine up here so I would have something to do. I love sewing and Sandy always cuts the patterns out-I don't have the stamina to stand that long but I can sit and sew.

Please pray:
For our kids both families as they are missing their moms
For safety on the road for Gene as he travels home and back
that the cells take and this the last of the procedures I have to deal with.
Safe flight home for Sandy

Thanks for praying,