Thursday, March 22, 2007

22 Mar 2007

To All,

Praise God for his many blessings.......I am going home, I will be leaving this place in about 1 - 2 hours. I have been here for the past 3 weeks and 4 days and I am very excited to getting back home.

Gene will get me settled into a regular schedule of medications and testing my blood sugar before he goes back into the office on Tuesday. He will need to take me to clinic on Monday and then again on Thursday - they told me to plan on all day sessions again.

What a joy!!!

Thank you for all who prayed for me. It is glorious to see God answer prayers, my own as well as others.

I will send out an update later on, but I have to run, well ok walk out of here soon.

Love in Christ


Sunday, March 18, 2007

18 Mar 2007

To All,

Just a quick note to let you know how things stand for me. I now know the following:

  • My bowels are compacted
  • They had to remove my Peripheral Intravascular Central Catheter (PICC) (IV line in my arm that goes directly to my heart and has been in place since Sept-06) due to two issues
    • A Blood clot in my right shoulder
    • An infection in my blood and large intestine

  • I am now on antibiotics round the clock trying to mitigate the infection, which is draining me of all of my energy
  • If all goes well and my body can
    • rid it's self of the compaction
    • clear up the infection
    • allow them to install another PICC line into my left arm

  • I will be able to go home sometime Wednesday / Thursday 21 / 22 March

I had a wonderful visit from my lovely daughter on Sunday - it seems that Sunday is the only day I get to see her. I am always glad to have my children stop in to see me. Unfortunately, she had to leave early to make it back to the Church for music / choir practice. The truth is that I am proud she is in this, just that I miss her so much.

Please continue to pray for me, my family and the doctors and nurses regarding the issues above.

Love in Christ


Saturday, March 17, 2007

17 Mar 2007

Hello one and all,

Thank you to all of you who have continued to pray for me and my family. God has heard your prayers and as of Wednesday the diarrhea has gone away and they have started taking me off of all the IV medications.

In addition, as of Friday they took me off of the IV feedings - Praise the Lord!!!! They are trying to get me back on oral medications and cut way back on the steroid. There is talk about trying to bust me out of this place sometime next week. They first need to confirm that my body is absorbing the medications that I am taking via pills.

Oh, yes, there is one more thing, they have now found another blood clot in my right shoulder. They are trying to figure out what to do about it - I hope it doesn't prolong my stay in the hospital.

Well, as we round out the end of my fourth week in the hospital I would ask that you pray for me and my family in the following ways:
  • Praise to the Father for stopping my diarrhea

  • Praise for the fact that I can now handle oral medications again - at least I think so

  • Praise that after 4 weeks of being away from my family and friends I may actually be able to come home

  • Praise for those in my church family that are working so hard to help my children

  • Pray that this blood clot will either be gone by a miracle of God or at least that it won't prolong my stay in the hospital

  • Pray for continued strength for my children in my absence - they both have been so strong and mature about everything.

  • Pray for a full recovery soon - I would dearly love to put this entire experience behind me

  • Pray for Gene's safe travels back and forth to Madison almost every day.

Thanks for the visitors and cards this week, it was so refreshing.

Just a note, my cleaning lady, the one who prays for me and with me everyday, in spanish (so I don't understand what she says - but it sounds beautiful), gave me a card with a wonderful verse on it

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak" Isaiah 40:20.

May God bless you and your family


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

13 Mar 2007

Hello To All;

Today is the first day of my fourth week in the hospital, the sun is shinning through my window warming me with expectations for a beautiful day. The nurse said it was supposed to get up to 68 degrees today.

So far there has been no real break through on my diarrhea. I have been fortunate and get a day every once in a while where it seems like it is gone. However, the next day it is back in full force. On Monday I had my second infusion of the stem cells. I really hope this helps. The doctors said that sometimes it can take weeks to get Graft Vs Host in check, even then when I go home to much stress can set it off again. They say that I might be here another week or more.

On Sunday I was blessed with a visit from my two wonderful children. It was great seeing them and holding them, as best I could. I have received several wonderful cards, telephone calls and e-mails full of encouragement, prayers and praises. Thank you one and all.

For those of you who think you may have missed some of my "Update" e-mails, you can go to
and read all of the past e-mails I have sent out. This is a web site that my brother, Chuck, compiled for me.

Please continue to pray for me in the following areas:

  • Praise God for the fact that my Brother, Chuck, has met his fund raising goal and is working to raise funds for other team members in his "Team in Training" challenge.
  • Praise God for the continued strength of my wonderful children, Michael and Emily.
  • Praise God for the fact that I am still here to write about my experiences and praise and worship him.
  • Pray that soon the ills with my body will be healed completely or at least enough for me to go home.
  • Pray for me that God continues to provide me with mental and spiritual strength to face each day with a positive and thankful attitude.

Love in Christ


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

7 Mar 2007

Hello from Madison,

I hear that it is still cold outside, but from my hospital room, where there is nice bright sun shine, it looks warm. To my surprise and dismay, I am still in the hospital, but given my current status, it would be a tough go for me at home.

I had a nice visit from Michael, on Tuesday, while here he drew me some really nice pictures on my dry erase board.

Today is the day that they have started me on the new treatment plan - step one, they infused me, through IV, with a drug called "Infliximab", it is supposed to assist in suppressing the immune system, thus hoping to reduce my "Graft Vs Host" (GVHD - this is a medical condition where the donor cells attack and damage your tissues after you have a transplant).

Just for the record, all the tests that they have performed to date; endoscopy, colonoscopy, liver biopsy, CT Scans and swallowing of a camera so that they can see my small intestine via video plus some I have forgotten, and none have confirmed with physical evidence that I have GVHD - it is a Clinical Diagnosis only at this time. However, we believe that the Doctors are working their hardest to get me better.

On Thursday, as part of my new treatment, I will be given another drug called Prochymal (Ex-vivo Cultured Adult Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells) via Infusion for the treatment of Steroid Refractory Acute GVHD. Now that is just a title of the document they gave me explaining it, you should see the entire document. Now I know why I didn't become a doctor.

Right now the doctors are hoping that the above treatments, combined with the prednisone, tachrolimas, platelets among other medications will finally stop my diarrhea and I will be able to go home. Best guess - one maybe two more weeks.

For those of you who are now on this e-mail, but weren't on at the very start, you can now see all the past e-mails at the web site that my brother made, go to:

Also, remember to check out my brothers Team in training web site (you remember how he is raising money for the fight against Leukemia), praise God, he has reached his goal. However, if you wanted to donate and still do, you could help his other team mates. The following is my brothers "Team in Training" web site and one of his team mates:

I will be the first to admit that I was knocked off my feet a lot when they told me it would be maybe another week or two. I want to go home so much, but more than that I want to get better. Thank you all who have prayed and are continuing to pray for me, Gene and the kids. I know that with out all of your wonderful love and support this journey would have been much harder if not unbearable. Please pray for us in the following areas:
Praise God that the kids are hanging tough
Praise God that all the tests came back with out showing any additional complications
Praise for bright sunny days outside my hospital room
Praise for a wonderful husband and his wonderful work - I am so thankful for Kerry's continued support for us through these difficult times
Pray for us to have the wisdom to ask the doctors the right questions
Pray for the nurses here - they are so kind and caring, but it is a very demanding and draining responsibility for them
Continue to pray for Devine Healing - if and when it is Gods will
All of your phone calls - e-mails - letters and prayers have been so wonderful to receive thank you everyone.

May God Bless you all


Monday, March 5, 2007

5 Mar 2007

Once Again - Hello to All,

Well, here it is now another Monday, two weeks of being in the hospital. I wish I could say that they have made great progress and I am about to get out, but that isn't the case.

As I had mentioned previously, due to my excessive diarrhea, they started feeding me by IV (Steak in a Bag, as the nurses call it). The IV feeding in combination with the steroid they have me on has thrown my blood sugar all out of whack and as a result they now have me on daily insulin injections (I believe that this is only temporary).

The team of Doctors have now concluded that the steroid, first line drug of choice in combating Graft Vs Host (GVH), is clearly not helping. Today they are going to change my medications over to another drug regimen, second line defense against GVH, called Inflixamab which is an Anti TNF (sorry I can't explain the TNF).

In addition, my platelets have continued to drop, I was down to 9,000, I received another infusion on Sunday, so they are considering the continuous drip method (they used this in preparation for the other procedures they performed in the past weeks).

I was blessed on Sunday by a visit from my beautiful daughter, Emily. She rode up with Gene and I am certain he appreciated the company on the drive up. Michael received a wonderful invitation from a friend to come over for the day, that was great. He will come up during the week with Gene.

Clearly the main thing keeping me in right now is the diarrhea as well as the digestive tract problems / pain. They are keeping my pain level under control through the use of oxycodone and tincture of opium. I think that one or both of these makes me a bit forgetful, but I am thankful for the pain relief. They also give me other medications to numerous to list.

Please pray for the following:
Praise for allowing me to see Emily.
Praise for the support Gene has been able to provide.
Praise for all the cards / e-mails / phone calls I have received in the past few days - all these have truly brightened my day.
Praise for the diligence of the doctors - they have yet to give up on me.
Pray that the Lord God will either place his hand of healing on me or provide the doctors with insight so that I may be cured.
Pray for continued physical and mental strength - I need all that I can get right now.
Pray that my out-put becomes much less - this would possibly allow me to go home.
Your prayers and kindness to me and my family have been so great. Thank you one and all for hanging in there with us and not giving up.

P.S. For those of you who may not have gotten the last update, I am now in a different room and thus a different telephone number:

Room # B6/### Telephone number (608) ###-####

Love in Christ


Thursday, March 1, 2007

1 Mar 2007

Hello to All,

Not a lot of new information. The picture shoot finished last night, but they won't have those results until Friday.

Today the Doctor told me that due to my continuing bout with diarrhea (day 16 or 17, I've lost track), they are going to keep me in the hospital another 3-4 days. By that time they should have more info back on the liver biopsy and have reviewed the 40,000 pictures. In addition, they are going to start providing me nutrition via IV they call it TPN (total parenteral nutrition). This will run for 10 - 12 hours once each day. As you might imagine, I am very weak and continue to lose strength.

My platelets have decreased from the astounding 82,000 Tuesday to 34,000 on Wednesday now to 17,000 on Thursday. As you might expect, they gave me another transfusion today. I am going to lay down and take a nap, as I am very tired.

Please pray that I will not be in here longer than the 3-4 additional days as I want to be home with my kids!!! I am very thankful I am not alone up here in the hospital, both physically (with Gene) and spiritually (with GOD), the later being the most important.

I will let you know more when I do.

Love in Christ