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: http://cherylsfight.blogspot.com/
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