It’s hard to believe, but we are actually starting to talk about when Deb will be discharged from the hospital! The doctors had said she would improve quickly when her white blood counts came up, and so it is. However certain criteria must be met for Deb to be discharged. Her blood cell counts must be at a satisfactory level; her oral fluid and food intake must be sufficient to maintain hydration and weight; she cannot be running a fever; and she must be off all IV meds and able to swallow a pill. She was able to drink fluids today, and tomorrow will try some soft food. I’ve attached a picture of Deb’s IV pole; they are in the process of weaning her off of everything (or transitioning from IV to pill form), and the goal is for discharge on Tuesday, April 8. Needless to say, she is very excited!
After her release from the hospital, Deb is required to live nearby with a caregiver (that will be me, Deb’s Mom) for 90 days from the date of transplant. She will have frequent appointments at the hospital as an outpatient during this time period for blood counts, transfusions if needed, and to be monitored closely for infections, side effects, and Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD), which can begin at any time in the first year after transplant or even beyond. We are renting a charming townhouse on the Stanford University campus and will be about 2-1/2 miles from the hospital. The owners are going away for three months, and the timing is perfect for us. We are so happy to have found such a nice place to stay, our “home away from home” for a while. It’s a lovely and quiet community with walking paths and a swimming pool – not that Deb will be swimming (she’s not allowed), or sitting in the sun (that’s not allowed either), but it will be a nice place to go and be outdoors (wearing her HEPA filter mask, of course).
Deb is not out of the woods yet, but she has improved a lot over the past few days. It sure is nice to have some good news to relay after some really tough weeks. Keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming!