People have been asking me (Mary Lou) why there haven’t been any recent updates, and the answer is simply that we have been very, very busy. The happy news I have to share is that Deb and her sweetheart Andy were married on Sunday, December 28, in a lovely home ceremony. It was iffy to the end whether Deb would be well enough to be out of the hospital, but somehow she rallied and was able to come home for a couple of days and be married in the presence of close family and friends. Deb was a stunning bride, and Andy a handsome groom. We all shared in their strong love and devotion for each other, and wish them many years of happiness together.
On the medical side, the last two months have been quite tough. We had been praying for a miraculous healing over the past few weeks, with the hopes that the donor cells would rally and kill the leukemia cells, but this has not happened. In addition, Deb became sick with a bad cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath. The onset began slowly during the month of November, but has escalated significantly during December. Deb’s doctor had cautioned that something that would take a healthy person a week to get over could take her a couple of months or more, since her immune system is compromised. After a few doctor visits, x-rays, CT scan, additional meds, and several outpatient red blood cell and platelet transfusions, Deb was finally admitted to the hospital on 12/20, released on 12/26, and re-admitted on 12/29. The only thing she has tested positive for so far is the rhinovirus, which is the common cold. Today they did another x-ray and CT scan, as she still has a deep cough and requires oxygen to ease her breathing. Deb suffered from asthma since she was 5 years old, but her asthma had gone away after her stem cell transplant, when she acquired the immune system of her donor. She had several months of no asthma and no asthma meds until the leukemia recurred again.
Deb’s chemotherapy was scheduled to start 12/29, but that has been delayed as they would like to clear up the respiratory issues before starting chemo if possible. Deb is expected to remain in the hospital for at least a month, as it takes time after the chemotherapy for her blood counts and immune system to build back up.
Thank you all for your prayers and caring, and many messages of hope and encouragement.