Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dr. Visit Report

Terry's blood counts are up from critical to low. I'll not report on all of the counts since there are always over 40 different Hematology and Chemistry counts we have listed on our reports. Probably only half of them are ever talked about. And only half of those really tell us anything that makes a change in meds or activity needs. I will give you the blood counts that we always check, but will leave out the chemistry counts. I should say though, that the chemistry counts look slightly better than last week, so we are pleased there too.

WBC = 3.4 (L)
RBC = 2.5 (L)
Platelets = 68 (L)
Neutrophils = 2.3 (actually that is normal...yeah!)

Terry's burn on his finger looks great! It's still there of course, but it looks so much better. Every day this week seemed to show great improvement. We are probably at a point that it will not be as noticeable each day, but we are pleased. The lab culture claimed it was growing strep, but the medicine he is taking helps cure that, and it looks like the medicine is doing it's job.

As for how Terry feels - he has good days and not as good days, but overall, we must say that he is doing well. We have a bone marrow aspiration set up for the middle of the month, and that will tell us a bit more about how the transplant is working.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Terry's finger is looking better today, so everyone feels better about it, but we are to call in tomorrow to let them know if there are any changes.
The shot he got yesterday is kicking in. We know that because it is causing a lot of discomfort and even pain in the bones, etc.

Other news:
No school today! Too much snow last night, especially in the form of drifts, and it was way cold.

Some of us went to the doctor appointment this morning and we all helped clean the house this afternoon. We just got done watching Miracle Match - it's a good movie. It's about 11 degrees right now, and we are so happy to have a warm house to be in. Ah! The comforts of home! Home is such a great place to be!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Today's Doctor Visit

I am almost surprised that it has been a week since our last appointment. A lot has transpired but I haven't blogged about any of it. I'll not try to play catch up today because it'll take too long. We'll just go right into today's doctor visit info:

WBC = 1.4 (Critical)
RBC = 2.75 (Low)
Neutrophils = 0.3 (Critical) [I should probably clarify that these Neutrophil reports are always the Absolute Neutrophils]
Platelets = 71 (Low)

Today's critical counts led to the decision to give Terry a Neulasta shot. They say it will start to help by tomorrow and it continues to help for awhile, so Thanksgiving guests shouldn't worry. They should wash their hands, but no need to stay away. That was good to learn, cause we are soooo looking forward to the 70 count guests for dinner. Everyone is helping with the meal so it's all good!

More good news is that the counts that tell us the condition of the liver are not as high as they have been, and we hope they continue downward.

Terry had to get an IV med today because of a burn he got on his finger while working this weekend. It sure looks wicked. He is also on an oral antibiotic (4 times a day) for the same thing. (I think these are the first bright red capsules I've ever seen.) They washed the burn and put a topical antibiotic on it and bandaged it up again. They want him back in tomorrow to check it. These types of things really are concerning for transplant patients. It's always high alert. I don't say that because I think they are over reacting...it really is a wicked injury...I'm happy to have them watching it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Medical Report

Terry's visit today was good. Terry is feeling better than he has done in the last few weeks so that is good too. We hope it lasts.
Sometimes it's hard to say that the blood reports are good when the counts are low, but those low counts are not critical, so that is good news. Actually, his neutrophils are up and normal today. Today I'll put the normals in parenthesis behind his counts so you can compare.
WBC = 3.2 (4.5-11.0)
RBC = 2.97 (4.50-5.90)
Neutrophils = 2.2 (1.8-7.8) awesome huh!
Platelets = 77 (150-400)

We'll just keep on keepin' on! We hope you and yours are happy and healthy today too!

PS. Can I just say this - I have great visiting teachers! They were just here visiting me, and I love them!

Mission Report

Michael sent one of the longest letters he has ever written. He had to let us know he was alright and just what happened.
He is alright, but was in an accident. He was coming down a hill, riding his bike past the stopped traffic. As he got to a little side road one car decided to jet out of line and down that road, without any signal or warning, and just in time to collide with Michael.
"i flew. it was so classic! i cleared the front of the little car and landed with a sweet somersault 180 twist thing and ended up squatting on my haunches looking back at the car and my companion coming down the hill."
His companion saw the whole thing; "he saw my bike get whipped up in the air and thrown 2 meters in the air and 5 meters forward. about on meter past me. my companion said it was the craziest thing to see a bike flying without somebody on it let alone just to see a bike flying."
To make things worse, the car just took off and never returned.
Michael said that he got a couple scratches and a chunk of skin taken off one of his knuckles, but other than that and some bruising he is fine. "my helmet and backpack took all the beating of the short trip across the road."
It sounds like his bike took a pretty good beating though and will need several repairs.
They were only about a mile away from the branch president's house when this accident took place, so he carried his bike there for help, and it sounds like this guy took great care of them.

We are just so glad that he is okay and that he didn't end up in the hospital, or worse. We continue to pray for his safety and health, and hope that he has nothing show up internally or otherwise difficult health wise.

Michael says that this is one of his most challenging areas he has been in, but he loves it soooo much. Over all, his letter did sound positive, and you'll notice, he sent some photos.

Thanks for your prayers for him and the missionaries. We know they help! We believe in prayer.

We believe in missionary service too. I have 2 sisters, and all three of us have a missionary out right now. That's a pretty awesome feeling. We have several missionaries serving from our ward, and we have friends serving from other areas of the country, and they are all awesome people. We love you and we pray for you all! You go guys, and gal!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Today's Doctor Visit

We are very pleased with Terry's white blood count - 5.1 - we haven't seen this number for a few months so we are happy.
The RBC is still low, at 3.08 and platelets are low, at 82; but that is higher than last week. The Chemistry numbers look pretty good too, though he could use some more protein. :) The liver enzymes are high, which seems to be a new normal for him. We hope to see changes in that in the future.
Terry has felt a bit icky lately, but we are blaming that on the flu. We can't be sure if he had the flu or GVHD, so he is still being treated for GVHD. It's best that way.
Overall, we feel good about our visit and results and continue to look forward to better days ahead.

Corn harvest began for us today. It's the last crop of the year. Thanksgiving is always better when the harvest is complete, so we're hoping for good weather and great days ahead.

LUCKY US! We will have some great days ahead no matter the weather. The kids have early release this week so our family time is increasing for a few days. We look forward to it!!!!!! Too bad it's not always this way.

We hope you have a great week this week too!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We made it to church today and stayed the whole time!

We are kinda tired because of the late night last night. The RHS band went to Auburn for a parade and performance and didn't get home until about 2:30am, and that is really 3:30am if we didn't change the time already. TOO TIRED!

Friday, November 5, 2010

midweek doctor visit

When Terry went to the doctor Monday we didn't remember to have him take his packet of things for the blood draw portion that we send to Seattle. We were just too sick to think. So, we had to go back in for that blood draw before Friday. We were feeling good enough to go Thursday morning so we headed in for what we thought would be a quick and easy visit, 10 minutes max.

Well, we got a surprise! They asked Terry how he was feeling and he honestly told them that he was feeling a little weak. They took more blood and we waited for results. Anne came in to make sure that he was okay, checking his eyes and mouth and searching for signs of GVHD. They took his vitals and weren't completely happy with that. Dr. Smith was called (because she is only in ML on Mondays) and even SCCA was called and it seemed to us that they were just all over-reacting. He's been weak before...a lot! He doesn't feel really good, but that too, has happened before.

After awhile they brought in a liter and a half of fluid for him so we sat there even longer, for a total of about 4 hours. Wow - we had only planned for 10 minutes.
We decided this would teach us to not forget that packet again huh!

Personally, I think he is still weak because he isn't completely over the illness he has had. I know just when I have a good few hours and think I have it beat, it attacks me again. The intense pain in my lower abdomen and back hit me again last night and this morning. I had my flu shot earlier this year, what's up with that?!?!?! Maybe the flu shot just makes the flu harder when you finally get it. Maybe it's not the flu at all.

Here it is Nov. 5th and I've just noticed I haven't changed my birthday calendar. Hopefully you are on schedule better than I am. At least I noticed it before daylight savings time!!!!! That's Sunday, right?

Hope you have a great day! We are so lucky - we get Auger today while Thomas and Dana are in TriCities. And we are loving him! Happy anniversary to them!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekend Wakeup!

I would have posted earlier this weekend, but just didn't feel up to it. Sorry! I'm up a bit more now, enough to sit at the computer for a few minutes.

Trick or Treaters were few, but our favorite trick or treater came. He saw and he took what his little hands could hold. He went back a time or two and eventually even brought the whole bucket back with him. He was so cute!

We found an old helmet we had and tried it on him. Of course he was so very entertaining for us. He is just so very cute, isn't he!

He is just so fun to watch...and watch...and watch...

The Latimer's brought us an apple pie - a great treat! Once the kids learned they could eat it, it was gone!

The trick came in the form of the flu. Terry has had something all week, Chase got something too, and then I, Elaine got it. Connor may have had a mild form of it too. I hope it goes away soon.

Terry had Chase take him to the doctor today because I was unable to go. The check up went well and we are quite pleased with the lab results. I'm not complaining, but I'm wondering how it got so good so soon.
WBC - 4.2
RBC - 2.92
Neutrophils - 3.0
and the liver enzymes are looking much better too.
Thanks for the prayers! I guess I do know how they got so good so soon!
His platelets are a bit low, at 78, but we don't foresee any operations in his near future, so that shouldn't be a problem.

I was feeling so rotten Sunday that I couldn't do much, so wrote a very small email to Michael. I felt so bad because I couldn't spend much time. But his reply was wonderful. He didn't hold it against me and make his a short one too. He did however, tell us about his "death call". I knew exactly what he was talking about. I'm not sure I've ever heard it called that, but it's possible, since he is our fifth missionary. He is close enough to the end of his mission that they have his release date already figured out. Should I share it with you? Why not - May 27th. We should get his flight itinerary in the mail to know the particulars, but there is still time for that. But, that is this coming year!!!!! We'll be ready! He'll have mixed emotions! We don't mind - that is actually a good thing. He still has a lot to do, so we won't get "trunky" for him. We'll move on...

hopefully to better health!

Have a great day!