Journal entry by Leslie Cavanaugh

Alyssa’s ordeal with the GVHD continues.  She ended up in the emergency room at CCHMC on Monday.  She had basically spent the previous weekend barely moving off the couch.  Chief complaints were pain, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and no appetite. I kind of decided this had gone on long enough and we made the trip up to Cincinnati. She was admitted within 2 hours of being seen.  

Her lab work revealed extremely high count of lymphocytes, which meant her GVHD was highly active. No surprise there. Her cramping and diarrhea have been under control, but her skin is another story.  Her poor skin is just a mess.  Red, itchy, peeling and she’s constantly freezing. Dr. Nelson ordered an injection of something called campath which works rather quickly to get an extreme flare up under control. She’s had 3 injections so far, and it seems to be working at least as far as her blood counts are concerned.  Her biggest ongoing issue is to get her pain under control. She’s been on high dose IV pain meds since Tuesday. The plan is to move her off the IV and onto oral meds.  They tried this overnight without much luck.  So, giving it another try starting later today. They want to make sure the pain can be controlled by pill form before they discharge her.  This is turning out to be harder than we all thought. A week in the hospital is not what we were expecting.

In spite of the pain she is in, she’s had a positive attitude and was even up for visitors last night when Matthew and Emma came up for pizza in her hospital room.  So prayers that my warrior can feel better soon and get home.

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