A little more good News from Mike and Anne!
It has now been 170 days since Anne’s stem cell transplant and she is doing very well. Her blood counts are looking good and gradually getting better. Her energy level is a little higher because her hemoglobin is now up to 10.3, which is above the 10.0 from two weeks ago, and closer to the 11.0 which is the threshold for normal! This suggests her donor stem cells are doing their job and producing good blood. They also began to re-immunize her on Thursday for all the things you get shots for as a kid. She is a trooper on taking her needle sticks.
A month ago, we learned that Anne’s stem cells had been completely replaced by donor stem cells, effectively putting her in remission! However, her own T-cells had not been completely replaced by donor T-cells, but were a bit higher by percentage than before. To counter this, they reduced her dosage of Prograf at that time, but the donor T-cells have not increased significantly in the last month. In response to this, on Thursday Dr. Maness decided to take Anne completely off Prograf. Prograf is her immunosuppressant drug which slows down the immune system’s function of attacking foreign cells; and stopping it should give the donor T-cells a chance to increase in her blood system. This will reduce Anne’s chance of having a relapse of the MDS.
However, cutting off the Prograf increases the risk of GVHD (Graft vs. Host Disease). Please pray that this step will be effective in achieving 100% donor T-cells, without the onset of GVHD.
I realize all this is confusing, but thankfully, we don’t have to understand it perfectly to pray. The more Anne and I learn about the body’s immune system, the more amazed we are at God’s wisdom and His works in designing the intricacies of the human body. We are so thankful for the wonderful things God has allowed medical researchers to discover and Oncologists to do, in order to keep the human body He designed alive after it gets messed up. It reminds me of this Psalm of David.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority—
Thanks for praying,
Love to all, Mike and Anne
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