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April
13
2020

Monday -- April 13, 2020

Great news to share today!  Elise met with her doctor this morning at Mayo to review the results of her bone marrow biopsy - LEUKEMIA FREE!!  This is obviously fantastic news and the ideal outcome of the stem cell transplant process and we are overjoyed.  Sarah's bone marrow is kicking some serious tail!  She still has some hurdles/challenges to deal with in the coming weeks, but those pale in comparison to the the alternative outcome.

I just want to share my continued amazement of Elise's fight, spirit, and attitude!  As I told everyone in October, Elise is tough and resilient and if anyone can overcome it it'd be her!  So proud of my wife!!   I am also so thankful for the support from everyone during this journey - we never felt alone and knew we had an army of folks praying for her!  Special thank you to Tim and Lynn who have been absolutely incredible in their generosity and unwavering support!

She will stay in up at her folks through May at least, thanks COVID-19, but we will be looking to throw a party once she can come back to Tucson and it's safe to interact again. 

God is good all the time! 

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April
9
2020

Wednesday -- April 8, 2020

Long overdue update.  It's been a "quiet" last few weeks with lots of hunkering down and limited visits (1-2 times per week for check-ups) which we are thankful for all things considered.  The COVID-19 still has us being a part for the past several weeks which is tough - I miss my wife and pup but an unbelievably appreciative that they have a safe and accommodating place to stay with her loving parents.  We will likely remain separated even after her 100-day mark (April 23) unless things calm down in the world.  

Elise is still battling with CMV off-and-on which requires her to be on some heavier antiviral medication infused through her central port line.  She was hopeful that it would come out this week, but looks like it will need to stay in a while longer.  She also had her first bone marrow biopsy post-stem cell transplant on Tuesday.  We will be waiting on the results to see how everything is progressing at the cellular level - praying for good news!  I will post an update once we get some news to share which could take 4-7 days.

Elise is more active on Facebook and other social media platforms that she probably uses, so definitely be on the look out for updates directly from her.  Hope all is well in your lives!!

March
19
2020

Wednesday — March 18, 2020

Short update tonight.  Elise and her folks are hunkering down for a semi-quarantine with all the craziness going on with the CV.  I am down in Tucson dealing first hand working a ton of hours with the madness as online orders have picked up to peak season levels. Elise and I made the decision to take a few weeks off from me heading up to visit her to minimize any exposure since I am dealing with so many people.  It is hard not seeing her; however, the risk is not worth taking.  

Elise had a visit yesterday to Mayo.  Everything looked ok for the most part.  She is getting some of her appetite back which is good since she needs to build back some mass.  She said Mayo was quiet for the most part and had a whole tent-city CV testing set-up out away from the building.  

Hope all is well in each of your spheres and be safe out there!

March
13
2020

Friday — March 13, 2020

Wanted to post a quick update for those following along.  Elise had the pathology results of her scopes on Tuesday come back.  The bad news, she does have grade one GVHD going on right now and that is making her feel pretty cruddy.  The good news, Elise is now a ‘roid fiend and taking two steroids that they think will help suppress the GVHD.   This is fairly common and the docs seem confident. 

Elise has been feeling under the weather with a cough, nausea, etc., but thankfully her bloodwork overall is looking good.  Hoping that is a good harbinger and she will start to feel better this week.   

I feel obligated to post about COVID 19.   Yes, we are worried about it and the spread.  We also worry about all the other germs, viruses, and bacteria that can cause infection.  As we have for years, we will continue to be vigilant to avoid illness by following common sense practices (hand washing, sanitizing areas, etc).   Please do your part as well.  

March
11
2020

Tuesday — March 10, 2020

It was a tough past 48-hours for Elise.  Lots of nausea, dizziness, and inability to hold food down.  The long duration of feeling crummy also takes its toll and can feel overwhelming at times.  Elise had her checkup visit as well as two procedures to check for GVHD (graft vs host disease) or CMV (cytomegalovirus) in her gastrointestinal system.  Procedures went well, but won’t get the pathology results until late tonight or more likely tomorrow morning.  

She also gets to cease one of her at home infusion, ganciclovir, after tonight’s dose.  That med is tough on people, so thankful she can put it behind her for now.  They also are starting her on a new med tonight which is a targeted long-release steroid that helps with the intestines.  Really hoping that will help reduce or eliminate the nausea so she can start to eat more consistently and something of substance. 

Will post an update when we get the results of her pathology reports. 

March
9
2020

Sunday — March 08, 2020

Very quick update.  Elise went in this morning for her visit.   She was feeling light headed and has some nausea again today.  She did get more fluids, but thankfully did not need to be readmitted today. No updates on GVHD status which is ok (no news is good news).  Her next visit on Tuesday will be more in depth, but we are thankful that she was able to head back to Surprise today.  

Will post again on Tuesday after we get more info. 

March
7
2020

Friday — March 06, 2020

Well, like the stock market this week Elise has had some volatility in how she has been feeling.  Wednesday and Thursday were tougher days with low energy, nausea, etc.  She was really light headed this morning as we headed to Mayo for her check-ups. 

Sure enough, her BP would drop around 30 points when she was standing vs sitting.  She got fluids as they suspected dehydration may be contributing.  She has lost more weight which is crazy.   She is down to 113 which is 8 pounds in a week and about 25 pounds from her normal fighting weight. Her blood work was good overall (RBC, WBC, and platelets); however, there were some other numbers that were elevated some like potassium and others.  Based on her symptoms, they are scheduling tests next week to rule out gastrointestinal GVHD (graft vs host disease) where her new T-cells could be recognizing some of her organs/tissues as foreign bodies.  GVHD is fairly common after allogeneic HCST but isn’t to be taken lightly.  Mayo is leaning forward to be proactive vs waiting to see what may develop.  She also had some heart exams (ECG and Echocardiogram) and thankfully both of those looked good. 

In addition to her new testing and check-up on Tuesday, they scheduled another check-up for early Sunday morning.  They did mention that there is a possibility of needing to be readmitted to the hospital depending on what they see.  We hope that won’t be necessary yet are thankful that she would be in great hands if it does come to pass.  

She is trying to eat and drink as much as possible and misses her friends.  She is in good spirits all things considered and still awesome. 


March
4
2020

Tuesday — March 03, 2020

Spent the day with Elise as she had a check-up today at Mayo.  Very encouraging blood work with increases in red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells.  No transfusions needed today and that marks one week since the last one was needed.  We are at day 52 and everyone is pleased with her progress.  

Still getting fatigued, but not as frequently.  The situation at Tim & Lynn’s is going really well and having that consistency is helping in the recovery.  I am back down at Tucson until late tomorrow night or early Friday morning to head with her to her next appointment.  

God is good and we are thankful for the progress.  We know the journey isn’t over, but we remain confident and Elise is staying strong like always.