Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Brianne is home!

I suppose someone should update this blog huh?  I think Ted is a little busy taking such good care of his family, and Brooke is busy trying to not get murdered at her job and getting ready to move.  Myself, I am resting up and recharging for the second phase of Bri's treatment.

Getting the news that Brianne had gone into remission was such a tremendous relief.  The bone marrow biopsy was done last Monday and it usually comes back in a couple of days, we thought for sure on Thursday we'd get the news but finally on Friday the Dr. said she was in remission.  I took the call at work while I was walking down a hall.  I nearly collapsed from relief.  It was like being on high alert for days and then finally getting the amazing news we'd hoped for.  I pretty much cried the rest of the day.

Bri was discharged from the hospital on Monday, March 18th.  Mom went home with them so she could help Brianne and take care of Anzley Pumpkin.  I guess the girls were so excited and hyper the evening she got home, it was hard to get them settled down for bed.

The plan is while Bri is home enjoying her family and getting stronger every day, the transplant team is fine tuning the donor possibilities.  They can either give her the 4 units of cord blood they have reserved for her or use a donor that matches 9 of 10 markers, which is really good.  So we're not sure when she'll be summoned back to the hospital.  Until then she's getting her blood drawn every other day and her counts are climbing.  She should also be walking and eating more to gain strength.  I know that at the end of the day she is wiped out because she's been used to being in bed most of the day at the hospital and now let's just say there's a lot more activity at her house.

Once she goes back into the hospital for the transplant they will give her high doses of chemo again.  They need to completely wipe out her own bone marrow before they give her the donor marrow.  Then she'll be in the hospital anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks.  After that she'll have to stay at my house.  Her Dr's. don't want her any further than 30 minutes away from the hospital.  If all is well by day 80 she is good to go home.

This whole cancer thing is not for cowards or wimps.  It takes a lot of strength, courage and most of all faith.  We have faith that Brianne will be completely healed and she will have an amazing testimony to share.

Words cannot express our gratitude to each and every one of you for your prayers, love and unending support for Bri and our family.  Thank you so much.  I'd like to ask you to please keep it up!  She's not finished yet and will still need your comforting words, prayers and love.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Week #8 - ugh!

Hi everyone,

I keep getting asked how it's going so I thought I'd better post an update.  Last week was week #8 of Brianne being in the hospital.  I'd be lying if I said it didn't kick all our butts!  It was a rough week for Bri and the whole family. 

As most of you know from my facebook posts Brianne came down with a fever and infection and was moved into the ICU for a couple of days.  She virtually has no immune system at this point so this was very stressful for all of us.  It started out with her passing out in her bathroom and being pretty incoherent for about 40 minutes.  She wasn't responding to verbal commands and her room was filled with medical personnel.  She had a fever of 102.2 and her blood pressure was very low.  They decided to move her into the ICU so that she could get more one-on-one care. 

The move to the ICU was scary for us but for Bri it was really difficult to leave her floor and the nursing staff that she's gotten attached to.  I mean, for the last 8 weeks the 11th floor oncology has been her home and the staff has been her family.  So for that reason alone I was so glad to get her back where she felt more comfortable.  Bri is in a room now where the girls can actually come into her room instead of them all meeting in the Solarium.  This means Bri can be more comfortable in bed and the girls can stay longer.  Anzley was laying in bed with her mom and told her that she wanted her to "come home right now."  That breaks my heart.  :-(

The fever went away and her blood pressure came up but she's still considered a fall risk so has to ring for a nurse any time she wants to get out of bed.  She's experiencing more pain, I guess due to the leukemia cells dying?  It's hard to see her in pain.  She just wants to be free from the pain!  We all want her pain to go away!!

The little girls have started showing some signs of stress.  While Ted does his very best to keep things at home as normal as possible, things aren't normal.  Mama isn't home.  They are a little weepy and maybe tired of their new routine.  They are angels when they are at my house from Friday until Sunday.  They are so good and so brave and so loving to each other. 

I had a weepy week last week as well.  Being tired, worried and stressed about my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters had taken its toll.  But this new week, week #9 is going better. 

We have all stuck in there as a family, each of us trying to do all we can to help whomever needs it at the time.  I know that when this is all said and done we will all definitely have a much greater appreciation for one another.  I can't begin to tell you how this has changed my feelings for Ted.  He is a strong man, one to be admired, and I do.  I'm so grateful that Bri and my granddaughters have him in their lives.  I can't imagine the amount of pressure he feels on a daily basis and my heart breaks for him.

Bri's dad flew down to see her last Friday so I'm sure that was good for both of them.  He was able to spend a little time with his granddaughters and hang out with his daughters.  He's not very well, health-wise so he shouldn't have been traveling in the first place but he made the effort and I'm sure that meant a lot to Bri.

So now, we wait.  We wait for her white blood count to go up.  It certainly can't go down!  Once that starts happening I know we will all be rejoicing.  We just take it one day at a time. 

As we've all said before, we appreciate you remembering Bri and her family in your prayers and thoughts.  We appreciate the kindness that has been shown to us all.  Thank you for hanging in there with us.  You are appreciated.