Monday, December 8, 2008

From Mike: Day +13 (Day 7 in ICU)

Update: 9:15pm
Everything has been going good today. She's still on the ventilator but the settings are so low it's barely helping her at all. They're going to pull the tube tomorrow and get her breathing on her own barring a setback tonight.

Update: 2:15pm
It seems like every time we get good news (below) , there's a bit of bad news. Dawn has tested positive for Clostridium difficile (C. Diff). C. Diff is a hearty bacteria that lives in the intestines. You can be healthy and not know you have C. Diff because you have millions of other helpful bacteria that keep it at bay. The antibiotics Dawn takes for infection control can also kill some of these "good" bacteria. Without enough of this good bacteria, C. Diff can grow out of control. The C. Diff releases toxins that are harmful to the intestines. It causes diarrhea and in severe cases can cause small holes in the intestines. Ironically, the first order of treatment for C. Diff is antibiotics! There are three that are known to target this bacteria. C. Diff can live in the air, soil and pretty much anywhere it wants. It's common in hospitals so the longer someone stays in the hospital, the greater the chances of catching this. Her symptoms right now are mild and the CT scan yesterday showed no related problems so hopefully they caught this early and treatment will be effective and swift.

Update: 10:50am
BIG NEWS! You can see below her WBC is .400K. I thought that was a good sign but didn't want to get too excited until I talked to the oncology team. The WBC is her white blood cell count. It's still very low but it's climbing! That means some of the cord blood cells have engrafted and are starting to make new cells! Dr. Afrin was doing rounds today and said that the count is in-line with a "normal" timeline. He said we should hope to see some neutrophils in the next 3-4 days. Getting some white blood cells and neutrophils will really help her body get better, not only fight infections but get all the functions working properly too.

They're also doing some respiratory tests to see how well she'll do off the ventilator. So far she's doing pretty good. I think they're going to change some more settings and lower the support the ventilator is giving her. If she does well, they'll get the tube out later today or tomorrow. I think they'll wait until tomorrow, give her body more time to remove fluid and let her get a good nights sleep before having to work harder to breathe.

Breathing Test off Ventilator- Passed

Update: 7:20am
Ok, the nurses (cough, Val) up on 5 West (the transplant floor) have been asking for numbers.
So here you go:
Creatinine: 1.6
Bilirubin: 5.1 (up slightly from yesterday, 4 something)
WBC: .400K
RBC: 3.4
Hemoglobin: 9.4
Platelets: 35
I think that's everything you wanted, if I left something out, write a comment.

Update: 6:40am
Dawn's heart rhythm became normal around 7:30pm last night. She still has good fluid output. She's back on the feeding tube and the pain on her right abdomen is still there but better today.
So her heart became normal as suddenly as it became irregular. She's on an Amiodarone drip that could be helping but it's likely it just resolved itself. They're not sure exactly what caused it to become irregular but with all the treatments and drugs she's been on lately, plus the fluid around it, they could point to many causes. The CT scan yesterday came back negative for any obvious signs of infection or bleeding in the abdomen. Other lab tests for bacteria have come back negative so hopefully the pain will resolve soon.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good report this morning, let's hope the improvements she has shown in the past 12 hours continue and she gets better with each passing day. Maybe you'll just have to rub her feet every night until she falls asleep, could be that relaxed her? Give Dawn our love and concern.
Grandpa Tony & Nancy

Tara said...

Looking great Dawn! Glad to see your doing better and hopefully getting those tubes out of your throat soon.
Hope to hear greats news later!


Gina P. said...

Wow! What great news!! I am so excited for both of you! Keep up the good efforts you guys are beating this nasty stuff!

Love to both,
G and T (Mike's Mom)

Anonymous said...

Great news, Dawn keep getting better, we're all out here pulling for you. Mike don't forget to rub her feet tonight.
Grandpa Tony & Nancy

Anonymous said...

Hey Dawn & Mike..
YEAH!!!!! on the WBC....that is GREAT news.. I am so thrilled for her.. She is a champ.. great job on the lab report..if she get neutrophils let me know..also did they get a final report on her CT scan? give her big hugs & kisses & tell her I am sending all my strength & prayers to her..keep up the good work..(that is you Mike)..great job! love to you both..

Toni Baker said...

I miss you darln. It was so good being with you this past weekend. I was glad to be there while your Mom and Dad are getting better. Mike said you were having a good day this morning when I called to check on you from the airport. After I landed there was more good news! Continue to stay strong and improving. That Spa day will be here soon!!!!
Much much love,
Mike's Mom

Maria G @ Sea said...

Awesome news! Keep fighting dawn, you truly are amazing.

Lots of love,

Tara said...

Ick. C-Diff sucks. I had it in 2007 after I had my gallbladder removed. It was bad. I will be praying for you that it passes quickly. It is NO fun. Sending good tummy vibes your way.


Kim said...

Hi Dawn, Mike, Christy and Steve,
Thanks for telling me about your blog. I'll be sure to check it often and pass it along to Dad and Marge. It was so good to finally meet you the other night and I'm thinking of you and praying for you often. Keep up the good fight!
Kim Sudheimer

Felicia said...


I'll drink a a tall one for you from the water cooler tomorrow once I hear your good news about you coming off the ventilator. Mike and Dawn, my son Emmanuel is with me and he says "hi". We're working on his health homework, and ironically, we're discussing cells, tissue, blood and how they all work together to make the organs work. Dawn, I hope you don't mind, but I pulled you up as an example on how important your tissue and cells are. And Mike, yes, we are discussing organ and bone marrow donations too. I told him about the cord blood and stuff and he was pretty impressed. (I think he thinks I'm a genious) Dawn, I told him about your transplant. I think they have been discussing being a donor in class b/c he's got tons of questions about it! Anyway, sorry to be so lengthy; Dawn, get better soon. We're praying about you, your team, and all of the icky stuff floating around the hospitals. Don't let it get you down, God's so much greater than icky hospital stuff!!

Annie - Steven's mom said...

Here's hopes for a peaceful, uneventful night and a tube removal tomorrow!
Sending love and light and a goodly dollop of stardust too.
love and light

Will'n'Jon said...

what is up our baller family mates... this a comment straight to you from jon and will (thats right alphabetical order names)
yo we love you homie... get well soon so we can see you in the g-h-e- double t- to the o (that is gangster talk for ghetto)
anyways keep smiling b/c it makes the world go round.
God Bless,
Love Will and Jon
P.S. backwards alphabetical order
P.S.S. your the best sister ever...

string of obnoxiously long emoticons here

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear you are improving even if it's small improvements.

Thanks for all the updates, I hate to keep iming and texting you.....If you need or want anything let me know.

Hope that the rest of you are all well and I'll keep praying.