Tuesday, December 23, 2008

From Mike: Day +28 (Day 22 in ICU)

Update: 7:45am
Dawn had a restful night. She still hasn't been awake since they put the trach in. Her bilirubin count is up again, to 18.4. I think at some point this morning they're going to decrease the sedation and see how she does. They wanted her to get a good nights rest and try to get on a "normal" day/night sleeping schedule. The trach also bleeds occasionally, which is normal for the first few days, and they wanted to give that time to heal more before awaking her. Her temperature has been normal all evening. They plan to do dialysis today again, her swelling is up just slightly from yesterday. You can see some swelling mainly in her left hand but overall she looks pretty good. Her blood counts are still ok. Her white count has fallen to 3.55 but her neutrophil percentage is very high at 86% putting her ANC at 3.373. Hemoglobin 7.9.

Update: 1:45pm
I am so happy in the midst of all this to share some good news. They did a Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) test to see if she had the BCR/ABL gene. This would indicate some leftover or new cells with leukemia. The test showed that 100% of her cells were cells from her donor. That means they're clean leukemia free cells. This doesn't necessarily mean she's cured, but as of now they can't detect any leukemia cells. This is excellent news.
She's in the middle of dialysis right now, they've so far removed 3.6 liters of fluid and are targeting for 6. Her fever is still stable so they've stopped one of her antibiotics. This is good news because when they started her on the antibiotic it coincided with her bilirubin counts rising so it's possible that drug is, or is part of the cause. The good news with her liver is that it appears to still be working. All of her liver enzyme counts are normal except the bilirubin. Her lungs look better on the X-ray and her breathing is doing pretty good. She wanted to sit in a chair today. She got as far as the side of the bed before tiring out. We may try again later but to get as far as she got and to sit up after being in the same bed for 22 days was amazing. I think when it's time, she's going to get up and walk out of here!

Dawn sitting up out of bed for the first time in 22 days

She's still smiling

Update: 7:50pm
She's continued to have a pretty good day. She's been nauseous this afternoon and evening. She's had some blood in her stomach which may be part of the cause. The liver specialist came by today. He said her bilirubin counts are elevated but not her other liver enzymes which means the liver is still working. He's going to bring the liver team by tomorrow for another consult. They may do a liver biopsy in a few days. They still think the liver is reacting to all the meds she's on. If that's the case, then as soon as she can get rid of some meds, the liver should return back to normal. I think this is what everyone is hoping for, but I think everyone's thinking about what else it could be.


Karen Collins said...

Mike,Dawn,Christy & Steve,
Thank you so much for the daily updates on Dawn's blog. It helps us know how to pray. I am praying for all of you at the start of each day for God's healing power, His presence and strength and throughout the day as the Lord brings you to my mind. God loves you all so much and so do we!!! We are believing with you for total healing for Dawn and for this testimony to glorigy our Lord. Merry Christmas!! Karen, Boyd, Brittni & Brandon Collins

Ingrid Serra said...

Hey Mike and Dawn! Thanks for your efforts on the updates. I can't imagine that it's easy. I am praying that you all walk out of there healthy, happy and laughing (preferrably tomorrow). If you read this to Dawn, Mike, ask her to remember girls night out at the Moroccan restaurant in DC with Tanis. If she doesn't remember, mention the Belly Dancer. All I remember is laughing. It's for these fun & silly memories that I hope she fights for. I wish I can visit in person, but you are in my prayers always.

With love,

Anonymous said...

As I read other comments it is clear that you guys are so loved! Your friends are all pulling for you! Thanks for keeping us posted and like Karen, it helps me know what to pray for specifically. I also am believing in TOTAL healing. All things are possible! I love you both!

Jessica from P.C.

Anonymous said...

Mike and Dawn-
Off to Orlando, and keeping you both in my thoughts everyday!
Dawn, keep fighting for more good times, Indian food, bon fires in Colorado caves!
I love you both and wish you both all the love of the season!

Gina P. said...

Dawn you look amazing...the smile is beautiful...as you are and great to see. You look so beautiful!!!!

Glad to hear the good news...this is very exciting for all of us.

We love you!! Keep doing good

Mike thanks for the update...this is truly good news.

Maria G @ Sea said...

glad to hear good news! hopefully there will be more later :-) and its awesome to see dawn smiling and sitting up...hoping for continued good news for xmas!
lots of love,

Anonymous said...

That was wonderful news you just posted at 1;45 PM. You and Dawn have been on my mind all day and it is great to see Dawn sitting up and to once again see that big smile on her face. Maybe that Christmas miracle we have been praying for will become a reality?
In case Dawn isn't able to read the posts yet tell her she looks beautiful with that smile on her face. Now, with them taking her off that one medication let's pray that her bilirubin count starts to go a lot lower. Thanks for the good news.
Love Grandpa & nancy

Tara said...

I'm so glad she's smiling. First step is the chair, next she'll be tootling down the hallways.

What a wonderful christmas present: Dawn getting better :)


Anonymous said...

That smile is the best thing I've seen in quite some time! Best Christmas present ever! Keep getting better Dawn! You're in all our thoughts this holiday. See you soon.


Anonymous said...

I just want to praise God and thank Him for hearing our cry. I believe for a full recovery. I wish you all a very wonderful Christmas full of thanksgiving and love. Dawn you are beautiful and we all love you. God bless you and know you will progress on that trach and soon be free of all breathing apparatus. Sheryl says her scars remind her that she is a miracle. You are a miracle also. God bless you Mike. Keep up the good work. love, Aunt Gloria

Annie - Steven's mom said...

Oh WOW! This latest news of yours made me cry with happiness!
Its SO good to see your smile again Dawn. wow.
You have really made my day - awesome! How many different ways are there of saying how good it is to hear the great FISH results AND see a wonderful photograph!
Love and light - lots of it!

Anonymous said...

YEAH!!! I got my Christmas present early... that beautiful smile I can even hear her voice!!! I can't stop smiling..she has made my day & Christmas...love you lots Dawn..make you Mike or your Mom give you big hugs & kisses...
Love you,

Sinnat Productions said...

Awesome news! If we had known, just the mention of taking you belly dancing would get you out of bed, we would have offered that up weeks ago. (LOL) I am so thrilled for you. What a wonderful gift of life you have been granted. We will continue praying for you. Tannis

Tara said...

What wonderful news!!! Dawn you look beautiful when you smile :)

Keep fighting!

Toni Baker said...

Happy Days.... Christmas came early this year. Dawn you look amazing for someone who's been in bed for 22 days. I look horrible when I wake up after one night.....

What a fantastic smile. I can't wait to hear your voice again.

Big sighs of relief are being heard all over tonight.

Love you and keep smiling!
Mike's Mom and Gina

bigD said...

You are courageous and beautiful. Your spirit shines from you like a wondrous light. This poem is for you and Mike. God bless you both. You are in my thoughts and I pray for your continued strength and courage to take the next step on your journey toward healing.

Smile At Me :)

Smile at me
that smile, that finds me in the crowd
The one that lights up the room
And makes the world not seem so loud

Smile at me
that smile, that dances upon your laughter
The one that settles into the charming grin
I always remember after

Smile at me
That smile, that always makes me smile
The one that’s completely contagious
And lasts a whole long while

Smile at me
That smile, when my world feels grey
That smile, that smile
The one that chases sorrows away

Even for a moment…
Won’t you smile at me that smile?
If only for a moment
Smile at me…

Modupeola Williams

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see Dawn's smile! She is beautiful inside and out and I am glad she is starting to feel better. Hope you have a happy holiday! I will try to stop by before I leave today.
Katie from 5west