Friday, February 5, 2010

Rabbit Blood = Peter Cottontail

Before I get to today's adventures, I have to post a couple of pictures that Mel sent to me from last night. Actually, I have to mention first that Kevin and Gina Ellsworth and their daughter Ashlee came to see Melanie on Sunday. Kevin and Gina (and family) have been family friends for years! Kevin is our Optometrist as well. My mom forgot to take a picture while they were there. They were bringing Melanie down some knew glasses on Sunday, but forgot to bring them. So, Gina sent them to Ashlee and she delivered them to Melanie last night. She also brought a yummy dinner for Melanie and my mom to enjoy!

A big THANK YOU to Kevin and Gina for the new glasses and to Ashlee for the food!

Melanie is still enjoying her 14 days of Valentines! What a wonderful ward Melanie has!

Today has been a hard day for Melanie. She continues to fight the nausea, and today she got some new medicines to prepare her for transplant tomorrow. Tacrolimus is an immunosupressive medication that helps to prevent graft-vs-host disease. The other medication was rabbit blood or ATG. Why give her rabbit blood? It kills the lymphocytes to prevent graft-vs-host disease as well. This medicine caused Melanie to have low blood pressure, a fast heart rate, shortness of breath, fever, and just not being able to breathe very well. It was a scary day for her! The ATG can cause you to have anaphylactic shock, so it was a bit worrisome before they gave it to her. They counteract all of this with a BIG dose of Benedryl, steroids, and Tylenol.

When Melanie sent me the pictures she had a message that said, "Ben was working really hard to add some entertainment because he knew I felt horrible. Dr. Hooda told me yesterday that the rabbit stuff was barbaric." How lucky Melanie was to have Ben there today!

Melanie was really drugged up on Benadryl. This was Ben's attempt at being a rabbit. I guess they were calling her Peter Cottontail today.

They wanted everyone to know Melanie was getting her rabbit blood today! Ben printed off these great pictures!

I think Melanie was hesitant to let them push the "ADD" button!

She is holding her faith rock, worry rock, and a Diamond Back dog tag that Jan Triplett gave her that says, "Diamond Back Finish Strong". When I last spoke with my mom, she said that Mel is feeling a little better. Her blood counts are starting to go down, so she is feeling weak and tired.

Melanie wanted me to say that she can have visitors. You just need to be healthy. Also, a few people have asked about a mailing address to send cards, packages, or whatever. The address is:
Intermountain LDS Hospital
East 812
Melanie Balls
8th Avenue and C-street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84143

Tomorrow is the BIG day! We are going to have a grand birthday party!


Cami said...

What a day Mel! It sounds like it was a scary and uncomfortable one. Can you believe that transplant is almost here? I love you and will see you tomorrow. :)

Alean said...

Happy Birthday to YOU! Happy Birthday to YOU! Happy Birthday, Dear Melanie, Happy Birthday to YOU! Cha Cha Cha!!!!!!!

Marianne said...

I haven't visited for a few days and I had a lot of catching up to do!
Every time I read a post, I am so amazed at your strength and your faith.
We continue to think of you and pray for you daily!
Keep being strong and know you are loved!

rania_ka said...

Hello from Greece..
Happy Birthday Melanie..
My wishes but mostly my prayers are with you..Can you please send me an email address because there is something i need to tell you..Or somebody from the family..Brother or sister..
Your are in my prayers daily..
My name is Rania and my email is