Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pics and Thoughts from Mel

Hello Everyone! I am doing okay. Luckily I am not as sick as I was the first time around. I believe Heavenly Father works his miracles in amazing ways! I will post more about my thoughts and feelings later. For now, here is a little picture update from me.

 Greg, Charise, and Makayla heading home after a visit

 My dear friend Diana

A great source of pain and discomfort. I am glad it is looking and feeling so much better.

 My first blood transfusion. I had another one on Valentine's Day. I called it my special Valentine's Day juice. It is odd watching the blood move through the line and into my body. I have so much appreciation for those who donate blood. I was always too wimpy to donate, and now I can't. If you are an eligible donor, I strongly encourage you to donate your blood as often as possible.


 I have been very luck to have Kami Hodges Fischer as my night nurse. We went to high school together (she was a year younger). It's always nice to see a familiar face.

 My dear friends Rex and Angie Christensen. They are wonderful! Kaden has been friends with their son Wyatt since kindergarten. It was a great treat to see them.

 I had a horrible rash from my chemo for a few days. One night was particularly painful and itchy. I filled my pants with ice bags, which brought comfort and a lot of laughs! Good thing I have been wearing the largest size pants (waaayyy too big) so that my skin can breather a little easier . . . and I can fill them with ice bags. Luckily the rash is barely visible now.

 Hanging with my Kaden. I love it when he plops in my bed.  I miss him during the week, but know he is well taken care of in my absence.

 Kaden's birthday party was a lot of fun. I loved seeing my nieces and nephews.

 They (the kids) love taking pictures and making funny photos.

 A dear friend from my growing-up-days, Alicia Ray Cole, and her son, Adam, came to the hospital and gave me a nice hair cut.

 Thank you so much Alicia!!! You are so gorgeous!!!!!

My new "do" and Valentine's Day picture. My V-Day blanket was in the wash, so the pillow will have to suffice.
That's all I have in me now. Thank you so much for your love, prayers, cards, e-mails, and treats. I feel surrounded by love!
Much love,

Now a quick update from Angie.  Today was tumor board.  Dr. Peterson is on a cruise, so they can't say anything is in stone until he gets back.  However, they do have a plan.  Melanie's insurance approved the transplant, so Ladee will start the donor search.  There were a few matches last time.  Hopefully they are still willing and able.  They will wait for Melanie's counts to come back up from the chemo.  The time amount for this depends on her body.  After they get to a certain point and she doesn't need transfusions, she could possibly leave the hospital.  She would have to stay in the Salt Lake area though.  Once they reach the optimal point, she will have daily radiation for two weeks.  This radiation will be focused on the area in her breast where the lump was.  They will probably scan to make sure it is gone after that.  Following that radiation, she will have one day of full body radiation.  This will be a low dose compared to last time.  The next step is a dose of a medicine that I can't remember the name of, but she had it last time.  It is not a chemo, but it wipes her levels in preparation for the transplant.  She may have some Methatrexate as well.  They need her body to be in a low state to accept the donor.  The final step is the transplant.  This transplant is not as big as the last one.  The last transplant needed to graft and kill the leukemia in her body.  This transplant just needs to graft, so if any leukemia comes, the donor cells can wipe it out.  There is a greater risk for graft vs. host disease this time around.  It would show up 2-3 months after the transplant, and be more chronic problems (eyes, skin thickening,to name a few).

So, this plan could change tomorrow, but this is what we are going with today.  That is the one aspect of cancer we have all learned.  It is just a day to day thing.

Love to you all!

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