Monday, May 7, 2012

Melanie's Battle Goes On

Hi everyone! Sorry it has been so long since we've updated. Melanie is still hanging in there. Each day seem to present itself with challenges and frustrations. Melanie is currently home!! It is a blessing for her, and right where she wants to be. She was able to go watch Kaden play baseball on Saturday.

Tate, Kim (she's here for a week), Mel, Dad.


Here's an update on Mel's health.

Blood Levels: Everything is up and Mel's body is producing platelets and blood on its own. Her neutrophils and white count is great too. This is nice because she hasn't needed to have any transfusions.

Donor Cells: Melanie is currently at 100% donor cells!!!! This is great news. The stem cell transplant was a success. 

Graph vs. Host Disease: The doctors have always told us that you want to see some graph vs. host because then you know the transplant worked. Mel didn't have any symptoms last time. Not so lucky this time. Graph vs. host disease happens when the donor cells attack part of the host's body. It is manifested in one of three body systems. 1. The gastrointestinal tract. 2. The liver  3. The skin. Melanie's is manifesting in her skin. She has a horrible rash that itches and burns all over her body including her face and finger tips. It is aggravated by heat, and just plain old hurts. Mel is growing very weary of itching all of the time and feels limited by what she can do. She had a skin biopsy last week to confirm that it is graph vs. host disease. She is using a cream and has started taking prednisone to see if it can alleviated her rash. The doctors told her that this is easier to treat then the other two (liver, or gastrointestinal). 

Tacro: Mel is back on Tacro which is an immunosuppressant drug. She is on it to stun her T-cells so they don't attack the donor cells. This medicine causes her to shake. I'm not sure how long she'll have to be on it.

Throat sores: Mel has sores down her throat. She is taking a medicine to help with it. It is uncomfortable and makes eating certain things hard.

Being alive: Mel is alive!!!! We are so happy and grateful. She continues to be a miracle. She continues to fight and still smiles. 

We love you Mel!!