I’m back here in Columbus with Jennifer. She is still making others on the transplant floor look bad as she has rolled through day +8 now without fever or vitals being an issue. Her and I went to the support group meetings they have here for patients and caregivers. The nurse and social worker were amazed someone at day +8 allogeneic BMT (meaning non related donor) was up and going to a support group meeting.
Having said that, I can tell you Jen is feeling fatigued. She still cannot overcome this cough and she told me this evening she just can’t get comfortable and rest like she wants. She fought tears back while telling me this. So now I’m on a mission to find her some relief. I pride myself in being persistent. …. aka Momma Bear.
We found blessings everywhere we could find them today, …maybe more me than her. Her grandparents stopped in Columbus on their way back from Florida. It is the first she has seen her grandpa since her diagnosis and first she has seen grandma since early December.
I also found a blessing or maybe knowledge I needed to find today at the support group meeting. I had questioned us going as I thought maybe Jen would just want to rest. But we went. There have been times, I hope for Jen to be excited about something or looking to go do something she has been wanting to do. I want the world for her and will move mountains to make it happen. But sometimes as I am spinning circles moving mountains, she just wants to stop, rest, and heal. For a while even small things can seem overwhelming. Reading text messages and responding, opening a card, calling her insurance company, or filling out a form. I find myself repeating to her what needs done like a mom of a teenager. I actually realized this has been ongoing for nearly a year. Which makes me wonder how long she fought low counts and fatigue. I thought before cancer this was due to laziness. After her diagnosis I thought it was a sign of her surrendering to her illness. I was wrong on both counts.” It is cancer, chemo, and healing. I needed to learn that.
So prayers tonight for a quieted cough, less fatique, and patience on my part. She will get through all this. And so will I.
This morning a new doctor on Jen’s case came to see her. A new look at her brings a new view and a different approach. Although we were disappointed Jen didn’t start chemo yesterday, the delay may have been a blessing in disguise.
The doctor looked at her file before coming in and had a couple questions about why induction chemo and not consolidation. Because her counts remain well and because it seems as the cancer cleared up, so did the rashes, he wondered if she is actually in remission.
He shared with us there was a test that had not yet gotten back that is more specific at looking at the abnormal cells and determine if they are premature new growth cells or cancer cells. And he thought possibly some since her numbers are in average range, this very well can be the case. He also thinks possibly the rashes are leukemia in her skin and as her cancer improves, so did the skin.
So while waiting on that test result, Jen gets results of her echo this morning. Frequently, induction chemo can do heart damage. When young like Jen, the heart repairs itself over time. Jen’s heart showed some damage. Then earlier then expected, the result from her biopsy comes back. And it is a good news, bad news thing.
The good news is because the need for time to repair her heart, they think consolidation chemo is the way to go. This means five to six days in hospital and home. It is not as intensive, shorter stay, and saves the induction chemo for transplant. The bad news is she truly isn’t in remission, as the doctor had hoped.
So now with a different plan, she moves forward with 2 hours on chemo and 12 hours off and that repeats for five days. And to her delight, she gets to come home early next week and be home for her birthday.
Tuesday December 20 – day 21
Without going into a long drawn out explanation I’ll give a short summary.
1. Procedure to look in lungs found some infection they are treating as fungal phenomenon. This requires an strong antibotic that is hard on kidneys so watching that closely
2. Water retention is a big concern and they are trying to take it off without effecting her bp
3. If she isn’t able to maintain her breathing, she will be moved to icu with possible need to vent her.
If ever I needed prayers threw this hell, I need them now. ..I can’t tell you how scary this is. She has been irritated but still ok. Me, I’m all over the place.
I’ve got some of the most amazing news! The preliminary results of my biopsy from yesterday shows no leukemia cells!
This means no more chemo during this stay. Now to work on getting my counts to recover so I can go home!
This is the best Christmas gift I could ever receive! God is good and has blessed me tenfold!
The warnings on Jen’s door now include low platelets, low white count and isolation.
Jennifer showed signs of an infection last evening with a couple body sores. She spiked a fever for a few hours over night but the temperature returned to normal. They have started her on antibotics while they find the source on infection. Her platelets are very low thus risk of bleeding is very high. Her blood pressure has also been low.
Keep prayers coming.
Sent my swab in today! #jointhefight – Monica
Thank you Monica!
Hello from Columbus!
Today had a bit of a rocky start for me, but powered through.
I didn’t sleep well last night, but managed to get a few winks this afternoon.
Yesterday evening my mom came down and stayed the night. She brought the rest of my stuff to help me feel a bit more at home. We decorated my room for Christmas and the staff here love it!!
I got a surprise visit from my Aunt and Uncle today (Rick & Lori) which was awesome to have.
My dad came down today as well. And we are watching football. 🙂
I haven’t been able to each much. Smells of food turn off my appetite. Seems the only things I have managed to eat in the past 24 hours have been Gold fish, pb&j sandwiches, apple slices, bananas, and captain crunch.
My chemo is now on Day four. No more plus 3s. Chemo is doing its job. My wbc and platelets continue to drop like they are supposed to.
Although I feel tired and icky I know I am where I need to be. I am remaining as positive as I can be.
Thanks for all the continuous thoughts and prayers. I truly think it helps just as much as the meds they give me.
Sending lots of love to all of you reading this. Remember to enjoy the little things and smile when you can.
Now that we have Jennifer ‘s room decorated for Christmas, let the festivities begin.
If you like to send her a Christmas card (which she would love), her address is
The James Cancer hospital & Solove Research Institute
Attn : Jennifer Honigford 1604
460 West 10th Avenue
Columbus Ohio 43210