Wednesday, December 29, 2010

12 days of Christmas

As you can tell, our blogging frequency has taken a dive with the holidays.  We've been busy playing Mexican trains, eating gourmet meals, and taking care of Wanda.  Over the past week, the whole family has been in town.  We rented an extra house in Nashville over the holidays, so we've been splitting time between the townhouse near the hospital and the other house.

Mom has settled into a nice routine.  She wakes up at 6, takes some nausea medicine, and goes back to bed.  At 7, she wakes up, takes more medicine, and gets ready for clinic.  Her breakfast usually consists of a fruit smoothie and an ensure.  When she gets to clinic (usually at 8 or 8:30), they take her blood and she waits for the nurse practitioner and doctor to see her.  After clinic, she returns home, takes a nap for around 2 hours, and then has lunch.  We then go for a walk of about 2-3 miles.  After the walk, we watch a movie or play games, eat dinner, and she gets to bed somewhere between 9 and 10.  This is her schedule, and hasn't deviated much in the past week.

Nothing has been eventful with her health.  There are three main markers in her daily blood tests that they check - platelets, hemacrit, and white blood cell count.  Her white blood cell count is 0.2, which is very low, but not unexpected.  Her platelet and hemacrit numbers have dropped, but not to the point that they do a platelet or blood transfusion, respectively.  Her platelet counts are actually in the normal range now, which may be good, may be bad, who knows.  The doctors don't seem to care.  They also regularly check her levels of cyclosporine.  They want to maintain the cyclosporine (immunosuppressant) levels between 300-400 to prevent out-of-control GVHD.  Her levels had stayed at 350 for the past few days, but yesterday they unexpectedly jumped to 692, an undesirably high level.  So, they had her skip 2 doses to get that under control.

That's about all on the stem cell front.  Mom's spirits are still high, even though she could do without the constant headache of varying degrees and her generally anemic appetite.  Emotionally, the transplant has been tough, because we are essentially waiting for the other shoe to drop.  GVHD could be serious, or it could be mild.  She could get an infection, or she could not.  Right now, we are happy that nothing of significance has happened and hopefully we will have many uneventful days to come.

Christmas in clinic.  Can you find the bling?

Callie & Wanda on the way to the clinic


  1. Hey Taintors!, so glad and relieved to have you "blogging" again! I missed you and was worried :(. You look great, Wanda, and I hope you and the family had a good Christmas. I'll bet it is tough being away from home but such a blessing to have everyone with you. By the way, do you already have the "angry birds" game loaded on your iPad? If not, get it quick, it's fun and you won 't have to play solitaire all the time as Hart said to me! Keep your smile on and your chin up under that chic and oh so fashionable masque (does that spelling make it more fashionable?) you are sporting! It will be interesting to see if all the Parisian models are wearing masques with the new spring couture line!! keep the faith, friend, and love coming from us'ins to you'ins :). Dee

  2. Thanks for the update. We've been wondering how things were going. We're hoping for many more "uneventful" days for you. Lots of folks in chattanooga were asking about you and sending their love and prayers. Oh, and thanks a lot for making the rest of us feel like slackers by getting out on 2-3 mile walks everyday! ;) Keep it up!

  3. Wanda, You look fantastic!!! You are definitely putting my lazy self to shame with your daily 2-3 mile walks. I love how you even make a trip to the clinic with style. :-) Miss you more than words can say. I hope you and the whole Taintor clan had a wonderful Christmas together and the start to an amazing year is just days away. Sending you lots of love and hugs!!!

  4. Hey Wanda and family-
    So grateful for the update. Wanda, I echo the sentiments above: you look great and you put me to shame with your daily walks. So glad the whole family shared Christmas.
    Sending you love, light, and prayers--with lots of healing visualizations.
    Love to all, Edrie