Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day Off

Mom and I arrived in Nashville on Dec. 6th and began our daily trips to the clinic on December 7th.  Every day since then we've spent 3-4 hours in the clinic, except for the 3.5 days that were spent in the hospital.  Before you ask, yes, that does include weekends and holidays.  But alas, tomorrow, she's earned her first day off because we have ENGRAFTMENT!

What is engraftment?  The clinic defines it as three days in a row where your neutrophil counts are over 500.  It basically means that they are confident that the donor's cells have taken over and are producing adequate blood cells.  Mom's platelet counts are higher than they've been in 2 years, and her white blood cells and neutrophils are higher than they've been in 2010.  Her red blood cells are slowly recovering as well.  Before you break out in applause, you should know that there's a new demon in town.  <cue: dun dun dun> graft-versus-host-disease.

As we've said before, GVHD can wreck havoc on your gut & skin, and we don't yet know what the nature of this beast will be.  To prevent out-of-control GVHD, she's on immunosuppresants, which also means that she's still more susceptible to diseases, even though her white blood cell counts are normal.

Tomorrow will be a day for mom to sit back and enjoy her new found (albeit hairless) life.  We hope that in the days and weeks to come, GVHD will be strong enough to kill all the bad cells in her body, but not so strong that it causes any major setbacks or becomes a chronic condition.


  1. So, which wig did you go with? CELEBRATE LIFE! Engraftment is a lovely new word. I can't believe the way your neutrophils jumped from Jan. 2 to Jan. 3. Some kind of Wanderful body you have there! I'm guessing your imagination is running wild with all the things you want to do. Congratulations, and thanks be to God!

  2. Yay! A good news day! I hope you enjoy your day off and get to do something special. And, case gets to sleep in :)! Thinking about you and hoping for all things good coming your way. Peace!

  3. Go Wanda Go!!! This is great news! We'll still keep the prayers coming but you just sit back and enjoy your day off. I think you should celebrate January 4th as your engraftment birthday every year from now on. Yay for new cells!

  4. Let's hear it for Wanda and her donor and their shared blood cells. Okay, that sounds weird but you know what I mean.

    Thanks, Case, for keeping us informed on the process and your Mom's progress.

    Love to all the Taintors. @

  5. Happy Engraftment Day!! You all deserve a day off! Wanda, you just keep being the strong woman you are and that body of yours will do all the good work. I am curious too...which wig did you choose??? Sending all my love and many prayers your way!