Friday, April 25, 2014

A Bump in the Road

Case here. It's been quite a while since any of us have written an update on Wanda's progress. This is mainly because she'd mostly returned to her former, spunky self. Sophie and I just had our first baby, Patrick, in February and we were able to spend a lot of time in Chattanooga. Since we were there, Kit, Callie, Mike & Davis all came down and our whole family was able to spend a weekend together at the beginning of April. The weather was great and we had a wonderful time.
Sophie, Kit, Wanda, and Patrick
It's been a few weeks since then, and we've all returned to our respective homes (for Sophie and I, this means Tel Aviv). Wanda was planning on coming to Israel for three weeks starting next week in order to take care of Patrick during the day. Unfortunately, we seem to have hit a sizable bump in the road.

Wanda hadn't been feeling well the past few days, with a cough, a headache, a toothache, and pain in her shin. She went to her doctor, who took blood to perform a standard CBC and sent her home with some medication for allergies. Things took a turn for the worse on Tuesday night, when Wanda started vomiting and generally feeling really terrible. Pat & Wanda decided to go to the ER at Erlanger on Wednesday morning when they saw that her leg was very swollen and she was in immense pain.

Erlanger admitted her and began trying to figure out what was causing the extreme swelling, starting with an ultrasound to try to rule out a blood clot (well, deep vein thrombosis or DVT). They also did a CBC and found that she was anemic, had low white blood cell counts, and was dangerously low on platelets, so they gave her a blood transfusion. They did an MRI on her leg which confirmed that there really weren't any clots or tissue damage in the leg. They also did a CT scan which found that she had excess blood in the brain, so they scheduled an angiogram to rule out an aneurysm. Finally, they wanted to get a bone marrow biopsy and, in doing so, they found that the wound was taking a long time to close up - so, something was wrong. I believe it was this that led the hematologist at Erlanger to run some more tests which showed that mom had a coagulation factor inhibitor - basically, her body was producing something that was preventing her blood from coagulating - thus, the bleeding wasn't going to stop quickly. This has led them to give her a "Novo 7" shot(?) which helps the blood coagulate.

Through all of this, they have wanted to transport her to Vanderbilt, where she will get the best care for her situation - Vanderbilt was where she had the stem cell transplant done. Unfortunately, each one of these problems has meant that the doctors have been hesitant to transport her since she wasn't stable. With the addition of the Novo 7 and an angiogram with a negative aneurysm result, they have now determined that she is stable and is ok to be transported to Vanderbilt by helicopter. Callie and Pat are waiting with her and will travel to Nashville once she gets on the helicopter.

So - that's where we are. Callie, Pat, and Kit will be in Nashville with Wanda tonight. Mom was talking (a bit) and forming coherent sentences, which is an improvement from earlier, but she has many obstacles in front of her. There is a strong possibility that this is MDS or something in a similar vein, but we don't know for sure and won't know until the biopsy results come back. I do know that my mom is an amazingly strong woman, always has a great, positive attitude, and has some of the best friends out there. Your support would be greatly appreciated while we figure out what's up. Love to all of you!


  1. Thank you Case for writing all of this! I know it's a relief on the rest of the family to be able to point loved ones this direction without having to rehash the whole story. SO MUCH LOVE with your family right now!

  2. The Taintor Family is an amazing machine. Everyone steps up and does what is needed. You are in our thoughts and prayers for healing. We love you!

  3. Prayers of strength & healing for Wanda and your entire family. Love to everyone! Wanda is an amazing woman with an amazing family.

  4. Thinking and praying for you, mi Amiga Wanda!!