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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rough Days

Is it just me, or is God calling a lot of the CFers back home lately? Every time I log into CF.com anymore there's at least one other post saying someone else has passed.

I found out yesterday that Jessica had passed away. My family met her husband in the ICU waiting area the night I was transplanted, she had received hers that morning. There were a lot of comlications after the surgery and they ended up having the trach her. Come to find out later that she had B. Cepacia which infected the new lungs. She passed away on March 8th.

I've heard of people having survivor's guilt after transplant but I always assumed it was for the donor. I never expected to have such guilt over hearing this news. There's a whole lot of fear attached to all of this too. I'm 6 weeks post tomorrow... Just 6 weeks. It's just hard to think, that could of been me.

On a brighter note, Kelly's competition went well this past weekend. Her team got several overall high scores and she got sterling silver with her solo. Not as good as she wanted it to be, but she did well and we were proud of her. Solos are hard and this is her first year doing them... and it's in lyrical, which in my opinion is the toughest to compete in! She has another competition this weekend, which I will be at again and I'm sure they'll do great like they always do :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Busy Busy Busy :)

Over this last week I've been pretty active. No marathons yet, but as soon as my legs are strong enough, watch out!!

Got my INR checked today at the anticoag clinic and they said it was perfect :) 2.2 so they don't need to change my coumadin levels, which makes me happy. Got a call from Cleveland about my other drug levels, they're doing great too! Only thing is one of my white blood cells is a little on the high side so they're increasing one of my meds which will knock that number back down. Glad to hear that they're so on top of things like that :D So there's the boring medical part of all this... on to the fun stuff!!

Sunday was my first outing since I've been home. I did it up big, LOL. Cameron and I went to Smokey Bones for lunch. Apparently, if you walk into a restaurant wearing a mask and want a table for 2, you get seated immediately. hmmmm, maybe this mask isn't such a bad thing :P We then went to Kroger's since I've been craving fruit and dairy. I was able to walk around the store for a good while and when I got to the car... I WASN'T SHORT OF BREATH!!! My legs hurt like I was running, but Andrew was nice and strong still. It was amazing!!

Monday was lab drawl day, so I got poked and then got some yummy McDonald's breakfast :) I spent most of the day on the couch though because my legs were a little fatigued, haha! I did go see Karen Vaske (the angel lady) that afternoon though. Just some theta healing to help with the side effects of all of the drugs. Nausea, tremors, hair thinning - ya know, the fun stuff :) Tuesday was boring, but my legs had recovered.

Wednesday Cameron and I decided to tackle Kenwood mall. I only did the lower level so we could finally get his birthday present. His birthday was in September and I just hadn't felt well enough to go to Fossil with him to pick the watch out. I was able to do that, get some new lotion for my face at Clinique, eat dinner, just overall, be normal. Well, as normal as one can be with a mask on their face that has little multicolored bandaid people on it, LOL!!

Thursday was spent doing some laundry and watching the WKU game later that night - GO TOPS!! and Today I had my clinic visit and then Mom and I went to Target (where I walked the whole store without gasping - BEAUTIFUL!) and then met Caroline, Brian and Moo for lunch at El Caporal. It was very yummy and I was actually able to eat quite a bit which was a nice change. Tonight Aunt Pam, Jerry, Aunt Lois, and Uncle Don are all coming over to watch the X game - Let's hope it's a great game!!

This weekend's Kelly's dance competition so we'll all be busy with that. It'll be nice to be able to go to one and cheer her on :D I'll be sure to update about all of that later on.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blog Changes

Yes, I like changing things around on my blog... just wanted to let everyone know that I have changed things around again. :)

Enjoying Home

I'm back home in Cincinnati for a few weeks until I go back for another surveillance bronch. For right now the family and I are just enjoying being home.

I got the results back from the 1st bronch and showed slight rejection. My nurse said that it's completely normal and laughed saying if I didn't show any they would think I'm weird. We did a 3 day Solumedrol burst followed by a 3 week prednisone taper back to my normal dose.

All the aches and pains are getting better. The worst part of all of the side effects have been the tremors and my hair's thinning a little. Nothing too horrible and I've been told that within 6 months things should stabilize. Plus, if this is what I have to go through to breathe.... totally worth it!

Oh, and the blood clot thing. They think it's from all of the lines I've had placed over the years. My clotting times have always been fine and I've never had any swelling so no one ever thought anything of clots. After my arm swelled so bad (which is now back to normal - YAY!!) they searched and found several clots. I'm just on coumadin now until a few days before procedures and then switching to lovenox until after the procedure then back to coumadin. And it's only for 3 months they're thinking.

Now comes the fun part of regaining muscles... who knew staying in bed for a week would set me back so much in the physical department :D But that's all that going on here. I plan on taking my demon of a dog for walks this week to enjoy the hopefully nice weather. Plus some blood work, a trip to the angel lady (Karen Vaske) and my first visit at the Coumadin clinic. Busy, but easy week :) Hope all's well with everyone else!! It's just good to be home!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Evening-Surprise!!!!

Hi everyone!
Amazing day! I got to the hospital this morning and the nurse had already told Jennifer that she was being discharged today. The Dr. on the floor came in and said that they were discussing Jennifer in the meeting and said she could go home, but didn't say home, as in hotel, or home, home as in West Chester.
We made a few jokes about it but continued to sit in the room. It was 1:30 and I had not eaten lunch, so decided to go down to the cafeteria to see what special foods they had for today. As I left the wing that Jennifer was in, I ran into KeLynn, the nurse coordinator for the post-transplant and she said we were going home to West Chester. I love that lady! lol She is actually a lovely person and I really do like her, but was thrilled that we were going home. I went downstairs to call Danny, my brother, to let him know that he shouldn't rent a car to come to Cleveland, since we were on our way home! He was in Columbus delivering a load, so told him I would swing by to let him see Jennifer and of course, I wanted to see him too. We spent about 45 minutes to an hour with him, he checked my oil in the car and noticed I was 2 1/2 quarts low. Of course, I got the look over his glasses, like "I thought I taught you better than this" look and said we needed to get oil.

We went to buy oil, we visited for a while and then he had to move down the road to get another load for S. Carolina. We followed him to I-71 and got on the expressway and headed to West Chester. We arrived a little before 9, turning the corner down our street and the whole neighborhood was standing in our driveway all the way into the street. How awesome. I stopped the car at the corner, just shocked, Jennifer and I sat in the car, crying! What an amazing group of friends we have!!!!
There were posters, smiles, hugs and congratulations from everyone.
Jennifer came into the house, afraid to be outside too long. I of course, stood outside talking to everyone and just enjoying everyone being outside and the amazing group of friends and support we have.
So, we've made it back home and so happy to be here. Jack has snubbed Jennifer, but sure he will get over it. Sam has acted like a puppy, turning and running, but can't see. Kelly was crying and excited that we were home, all together again and Ray was just doing his thing, content that we are all home.
We have an appointment on March 24, so she will go back, where they will do the angiogram and not sure if another bronch is part of this or not, but another visit to Dr. Budev. I'm sure that Jennifer and I will sleep well in our own beds tonight. We are beyond thrilled to be home, especially in this wonderful neighborhood with all the wonderful friends that we have. It was truly a moment that we will never forget! And we're HOME!!!!!!
Love to all!
Becky and Jennifer

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lazy Sundays

It's been rainy all day here in Cleveland - perfect nap weather. Cameron and Daddy left about mid-afternoon and Mom and I hung out in my room working on craft things that we brought. She has a tablecloth she's embroidering and I have an angel cross-stitch that has taken over 4 years to complete. Wouldn't want to rush into things :)

Nothing major to report on with health things right now... finally! My INR (international normalized ratio - measures clotting time) is a little low to come off the IV heparin but they aren't sure what to do right now. Whether to increase the Coumadin or to leave things be so that I would be able to have the angio tomorrow. Dr. Hogan and Dr. Yun both came by today and agreed that it would be better to hold off on the angio right now. There's no hurry, it's just a confirmation that the BAR is working. They are pretty sure it is because they keep saying my recovery has been remarkable - tee hee :) Also my Creatine (measures kidney function) has been creeping up. They aren't worried about it and said actually my function is going in this tidal wave. The ideal number is 1.0 and mine is 1.5 - hopefully as my body gets use to all of the meds things will settle. So with this increase in my creatine, they are even more inclined to hold off on the angio since the dye is filtered through the kidneys.

Right now we're just waiting on the biopsy results to come back and for the selection committee to discuss when I can come home finally. Mom and I are so horribly homesick right now. We talk about our dogs and our comfy couch a lot :) This Friday will mark 4 weeks since I've been here. As much as we love this town, it's about time to get out of here!! Oh well, it's in God's time, right?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Night

Dr. Yun came in this afternoon and drained 600cc of fluid off her left lung. Her said the right lung had a small amount of fluid, but wasn't impressive, so he said it was less than before and would eventually absorb into her body. When he numbed her back, that was the part that didn't feel good. We've asked her if she could breathe better, but she said she couldn't tell the difference. The Dr. said that she has done remarkable with the transplant and was impressed. He said that the reason behind the fluid was that when they do the BAR process, they cut through lymphatic system and the extra fluid wouldn't be re-absorbed.
We went outside on the 9th floor and walked around. The sun even came out for the time we were up there. Cameron took pictures of her and her daddy and then her alone. She hates having her pictures taken, but obliged us with a few. lol
I did ask the nurse why she was running a slight fever and she said that it was because she wouldn't get out of bed, so therefore, that is why we walked around. I know she is glad the tapping of the lung is done and over with. She loves her Dr., but really dreaded having the draining process done. He was planning on scheduling the angiogram either Monday or Tuesday and she should be released from the hospital on Wed. Not sure when we see Dr. Budev again, she did say that she would stop by while she was in the hospital. Im sure we need an office visit before getting our walking papers though. So overall, not a bad day. Would rather have nothing going wrong, but this is ok.

Becky and Jennifer


Jennifer is tired today and running a little bit of a temperature. The surgeon is coming in to tap her left lung today, but had to wait 3 hours after the heperin had been stopped. Not sure what the temp. is about, just a little bit, but would rather her not have one at all. Ray is on his way up and should be here within 30 minutes. Cameron came up last night, slept on the pull out here in her room. Kelly is at dance until 4 this afternoon, so she won't be able to come up this weekend. She wants me home, but I just don't want to leave right now, until I'm comfortable with her being here with Ray. Other than that, just a slow day. The weather is warm, 60 degrees, but cloudy and sprinkling, so a good day to sleep. I will post when we have new information. Thanks for everyone posting! It makes me laugh and know that everyone is still here with us!
Love to all!
Becky and Jennifer

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Afternoon

The bronch is over and she's sleeping. She keeps waking up, asking how it went and wants to see the pictures of the bronch. She keeps saying her new lungs are so pink compared to the old ones being a grayish color. The Dr. said that it all went well and it would take three days for the biopsy report to come back to show if there is any rejection. Hopefully, that isn't an issue.
I think he said that her heperin level is good so he can switch her to the cumadin pills later today or tomorrow. That was faster than the original 5 days we were told.
I had talked to Lois last night and found out that there were clotting issues on the Buescher side, told the Dr. and he said that still was ok. Not the issue with Jennifer, but would run the tests to see if she had the same thing with the clotting factor, but still not related to how they are treating the clots here. They said her clots were because of the iv's they had done. Jennifer brought up the point that they don't use heperin to flush the iv's and wondered if that was part of the issue. Good point, but I forgot to ask the Dr. Hopefully, he will be back in and we can bring that up.
She looks great and says she feels like she's sleeping off a hangover. Not sure how she would know that! hehehe
That's all the news I have, so thought I would pass the word along to everyone and will post again when we have something different.
Love to all!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday afternoon

The Dr's. came in this afternoon and said they have re-scheduled the bronch for 10am tomorrow. They ran and ultrasound on her legs, but there are not clots there, so that is good. I also need to correct what I wrote last night. She doesn't have a clot in the coroided artery, but the jugular.
They won't get the results back from the clotting tests until probably sometime mid next week.
They will start her on cumaden for at least 3-6 months, unless it comes back that she needs it because of the clotting and then she will be on it for life.
They will check levels on the cumaden and then let her leave the hospital after a day or so.
We always have to have things exciting, don't we? lol
Love to all!


They canceled the bronch because someone else needed an emergency bronch. I guess they will re-schedule for tomorrow, but the Dr's. haven't come in to tell us anything. They have sent her to vascular maybe for another ultrasound. She was able to eat, so I ran downstairs to get her food and when I came back, she was gone. Will let everyone know what the plan is when they come in to talk to us. Her left arm does look better though, the swelling is significantly less.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday Evening-A bump in the road

Well, we started out late this morning. We were supposed to have bloodwork done at 7:30 and didn't get there until 7:45. Then on to x-ray, pulmonary function tests and then Dr. Budev. We finally made the Dr. appt. an hour later, went through all her meds with the nurse coordinator, let them know her issues she wanted answers to and was getting ready for the Dr. to come in. She came in and said that her xray showed that she had fluid on both lungs, so they wanted an ultrasound of the lungs to show just how much fluid was there. Then also wanted another ultrasound on her right arm, because it was swelling again. She said go have those done and then come back and she would see Jennifer. So we did the ultrasound on her arms first. They wanted on both arms and found that there were new blood clots in both arms now along with the corroided artery, so they called Dr. Budev, who decided to go ahead with the ultrasound on the lungs but would have Jennifer admitted back into the hospital and treat everything. She is still scheduled for the bronchoscopy tomorrow, but it will be 2:00 (ish). They will decide if they need to tap into the lungs and drain the fluid off when they do the bronch. The blood clots, they are doing a heperin iv to make sure the clots don't get any larger and said that the body would absorb them eventually. I certainly hope so. Her magnesium is down, so they are doing a bag of that, iv, and changing the dosage of the anti-rejection drugs to stronger, since the level they watch for in the bloodwork is low. Lots of little tweaking going on.
I am personally very disappointed that we aren't coming home this weekend, but so glad that they caught it now and can take care of this while we're here. I trust Dr. Budev very much and so does Jennifer. She will be in the hospital for a couple days and then will let her come back to the hotel and not sure when we will be allowed to come home. Jennifer is ok with this and that's the important part. The Dr. said that the transplant process is going "excellent", so we'll take that. Hopefully, tomorrow will be wonderful with the bronch and see no other problems and can get the clots under control. They are also checking her clotting through bloodwork, so I feel they are doing everything great and on top of things. Keep her in your prayers!
Love to all!
Becky and Jennifer

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday Afternoon

Hi everyone! We really are getting pretty boring here, so that's why there aren't any new posts. Jennifer's blood pressure is running high, so we have a call into the post transplant dept., they are checking with Dr Budev to see what they want to do. The high blood pressure is probably because of the drugs she is on, so assuming that they will put her on meds. They asked if we were monitoring her salt intake, but reminded them she was a cystic fibrosis patient and needed her salt and she agreed.
We go to see the Dr. and do xrays and bloodwork tomorrow at 7:30, but should be done by 10 or so. That will be our first venture out. Jennifer feels guilty because we haven't been out walking, but it's freezing here. She keeps sending me out for food and waits patiently.
She seems to not be feeling the prednisone as much either. I thought that would make her eat mucho food, but she hasn't too much. She did eat well on Sunday, but then her sugar ran high because she had a milkshake. We will find a happy medium soon, I hope. We will post more tomorrow after we talk with the Dr. She's always so upbeat, it will be good to get reassurance that we are doing what we should be and she is doing fine.
Love to all!
Becky and Jennifer

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Evening

Well, Jennifer and I are sitting here alone. Very quiet, compared to the weekend we just had. Ray and Kelly left, then Cameron, then Adrianne and Sherri, then Michelle, girlfriends of Jennifer's. We have switched rooms also. The suite we were in was so cold near the door and kitchen and hotter than blazes in the upstairs, so we switched to a studio room. It felt much better when we came in, but as the day as turned into night, it's cold too. I think it's just Cleveland though. That's ok. Still one of my favorite towns now! hehehe
Jennifer and I have caught up on phone calls to people we have promised to call and I have played this game on her computer that I am completely addicted to.
Now Jennifer is sleeping, trying to catch up on some long needed rest. She is doing well, breathing better than I can't even remember when, and smiles every time someone talks to her about going through the transplant and how much color she has. She isn't hardly coughing and that is a brand new thing for us. I think I cough more than she ever did. lol
So tonight, just a quiet evening, resting,watching tv and trying to get the thermostat on a good temperature.
Love to all!
Becky and Jennifer