My Kryptonite

Hi my name is Brandy and my fiance is Donald Fitzgerald. As most of you know Donald has been dubbed "Superman" and for good reason. Donald was diagnosed with ALL (leukemia) when he was 13 years old and relapsed when he was 18. He was cured of this cancer and has gone almost 13 years cancer free. During this time, he has undergone 2 hip replacements and a partial shoulder replacement due to the high doses of steroids he had to take. Then, on March 24th 2011, 3 months after his 32nd birthday, we got the devastating news that the cancer had come back. We are now at UMC about to undergo the long process of Chemo once again. He will have to stay in the hospital for a minimum of 30 days for the initial treatment. He is strong and will beat this once again but we need everyone's prayers. God is in control and there is nothing out of his hands. As someone posted once on facebook "The deals not done until God's done dealing".

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lazy Day

Donald slept most of the night and almost all day. He is still have tummy issues but not quite as bad. He is still tired but enjoying some much needed time off from Chemo. Everything has gone routinely today and all of his labs looked very good today. He didn't have to have any blood products today which was great. We are still praying the Lord will continue to heal Donald's body and help with his tummy troubles.

BLOOD DRIVE:
There will be a blood drive for Donald at First Baptist Church Byram on June 22nd from 3pm-8pm. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Protocol 2 Day 7

We had a LONG night last night. Donald was up and down all night with tummy problems. Bless his heart. He is so very tired. The doctor prescribed him something a little stronger to try and calm his stomach. On a positive note, he had his chemo this morning and appears to have no adverse effects. He took a short nap this morning during and after the chemo. He is awake and eating now which is a very good sign. Thanking God for his blessings and for allowing everything to go smoothly this morning. Donald was very anxious about the new drug and is very relieved that it didn't pack as big of a punch as he worried it would. Praying the rest of the day goes just a good and his tummy checks up today.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Protocol 2 Day 6

Today went pretty good. Kinda of a lazy day for both of us. Donald didn't have as much trouble with the Chemo because they went ahead and pre-medicated him with steroids. He slept until about 6pm today and seemed to be doing good when he woke up. Today was the last day of the "red devil" medication. He had 2 more units of blood today as well. Tomorrow he will have the brand new drug and we have no idea how he will react to it. Hopefully he will do okay and have minimal side effects.

Red Devil

Well it is 3am and Donald and I have been up for the past 2 1/2 hours because the air conditioning went out again. They said a transformer blew and shut down the elevators and air conditioning. It was originally thought they wouldn't have the air back on until the morning but just moments ago we felt the wonderful coolness of air. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! You don't realize how much you depend on air conditioning until it's gone. I was sweating so I know Donald was about to melt. On a positive note, I went down to the kitchen a moment ago and just so happened to run into a nurse that use to work on the bone marrow floor. She asked about Donald and I told her about his skin being red and burning and she immediately said "Red Devil". Apparently she use to see it a lot on the transplant floor. She described it as a sunburn from the inside out. She advised that he would begin to peel just as if he had sunburn. I hate that he has this terrible condition but I am also relieved that it has a name and is common. Donald was concerned that he was not tolerating the chemo very well because no one could tell us why he was turning red and having the burning sensation. It made Donald feel so much better when I told him what she had said. Guess it's a good thing the air went out and Donald wanted some milk. The Lord sure does work in mysterious ways. Once again He shows us His power and that He is in control.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Protocol 2 Day 5

Donald has been sleeping off and on for the most part of the day. He is still having stomach issues but the doctors finally ordered something to help. He has been eating in between sleeping. The steroids give him a pretty big appetite. We have to watch him closely because he sometimes falls asleep with food or drink in hand and ends up wearing it if you don't catch him dozing off. He only has one more day of this chemo and then one day of the newest chemo drug and then he will have a 7 day break. Once again he had 2 rounds of chemo today and he has gradually gotten redder as the day has gone on. He is blotchy red from his head to his feet. He woke up a little while ago and said it felt as though he was on fire, literally. The nurse called the doctor and they gave him something to help but it doesn't seem to be doing much. He says his legs are burning, especially when he stands. He is trying to relax right now and let the medications work. Praying they will give him some relief. It is not fun watching someone hurt especially when it is someone you love. You feel so helpless. I wish there was some way for me to take away his pain. I would gladly take his place if I could and I know I am not the only one. God has a plan for Donald and even though he may not be able to see it now, one day it will be revealed to him. I can already see the wonderful things the Lord is doing and how he is using Donald to reach so many people. The Lord can take the worst of situations and turn them into something beautiful. We just have to open our eyes and try to see the bigger picture. Thank you Lord for today and I pray Donald is able to sleep peacefully tonight. As I have been typing in the Blog, Donald has fallen asleep. He appears to be resting very comfortably and the redness has began to subside. Thank you God for answered prayers. :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Protocol 2 Day 4

Well, we are over half way to the end of this 7 day initiation of Chemo. He has 3 more days of chemo before he has a 7 day break. His kidneys are doing good still and his blood levels are good. He will probably need platelets tomorrow as they are right on the verge of falling below the transfusion mark. His magnesium is a little low and has been for a while now. They have been giving him Mag. supplements to keep it stable but it seems like whenever they stop giving it to him it drops again. I guess as long as they can keep it up with supplements it's okay. He has been pretty tired today and this Chemo seems to be taking a tole on him. He is seeing green during and shortly after they give him the morning chemo treatment. The doctor explained that some chemo is toxic to the eyes but since it clears pretty quickly and isn't getting any worse it shouldn't cause any permanent damage to his eyes. He has also started to break out in some sort of rash under his arms that the doctor can't explain. The doctor advised to try benedryl and hydrocortizone cream. It is more than likely chemo related but we are going to watch it and make sure it doesn't get any worse. The chemo is also upsetting his stomach a good bit.

He is trying to stay positive and is talking about all of the things he wants to do when he gets out of the hospital. I am so glad to hear him talking about the future instead of worrying he will never make it home. He is so funny sometimes because he fights his sleep. Just when you think he is out and resting, his head pops up and he looks at you. He looks like a little bobble head doll sometimes. :)

Lord we lay our burdens and troubles at your feet. We are turning it all over to you. You are the Great Physician and we know you will heal Donald's broken body. You are the Almighty God and we praise you. Thank you Lord for all of your blessings.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Protocol 2 Day 3

Well today went much like yesterday. The first round of Chemo zapped him pretty bad but he was able to recover, for the most part,  by the end of the day except for being extremely tired. You can tell this Chemo is really doing something as apposed to the former protocol where he didn't get sick at all. He is still hanging in there and doing good, considering. He didn't have to have blood or platelets today so that was good. Thanking God for another good day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Protocol 2 Day 2

Chemo hit Donald pretty hard this morning. He had his first round of one of the new chemo drugs about 9am and before it was finished he was having shortness of breath and rapid heart beat. This chemo is more commonly given to children and is pretty strong. His vitals were fairly normal and we just had to let the chemo run its course.  He is better now and is trying to rest. He is getting his second round of chemo for the day and it doesn't appear to be as hard on him. This one is something he has had in the past and is frequently used on adults. He will be getting chemo twice a day through Saturday and then back down to once a day for 2 days. He will be getting 2 units of blood today and will probably get platelets tomorrow. His kidney function is perfectly normal and even continues to improve everyday. Thanking God for his continued improvement and praying for healing.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chemo Protocol 2 Day 1

Donald had his first round of Chemo for this protocol this afternoon and appears to be tolerating it very well. He has not had any nausea or other side effects thus far. His kidney function is completely normal and all things considered his other lab work looks good. He has been resting most of the day and appears to be in good spirits. Thanking God for a great start to his treatment and for a clear direction in the way he should go.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bone Marrow Complete

They just finished Donald's bone marrow biopsy. Everything went very well. He was able to get comfortable with the help of a Boppie Pillow. They also were able to get the bone and aspirate all in one stick as apposed to 3. God is so good! Now he just needs an echo of his heart and 3 ekg's and he will be set for Chemo tomorrow. Thanking God for all of his blessing and praying that all will continue to go well.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bone Marrow

If anyone would like to go ahead and register to be a bone marrow donor you can go to www.marrow.org. It only takes about 5 minutes to register and they send a kit to you. This is the best way to become a donor and even if you are not a match for Donald maybe you will be a match for someone else.

Yet Another Night Without Rest

All was going good last night until about an hour after we went to sleep. Donald woke up in  excruciating pain from his head to his toes. We could not figure out what was causing the pain. His nurse called the doctor and they gave him some additional pain medication which didn't help. After about 2 hours and 2 more medications he was finally able to rest for a little while but by that time the day shift doctors, nurses, etc... started coming in every hour on the hour waking him up. He is still hurting but not quite as bad as last night. The doctors and surgeons aren't sure why he is hurting all over but think maybe it has something to do with moving around so much yesterday and possibly because he didn't have anything to eat or drink for so long. Hopefully he will start to feel better once he is able to sleep. He was finally getting comfortable a little while ago and they came to get him for a chest X-Ray that we knew nothing about. The nurse came and told us it's one of the test to get him ready for Chemo. She also informed us that on Monday he will be having another echo of his heart, an ekg, more lab work and of course the bone marrow biopsy in preparation for his treatment. So, Monday will be a very busy day. On a more positive note, his kidney's are looking good and his chest looks great. It appears he is on the road to recovery. They are still planning to start Chemo Tuesday unless something changes. On one hand we are ready to start Chemo but on the other hand we are dreading it. It will not be easy but the Lord will watch over him just as he has been doing for the past 32 years. Healing is not far away. There are better days yet to come.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Great News

We get down to the IR department to have his drain put in and find out that the abscess on his chest is just a hematoma. :) They drew 20cc of blood out of it and said he didn't need a drain. They advised it would heal on it's on. They sent a culture to the lab to be sure but it did not appear to have any infection in it at all. When we returned to the room and removed the bandage, the abscess was reduced by at least 50%. It is still draining blood and looks really good. We were so relieved to find out he didn't need a drainage tube. His kidney's are still improving and the plan is to do another bone marrow biopsy Monday and start Chemo Tuesday. Still praying for strength and healing. To God be the glory, GREAT things he has done!!

Another Biopsy

Just found out that all of the tests they did for him to be on the research protocol have expired. So, he is going to have to have another bone marrow biopsy possibly Monday to make sure the diagnosis is still the same. The doctor says he knows it will be the same but they have to do the test to put him on the Chemo. Maybe I am just an optimist but wouldn't it be wonderful if they did the biopsy and he was in remission! I know God is all powerful and if it is his will it can happen. Speak those things that are not as though they are. I will remain faithful. For I know God is in control and can do all things. He performs miracles each and every day. All things happen for a reason and God has a plan for Donald. We as Christians need to stop looking at the here and now and let God work because he is all knowing and he will never leave us. We have to have faith. Everything is going to be okay!

Change of Plan

The surgical team came by yesterday and did an ultrasound on Donald's chest and found there is some accumulation of fluid deeper than they anticipated. The surgeon said she believes it's just fluid and there is no infection but they don't won't it to turn into an infection. They are going to take him down to IR this morning and put another drain in his chest to drain the rest of the fluid off.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Improvement

I was able to get Donald to take a short walk around the floor last night. He was pretty tired when we returned to the room but it appears to have helped his kidney function. We spoke with the doctor this morning and his kidneys improved significantly overnight. Praise the Lord! His chest is still healing but he has a small abscess just beneath the surface that they are going to have to drain. It will be just a minor surgical procedure that they can do at bedside. So far the steroids have not caused his blood sugar to spike and we are hoping it stays that way. We did talk with the doctor about alternatives to finger sticks because his fingers have been stuck so many times and are still numb from the Chemo. So, if his sugar does start to rise they can just take blood from his central line.

We had a great visit from the hospital chaplain yesterday which I believe greatly uplifted his spirits. The good news about his kidneys made him feel a lot better too. He is anxious about having the abscess drained but he will feel so much better when it's done. His blood levels are also rising and that always helps him to feel better. His platelet count is falling a little each day but that is expected. It is still at a safe level and he hasn't had to have a platelet transfusion yet this time. There has been so much good news today. Thanking God for everything.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Back On Steroids

Well Donald slept good last night once he finally was able to go to sleep. His kidney's did not improve any since yesterday and his calcium levels have been running high so they are going to put him on steroids for 5 days to see if that will bring the calcium levels down and improve his kidney function. They have run several test to try and determine why his calcium is high and they can find nothing. If the steroids don't work we have to go to plan B and start him on the alternative Chemo protocol. The doctor said he will be starting Chemo this weekend one way or the other. We are running out of time and he needs to start treatment. I told Donald this morning that if his kidney function did not improve and he has to go on the alternative protocol then it was Gods way of telling us that is the best route. If his kidney's improve then we will know the research protocol is the best choice. Just because the doctors think something is best doesn't always make it so. God is in control and will make sure he goes on the right protocol to treat this disease and be cured. Donald is getting a little anxious about having to start Chemo and wants to go home terribly bad. There are day's when he will tell me that he is afraid he is never going back home. He needs everyone's prayers now more than ever. Medically speaking, he is doing great but mentally he is struggling. It's harder as an adult to stay positive because you know too much but, I know he is strong enough to beat this and he will be even stronger when this is all over. I find comfort in the Lord and he has told me everything is going to be okay. This is just another trial that he has to overcome. Satan plants seeds of doubt in our minds to try and turn our focus from God and to fear the things of this world but the Lord tells us we have nothing to fear.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Progress

Today has been a good day for Donald. He was able to eat 2 full meals and took a 3 hour nap. I wheeled him downstairs a little while ago and we sat by the fountain and talked for about 30 minutes. It was good to get him out of this room for a little while. It seems to have lifted his spirits a little. I am hoping to get him to walk a little tomorrow.

He has somehow developed an allergy to Morphine so he is limited to what he can take for pain. Luckily he is not hurting as badly as he was. He was actually able to go all night last night without taking anything for pain. He gets a little better in all areas every day.

Slowly But Surely

Donald's kidney's are still improving slowly. We are averaging about a tenth of a point drop in his numbers each day. He only has .7 to go. It won't be long now before they can start Chemo. His chest looks great today. His nerves are still getting the best of him and he was a little nauseated this morning but he is doing good now. I made him get in the wheelchair and took him for a short trip down the hall and then Bro. Carl came by for a visit so that helped. I plan to get him out of the room for a little while today and maybe go downstairs. He hasn't really left the room since we came in on the 25th of April. Praying he can keep his spirits up.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Panic Sets In

Donald's morning didn't start out very good. He woke up around 4:30 and started thinking about everything. He quickly became overwhelmed and began to panic. He said it felt has though someone was pushing on his chest and he couldn't breath. The nurse checked all of his vitals, did an EKG and put him on oxygen. His heart rate and blood pressure were the only things elevated. They finally were able to calm him down and he was doing okay by the time I made it to the hospital. Patricia joked that he was acting out because I went home for the night. LOL!!! He was still a little shaken when I arrived this morning but he has got much better as the day went on. He got out of bed and sat in the chair for several hours today and also got in the shower the evening. He was finally able to eat some soup tonight and has held it down which is great because he hasn't been able to eat the past couple of days due the nausea. His kidneys are still improving and we are nearing the Chemo start date. His chest is continuing to improve as well and they would like to see it much improved before starting Chemo because it's going to wipe out his immune system again and he really needs that to help fight off this infection. Praying for healing and thanking the Lord for each day he gives us to spend with Donald. For it is by his Gods grace alone that he is doing so well and able to stay strong and continue to get better with each passing day.

Blessings by Laura Story

This is a beautiful song! So very true!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Good report!

The doctor came in this morning and said Donald's chest is looking good and his kidneys are much better. His platelet count is hanging in at 53 and everything else is about the same. They took him off of one of his antibiotics today so he is only taking 2 now. He is still a little nauseated but trying to eat a little at a time. We are hoping that by eliminating one of the antibiotics the nausea will subside. He has been a little down today and wants to go home so bad. If all continues to go well he will start Chemo this week sometime. According to the doctor we have a small window to start Chemo because the leukemia just gets worse each day we wait but we want to make sure he is healthy enough to withstand the treatment. He is pretty weak right now and his blood pressure is still running high at times. Praying the Lord continues to watch over him and keep him strong.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Test Results

Donald's cultures came back from the infection in his chest and it's MRSA. He is on contact isolation now so if anyone comes to visit you have to wear gloves and a gown. He will have to be put on contact isolation every time he comes to the hospital for the next 2 years. The good news is they know what kind of infection it is and how to treat it. He will be on antibiotics for a few more weeks and he should be good to go. They are still waiting on his kidney function to improve and also for the incision from surgery to heal before they start any Chemo. We are looking at having to stay in the hospital until the end of June, at minimum.

It has been a rough day for Donald. His blood pressure has been elevated and he got a migraine this morning which caused him to get sick. The doctor said his blood pressure is probably a result of the sedation during surgery but they were going to keep an eye on it. They gave him some pain medicine and anti-nausea medication which has help a good bit but he is still feeling a little sick and has a mild headache.

We are just taking everything one day at a time. Praying the Lord continues to give him strength and heal his body.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Getting Better Everyday

Donald is still pretty sore from the surgery but he has been getting out of the bed some today. I was able to get him to sit up in the chair for about 15 minutes. He has been a little nauseated from all of these medications but its tolerable with Phenergan. His chest is healing beautifully and looks so much better. His kidney's are still getting better each day. It's slow going but he is hanging in there.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pain, Pain Go Away!!!

Donald's pain is finally manageable. We were up for most of the night but he was finally able to get some rest about 3 this morning. He has been sleeping for most of the morning. His chest still hurts but the pain medication is keeping it at a tolerable level. We are hoping they will be in soon to remove the ace bandage and relieve the pressure from his chest. The doctor took a peak this morning and said the redness has gone down a good bit. Praise the Lord. I was able to get him to eat a little breakfast this morning which is good because he didn't eat anything yesterday. His kidney's are still getting better. He is just a few digits away from having full kidney function again. Donald is having to overcome a lot this time but God has been with him every step of the way. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but with each passing day and each good report there is a flicker in the distance. He is going to pull through and this will just be one more thing he has made it through. Another inspirational story to tell others. We just have to keep our eyes on God and trust in him.

We have had some people asking about the address to send mail and get well wishes to Donald. You can send them to the hospital address and put his home address on the back of the card. He just can't have any live plants. The address's are as follows:

UMMC
Donald Fitzgerald Room #551
2500 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216

Home address
746 S. Springlake Circle
Terry, MS 39170

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pain

Donald woke up around 2pm and was in a lot of pain. His pain got progressively worse over the course of the evening. We were finally able to get the on call doctor to prescribe something a little stronger for pain about 7:30pm. The first dose of pain medicine didn't even take the edge off but they increased the dosage around 9pm and after about 15 minutes he was able to relax and is now sleeping soundly again. The doctor said he shouldn't be in much pain because it was a minor surgery but I explained to the doctor that the infected area was already tender to the touch before surgery. So if you take a very tender spot on a very tender area and cut it open, clean it out with a "pressure washer", put in a drainage tube and then wrap the area tightly with an ace bandage........what do you get???? PAIN, lots and lots of PAIN. It took the doctor seeing him in tears to convey the message. I am so thankful they finally were able to give him something to help with his pain that actually works. Praying he is able to sleep through the night.

Surgery Update

Donald is out of surgery and back in his room. Everything went well and he is resting now. They have a drainage tube in for continue draining any remaining infection and they have wrapped his chest with an ace bandage to squeeze any remaining fluid out of the infected area. He should feel much better tomorrow after they remove the bandage. He has some discomfort from the surgery but he is still able to rest. Hopefully he will sleep most of the day, he needs it.

His kidney function is slowly improving each day. He should have normal kidney function by the end of the week if all goes well and I am optimistic that it will. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Surgery it is!!!!

Okay, so the doctor came in and said there is definitely infection in his chest that needs to be drained. We just spoke with the Surgeon and they are going to get him in the OR tomorrow morning. He can't eat or drink anything after midnight. They could attempt to do the surgery at bedside but it would be very uncomfortable and they might night get all of the infection if they do it that way. Since they are taking him to the OR they can put him to sleep and he should have minimal discomfort. I am hopeful he will feel much better once they relieve the pressure in his chest. His kidney function has improved some so the doctor feels they are on the mend.

I had a talk with the nurse last night and was able to eliminate some of the interruptions throughout the night so Donald was able to sleep a little more than usual. He is still tired and is resting now. He is a little anxious about having surgery tomorrow but they are going to give him something for anxiety before he goes down for surgery to take the edge off. Overall, he is doing okay. He is ready to be healthy again and wants to go home. Praying for healing and peace of mind as we continue on this journey. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

What's the verdict?

So, we are waiting on the doctor to tell us what the CT scan says. To cut or not to cut.........

Another Test

The doctor just came in and said they want to do another CT Scan of Donald's chest to make sure there are no abscesses. If there are any then they will have to go in and drain them before his chest will heal. In a way it would be good for them to find an abscess so that the cellulitis would heal and he could get off of these antibiotics. On the other hand, he is not excited about getting cut on in order to drain the abscess. His kidney's are still about the same but that is good. The doctor said they usually plateau for a couple of days and then begin to improve. They are going to wait another day or 2 and see if the kidney function will return to normal before they start chemo. Praying Donald can rest some before they start his chemo treatments.

Insulted

Okay, so basically the doctors said they insulted Donald's kidneys by giving him too much vancomycin. His kidneys got mad and said nope, not gonna do ANYMORE. They decreased one of his antibiotics and took him completely off the vanc. His urine output is good but as of yesterday there was no change in his kidney levels. They drew blood again this morning so we will see if his kidney function has improved. The kidney doctor just came in and said that he believes his kidneys should make a full recovery and this is not uncommon for hospitalized patients. That is code for "we messed up and are going to blame it on being in the hospital". HA! I feel confident his kidney function is on on the mend. We are still waiting to see if he will start Chemo today and if so, which protocol. He has not slept well over the past few days and is exhausted. I wish there was some way for him to sleep for a full 8 hours. He would feel so much better. They are still giving him IV fluids and he had 2 units of blood yesterday. He is trying to sleep now but the staff keeps coming in and waking him. I wish they would all get together and come in at the same time instead of every 30 minutes. I guess you can't always get what you want but it doesn't hurt to try. :) Continuing to pray for healing and a full recovery.
 

Friday, May 6, 2011

What a day!

So, we started the day off with and EKG followed by a bone marrow aspiration. Donald's labs came back showing his kidneys are not functioning as good as they should so he had to get an ultrasound of his bladder and kidneys to rule out kidney stone, etc...They have called off his Chemotherapy until they get his kidney function back to normal. I received a call from one of his doctors letting me know they think the reason for the low kidney function is one of his antibiotics. It is supposed to be at about 17 to be therapeutic and it is at 79 which is extremely high. The doctor is hopeful everything will be okay and he should be able to start Chemo on Monday. Donald has decided to go with the research trial chemo protocol and he has to have normal kidney function before he can begin treatment. They came in about 30 minutes ago and did an echo of his heart to make sure his heart can still withstand more chemotherapy. They also drew 6 cultures because he has started running a fever and they need to know what is causing it. Donald was not happy because he had to be stuck again for 2 of the cultures and of course they didn't get it on the first try. He is still waiting for them to take him down to get an X-Ray of his chest as a pre-chemo test. Hopefully this will be the last test they have to do today. Donald is extremely tired and just wants to rest. It has been a very long day. I know I say this a lot but please continue to pray.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

God is in control!

Donald has not had a very good day today. His nerves are starting to get the best of him. He was feeling nauseated earlier but took some medication and is now resting. He is worried about the treatment and fears the worst. I told him God is in control and will get him through this. I can't blame him for being worried and I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared. I have my moments but I just turn my eyes to God and know everything is going to be okay. No matter what happens, it will all be okay. God is going to take care of him. Worrying doesn't do any good. Satan wants us to be fearful but God tells us we have nothing to fear. I am so blessed to be a child of God because I don't think I could handle this if I didn't have a relationship with the Lord. He is my Rock and he helps me to stay strong for Donald. I know Satan uses times like these to push us away from God but I find comfort in the Lord and it only draws me closer to him. I pray Donald can keep his strength up and turn to God when he has fear and doubt. It is difficult for him at this time but there are better days ahead. He has a lot to live for and I know he can pull through. He hasn't come this far to throw in the towel.

Please continue to pray for Donald. He really needs your prayers now more than ever.

Pros and Cons

Okay, so we finally spoke with the doctor and it is official. The leukemia is still in his marrow. She said it's not any worse but its not much better either. Some better but not much. At this point he has 2 treatment options. One is a standard more intense protocol and the other is a research protocol. The research protocol includes 2 very good chemotherapy drugs they use on adults and a trial drug that works great on children but has not been used on adults. He has until tomorrow to decide what he wants to do. The doctor thinks the trial would be his best shot because it includes chemo's he has never had before and hopefully it will put him in remission. He has to be in remission before they can do a transplant. The doctor also said they have potential matches for his bone marrow and are running further test now to see if they are a good match. It can take up to 6 months to find a donor. We are praying this new protocol will put him in remission and we will be able to find a donor soon so he doesn't have to undergo more chemo than necessary. They are going to do another bone marrow aspiration in the morning and will start chemotherapy. Everyone please pray that he chooses the right protocol and that it puts him in remission. The Doctor said his leukemia is very aggressive this time. We know God can and will heal his body.

There were some people asking about being a bone marrow donor and at this point the best way to become a donor is through the national bone marrow registry. bethematch.com. If they don't find a match on the registry we will look to friends and family to be tested. I will let everyone know where they can go to be tested should it come to that.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

30 more days

We just spoke with the doctor and preliminary results are in. She advised it doesn't look good. She said she can't say for certain but it looks like he is going to have to start another 30 day induction of Chemo first thing tomorrow. She said she looked at the scans herself and there are still some bad leukemia cells lingering in his bone marrow. We will have to wait for the final report but she is pretty sure he is going to have to undergo a more powerful Chemo regimen. Donald is disappointed and is trying to act like it is not bothering him but I can tell he is upset. I am fighting back the tears with every ounce of my being and trying to be strong for him but it is so very hard. We can only hope and pray the doctor is wrong. If he has to undergo more treatment it will be difficult but he will get through this. God is in control and will take care of him.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No news!

Sorry I have been out of touch for a few days. Donald is still in the hospital. He had his biopsy yesterday and they took fluid, bone marrow and a piece of his bone for testing. Overall, the biopsy went very well. His chest hurt more than anything. It was very painful having to lie on his stomach. It is still pretty tender today but not unbearable. He has not slept very good the past 2 nights, mostly because he has been nervous about the test results. We were hoping to have the results today but they are still not in. The doctor said they could come in tonight but more than likely it will be in the morning before we hear anything. We are praying that he is in remission and we can continue on with the transplant. His blood levels are still on the fence and his platelets have been dropping slightly over the past few days but the doctors don't appear to be very concerned.  The infectious disease doctors say he is clear to go home as far as they are concerned but it is up to the hemetology doctors.  If he still has leukemia cells in his marrow he will have to undergo another induction phase which would mean he has to stay in the hospital longer and undergo stronger Chemo than before. Everything depends on the biopsy results.

He has finally tuckered out and is sleeping soundly. He has had a very busy couple of days. His Aunt and Uncle are visiting from California and have been by to see him quite a bit.  One of his friends from Texas came by to see him today which really made his day. He may not know it but he had a lot to do with Donald completing treatment when he relapsed the last time.  Also, Donalds friend Aaron came to the hospital last night to stay with him so that I could go home and spend some time with the kids. Thank you Aaron. It meant so much to me and especially Donald. He really enjoyed your company. I am sure it was nice to spend time with someone other than me and have some guy talk. :)  For those of you who don't know Aaron, he stayed with Donald a lot when he relapsed with leukemia the last time. They had a lot to talk about. We are so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful friends and family.

I tried to go back to work yesterday but I was a nervous wreck the entire day. By the time I got back to the hospital I was so anxious and out of sorts. I just feel like a piece of me is missing when I am not by his side to help him get through this. Every minute away from him feels like hours. I have spoken with my supervisors and they have been very understanding and are trying to accommodate as best they can. I don't have to come back to work until he comes home from the hospital.  I greatly appreciate their support.


Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers. We can feel the love surrounding us and know God has a plan for Donald greater than he could ever imagine.