Transplant Day +30

“Keep your head up and keep your heart strong.”

Hey everyone, it’s transplant day +30!

Over the last few days Brandon’s fevers have gotten a little lower and a bit less frequent. Although we still don’t know whats going on, I am really hoping that this means things are getting better on their own. In the meantime, the doctors are still investigating possible causes.

Today Brandon had his first post-transplant bone marrow biopsy. The procedure went very well! We should have some preliminary results back tomorrow morning. Please keep us in your prayers as we anxiously await these results.

Today Brandon also had an MRI to check for any abscesses that may be causing the fevers. We should have the results back from the MRI tomorrow.

Thank you all for your love and support. I can’t wait to share some good news with everyone tomorrow!

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Transplant Day +30

 

Transplant Day +29

“You can beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

Hey everyone, it’s transplant day +29!

Today was day 14 of fevers and unfortunately we still do not have any answers. We are still waiting on the results of some more viral and bacterial tests and tomorrow Brandon will be having an MRI to check for anything abnormal. The doctors have also started to look into some noninfectious sources for the fevers as well. They will be running a lot more tests over the next few days so hopefully we’re getting closer to some answers.

Brandon’s biopsy was scheduled for tomorrow morning rather than today. Please keep Brandon in your thoughts and prayers for an easy and successful procedure. We are anxiously awaiting the results and praying for news to indicate a successful transplant.

Although he is dealing with ongoing fevers, Brandon’s condition is stable. All his other vitals are normal and he is doing well otherwise. This process is extremely difficult on the body and it will take a long time for Brandon to recover. Once the fevers are resolved he will be more than ready to be discharged. We are hoping that’s right around the corner!

I will be sure to keep everyone updated as we receive more news. Thank you all for your love, support, and prayers during this time.

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Transplant Day +29

Transplant Day +28

“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.”

Hey everyone, It’s transplant day +28! We have officially made it a month past transplant! Woohoo!

Today, Brandon had an endoscopy of his upper and lower GI to check for graft-verses-host disease (GVHD) among other things. The procedure went very well! The doctor said that visually everything looked completely normal, which is amazing news! We need to wait for the biopsy results to come back to be sure, but so far there is nothing to suggest severe GVHD. HUGE VICTORY!

Since the fevers have been ongoing, they are still trying to get to the root of the cause. At this point, Brandon is a bit of a medical mystery. Today they decided to run more uncommon viral and bacterial tests and have begun to look into more possible noninfectious causes for the fevers. I am really hoping that we get some answers soon. Hopefully this will be the week!

Tomorrow is a very big day for Brandon. He will be having his first post-transplant bone marrow biopsy. They will be looking for any residual leukemia and checking to see what percentage of his bone marrow consists of his donor’s cells. The preliminary results should be back the next day but we won’t have the full results for about a week or so. I will be sure to keep everyone updated as we receive the news. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. This is the first major post-transplant milestone that we need to cross. We are hoping and praying for good results that reflect a successful transplant.

Thank you all for your love and support during this time. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful support system. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers this week as we anxiously await some important test results. Thank you!

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Post anesthesia selfie!

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Transplant Day +28

Transplant Day +26 and +27

“Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come.”

Hey everyone, it’s transplant day +27.

I am sorry that I missed posting yesterday for day +26. The last few days have been very hectic for Brandon and I.

Unfortunately, Brandon’s fevers have continued and don’t show any signs of slowing down. Nothing has come back from the culture of his old CVC line, so it appears that this was not the cause of the fevers. Over the past few days, Brandon’s nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite have worsened. These symptoms, along with his fever, now point to upper GI graph-verses-host disease (GVHD).

After much discussion the doctors have decided to do an endoscopy tomorrow morning. They will be collecting biopsy samples of his esophagus, stomach, and intestines to test for GVHD and other possible problems. Brandon will be put under general anesthesia for the procedure that will take place tomorrow morning at 10 am. Please keep Brandon in your prayers for a successful procedure and a speedy recovery.

After almost two weeks of fevers and no answers we are hoping this procedure gives us some clarity about what is going on. The majority of stem cell transplant patients develop some form of GVHD after transplant and most cases are very treatable. His symptoms don’t severe at this time, so hopefully we are catching it early.

I will continue to keep everyone updated about Brandon’s progress. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

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Transplant Day +25

“Sometimes when things are falling apart they may be actually falling into place.”

Hey everyone, it’s transplant day +25.

I am sad to report that Brandon is STILL running fevers. It will be a few days before we get the lab results back on his old CVC, but it appears that it was not the source of the fevers. Hopefully by Monday the doctors will have a plan about where to go next.

Today Brandon received a dose of G-CSF to boost his counts a little bit since his neutrophil count is on the borderline of being too low. If the fevers are being caused by an infection this should help.

I will be sure to keep everyone up to date on Brandon’s progress. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to search for answers.

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Transplant Day +24

“You may see us struggle, but you will never see us quit.”

Hey everyone, it’s transplant day +24!

Today Brandon had his central venous catheter (CVC) exchanged. Thankfully the procedure went very well! The old catheter has been sent to be tested for bacteria and we should have the results back in a few days. I am hoping that by tomorrow Brandon’s fevers are gone!

In other good news, Brandon’s liver function has continued to improve. Woohoo! I am hoping that his liver continues to heal so that we can avoid having to go through a liver biopsy.

The plan is to continue to monitor Brandon over the weekend and see how things go. If the fevers persist, we will look into other possibilities at that time. I am hoping that today is the turning point where Brandon can get back on the road to recovery. It would be wonderful to go home soon!

Thank you all for your continued love, support, and prayers. We are so blessed.

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Transplant Day +23

“Never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey.”

Hey everyone, it’s transplant day +23!

Unfortunately we have had another 24 hours of fevers. They are continuing to draw blood cultures every 24 hours to check for bacterial infections but so far they have all been negative.

On a happy note, Brandon’s liver enzymes are continuing to trend downward! Due to this, they have decided to hold off on the liver biopsy for now. Yay! At least this is one thing we can skip for now.

Tomorrow they will be removing and replacing Brandon’s central venous catheter (CVC) with a new one. They think it is possible that a small amount of bacteria could be hiding inside the line that they are not picking up in blood cultures due to the strong antibiotics. I am hoping that this solves the mysterious fevers!

I will continue to keep everyone updated with Brandon’s progress. I am hoping that things will start to improve throughout the weekend. Thank you all for your love and support.

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Transplant Day +22

“You have to be at your strongest when you’re feeling at your weakest.”

Hey everyone, it’s transplant day +22.

Not too much has changed over the last few days. Brandon is still running fevers and the doctors still don’t know what is causing them. More tests came back today, all were negative. At this point it has been 48 hours and the new antibiotics are either working slowly, or not working at all.

The doctors have discussed a few possible next steps, although I am not sure which will come first. One idea is that Brandon may have a bacterial infection in his central venous catheter (CVC). They may end up removing and replacing his CVC to rule this out as a possibility. Brandon’s liver enzymes are also elevated, so they have discussed doing a liver biopsy to test for an infection or early graph-verses-host disease. We should know more tomorrow about what’s next.

Thank you all for your love and support. I will continue to keep everyone updated on Brandon’s progress. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

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Transplant Day +21

“Never give up. Great things take time.”

Hey everyone, it’s transplant day +21! We are officially 3 weeks past transplant, which means we are quickly approaching an important milestone. Reaching day +30 is a huge accomplishment and we are almost there!

Today has been another difficult day but we are doing our best to stay positive. More tests have come back negative and we still don’t have any answers about what is causing Brandon’s fevers. However, every test that is negative rules out another possibility. More tests are still pending and we should have more results tomorrow and in the days to come.

The doctors expect the antibiotics to work within 24 to 48 hours if the source of the fevers are bacterial. Although Brandon has been running fevers on and off throughout the day, they haven’t been as high or as frequent. I am hoping and praying that this is a sign that things are starting to turn around. We should know by tomorrow if the antibiotics are effective or not. If not, the doctors have a plan about what steps need to be taken next. Lets hope it doesn’t come to that!

Thank you all for your love, support, and prayers. We can feel it! We are so blessed to have such an amazing support system. I am looking forward to reporting good news tomorrow.

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Transplant Day +21

 

Transplant Day +20

“When life give you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.”

Hey everyone, it’s transplant day +20!

The last few days have been very trying for Brandon, myself, and our family. Brandon’s fevers have progressively gotten higher and more frequent. Despite tons of tests we are still unaware of what exactly is going on. Thankfully, at least we have some answers about what it’s not.

Today Brandon had an ultrasound of his liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and pancreas, which came back normal. He also had a HIDA scan to check his gallbladder function and that was normal as well. Additionally, no new bacteria have grown in the blood cultures and the other viral tests have been negative. While I am glad that nothing serious was found, I am also worried that we still don’t know what is causing his fevers.

We have been playing a waiting game over the last few days while the doctors tried to find the cause of Brandon’s fevers. Since his fevers have been getting progressively worse, they decided to start a stronger antibiotic despite not having a diagnosis. This is not ideal, but Brandon’s immune system is too weak to fight off something like this on its own. The new antibiotic is extremely strong and can have toxic effects on the body, which is why they delayed starting it for so long. I am hoping and praying that it wipes out whatever is causing his fevers so that he can get off of it as soon as possible.

Despite starting the new antibiotics, they will be running additional tests tomorrow to try and isolate the cause of the fevers (in case it’s not bacterial). I am hoping that things drastically improve within the next 24 hours so that we don’t need to go through any more anxiety inducing scans or tests. I am so ready for Brandon to start feeling better so that we can go home.

We also visited with the nephrologist today, which is just a fancy way of saying ‘kidney doctor’.  She was not at all surprised that Brandon’s kidney function has decreased over the last few weeks. The conditioning chemotherapy and transplant process is very hard on the body, especially the kidneys. Furthermore, the large doses of antibiotics and antiviral medications have been adding extra stress. She is not too concerned at this time since his kidney function has leveled out over the last few days. She actually thought his kidney function (despite decreasing) looks pretty good considering all the medication that he is currently taking. They will continue to keep a close eye on his kidney function with the new antibiotic, but they are not too worried right now. Brandon’s kidney function should improve with time as he becomes more stable and is able to get off certain medications.

Please keep Brandon in your thoughts and prayers over the next 24 hours as this new antibiotic works to fight off whatever is causing his fevers. We’re hoping and praying that tomorrow he starts to feel much better! This is the last little road bump we need to cross before we can think about going home. I will continue to keep everyone updated with his progress.

Despite the difficult last few days, I am trying hard to keep things in perspective. We made it into remission and we made it to transplant! Six months ago that seemed that a steep mountain to climb; this is just a little hill in comparison. We are so blessed to be where we are today.

Thank you all for your constant love and support. We couldn’t do it without you.

 

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Look that this handsome guy =)

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Transplant Day +20

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So many scans today!

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Watching the HIDA scan to check his gallbladder function