6 Months!

6 months ago today Todd got a phone call telling him something was wrong with his blood test. 5 bone marrow biopsy’s, 3 rounds of chemo, 2 hospital stays, and 1 bone marrow transplant later…. he is leukemia free! God is great! We have been blessed with amazing doctors, nurses, family, friends and community. CURED 4 EVER!! Bet you were wondering where the 4 went

Thank you for all of the positive thoughts and prayers!  Less then 2 weeks until Day +100!

+70

Wow!  Less then a month away from 100 days!  Amazing!

Here’s the update:

-Todd got a BME (DNA test of his immune system) about 2 weeks ago, and the results came back in the 70s new so the doctors have reduced his meds a little quicker then originally planned.  The immune suppressants are suppressing the new immune system a little too much, so we’ll just reduce the amount that he’s taking at a quicker rate.  They redid the test Monday, and hopefully we’ll have the results this week or next.  And they will do another one next Monday.  The problem with these tests is that they take so long to get back that things have changed since you did the last one.  The doctors are playing catch up and preplanning all at the same time.

-Todd will have a Bone Marrow Biopsy next Friday!  This is exciting because we get a lot of information from those.

-April 22 and 25 are exciting days for Todd as we get a lot of information about his immune system, vaccines, and the plan for the next few months.

-Molly comes home in about 1 month!  Todd and I are hoping the weather starts getting nicer so the two of them can go for outside walks :)

Please help us pray for perfect engraftment, no GVHD (graft vs. host), and yes to GVL (which Graft vs. Leukemia).

Thank you! :)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Today is +61!  Todd is completely off one medication!  A few more to go but one is progress!  :)  He is now jogging!  He walks 5 minutes then jogs 45 seconds, he’s jogged as many as three time through a walk!  We ran into one of the “fellows” that was with us both times Todd was in- patient and she came up to us specifically to tell Todd how great he looks! :)  What a nice compliment!

We are doing well and we thank you for the prayers and support! :)

+47

Todd is almost halfway to 100!  How exciting :)  He continues to get stronger every day.  We didn’t get to meet with a doctor this week because Todd’s doctor was in Texas learning more about BMT, which is fine.  Todd is doing so great that they didn’t feel the need to send him to see different doctor.  We will see the doctor this week, can’t wait to find out what’s next for Todd :)  Hopefully they will reduce the meds that he is on.

Two additional things:

1. I have made Todd a book of inspiration and could use some extra things to add, so if you have inspirational quotes/sayings or just things you want to remind him about that you could email me that would be great!  CorrieEngle@gmail.com

2. If you get the chance please say extra prayers for someone that is an inspiration to Todd, but could use some prayers themselves for their own challenges.  Please pray for positive outcomes, strength and healing for this person.  Thank you!

Have a great week :)

+40!

Wow, it’s already day +40!  Todd is continuing to do wonderfully, he is working hard to get better as soon as he can.  He is looking forward to returning to more and more activities as the year progresses.  Hopefully next week Todd will start taking less meds because he is doing so great!

Exciting News!!  AND the news you have all been waiting for… Todd is 84% new immune system in his T Cells, and 99% new in his peripheral blood!  We are so excited and the nurses and doctors are excited too because those are some awesome numbers!  That test was drawn when he was around 1 month out, so that number should have gone up some more since then.  I don’t know how often they will draw blood for that test, but as we get more results we will share them.

The next big thing that will be happening is Todd’s blood type should finish changing.  This is a more interesting process for Todd because he is going from O to A…. so let me explain… people with O blood make anti A and anti B fighters, people with A make anti B and people with B make anti A and people with AB make nothing.  Still with me?  So because Todd is going from O to A he has anti A fighters in his body.  Next part… the easiest way for me to explain what I have learned about how cells work is the following: You have the top layer which is either working or dying (your cells either get used up or they die off for the next set), you have the middle layer which is the layer that is getting ready to do work if needed, and then you have the third layer which is the growing layer, it’s the layer that cells are created.  Okay, back to what’s going on in Todd’s body… Todd still has anti A that his body made before all the chemo, and the transplant, we are waiting for all the Anti A to either die off or continue to get used up.  Once it’s all gone then the A blood will take over more easily and the O will leave.  Todd’s body no longer makes Anti A but it still needs to get rid of the Anti A it already has in it.  Hope that makes some sense?  If not sorry, I did the best I could :)

So we are praying that those anti As hurry up and leave so the new A blood can take over.  And we are praying this a is a smooth transition.  The doctors said that Todd could need transfusions during this time but we are praying that everything goes so well that he doesn’t need that.

+32

I can’t believe we are already a month post transplant!  Todd is still impressing the doctors, nurses.. pretty much everyone!  He’s doing fantastic.  He’s been lifting a few times a week to condition and just start building some strength.  He’s walking or now riding a stationary bike at home to build up some stamina, we went to the grocery store this week (during quiet hours) and he was able to walk around for about 20 minutes!  He was sore afterward, but that’s a huge accomplishment!

As far as the medical aspect goes: Todd got his blood drawn for his first DNA/Immune System Test (not what it’s really called but you get the idea) on Wednesday.  We won’t get the results for another week or two, but it’s a test that will show how much of Todd’s immune system is the old vs. the new.  They will look at the DNA and figure out how much is Todd’s and how much is Rogers.  It’s awesome and amazing that they can do that.  I think this is part of determining the % of engraftment.  I’m not 100% sure….  We also had to make extra trips to the clinic this weekend because Todd’s cyclosporine levels were pretty high this week.  So they had to stop his medicine, and do some extra tests to watch his level.  It dropped back to normal range after Todd skipped a few doses, and they will recheck it tomorrow.  They watch this level very carefully because it is an immune suppressant and very important to help avoid graft verse host disease.  I am praying that Todd needs less cyclosporine because his new immune system is getting along so well with his old one that he doesn’t need as much helper meds :)  I am always trying to find the positive thing in whatever results we get.    We will hear more about his levels tomorrow, and they may lower his dose to meet his body’s needs.

Today was an excellent day for me, because I got to see MOLLY! :)  She is loving her 2nd family, and they are so wonderful to her.  It was nice not to feel sad leaving her today.  Not because I don’t miss her, but because I know how great they are to her, it makes it easier for Todd and I not to have to worry about her care through this process.  Todd was a little jealous, but I gave him a BIG hug from her :)

We have been blessed by God through this whole journey, in everything, from support from family, friends and community, to doctors, nurses and medicines.  God is constantly working through everyone to help us, and we appreciate all of our blessings.

+25

Todd is a quarter way to his 100 days!! YAY!!! We had another doctors appointment on Friday and Todd’s BMT Dr and his nurse as SO pleased with his progress!  The nurse even showed us a graph of the last few blood tests because she said the inclines are steady and perfect and she just wanted to show them off!  :)  How cool is that?!  Todd went to hangout at men’s basketball this past week which was good, he even got to shoot around a little on the side line.  He said that shooting felt great, it was nice to see him in his “physical element”.  He’s also doing some light lifting at home in addition to his daily walking.  He wants to be ready to go back to school as soon as the doctors clear him!  We should be getting DNA results looking at his immune system.  They will test how much is new and how much is old.  It’s SO cool that they can do a test and tell these things!  I will let you all know what they say this week :)  Have a wonderful and blessed week!

Home since Thursday

Well we are loving being home! My family visited over the weekend, it was really nice to see my mom and my sisters.  We also had some friends over for the Super Bowl last night, and ate tons of yummy food!  Honestly, I am enjoying just sitting at home watching movies, cooking and cleaning, yes…. cleaning is currently very enjoyable.  That probably won’t last forever, but I’m hoping that some of the enjoyment sticks around :)  Didn’t say I’m good at it, but I’m trying.  Todd is the cleaner and I’m the cooker, but since he’s not allowed to clean right now, I am trying. As for cooking, I now have to be more careful when cooling food, and I can’t leave anything out too long because it could be dangerous for Todd to eat.  It’s a good thing I love to cook, because we will be eating in a lot. BTW if anyone had good meal suggestions let me know!  :)  I could always use new ideas.

The doctors said Todd is doing great and to continue being boring.  We still have to come to the clinic frequently, so they can check levels and make sure that he’s continuing to do well.  We also got the schedule up to day 100!  On April 25, Todd’s hickman will be removed!  We are going to pray that this is truly what happens.  We are praying for no GVHD (graft vs. host) and for perfect engraftment.  I think that we will be told he has engraftment on Friday, they need to see a certain number of days with various blood/marrow related things at certain levels.  As you can tell I’m uncertain of the numbers, but I think that Todd’s numbers are now high enough.  Also a very exciting thing!   Todd’s number are all going up on their own, and he doesn’t need platelets or blood, I don’t know if that changes as his blood type continues to change, if as they continue to mix he will need blood, but right now he doesn’t!

So many blessings!  Thank you for the continued support and prayers!

Thursday or Friday?

Well we are just waiting for the doctors to kick us out! :)  It’s awesome to get kicked out!  The pharmacist came to talk to us today, which is ALWAYS a good sign because she is the one who gets your meds on discharge day :)  Todd’s platelets are going up on their own which is a sign of engraftment, which is fantastic.  His white blood count and his neutraphils are the only ones we are waiting on to be able to go home.  We have had some awesome nurses and made some friends during our stay but I can’t wait to be home!  Thank you for all the prayers and please keep them coming! :)

Cleaning… and Prepping!

Over the last few days we have been cleaning and getting the house ready.  Did you know vents are gross?  Todd’s parents spent a whole day cleaning ours because there was so much dust.  So if you have vents you may want to unscrew them and clean them out!  They also had to get us a new washer because I broke ours… OOPS!  Then Allison helped me today finish cleaning!  The doctors said he should be home Friday.  Just waiting :)