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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
Yippy! We started discharge training today! Yes that is what is sounds like! Training for Todd and I about his discharge from the hospital! Can you tell I’m excited? I did a little dance in the hallway after I found out. So that means the plan for tomorrow is getting the house ready for his arrival. His numbers still need to climb but they’ve doubled every 24-48 hours over the last few days so they will continue to do so. The doctors are saying Thursday or Friday will be his discharge day. His main doctor came and visited and told us that as long as things continue the way they are going he will get to come of meds sooner then expected! He is doing so well, he’s setting that BMT bar high His parents didn’t visit today because they were replacing the washer I broke the day before we left for the hospital so I got to pick our verse of the day. (Usually his dad does this, but he didn’t know he wouldn’t be here today.) I wanted to share the verse I picked with all of you!
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Josh 9:1
Have you ever been to a Whole Foods store? Oh My Gosh! It is awesome! I walked around for 30 minutes just looking at all the yummy food! I was so excited to get a fresh veggie tray and some fresh fruit! The only fresh veggies they have here are on the buffet and I’m not really into buffets at a hospital… Nothing stopping sick people during flu season from touching the same food I’m going to… no thanks!! I also stopped at Target to buy the game Risk, and we have been playing the same the game for 2 days! I have never played Risk before, but it is such a LONG game, and there isn’t a lot of space here that we actually use our phones to take pictures of it at the end of the day so we can reset it the next day! And my in-laws now know how competitive I am… I don’t know if that’s good or not?!
As for the important part…the Todd update His numbers dropped again, we are hoping they start going up soon. Todd is praying pretty hard on this. His hair did start to fall out today (day+7) so I will be cutting it again. I don’t know if I posted about cutting his hair last time or not, but WOW was I nervous last time, and I’m even more nervous this time because his platelets are SUPER low… So low that he got blood and platelets today. Doctors are still super pleased with how he’s doing, so that’s great. They keep telling him to keep up the great work! Love him, he works hard even at the hospital! He did so much walking yesterday that he was sore when he woke up today but still managed to get on the stepper in addition to his hall walks! He is still walking about a mile a day! So for those of you who feel too tired to go to the gym later… think about Todd walking a mile! That should be some extra inspiration for you
I am so proud of how well Todd is doing, I told him the other day this experience is SO much different for me this time because I am able to spend the time with him during the day and we have movie dates every day! It’s just so wonderful to see how well he is doing it’s like night and day differences between this time and last time and I am so impressed. I am praying that this continues until he is sent home and I am asking for you to do the same. We are also praying for a perfect engraftment, and engraftment is when the new blood-forming cells start to grow and make healthy blood stem cells that show up in your blood. (Bethematch.org)
Thank you for the prayers and positive thoughts! We love the support!
Todd is doing great! He is walking a lot and the nurses refer to him as the best walker on the floor! Which is good because one of the keys to getting out of here is exercising. He is starting to have some pain in his throat and mouth which is expected although we were praying for no mouth pain this time around. Other than that he told the doctors he’s trying to be as boring as possible for them! As far as his new immune system goes he is already showing signs of the new blood type which is fantastic.
Sunday was pretty fun watching all the football games, and we had visitors which was great! Monday was pretty low-key lots of watching TV, and hanging out.
We thank God for Cleveland Clinic!