Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Set Back

Ann complained of being "a little short of breath" one day while walking to class last week and those few words have proven to be like a small snow ball rolling down an alpine mountain side. Pressing question was "how tall is the mountain and how big will the snow ball get"?

Well that and the chest x-ray that MDA took last week, which showed a couple more fluffy infiltrates on it that weren't around on a similar one from a year ago. With that MDA went into overdrive looking into what the source of the breathlessness (dyspnea) and fluffy looking wisps are. Principally the cause was one of the following: Lymphoma, Extramedullary ALL, Aspergillosis (or some other equally unattractive fungal variant), Pneumonia, or GvHD.

One open lung lung biopsy, liver biopsy, lots of blood work and 5 trips to Houston later and we have an answer - chronic GvHD of the Lung. This is an add on to the skin, eye, mouth and liver manifestations that have already flared up.

So good news here is that in general GvHD is good. It is much (very much) preferable to Leukemia and Dr. K believes that Ann's new case is relatively mild. The treatment is Steroids, and Ann has had a fast reaction to them in the past. So the steroid pulse may only last a couple of weeks or months.

Unfortunately there is a down side. Puffiness, low immune system, anti-biotics, anti-funguals and a few other things that Ann will probably have lots more to talk about. That’s a subtle way of saying she's going to want to vent...lots and I'm not going to take that away from her.

For my part, I'm just grateful that she's still here for me to love.


7 comments:

Kcecelia said...

Very concerned about Ann. Woke up much too early in California—it is 3:30—and checked Twitter and saw your update. Thank you for writing it. I am glad the lovely Ann is still here for you to love too.

twentysomethinggirl said...

Please tell Ann that her bloggy friends love her and we're thinking about her. ♥ ♥ ♥

lisa adams said...

Thanks so much for the update, Chris... Ann and I were exchanging tidbits during the day, but I am glad to hear more information. it's the old "there's good news and bad news..." Sorry that you have more to deal with, Ann, but relieved it's not lymphoma.

Vent away, dear Ann... you deserve it. And I will be right here listening at every word.
xoxo

Susan C said...

So sorry that you have to go through this, Ann.

PJ said...

Oh, Ann, what a drag. Steroids? Ugh. I've been on them now for almost a year but am weaning. Chris is right--better than other options. I'll try to call tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

chris,
I went to high school with Ann. Please let her know that I am thinking about her and both of you are in my prayers. I hope she is able to recover quickly. You are truly blessed to have each other.
bridget

Nancy said...

Ann, I'm sorry for the seemingly continuous setbacks. Hang in there. Hopefully, you'll respond to the "roids" in a timely fashion and without further incident!

Thinking of you girl. Be tough...
love ya.. my wwf buddy, transplant buddy and dear friend... n