Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Wonders; New Needs

New wonders never cease: today Krista has regained a lot of control in opening her eyes in response to voices! She's also able to nod her head to answer "yes" and shuffles in her bed a lot more. Unfortunately, the shuffles are usually accompanied by a furrowed brow indicating that she's in pain. My guess is that the pain level probably got to be strong enough that her body wouldn't sleep it off any more. Morphine seems to help with the pain, and that let Darlee Folk (who came down from Lompoc to give me a break today -- thanks Darlee!) and I enjoy brief contacts with her today.

The oncologist was amazed this morning at Krista's mental progress. He said that it was good that I had such "positive energy" and "a calm disposition", and associated her progress with that. He said most husbands would have freaked out about all this. I can only attribute our strengths to God who has provided everything we need, especially hope, knowing that He is working in this for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).

Krista's lab results continue to improve, but the oncologist reminded us that she's not out of the weeds yet. He was particularly concerned about the INR value which, though slightly better, continues to be too high. He wants to get more aggressive with transfusing blood plasma, and said that it would be good to get people donating it. In particular, we are looking for people with AB type blood (that's a single type, not A or B). AB blood is not all that common, and is the only type that doesn't have antibodies. Krista's body has built up a reaction to many antibodies, so AB plasma should make a better match. Blood plasma donations are flash-frozen and can be stored for up to 10 years. The blood bank says that they have some AB plasma in stock, but if they are going to be aggressive with it they could use more. Donating blood plasma is done through apheresis just like donating platelets. If you are in Southern California and have AB type blood, please consider making an appointment with the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center to donate blood plasma for Krista. You can reach them at 310-206-6187. Make sure you ask about the criteria for donating; I think it's the same as for platelets, but I hate for people to drive out and get turned away for a technicality.

Oh, I can't believe I forgot to mention that her white blood count may finally be on the rise! It had fluctuated between 0.0 and 0.1 for weeks, but today it was at 0.2. If it continues to go up that will be an indicator that the stem-cells have grafted. The normal range is between 4.5 and 10.0, so she is still at risk of infection until it gets much higher. She had a small fever last night, and they took cultures and x-rays of her chest to check for any signs of infection. It takes time for those to come back, but praise God that the fever has come down in the meantime.

You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
(Psalm 86:5)

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