Friday, April 3, 2009


We woke up early this morning to get ready for our weekly follow-up appointment at UCLA. Krista took a bath hoping there would be progress. When she was ready to get out of the tub, she asked God to give her a new trick to make it easier than last time. I was in the other room at the time, but she said that she rolled over on one knee and one foot, and found that it was real easy to get up with the help of the bar. When she told me about it, I was amazed because I forgot to tell her about an email from her friend Loa who suggested what sounded to me like the same maneuver!

We drove down to UCLA, and though the trip was long the traffic was surprisingly good. There, her lab results confirmed Krista's stability in her blood levels: platelets 44,000, red 9.3, white 15.3. Everything was high enough so it wasn't necessary to get a transfusion. Her white count is actually way higher than the normal range, but the reading is due to the steroid she's taking not because of an infection. The oncologist reduced her steroid dose in half to help with this and to see if the GVHD rash comes back or not.

The potassium that we thought was under control, turned out not to be. It was up to 5.8, which is higher than the normal range but not yet dangerous. It's frustrating because she's been trying hard to minimize her potassium intake. Her oncologist is confused by this problem because this kind of thing just doesn't happen with his patients. Usually, he says, the kidneys get leaky and flush potassium. Since this is beyond him, he scheduled an appointment with an endocrinologist at UCLA on Monday. He suspects that there is a problem with Krista's adrenal glands not generating aldosterone. While we wait for the answers, Krista has to continue to eat foods low in potassium. This has been a really difficult thing for her. Food has been one of the few earthly comforts left to her, and it feels like that joy has been taken away.

While we were at UCLA waiting for the doctor, Krista saw an older woman holding a young baby. They started talking and the woman said it was her daughter's baby and that her daughter had leukemia just like Krista. Janette, her daughter, recently had a baby and then 4 months later was diagnosed with leukemia. Janette came out later and Krista was glad to get to meet her. She's in the early phases of the stem-cell transplant process, looking for a matching donor. We'll be praying for you, Janette, to find a good donor match quickly and that the transplant goes well.

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.
(Psalm 33:18-22)

No comments: