Friday, March 30, 2007

Day + 43

It is now 6 weeks post transplant and Dale continues to do well at home. He started home schooling. His first day was yesterday. His teacher is the same teacher he had 3 years ago when he home schooled for a year so there was no first day meet the teacher anxiety. She is wonderful and Dale really likes her. Dale's labs are fairly stable. His ANC has been between 4,000 to 5,000. WBC - 6.1 - 6.4. Hgb - 9.7 Hct - 30.4 Plts - 61,000. He hasn't needed a transfusion since he was discharged but we'll see how that goes. The liver enzymes are however somewhat rocky. It goes up and down. The total bili is now 0.8. It was 0.5. The doctors added a new medication - mycophenolate (MMF) to try to control the upswing in the liver enzymes. They think the reason for the rise is GVH (Graft vs. Host disease - Derek's marrow or Dale's new marrow is "attacking" Dale's liver) His blood pressure is also high from one of his medications so now he has to take medicine for that too. The pill count is now 23 pills a day. He takes them all diligently without question. Today Dale and I went to a tennis court and played a little tennis. He is allowed to play outside as long as he wears a mask and he stays away from crowds.
We didn't last too long. We both got hot and tired but it was fun. Dale still spends most of his day doing is school work. Danny still has a cold so Dale and Danny are not allowed to be in the same room at the same time. Dinner is eaten in shifts. Derek, being the diplomatic brother, sits at the dinner table the entire time Dale eats and then while Danny eats. I make sure Derek is not eating that entire time he is sitting at the dinner table. Those of you who know Derek know that he probably could eat during both shifts. One of their favorite games they play now is Mad Libs. It has all of us laughing. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. Grace and peace.....

Friday, March 23, 2007

Day +36

Today was our first post BMT clinic appointment. We went in at 9am and finished by around noon. We saw some familiar faces. Some of the attending doctors and fellows who took care of Dale in the hospital were there. Labs from yesterday's blood draw at home by home health were wbc - 5.0 ANC - 4140 Hgb - 9.6 Hct 27.6 Plt - 100,000. The repeat platelet count today was 75,000. He may need another platelet transfusion again soon. The liver enzymes were up again. If the enzymes continue to increase, the doctors are thinking of adding another immunosuppressant mediation to keep the new grafted marrow from attacking the liver. Not another pill! We hope and pray that liver will start to recover or at least not worsen. Another set of tests showed Dale was not drinking enough liquids at home. So, Dale is on a mission to drink around 2500 ml/day . Dale takes walks around the block now, somethimes even two times around. He patiently waited fot NCAA baskeball to start up again. Yesterday , Dale made a paper chain from paper Percival the penguin sent in the mail.
It has 65 links to represent the count down to 100 days post transplant. He cuts off one link each day, (Thank you - Percy)
Thank you for your continued prayers.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dale's team of nurses

This is a picture of Dale with some of his nurses right before he took his first step out of isolation. Check out the balloons . Look familiar? Can you believe it ? They are still going strong!! (Thanks again Chad!)

Day +33 and +34

Day + 33 was Wade's birthday so Dale baked him a cake. He really did bake him a cake . All I did was crack the egss for him because I did not want him to touch the eggs. He wore a mask and gloves to protect himself and baked an awesome carrot cake. He had good training from Auntie Millie. Having a good memory helps too. He remembered things that he and Millie did when they baked the cake together before. I of course, didn't remember. His labs from Monday were pretty good.
wbc - 5.2 Hgb - 9.2 Hct - 27.7 platelet - 183,000. The platelets got a boost from the transfusion on Sunday. ANC - 3375. Dale has since started back on a medicine called Dapsone for PCP prophylaxis. This drug can cause bone marrow suppression so hopefully his counts will continue to improve despite the initiation of the dapsone. His labs will be checked again on Thursday. Having Dale home was probably the best present Wade could have ever hoped for.
Day + 34 - The sun finally came out today so Dale went for a walk down the block after riding his pedal bike thing. He came back with tired legs. The day whizzes by for me now that I don't have the conveniences of the hospital services. We are grateful to have Dale home. Friday is his first clinic visit at UCLA . Thank you for your prayers. God bless you all.....

Monday, March 19, 2007

Day +31 and +32

Day + 31 - Labs wbc 2.84 ANC - 2087 Hgb - 8.8 Hct - 27.4 Plt - 36,000. The liver enzymes came down a little again. As long as the liver enzymes come back down even a little, the doctors are happy. The doctors had told us on Friday if the ANC remained above 1000 and his cyclosporine level on Saturday was therapeutic, then Dale could go home on Sunday 2/18. Well, it all fell into place so Sunday evening, Dale was discharged home!!! Last week Tuesday or Wednesday when they were starting to talk about a goal date to go home, Dale told me that he would be ready to go home on Sunday. I thought it was a long shot since everything had to turn out perfect for this to happen. I told him not to get his hopes up too high but he said Sunday would be the day and sure enough it was. He prayed every night and meditated after his prayers . He calls it "brightening his light" (something he learned from a friend at church) (the light refers to God's love) His faith in God remained strong through these past 6 weeks. He has a long ways to go but he is determined to get there. Dale , although home now is still in protective isolation for 100 days after the transplant. He has to wear a mask when he steps outside of the house. Danny and Derek both had caught a cold so they were at Grandma June's when Dale came home. He went straight to the sliding door where his dog, Eski usually sits. She looked at him and started barking. I guess she didn't recognize him with no hair. As soon as she heard Dale's voice ,she calmed down. He then went into his room and looked around. Danny and Derek eventually came home and Dale ran to greet them but keeping his distance for fear of catching their cold. If Dale develops a fever, we have to go back to UCLA. If he catches a cold, his counts could drop and it would be a set back for him. We have a new set of challenges but Dale slept peacefully in his own bed last night . I think we all slept well last night.
Day + 32 - What? No scrambled eggs and french toast for breakfast? Dale and I realized quickly this morning that breakfast would not be sitting on the table at 8:30 am. ( At UCLA, Dale's breakfast was brought in every morning at 8:30am) By the time Dale and I got up, Danny was gone, and Wade and Derek were almost out the door. We will have to get back into the early morning "rush around the house" routine again. The home health nurse visted today bringing supplies for his central line care. It is now my job to flush his lines with heparin and change the dressing everyday. I miss the nurses already. The nurses and staff at UCLA were really wonderful. We were very happy with everyone who took care of us. I have to say "us" because they took care of me too. Later in the day Dale took a break from his studies , put on a mask and sat outside on the bench on our porch. He said the chiily air was "refreshing". This evening we watched a couple of basketball games (recorded on DVD by one of the dads) that his team, the Pacers II, played a few weeks ago. He really enjoyed watching them play and win! At 10pm, he marched into the kitchen,took his 6 pills and went to bed. I think in one day Dale swallows 16 1/2 pills. I have trouble just taking my vitamins. We are so grateful Dale is home. Thank you all for helping Dale get through his hospital stay with your prayers and support. We ask for your continued prayers as he still faces a long journey ahead. God's Grace and Peace to you all.....

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Day + 29, + 30

Day + 29 labs - wbc - 2.2 ANC - 1600 Hgb - 8.7 Hct - 26.4 Plt - 41,000 We were excited that the wbc stayed in the 2's. The liver enzymes went up a little again but the doctors felt it was still fairly stable. My college roommate came to vist (Kathy O) so we went for a walk to UCLA and had lunch at the what used to be the Treehouse in Ackerman Union. It is fancy food court place now. Sally sat and visited with Dale. We walked through campus back to the hospital trying on the way to remember what each building was called . It was a nice break. Dale of course did his schoolwork and then watched the NCAA games keeping close track of the wins and losses. He proudly announced that he was ahead of me by four teams. So far, Derek and Dale are doing pretty well on their predictions. Dale received a letter from his Arlington teacher today. It brought a big smile to his face as she filled him in on the lastest room 31 news and drama. Dale is very blessed to have such a wonderful teacher and classmates.
Day + 30 labs wbc 2.6 ANC - 1860 Hgb - 8.8 Hct 26.8 plt - 45,000 . cyclosporine level 206 (goal - 200-300) so he just made the cut off. Dale worked on his letter back to his class today. He seemed to enjoy writing to them. After writing the letter, it was pretty much basketball all day. Dale told me he watched every single NCAA game on TV today. I've never seen Dale watch so much basketball. Funny how a little monetary incentive will peak your interest. Dale was started on oral steroids tonight. One more step closer to going home. Thank you for your prayers. Blessing to you all...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Day +28

Dale is now 4 weeks post transplant. His labs this morning were questionable. Some of the numbers were way off (Hgb- 14.2/ Hct - 42.6) so the labs were repeated this afternoon. They came back better but this time the wbc was 2.98 and the ANC - 2000. That's a pretty remarkable jump from yesterday so they we will be repeating it in the morning. The Hgb/Hct the second time came back 9.5/28.6 which is more consistent with the previous labs. platelets - 61,000. This to me is questionable too. The big step for us today was the i.v. cyclosporine was changed to oral. He took 6 capsules but it was better than being hooked to the iv pole for 4 hrs. Dale worked hard during the day to finish his school work before the UCLA game. We had a lot to do since we had to catch up from yesterday. He finished it all and UCLA won! After the game, Dale and I played "horse" . I lost again. It's not that I didn't make any shots but Dale would make the shot after I made it so he hardly got any letters. He then played with his basketball hat for a while. After dinner, he watched a show one of the nurses told him about called "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" He really got into it. It was fun to watch. Our nurse today was Dale and Derek's transplant nurse but unfortunately for us, today was her last day at UCLA. ( Good luck Lisa!) Thank you for your continued support and prayers. We could not have come this far without it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Day + 27

Hope you enjoyed the pictures Shari posted. I think the comments that Cory and Glenn come up with are great. Today the wbc went down to 1.44 but the ANC was 850. The Hgb/ Hct - 8.5/26.6 and the platelets 49,000. He may need a platelet transfusion in a few days. Today he received another dose of IVIG ( immune globulin). This infusion is given over about 6 hrs so Dale was not free from the pole today. IVIG offers passive immunity for immunocomprised patients. I made my weekly run to Marukai for Dale's favorite Zippy's chilli today. Derek had his follow up appointment with Dale's Dr. Finklestein (hem/onc) today so we stopped at Marukai on the way home. Derek has recovered nicely. His Hgb is back up to 12.5 Hct - 37.7. After the transplant, Derek's Hgb was 9.7 Hct - 27.7. Dale also had a chance to talk to Dr. Finklestein and his nurse Cindy over the phone while we were there. We haven't seen them since we were admitted to UCLA so it was nice to see everyone at Long Beach today. According to Dale, not much school work was accomplished because he and dad were too busy doing other things. He did not specify what these other things were and I didn't ask either. Percy the Penguin had been a loyal pen pal to Dale. Letters of his/her (?) adventures around the world and all sorts of cool places are still arriving by mail almost everyday. Today, Dale showed me a letter with a picture attached as always but this picture was a picture of Percy with his teacher and the students in his class and another picture with the principal at Arlington Elementary. Percy is a plastic penguin who wears goggles. Dale was very suprised to see that Percy the penguin had visited his classroom. (Thank you for the letters , Percy) Thank you for your continued comments on the blog. Dale and I really enjoy reading them. (Popo, the comments are the first thing I read when I turn on the computer too. Can't wait to taste that pie!) It was really neat to read that friends that we haven't seen in years are praying for Dale too. What a blessing it is to have sooooo many people praying for Dale. It brings tears to my eyes everytime I think about it. Grace and peace to you all.....

Sometimes I feel like i'm loosing my marbles!

Don't you hate it when your stuffed animal passes out?
Out of the way! I know CPR!!!!!!!

(Uggg....can't breathe.....)

Ohhhhh noooo! Hope I didn't crack his ribs!

Dale Armstrong.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day + 26

Dale's wbc this morning was 1.77. We were quite excited about that. The ANC is now 750. The Hgb - 9.0 Hct - 28.6 Platelets 80,000. This set of labs were drawn later at 10 am instead of 3 am. Not sure if this made a difference but we'll take it. The cyclosporine level was 189. (
goal - 200-300) so the dose was increased and he has to stay on the iv type of dosing until the levels are within range. The level will be rechecked on Thursday and if they are ok , the iv cyclosporine will be switched to a pill. This is one more step closer to going home. Dale and I played "pig" today and he won. "Horse" would have taken too long. He also practiced his basketball hat and ball toss. He is getting pretty good at it now. He throws the ball up and dives underneath it to catch it. He's catching more balls now so there is less balls for me to chase and retrieve from under the bed. Dale forced me to ride his bike pedal for 5 minutes today. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I actually felt better after I did it. I didn't get a chance to go outside today but it looked like a nice day from the window. Hope you had a wonderful day and may it be even better tomorrow. Thank you for your continued love and support.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Day +25

The labs this morning were still the same. The wbc and the ANC did not budge. We want to see it continue to increase but for some reason the white blood cells are at a plateau. The doctor stopped the Dapsone that was started last week since his numbers are not continuing to increase as hoped. The platelets were 86,000 and Hgb and Hct were the same. Dale enjoyed his freedom from the i.v. pole for 8 hrs today. He ran around the room . We played basketball and handball and it was a lot more enjoyable without having to worry about the iv line. He played the violin and played with his new basketball hat. You wear the net on your head and throw the balls up in the air and catch it. The balls are ping pong size balls. One of the nurses wanted to try it out. It was a lot of fun watching them . Shari came by and took more pictures. She said she would post some soon. Dale also demonstrated his CPR technique for her. The day went by pretty fast so it was good. Please pray for Dale's new marrow to start making more white cells again. This will be our ticket home. We are thankful for having made it this far. I tried to remind Dale (and myself) that the marrow will kick in when it's time ( God's time) and not when we want it to and when it does it will be very strong. He nodded his head and went to sleep. We truely believe in the power of prayer. Blessing to you all...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Day +24

Congratulations FOR Pacers (Dale's basketball team) for winning Megalopolis Championship. We were thinking about you guys during game time. Congratulations FOR Knights ( Derek's team) for a job well done too. Those trophies were very nice except Danny accidentally dropped Derek's trophy and it broke. Dale's lab results were about the same today. The platelets after the transfusion were 95,000. The wbc was exactly the same but the ANC went down again to 460. I hope and pray it goes back up soon. (Our goal is an ANC of 1000 x 3 days) The cyclosporine was changed to every 12 hours instead of a continuous infusion. If the drug levels remain stable, the cyclosporine will be changed to pill form. So what this really means is Dale will only be tied to the i.v. pole for 4 hours twice a day instead of all day. From 2pm to 10 pm, Dale will be free to roam around the room. The evening dose will infuse from 10 pm to 2 am. No school work today. He built another lego and watched NCAA basketball. He had a hard time falling asleep tonight because of the time change. I saw him praying under his blanket and he eventually fell asleep. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Day +23

It's Saturday again and the next attending doctor and fellows start their week of service. We've gotten to know most of the doctors now so it's not as worrisome anymore when they switch. The wbc is now 0.81 ANC - 510 Hgb - 8.3 platelets - 27,000 so if you were donor number 8124203 Dale received your platelets today. (Thank you !!!) The liver enzymes were about the same so we were happy about that. Dale finished up his homework quickly today so he could work on his rubic's cube. With a few tips from Wade and the internet, he was able to figure it out. I took a nap while Dale did his daily exercise routine. He was sweating by the time I woke up. Oh well, maybe I'll join him tomorrow. Tonight while Wade and I were at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor banquet , Auntie Kari, who is also Dr. Kari sat with Dale for us. She is also a CPR instructor for her fellow dentists so she taught Dale how to do CPR using an ambu bag . The nurses were giggling and watching from the little window on the door and offered to be his " dummy" to practice on. Dale used his stuffed animals. He demonstrated for me and I have to admit his CPR technique was pretty good. He checked the airway, the carotid pulse and told me to call 911 for his furry little friend. His compressions were quite impressive. If he could take and pass the written exam, I think he could be certified. Needless to say, he had a lot of fun. Dale stayed up late again telling me all about his night with Dr./Auntie Kari. He said his prayers and then he was out like a light. Praise God for all the different people that have come into our lives and helped us during this time. We are forever grateful.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Day +22

This morning the nurse told us it was the first time she has seen Dale smile. The wbc stayed the same - 0.73 but the ANC went up to 525. Platelets 32,000 Hb went up to 8.3 and Hct - 26.5 No transfusion today. We'll see tomorrow if he will need more platelets. Dale spent the day doing his schoolwork. We are now doing multiplication time tests. He rode the bike pedal this morning and did some light exercises this afternoon. When the platelets get low, we worry about bleeding. Dale tends to get nose bleeds so he is not allowed to blow his nose or anything that may increase the pressure in his nose. Derek came to to visit tonight again. We played poker again. This time Wade won the all in hand. We are grateful for every little positive step in Dale's blood work. Thank you for your love and support.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Day +21

Horray! 3 weeks post transplant. The wbc is now 0.76. ANC 469 Platelets 46,000 and Hgb has dropped to 7.7 Hct - 23.3 . No transfusions today but probable in a few days if not sooner for blood and platelets too. The liver enzymes are back down again ALT - 138 AST - 48 Bili - 0.5
As the doctors have said, these numbers will go up and down. (normal ALT is between 4-45 and normal AST - 7-36 ) Dale rode the foot pedal bike thing for 7 minutes this morning. He still jogged around the room for 5 minutes later in the afternoon. I am surprised he has the energy to do this with a Hgb of <8. He was yawning a lot this morning while he was doing his math. I couldn't tell if he was tired from the anemia or from staying up too late again. Dale was also started back up on Dapsone today ( another medication to prevent pneumonia in immuno-compromised patients) Wade came up again for the afternoon and watched the UCLA basketball game with Dale. I went home to watch Danny and friends Jordan and Matt at their swim meet at the Plunge today. Danny and Jordan along with 2 other team mates won their medley relay and 200 free relay. (Popo - Jordan won the breast stroke race . Kenny was there taking pictures and thank you for the yummy snacks) Dale called me every 10 - 15 minutes with an update on the UCLA game and I updated him with the results of the swim meet . I could not believe it when he told me UCLA lost in overtime. I think everyone at the pool side heard me yell "what!!??? They LOST!!!!" By the time I made it back to UCLA, Dale had finished up his school work and was playing with a rubic's cube. Derek's isolation or incubation time from the chicken pox exposure is now over so he came to visit Dale tonight.(just in time because Wade's computer died today so we can't use the web cam) Dale was really happy to see Derek. He told me after Derek left that it was good to see him in person. Before Dale went to bed, we talked about what we would pray for tonight. He said a prayer for all of you who have been praying for him. Please know that he is very grateful for each and every one of your prayers. He also prayed for the boy across the halll who had a BMT last week and wasn't feeling so good today. Blessing to you all.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Day +20

Today was almost a carbon copy of yesterday except Wade was here for part of the day. The wbc is now 0.64. ANC - 390 ! The ANC has to be at least 500 for a few days before you get to go home. The Hgb/Hct is the same. Platelets are down to 58,000 but since they were above 50,000 Dale played basketball and ran around the room again. He said his stomach muscles were sore from doing sit ups. Our BMT dentist/friend brought Dale a stationary foot pedal thing like on a bike but it is just the pedal part so it doesn't take up too much room. We are both looking forward to trying it in the morning. The hospital teacher was absent today so Dale worked on his own today. Later this evening, Wade and Dale watched the NCAA basketball tournament until it was time for Lost. Dale watched Lost while I changed his central line dressing. He doesn't seem to mind as much when I peel the tape off his skin when he is watching tv. The other day I peeled it too fast and took some of the skin off too. This can be a source of infection so I had to apply topical antibiotics until it formed a scab. It looks better today. We are grateful for these uneventful days . Thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Day +19

This morning the doctors rounded really early. They came in about 7:30 a.m. and Dale and I were out cold. They didn't have much to say which is a good thing. The wbc is now 0.55. ANC - 240! plts = 95,000 . The liver enzymes went up again. (ALT - 184, AST = 80) I was concerned but the doctors were not. They said they have seen much higher. This is the highest level for Dale so far which for me is worrisome. But like everything else, Dale is in God's hands so I am trying not to freak out over everything. Since the platelets were high enough, Dale and I played handball and basketball twice today. He jogged in place for about 5 minutes and broke out into a pretty good sweat. He said it felt good . I started to jog in place with him but I quit after 2 minutes. We tried some new exercises yesterday from a magazine I was reading but we both woke up with a back ache this morning so we didn't do those again today. Instead, Dale did some crunches and push ups. I sat and watched. The evening was spent doing homework again but this time with Auntie Wendy. I went home for a few hours to help Derek start on his new project for the Science Fair. Thank you for the comments on the blog. We really enjoy reading them. ( Thank you Noah and Millie for writing everyday) Thank you for your prayers too.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Day +18

Today was a pretty good day. The wbc is now 0.38. ( I can't wait until we get to 1.0) The Hgb/Hct is about the same but the platelets dropped to 23,000 so Dale received platelets from donor # 8124031. (Thank you!)
Today was also the day his other port needed to be flushed. He was a little nervous about having someone new (someone other than his Long Beach nurses who knows how tricky this can be) access his port. But all was well , the port drew blood and the line flushed easily. Praise God! After the platelets were infused, Dale was able to do his exercises, play basketball and handball again. We played for quite a while. He also practiced his violin for about an hour. It took about 20 minutes to tune first. (Rick/Kathy - I think he's ready to learn a new song)
This evening, Dale and I played poker and Texas Hold'em. I thought I was winning until Dale suggested we go all in so I foolishly did and like always, Dale came up with an unbeatable hand and took all my chips. After I lost all my chips, Dale suggested we play for " chores " but I said "no". game over. He spent the rest of his evening doing homework and reading. This was his choice to sudy not punishment for taking all my chips. He also made sure Derek finished his poster that is due tomorrow. He sat in front of the web cam constantly telling Derek to get back to work. Derek gets easily distracted so Dale tries to keep him focused. We hope that all is well outside of our UCLA world. Blessing to you all.

Day +16, +17

The weekend went well. No transfusions. The wbc today was 0.28. He actually had an anc around 200. That was exciting. (anc=absolute neutrophil count) The Hgb went up to 8.1 on its own without a transfusion. Hct - 23.3 . The liver enzymes are a little better (ALT-142, AST-44). The platelets however keep dropping. It was 36,000 this morning. They told us this would be the last to come up. He will probably need another platelet transfusion tomorrow. I spent Saturday at home with Derek and Danny. It was fun doing things with them. We have a new set of doctors again but they are really nice and very encouraging. They all take the time to explain things and answer any questions Dale or I might have. We didn't do much exercising today because of the low platelet count. We watched a DVD made by some very funny friends to entertain and cheer Dale up. It did what it was suppose to because he laughed through the whole thing. (Thank you and well done!!) Later in the day, Dale wanted some peace and quiet so he turned the TV off and started to read a book. He told me I could go even though Wade had not arrived yet because he wanted some "quiet time" so I did. I did not realize I was so noisy. Dale continues to eat well, maybe too well at times but it makes the nurses happy. He also stays up late still. Our schedule here is a little off. Thank you all for your prayers.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Day +15

Well it turns out that Dale doesn't need a blood transfusion today. The Hgb - 7.6 but the Hct went up slightly to 23.1 so it didn't change much from yesterday. Today's blood work showed 28.6% nucleated red blood cells which are immature red cells which means his new marrow is trying to make some red cells now. The wbc is 0.17, slightly up from yesterday. plts - 85,000.
Dale practiced his violin today. It was relaxing for both of us. He was given a project by the child life specialist to take pictures of his room and write about what it is like to be in the hospital and in particular, this room. She then takes the pictures and stories and uses it as a teaching tool for the nurses. Dale wrote the worst part about the BMT was that he can't eat the things he wants to (i.e sushi, salad, fresh fruit,) and it's boring living in the same room day in day out. He also wrote it is exciting when the doctors give you good news but the best part is having your donor be your brother. He ended with this sentence " Bone marrow transplants are all not the same but I know it is a little hard for everyone." I find it amazing that he only views this experience as "a little" hard. Dale brought out the nerf gun today and shot at the little window on the door for a while. We thank God for all of the little miracles we have experienced so far. Blessing to you all.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Day +14

Today is 2 weeks post transplant. Dale's wbc is now 0.15. It increases ever so slowly and hopefully it continues to increase. Dale received platelets today. If you were donor #8123929, thank you very much. His platelets were 24,000 this morning. The Hgb is down to 7.9. Hct - 22.6. He mentioned this morning that he felt tired and weak so he will possibly receive a blood transfusion tomorrow. The liver enzymes continue to increase. The ALT is now 174 and AST - 67. Total bilirubin is 0.4. The doctors suspect the GVH (graft vs. host disease) is flirting with the liver. Other than this, there are no other signs of GVH but it is still very early. Sally came to sit with Dale so I went for a jog through Westwood. It was fun seeing some of the shops and restaurants that were around when I went to school here. I also visited with 4 pharmacists that I used to work with when I was an intern at UCLA. (almost 21 years ago) I was the only one that had aged . They looked the same. Dale spent the day doing homework and building legos. Dale invited me to participate in his daily stretching and exercise routine. I must be gaining weight if he asked to me exercise with him. We also spent some time shooting baskets. No handball today. Around 3:15pm , Dale waits for Derek to call. Derek calls everyday after school and then about 4 or 5 more times after that to see what we are doing and to see how Dale is. He also wants to know which nurse is working and somehow ends up chatting with the nurse instead of us. Danny calls once a day , twice if he needs something.
Thank you for your prayers. We hope and pray that Dale's liver will be able to sustain the heavy load that has been put upon it. Grace and Peace to you all.