Anna Update: Checking Boxes

February 5th, 2017: Day +173 Post Transplant

It’s been more than a month since our last update.  I suppose this is a good thing.  Over this time we’ve had more victories than defeats and a few sad days sprinkled amongst mostly happy ones.  Essentially, it’s been “two steps forward, one step back” for the past six weeks or so.  If that trend continues, Anna will be well on her way to health and normalcy by summertime.

We had been looking forward to ringing in the new year for quite awhile.  2016 began in the hospital, as Melissa recovered from surgery to remove her thyroid and 24 cancerous lymph nodes from her neck.  We had hoped this New Year’s would be a sort of symbolic milestone to turn the page on the most difficult year of our lives.  Well, it didn’t quite work out that way, but it was fitting nonetheless.

Anna developed a fever on New Year’s Eve day.  She was admitted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital that afternoon and would remain for a minimum of 48 hours.  So we began another year in the hospital.  It turned out Anna had a virus akin to a common cold and an ear infection.  Antibiotics kicked in quickly and she was in good spirits by the afternoon on New Year’s Day.  

While disappointing, it didn’t damper our enthusiasm for a fresh start.  Speaking of fresh starts:  we moved into a new home in December.  We were hoping to find a house with a bigger yard and more suitable guest quarters for visiting family.  Happily, the new house is less than two miles from our old one - very important for us as we have so many dear friends in our former neighborhood.  Anna will remain in the same school and will be joined by Margaret when she begins kindergarten in the fall.  We hope Anna will be cleared to return by the beginning of the school year!

Anna is making steady, if slow, progress.  She is still on immunosuppressant drugs so all of her restrictions remain in place.  The next goal is to increase her calories and fluid intake so she can come off of her overnight IV treatments.  Around March, the doctors hope to ween her off the immunosuppressants.  That is when we’ll see how her new cells are truly performing and also when her restrictions become less cumbersome.  Each little bug that would be a nuisance to you and I typically lands Anna in the hospital.  In fact, I’m writing this from the 7th floor of Phoenix Children’s Hospital due to a fever she developed Friday night.  We hope to be home by the Super Bowl.  At least I do.  We are quite accustomed to these 48 hour visits by now, but home is a much better place to be.

So, we’re trying to be patient as we help Anna reach her goals and check those boxes!  Her outlook continues to be positive.  She’s quite a warrior, but also ready to get back to life outside our home.

We continue to appreciate all of the support, thoughts and prayers sent our way.




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