Friday, August 24, 2012

Gotta love when a plan comes together!

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my transplant team here at Mayo Clinic? Cause I do. These people are brilliant. Every person here at Mayo is amazing. I have never had such an incredible experience at any hospital Ive ever been at. I can't say Im surprised though...I mean its Mayo. If you ever find yourself in need of a specialist for anything, please consider this amazing medical center. Ever person, from housekeepers, to nurses, to the physicians runnin the show have the most incredible compassion, drive, and professionalism. They truly are the epitome of what customer service and health care should be. To be cared for in the way I have been...I'd pay more. Lots more.

Last week I posted about my biopsy results coming back showing mild rejection. As you may remember, its something expected, something most transplant patients experience the first month after transplant, but still...not anything fun, and def not what you want to hear. My team at Mayo worked so quickly to make the necessary adjustments to my medications, that
I had not even had the opportunity to experience what it would feel like to be in rejection. This past week has been nerve-wracking for me as I went through my routines, hoping that the treatment they prescribed was doing what it needed to to fix the rejection. Praying hard that if nothing else, it wasn't getting worse.

Wednesday was a typical appointment at Mayo - blood work first thing in the morning, followed by a chest xray, pulmonary function tests and a bronchoscopy and biopsy. The standard stuff. But this one was one that was particularly stressful for me cause it would give my doctors and I a look at how the rejection was doing, as well as if I was still clean infection wise. Luckily, as the appointments went on and my chest xray came back looking fantastic and my pulmonary function tests we up 10% from the week before, I began to feel certain that the rejection must at LEAST be staying the same, and not getting worse. While I was having my bronch, they decided I needed IV magnesium, so my appointment turned out to be two hours longer than usual as that completed infusing. Apparently the low magnesium was the only "issue" that needed to addressed! But, of course, I still had no idea the status of the rejection and wouldn't until the next day. I left that afternoon -- all my staples FINALLY moved by the way! (yay for a fast healing incision!) -- feeling better, but still on edge. I had nearly the exact same initial report when I had left the week prior, only to be told I was in mild rejection not 24hours later.

Yesterday's X-ray - see all the black? That's air people! And lots of it!

Cut to Thursday, midday. I was back at Mayo, waiting on my Doctor to give me the word. Not a few minutes after I FIRST walked in the exam room, my anxiety level went through the roof. Moments later, my hearts racin and I am all but dripping with sweat. I could feel myself completely shutting down if that doctor didn't get in there NOW and give me some kinda news. Any news at this point. Luckily he didn't keep me waiting long, and boy he didn't disappoint with the news! Of the 5 samples they took during the biopsy, all but ONE was completely normal!!! I have officially moved from A2 rejection to barely A1 in 9 days! He told me that it usually takes about 3 weeks for it to correct itself so they were THRILLED with how quickly and completely I was responding to treatment. Thank you GOD! You have no, no, NO idea the complete RELIEF I felt in that second! Not that I can't return to A2, or even higher, rejection by this time next week -- but for now, all systems are GO! Oh, and still NO infection at all. :)

This "dance" with rejection and infection, unfortunately, has just begun. That is seriously the toughest part of this transplant business. I mean the surgery and the recovery is brutal...but the mind war this other STUFF is waging on me is enough to make me completely crazy. I can't believe how stressful this all is. I just have to keep prayin and tellin myself that this is where I need to be, where I am supposed to be, and that all this came my way the way it has for a reason. I usually have no problem talkin myself into anything. But man...this is not easy people. I'm gonna hafta work on my sales pitch or Im gonna find myself shufflin down the road in a bathrobe and slippers mutterin things to myself while a group of professionals in a white van with a straight jaket close in quickly behind me...

Pray for me people. Seriously. I need all I can get.

On a lighter note, I started cardio pulmonary rehab today. Talk about wearin a person out. Ive been feelin so good lately I had forgotten how COMPLETELY OUT OF SHAPE I am. Didn't take long for me to get alllll caught up with that though! Did some cardio on the treadmill, which truly wasn't bad at all. But then came the weight lifting. Ever tried to lift weights with no muscle? Not easy. In fact, pretty embarrassing. I think I was able to lift more when I was in the 5th grade. And the fact that the 70 year old woman next to me at the weights was doubling anything I even tried didn't help my feeling of complete and utter humiliation.'s hopin this doesn't last long. Its not good for my ego! :)

Leavin Mayo...future's so bright, gotta wear shades!

But Im excited. As whooped as I was after ( took me about a 2.5 hour nap when I got home ), I still felt fantastic. It has been sooooo long since I could work out in ANY CAPACITY without it turning into a complete nightmare. As pathetic as my performance was, I am so happy I was able to just get through it. That in itself is HUGE. God is good...everyday. Have you noticed that? :)

So, its finally the weekend. Oh, and Dad came down yesterday! So Im excited to spend some time this weekend with both my parents and Chris...and its lookin like tomorrow is gonna be a great day weather wise, so I am hopin to maybe hit up a flea market or somethin. I'm still lookin for some inspiration for a "recovery project," so maybe I'll get somethin goin tomorrow.

Thanks as usual to all for the continued love and support. It never goes unnoticed or unappreciated! Your thoughts and prayers are keepin us truckin down here. Please, keep them comin!

Much love



  1. I'm thrilled to read about your fantastic recovery results news! And you can count on me to keep the prayers a going. Have a wonderful weekend Erin!