Tuesday, February 10, 2015

GVHD of the Liver - UPDATE!!!!!!!!

It's no secret that I'm a Christian.
It's no secret that I love God and strive to serve Him daily.
Sometimes that comes off as holier-than-thou.
That's not how I want to be, but it can rub people the wrong way
 It's also no secret that I've been battling the largest battle of my life
- save for my soul -
for the past 3.5 years.
But believe it or not, there ARE some things I choose to keep personal.
I'm a pretty open book. I like to joke that I have what I not-so-affectionately call "verbal vomit".
So are you wondering what I DIDN'T tell you lately?
It was pretty big to me, even though I tried to downplay it.
I've been blogging about my (smallish) struggle with GVHD
 (otherwise known as Graph Versus Host Disease).
Google it. It still confuses me.
To sum it up, in case you haven't been following - for the past month or so,
I've been struggling with an angry skin rash. It blisters, it peels, it feels like the worst sunburn you've ever had in your entire life times infinity, it bleeds, etc. There are sores - sometimes up to 15-20 -
 in my mouth at all times.
(That should shut me up, but it doesn't!)
Both of my eyes have become severely dry and infected,
which has resulted in my vision decreasing to the point where last week I was told
by my eye doctor that he may have to pull my license.
Talk about a blow to the ego.
I'm only 29. I've got two little girls who NEED me to be able to drive them around!
My mama has been driving me around (she likes to refer to I as Driving Miss Daisy)
and I should be the one driving HER around.
So anyway, I've been going once a week, sometimes twice, to Emory University Hospital
in Atlanta, GA (about 2 hours one way) for checks.
The past 2 weeks showed that my liver enzymes, bilirubin, etc. were elevated.
The week before last, the BMT doctor mentioned hospitalization to get the GVHD
of what we assumed was the liver under control.
Last week, the levels were elevated even more.
They were now at a critical level.
Decisions needed to be made, and soon.
Doctor said - if the levels are not down by Monday (4 days time),
I'm going to order a liver biopsy.
Last Thursday was my last appointment. I went again yesterday, on Monday.
Friday and Saturday, Mike was gone off to a church thing overnight.
My mom and my cousin came to stay with me to help with the girls and in case I needed them.
Friday, I felt awful. Saturday, I felt awful.
When the pastors brought Mike home that evening, I asked if they'd pray for me.
I also called my uncle to pray, and he called some other friends of his.
Sunday morning at church, I got prayer. I felt better, but still not 100%..
Monday morning, we left out and drove up to Emory.
I wasn't nervous. I told Mike - I'm not nervous. I just don't want to be put to sleep for a liver biopsy!
But friends, prayer changes things.
The nurse practitioner came in and spoke with me while we were waiting on the labs.
Rash looked good, no yellowing of the skin, no apparent signs of GVHD.
But we had to wait for the liver count results.
And then.
God moved.
The NP bounced in my room and shouted,
I promise you, I had the biggest grin on my face that you STILL can't wipe off!
She pushed some papers in my face, rattling off numbers in an excited voice that only
a nurse practitioner could understand or even get excited about -
"LOOK!" She says. "Your counts were SO VERY high last week, and look at them now!
I don't know how they could have come down like this so quick!"
I do. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt.
This may seem minute to some. But it's not to me. This is my life,
and every victory is worth shouting over.

He does not continue to help me and deliver me  because of anything I have ever done
or will ever do for Him. He does it because He loves me (and you!) with all of His heart
and He wants to see us do the best we are able with what He gives us.
Thank you ALL for your thoughts and prayers.
I'll probably continue to thank you for the rest of my life -
and it would never be enough.

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