Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Achy Heart

Throughout the last year and a half I have been walking the hard road of leukemia with my sweet friend Bev.If you don't know her story, read this post first, and then this post. Those two will summarize my history with Bev, and her battle with leukemia.

Since Bev got her second bone marrow transplant in December of 2008, her life has been a slow journey of ups and downs. Three steps forward, two steps back. The amazing praise is that she has passed the 1-year mark, and has beaten tremendous odds just to survive. The hard part is what she has dealt with along the way. Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) has caused all sorts of intestinal problems and skin rashes. She has had to remain on steroids to keep the GvHD under control. The steroids, however, caused avascular necrosis (bone death) in both of her hips. This condition is excruciating. The doctors were left with no choice but to do total hip replacements. The first hip was done a few months ago, and it went great. It brought such relief for Bev. The second hip was done on December 14th, and that has been a different story.

The surgery itself went great, but when Bev came out of the anesthesia, she had horrific pain that no pain medications were managing. She just had to live with that awful pain. Only a few days after she returned home, her surgery site became red, swollen, and oozy. When she spiked a fever, she had to return to the hospital. Antibiotics did not clear up the infection, so they had to go back in and do the surgery over. Once again, the pain was unmanageable. Bev was relieved just to get home again.

But that home stay was not for long. A few days ago Bev's fever returned, and she was experiencing significant shortage of breath. She is back in the hospital again. The diagnosis: pneumonia. Her GvHD has also flared up, covering her whole body with a bright red, itchy rash. Last night her fever went up to 103.7, which is considered very dangerous for cancer patients. Bev is having a bronchoscopy tomorrow to determine whether this is just pneumonia, or if it is something worse, possibly GvHD or cancer-related. There is also a panel of bloodwork being processed right now to check for other diseases. One of the doctor's concerns is that Bev may be fighting H1N1. Whatever the case, she is very, very ill right now.

Please take a few minutes today to pray for Bev.
And please pray for her husband, Joe. He is exhausted, and I know he is scared, too.
Thanks, friends.

By the way, have I mentioned that I hate cancer?


Kristin said...

I'm sorry to hear this Emily. I will pray for her. How is your birth mother doing?

Stef said...

I'm praying, Em. I saw your note on FB and began to pray. I'm so glad Bev has you in her life - you're such a blessing to her, I'm sure.

Love, Stef

Lori said...

So, so sorry to hear this. :( Praying for them! And you!

Tara said...

What a sad turn of events! I just said a prayer for Bev and her husband. Please keep us updated!

Southern Belle said...

So sorry to your friend is in such pain. Praying for Bev and her husband right now! May the Lord be their comforter during this time.