Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Turning tide

I have tried to keep an even keel through everything that Dori, the kids and I are experiencing. When the lows have hit, I've tried to stay positive; when the highs visited, I've tried to stay grounded. Last week was a week of many lows. Now, the tide seems to be turning.

Dori has some strength back and is making slow, steady progress. She did some of her exercises today that she couldn't even think of doing last week. Her laps on her walks are steadily increasing. She's getting anxious to get out of VUMC, not just out of bed to the bathroom. We know Dori is going to face many more obstacles, but it's good to be emerging from Hell Week with an increasing amount of good news.

Dr. Greer is encouraged by Dori's progress. Her white blood cell counts are rising, her fever is all but gone and the early view on graft versus host disease is the symptoms are mild (a faint arm and chest rash so far). We will know more soon after her gastro-intestinal endoscopy results come back later today or tomorrow. She might be able to go home in the near future if she stays on this course and after she begins to eat decently. I have been thinking a lot about the 23-year-old donor somewhere overseas lately. I truly do hope he and Dori get to meet next year. We will be eager to thank him for his selflessness and gift of life.

I like the fact Dori is in the room Cecil, the 70-year-old patient, inhabited this summer. Cecil, a retired minister, was the only person on the bike as much as Dori during July's dog days. He never wavered facing his disease and was a favorite among the staff, like Dori. His vibe is still alive in Room 19.

I received a nice letter from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society the other day. They mentioned my Make Cures Happen campaign at the Virginia Beach Half Marathon was the top fund-raising effort this year. They had our effort down for $15,000, but we were more like $22,000 officially and maybe even hit $25,000 total (I didn't pry asking what some donated). LLS trained 331 Team in Training runners while 156 people were part of the Make Cures Happen program. LLS raised more than $1 million at the race and the MCH effort garnered $87,500. Funds raised "will support research, public education, patient aid, community service and professional education." Quality of life for patients and families were boosted by all of you who contributed in Dori's honor. I have seen Dori personally benefit through some of the clinical trials of which she's a part, including a drug for mouth sores. THANK YOU AGAIN, EVERYONE!

Oh, yes. I haven't run in nearly two weeks. That may change, as the kids have some sleepovers soon and Dori may have enough strength to be by herself. That would be another sign things are headed in the right direction.

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