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Update on Alex's Fight Against Leukemia

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Quick Update: Tuesday, April 8, 2003 (Day 7 Post-Transplant)

Hi Everyone,

Alex continues to do amazingly well. She has developed a minor staph infection, but it's being treated with antibiotics. She was in a lot worse shape on Day 7 of the first transplant, so we're cautiously hopeful that things will be different this time.

We are moving to a new apartment on Friday, so we'll have a new address:

200 East Eatondale Road
Apartment #201
Durham, NC  27704

Our current apartment just isn't working out very well for us, as there are parts of the apartment that look like they haven't been cleaned in the last decade. Alex is going to be neutropenic (no immune system) for our entire time here and we can't take a chance that she'll be exposed to anything dangerous (e.g. Mold, Aspergillus, etc...) . Our new apartment is in a brand new apartment complex and is a significant upgrade over our current apartment. Amazingly it's only a few dollars more per month than our current hole in the wall!

Well I'm going to wrap this up and get some sleep. Andrea's parents are here tonight and they're taking care of Nick, so I'm going to try to sleep for a full 8 hours! I'll try to post some new photos soon.

-- Todd

Quick Update: Thursday, April 3, 2003 (Day 2 Post-Transplant)

Hi Everyone,

She's even beautiful bald!Just wanted to let everyone know that Alex's transplant on April 1st went fine. The Cord Blood was infused into her over a period of 45 minutes and so far there have been relatively few complications other than some mucositis. Unfortunately the worst of it is yet to come. Sometime within the next six days Alex will hit rock bottom and then hopefully begin the long road back to good health. During the last transplant, she hit rock bottom around Day 7 post-transplant and remained there until Day 15. We would consider ourselves extremely lucky if we only have eight bad days again this time.

Well I'm going to wrap this up and get some sleep. I'll post more in a few days.

-- Todd

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Hi Everyone,

Alex & Her Buddies in the Radiation DepartmentHard to believe it's been 16 days since my last update. Since then Alex went through one week of inter-cranial radiation and one week of TBI (total body irradiation) with only a few problems. Surprisingly the first day of inter-cranial radiation was the worst day. About six hours after the treatment Alex got a severe migraine and started vomiting. She has had several similar reactions after spinal taps and interthecal chemo and we always blamed it on the procedure. On a hunch we asked the anesthesiologist to switch Alex from Nitrous Oxide to Propofol (magic milk) and that fixed the problem. It appears that Alex is allergic to Nitrous Oxide, so that's been added to her list of drugs that she should never be given!

During her two weeks of out-patient radiation Alex remained remarkably active. We went out to dinner, visited our friends Henri & Steve, went to a museum in Raleigh, went shopping, etc... We even took her to the North Carolina Zoo on the weekend between treatments and she had a blast. It will probably be the last time she gets to do something like that for quite awhile, so it was worth the 90 minute drive back and forth from Durham.

She has hair!Last Friday, on her last day of TBI, Alex was admitted to the Pediatric Bone Marrow Unit at Duke University Medical Center. Yesterday (Saturday) she was started on Cytoxin (high dose chemotherapy) and ATG (immuno-suppressant), and she will continue on them through Monday. On Tuesday (April 1st) she will receive her 2nd CBT (Cord Blood Transplant) and then it's just a waiting game. Last time Alex engrafted (started producing donor cells) in 10 or 11 days, but it will probably take longer this time since she is physically bigger. If things go well we could be out of the hospital by the end of April, but we're not getting our hopes up yet.

As you can see from the photo above, Alex's new hair finally arrived from HipHats! The Childhood Leukemia Foundation paid for the hair and one hat, which is extremely generous considering the set Alex received usually costs $181! It was kind of a shock for us to see her with a full head of hair again, but it was great to see her so happy.

While we're in the hospital Alex's mailing address will be:

Ms. Alexandra Martini
Room #5207
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710

If you do want to send something, just remember the rules. No flowers, plants, fruit, latex balloons, puppies, kitties, fish, etc...

Playing Paddycake w/ Nick!Nicholas continues to do well. We have our first appointment with his neonatologist on Tuesday, which coincidentally is Alex's transplant day. He was up to 7 pounds, 14 ounces last Wednesday, so I'm quite sure he's over 8 pounds by now. He's been eating non-stop for the past few days, which means he's probably due for a growth spurt very soon. It's fun to see the shock on people's faces when we tell them that he's almost four months old. In fact his original due date was March 22nd, so gestationally he is now 8 days old!

Well I'm taking care of both Alex and Nick tonight at the hospital so I better wrap this up before one of them needs me. Thanks again for over four years of love, prayers and support. Take care.

-- Todd

Donations for Alex

We are in the process of raising money for the expenses we are incurring during Alex's 2nd Transplant At Duke. We have 3 ways in which you can make a donation:

Mail to: Frontier Bank
c/o Alexandra Elaine Martini
P.O. Box 527
Lake Stevens, WA 98258


via PayPal using your checking account or PayPal Account (this account cannot accept credit cards)


via PayPal using your credit card (this account can accept credit cards)

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