Wednesday August 2, 2000
I wanted to wait until we knew for sure what was going to happen before I updated you. Since we are in Chicago now, I think it's safe to say.... WE'RE GOING HOME!!!!!!!!!!
Alex did end up getting the boost of donor cells last Tuesday. We saw Dr. Kurtzberg yesterday for one last
checkup and then Alex, my mom and I got on a plane at 6:55 am this morning! It's going to be a "journey" home. We flew from Greensboro this morning to Chicago. We will stay here for 2 nights and Friday evening we will fly from Chicago to Seattle. The flight from Greensboro this morning was great. We flew with our friends at VF Corp. again and they were wonderful. Alex of course felt right at home immediately and still thinks that this is how everyone flies! On Friday, we will be flying with Nordstrom's - my mom FULLY expects a full store on board!!!
Dr. Kurtzberg arranged for us to see a new doctor's group that is at Children's Seattle and has NOTHING to do with Hutch or its doctors. We will have our first appointment next week. Alex's counts are still great and there are still no signs of
leukemia cells. She has a slight rash on her face which looks like it might be GVH. We will be drawing labs and sending them to Duke once a month. If Dr. Kurtzberg sees anything she doesn't like, she'll have us fly back out. If not, then we won't come back until our 1 year appointment in October.
I wanted you to see some of Alex's friends. Jenna and Michelle were both transplanted about 3 months before Alex and they are doing great. Jasmine was transplanted about a month after Alex. She has had some bumps in the road to recovery, but is doing well enough that they let her leave the Duke boundaries (no more than 30 minutes from the hospital) and go home with her family on Monday. Jasmine and her mom Pattie have been an inspiration to many families on the floor by always showing faithfulness to God's will and a giving spirit towards others. Alex's primary nurse, Michelle was able to come to the apartment for a visit before we left.
I know you have heard us talk about Alex's best buddy Mariya, but I don't think we have ever put a picture on the update page.
Mariya is going to be leaving Durham and going to work in bone marrow research at the Medical College in Wisconsin. She will be starting medical school in a few years. We know that she will go far in helping children. Nate was transplanted two months ago. He has been doing great and will be "welcoming" a new baby brother or sister into the world in 2 weeks. As you can tell, Alex LOVES Nate! And lastly, we are coming home! One picture that is sadly missing is a picture of our dear friends Nancy and Brad. Alex loves them both dearly and they are the ones that made it possible for me to be here alone. They opened their home and hearts to us. They watched Alex on countless occasions so I could run to the grocery store or even go get my hair done! Unfortunately, when I did have the camera with us I would forget to take pictures and the times that I didn't there were tons of photo ops!
We want to thank you all again for your constant help and prayers. You all have helped us get through this in more ways than we can tell you. How do you thank someone for helping them get a miracle??? We'll talk to you soon.
Andrea, Todd and Alex