Friday October 29, 1999
The last couple of days have been really rough on Alex. She woke up Thursday morning with a temperature of 106 degrees and it hadn't gone below 102 when I left at midnight. All of the x-rays and cultures have been negative so far (which is good), so the doctors aren't overly concerned at this point. The fever could be a sign that engraftment is taking place. This would mean that the transplant is working.
Alex also developed a rash on Thursday and the doctors are hopeful that it's another sign of engraftment. They started her on some steroid creams and it looks like it's starting to fade. If the rash doesn't go away they will have to start Alex on high dose prednisone, which is the steroid that caused her to throw a punch at Andrea. Needless to say Andrea is really hoping that the rash will go away! <grin>
Alex is also battling mucositis, which are sores in the esophageal and stomach lining. She has been spitting up dried blood, blood clots, and stomach lining for the past few days. Almost all of the kids have problems with mucositis, so this was expected, but it's still hard to see her go through this. I can't imagine having to go through something like this myself, although I would gladly take her place if I could.
Alex's hair started coming out by the handfuls on Wednesday. It was getting all over her "sucking" thumb, so we decided to give her a G.I. Jane haircut. Andrea was pretty upset about it, but luckily Alex has a perfectly shaped head! The photo above is of Andrea starting to cut Alex's hair. One of Alex's favorite nurses Trish is on the right. Sorry I cut you off Trish!
Alex's doctor thinks that we might see cells on Saturday which would mean that she's engrafting. We really hope he's right! If so it would be one of the quickest engraftments they've had at Duke. The record is nine days and Saturday will be day 10 after transplant. Everybody start praying for this! The sooner her cells start growing, the sooner we can leave the hospital! Andrea wants to be out for Thanksgiving, while I'll settle for anytime before Christmas.
Thanks again for your prayers, love, and support. Take care.
Todd, Andrea, & Alex Martini
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