Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 68

The hunt for an adult donor is back underway. The problem is that we still have not found a good match for Kelsey. As research continues the human leukocyte antigen matching has gotten better. There are specific HLA's that we all have, the closer we can match Kelsey's HLA's with a donor's HLA's the less graft vs. host disease which can be deadly.
An ideal antigen match, known as a "clinical match," means that both sets of the "most important" inherited human leukocyte antigens in the donor match perfectly with those on the body (and immune) cells in the patient. The host needs enough matched antigens so the current immune systems doesn't attack it. The immune system of the patient, who is called a host, senses that these antigens are "unmatched" or "non-self." This prompts the patient's immune cells to attack the donated (transplanted) cells, which are called a graft, and this assault can lead to the patient's rejection of the transplant ("host vs. graft").

More often, though, some mature donor immune cells that are mixed in among the transplanted blood stem cells recognize the antigens on the patient's body cells (host) as "non-self." This causes the transplant to attack the patient's tissues and organs. The result is "graft vs. host" disease, which can be very serious.

Today was a stressful day in terms of being out of her toasty room and warmer at two appointments back to back. She had CT's of head, chest, abdomen, then the LP after 9 units of platelets since last night. Both went well. By the time we got her back to her room, her temp had dropped but came back quickly. She also had follow-up from the sinus surgery where about 80% of the clots and packing were removed and sucked up. This will continue on Thursday until he can see the sinus floor again. She did very well and slept a lot after all of that. I was in the LP with Kelsey so didn't get to say good-bye to Carmel and Karly. I missed that, but was relieved that their flight happened and they returned safely back to Indiana. Karly's appts. went well. She had another good cancer check-up...Praise God! It was so good to see her and have Carmel here to help with that. I had to travel back and forth between the two rooms when doctors showed up. Carmel traded with me, and it all worked out. She most likely will return in 3 weeks because she gets too tired if we wait 4 weeks. Joanna is doing so great and what a huge blessing she is to have here. It really makes a difference in my sleep and state of mind. Kelsey actually thinks she has a nursing degree. I have no idea what God will provide in a week. In fact, I was telling Joanna tonight that at the very least she is certainly prepping the night shift as to what Kelsey needs at night. I pray, "And my God will meet all my needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus".




  1. What can we do to find out if we're a match? I'd be happy to get tested!

  2. Tom and I would love to get tested as well! Also does Karly still need cord blood? Our little girl is due in March and after talking things over we have decided to donate the cord blood. Even if it can't help your girls we would love to help someone. However if there is anyway it can go to Karly please let us know.