Day +24 The gift of breath 

Journal entry by Randy Stubbs 

Greetings everyone. There is good news on all fronts today.
1) The doctors have officially declared the transplant of stem cells successful, as the cells have grafted to their new host and are producing various blood and immune system cells as hoped at or above certain levels for 3 consecutive days. Praise the Lord!

2) Carol had the "procedure" done on the right lung yesterday. It was a bit tricker, but successful in removing additional fluid around that lung. She is breathing so much easier now. It is difficult to imagine the stress of feeling that every single breath is inadequate, even for resting, even while using oxygen, for several weeks. That stress has now been greatly reduced. Carol notices it the most, but it also shows on her face. The goal for the next few days is to try and wean off of oxygen, or at least reduce the amount needed. Already today this has improved significantly. In addition, not feeling constantly short of breath makes Carol feel more like trying to get up and walk. Today she walked twice as far as yesterday, about 700 feet.

3) With the weight and volume of the fluid around the left lung gone, the is some room for Carol's tiny stomach to also expand. Yesterday she managed to eat about 700 calories, a 40% increase over her daily average for the past 3 weeks! Today should be a bit higher than that. The goal is to eat, eat, eat this weekend. She's now turned a big corner and is motivated to push ahead in this area also.

Today there was finally some discussion about being discharged from the hospital. Part of Carol's motivation on items 2 and 3 above is related to this much hoped for activity. The two remaining issues are getting off of oxygen (or at least greatly reduced) and satisfactory nutrition. 3 different doctors, 3 different nurses, 2 therapists, and her husband all emphasized this today and her situation will be evaluated and discussed on Monday morning to see where she has reached by that time. There is renewed determination in Carol today. She's ready to push ahead to that elusive summit!

Thank you for so many prayers. They have made such a difference. Thank you again. She's getting so close. Let's get this now, next step to aim for…discharge!