As Callie indicated in her post earlier today (Thanks, Cal, for jumping in), the results of the blood work are quite good, which suggests that the transplant and Susan's body are cooperating very well up to this point. Most of the problems that have arisen appear to be coincident (i.e., not related to and not expected with a transplant), although it's fair to think that Susan's condition right now makes her an easy target for opportunistic assaults.
Yesterday was difficult, with Susan arriving at DFCI in pain for a 10 AM consult and spending the entire day being tested and evaluated before finally being re-admitted, but there's no need to recount the blow-by-blow now that it's history. As of this evening, here's the situation:
- Thankfully, the pain subsided by this morning to a point where she has not needed morphine today
- She continues to be on antibiotics to deal with the fever and the inflammation that now appears to be localized primarily in the right kidney.
- The fever may be the result of the inflammation which may be the result of kidney stone(s) which may or may not have been passed. All of this "may-ness" is indeed because the doctors are uncertain. The CT scans that have been done are inconclusive.
- What can be done (and may be done tomorrow to provide some clarity) is a cystoscopy to examine the urinary tract up to the kidney with the possible insertion of a stent to relieve pressure and facilitate passing whatever needs to be passed
- However, the procedure and the stent risk introducing bacteria and further infection, and Dr. Doyle, her lead urologist, prefers to give the antibiotics more time to show results. If the fever and inflammation have not improved significantly by tomorrow, then the cystoscopy becomes likely
- Susan also has oral mucositis (the "sore throat" I reported Sunday), which is a painful inflammation and ulceration in the mouth and throat. Understandably, she hasn't been able to eat, but she's getting nutrition and fluids intravenously and is able to sip enough to continue working at her full-time job -- taking a gazillion pills a day. Mucositis is commonly experienced by transplant patients, and those undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation, so this is not unexpected. It does seem to be abating, but it's too soon to tell whether this is a slight and temporary lull or real improvement on the way to resolution.
Finally, your comments are not trees falling in the forest unheard. Susan wants everyone to know how much she appreciates all the good wishes and encouragement you've been sending her (keep 'em coming), and she apologizes that she's not yet feeling up to responding to you individually. Hopefully, the day will come soon when she's back in touch with each one of you by email and phone. REMINDER: those few of you who are posting comments as "Anonymous" and not signing them (typing your name at the end), you truly are anonymous. Unless that's your intention, time to fess up so Susan can tell you're you.