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Quote from Dans blog June 2, 2016 after reading Mark 14:12-31

Hope is not found in our inner strength, ability to endure, faithfulness in the face of adversity, or even our faith. Hope is found in Jesus alone. His conquering of death means that we have new life, the new kingdom. It is Jesus who grants us faith, endurance, patience, forbearance, strength, etc. They are all things that we cultivate, but ultimately their source is Jesus. As we look at this final dark night before Jesus’ death, we look at the one who brings us hope through his sacrificial death for us. As dark nights come our way we don’t look inwardly for strength, but to Jesus, who is our strength, refuge and hope.

For myself and some of you perhaps details of Dans last days may help for final closure. Dan quite suddenly pasted away on Wednesday 4th of January 2017. He was is full remission from Luekaemia. The Stem Cell transplant had been a success, however he still suffered some graft verses host affecting his gut, weight loss, muscle wasting and steroid induced diabetes.

On Christmas day he awoke with a fever and was then on in hospital. He got day leave and was able to spend an enjoyable Christmas day in the unit with our immediate family and his parents Suzanne and Lawrie.

His fever continued for a week and saw New Years Eve in hospital. The hospital did investigations and were unsure what was causing the fever. Finally (what seemed like forever) an ultrasound showed spots on his liver. But to confirm they needed to do a liver biopsy. On Sunday morning 2nd January they did this. But by that evening the biopsy site wound  would not stop bleeding.

From the liver biopsy some DNA samples were sent to Sydney after 3 days it was confirmed a liver virus called adenovirus (apparently we all catch as a child the common flu but it lays dormant and the immunosuppressants caused it to flare up).

Sunday night Dan went into ICU and after difficulty breathing was put on a ventilator and kept sedated heavily and not conscious again. So for 3 days he fought in ICU for his life. He had complicated bleeding which they couldn’t really find the source and his blood just wouldn’t clot which caused more complications. He was given mega bags like over 30 bags a day of blood to keep his blood pressure up and the most expensive $7000 blood clotting drug x3-4 but even this wouldn’t work, his body started shutting down kidneys not functioning and a blood clot in his leg too dangerous to operate was causing his leg to starve and die.

They finally got the antidote for the viral infection (bit too late) which was cytotoxic and needed his kidneys functioning to clear its harmful biproducts. Too much went wrong for Dan to get through the infection on top of his bleeding problems and kidneys malfunctioning. They tried a dialysis machine a few times but it wasn’t working as it dropped Dans blood pressure too low.

Josh Allen was able to read the bible and pray with Dan whilst he was in ICU and Christian friends prayed and ministered to our family. The kids all got to see and talk to Dan for the 3 days he was in ICU. Dans Mum and Dad were living across the road from the hospital and got to see him. Rebekah Dans sister was there for most of the days Dan was in ICU. In the final hours we were able to play Christian music, read the bible to and on Dans final passing able to read Psalm 23 The Lord is My Shepherd as he went to be with his Heavenly Father.

Written by Simone Godde

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 115 -All Clear

The full results of the bone marrow biopsy are now in and there is no detectable Leukemia in the sample. This means that the transplant, as far as we can detect, has been a success. My new immune system is fighting the Leukemia and winning. This is great news. In other news, after resetting my steroids back to a higher level, they’re very slowly being lowered again. So far, so good. I’ve discovered melatonin and am having the best sleep now that I’ve had while taking steroids. It’s not perfect, but it’s more than I was getting, praise God. I still need the occasional transfusion (red blood cells or platelets), but they’re talking about getting me to go home to Sale one weekend. I’m looking forward to that. Thank God for the good results and for sleep and please pray for growing strength and bone marrow.

Day 70 – And I’m out!

last-dayIn fact I got out yesterday. This is a picture of me with Mel the nurse, who was the last nurse rostered on to look after me. All the nurses at RMH have been terrific along with the doctors and I can’t thank them enough and thank God for them and their loving and expert care.

I’m now living out of a unit supplied by fightcancer.org.au, which is again another incredibly generous provision for which I praise God for people’s generosity toward cancer. It’s a time of adjustment now, after a mammoth 78 straight days in hospital, just getting my head around a new environment. I’m now an outpatient of Peter Mac hospital and have to go in three times a week for appointments. Today was the first day and everything seemed to go well. Lot’s of waiting but everyone’s very helpful. Thank you for all your prayers and support and please continue to pray for me to transition well to living in the unit and the long process of recovery. If you could particularly pray for good sleep, that would be a real blessing.

Day 52 – Turning a corner?

It’s early days yet, but perhaps the new drug is starting to have an effect. I’ve started with the very mildest of attempts to consume food – just a spoonful of jelly at each meal to test out how the gut is going. So far so good. I also had a good night sleep last night using a new sleeping tablet which feels like it’s transformed my life. It’s amazing how sleeplessness saps your will and a good night sleep brings a whole new lease on life. I think I’ve been suffering from sleeplessness for many days now, given the new energy I have today. So today is a good day and God-willing we’re turning a corner. Thank you for your prayers and pray that this new drug is kicking in and countering my GVH. Praise God that he is in control and all things happen in his timing. We take it day by day in the footsteps prepares for us.

Day 49 – GVH still going

My Graft Vs Host Disease (GVH), where my new immune system is attacking my bowel, continues and hasn’t been controlled by the steroid treatment, so now we’re moving on to a more specialized drug that specifically targets inflammation. It’s quite expensive, so they’ve left it till last and it may take a week before we know if it’s been effective. The main symptom remains diarrhea which continues, although the amount has reduced. I tried a clear fluid diet for about a day and a half but it became obvious that the bowel was not tolerating any food or drink and so had to stop again.

This is obviously disappointing news, but we take the good with the bad all from God’s hand and continue to praise him, taking it a day at a time. Nothing much has changed for the day to day life in the hospital. Tomorrow will be half way to the 100 day mark when I can go home. Despite all that’s happened it feels like it’s gone quick. Please pray that I can continue in a positive frame of mind resting on God’s strength and goodness, and pray that the new drug will have a decisive effect quickly, effectively blocking the GVH effects on my bowel.