Friday, October 23, 2009

Some information coming in...after dozens of tests.

I spoke to Clyde for a few minutes this morning. She's feeling much better, compared to yesterday anyway. In the last few days she's had a lot of tests done to determine what's causing her nasty symptoms. The highlights include everyone's favorite, the colonoscopy. While she was in a drug induced nap, they also snaked a camera down her throat to see what was happening. The conclusion after all that was inflamation of the lining of her stomach. They could see that in a full-body CAT scan done a day or two ago but the camera views confirmed it. Inflamation of tissue of the digestive tract is a symptom of Graft versus Host Disease.

While that can be a huge problem, the medical team is not too up-in-arms about it at the moment. They have taken blood, given blood and infused her with several minerals to keep her body working properly. At the moment, she has 7 bags dripping into her arm. That's unbelievable.

The most significant drug currently being administered is Prednizone, a synthetic steroid. This is a drug that can cause more problems than it treats and it treats a lot of diseases. Because it's a steroid, it can work well against inflamation. It is also anti-tumor and immunosuppressing. The side-effect profile is an amazing list of conditions you don't want to have. The bag is not dripping into my arm, but I have absolute faith that the medical team at the University of Wisconsin Hospital will monitor Clyde to control whatever comes up.

It's now clear that Clyde's recovery is going to be a long road. We're on day 17 and there have already been two inpatient hospital visits. Take my word for it if you don't know Clyde. This woman is a warrior. She faces the challenges with a stiff upper lip, almost daring the disease to knock her down. Not that there aren't moments of fear and emotion. Courage doesn't mean never being afraid. It means being afraid but standing up for the battle anyway. Clyde has been fighting the good fight for almost 21 years now, everyday.

On a side note, I vsisted with a friend of mine last night that is fighting a brain tumor. My conversation with him reminded me that Clyde isn't the only cancer warrior out there. The next time you see a friend or relative that has beaten cancer or is living with it now, see them for the fighter they are. These people are to be respected.

If you're a Facebook member, you can write on Clydes wall at

It doesn't matter if you don't know Clyde. She's a fellow human who stands for the fight in all of us when faced with monumental challenge. Support her if you have a minute. She will appreciate and gain strength from your words.

More updates to follow as we learn more.

Be well.

1 comment:

  1. Rick thanks so much for the blog, I've been following it. You know, your family is really amazing and inspiring. You are lucky. I feel lucky simply to be related to you wonderful people. Sending lots of good energy to you all. Love, cousin Claire