Monday, June 20, 2011


So the transplant finally happened!! It was on friday last week June 17th. We were all so excited for it we had a little pizza party and some balloons for Shawns new "birthday". He officially has a new immune system. The actual transplant wasn't really all that exciting. It just looks like a blood transfusion, it goes straight into his port and that was about it. It did look like tomatoe juice instead of blood however. And the type of transplant he needed was stem cells and not direct bone marrow so the donor simply had to go into the doctors office for a few blood draws/collections and that was it for him, then they flew it over here. Although we don't know who his donor is we do know that they had to fly it here a few days earlier than Shawn needed the transplant (different time zone). Most of them come from Germany is what we hear because they are required to be on the bone marrow registery in the military. I thought that was really neat, then if they become a match they have the option to so yes or no. We are all anxious to see if somehow Shawn starts to speak German or something crazy like that. Funny thing the donor and Shawn will now technically have the same DNA or at least if either of them commit a crime and leave their blood on the scene both their names will come up as a match to the blood. Crazy huh? So hopefully both Shawn and the donor will not take any jobs asking them to be a hitman:)

So from here on out we just play the wait and recover game. Average recovery time is 4-6weeks in the hospital after a bone marrow transplant. Back in the day this had to be complete isolation from anyone and they would treat the patient standing behind the glass with the gloves thing. But now its different and he is technically isolated but not to that extreme. People can still see him just as long as they are not sick and have not been around anyone that is sick. So I will still be staying with him at the hospital. As long as that little pull out bed remains wide enough for me and my ever growing belly:) Then its about 1-2 years of being really careful about not being around anyone that is sick, and a big list of other precautions. If the transplant "takes" then we will start to see his blood counts recover within 10-28 days. These will be the new immune system making cells since we know they killed Shawns immune system with all the pre-transplant radiation and chemo. And don't ask me what we do next if it doesn't "take" because I'm not allowing that to be an option in my mind right now.

Unfortunately the chemo and radiation side effects have not subsided, and are catching up to him a little more. He now has mouth sores that are pretty painful which have eliminated the pill taking situation. So his feet hurt more again since he is unable to get those medications through the IV. Also the vomitting hasn't let up. It is a sad day when vomitting becomes a normal part of the routine. Especially his vomit, he hasn't eaten in well over a month so you can imagine the throwup he has. Pretty much pure bile and stomach acid. Hopefully in the next week or so we can start getting past all these crappy side effects and Shawn can start being Shawn again. Through all of this Shawn rarely complains about it and keeps up his spirits really well. He has never once asked why is this happening to me... which in itself is pretty remarkable. Thats just Shawn for you, so loving and caring that he cares more about how me and the baby are doing than how he is doing. We had a wonderful Fathers day together and even though Shawn felt really crappy we had a lot of good laughs and talked a lot about how we can't wait until our little Lucas joins our family.

I'll will do another update later, hopefully he will be starting to feel better by then. Thank you all for the continued prayers and support we really appreciate it. Please continue to pray that this transplant works for Shawn and that we can live long and healthy lives with our soon to be son Luke. We love all of you!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Ok so sorry it has been a while since the last update. First off I wanted to just say thank you to everyone that helped out and came to the concert!! It was such a huge succes and we were so fortunate to have had so many generous people attend. Shawn was able to watch the concert from video that family took. He loved it and was sad to have missed it.

The good news is we are back on track for the transplant!! We were really worried for a while as the doctors are kinda "debbie downers" at the circumstances we are in. However, he finished his chemo and they checked his bone marrow two weeks later and the bone marrow was "empty". If God is going to perform a miracle might as well be a big one right? Although this is not remission it was still wonderful news because they couldn't see any leukemia cells in his marrow!! So that gave the doctors more confidence and let us go forward with bone marrow transplant plans. He is now scheduled to get his transplant on June 17th.

The past week has been just a waiting period to get started again and has actually been really enjoyable. He was able to walk a lot easier and even eat a few things. These are the days that get us through the harder ones. The previous weeks were really hard on Shawn. This chemo seemed to make him throw up a lot more than the others did. As a result of all the vomitting Shawns throat became really inflamed with lots of lesions in it. He has been unable to eat for about the past month. Even swallowing his pills are sometimes difficult.

Radiation started yesterday and he felt the effects from it immediately. He gets radiation to his whole body and the process invovles him standing for the entire session. When he got back yesterday he was literally wiped out, the vomitting started soon after as well. Talk about beating a horse while he is down!! Shawn is going into this transplant a lot worse off than others starting this process because he is unable to eat, very weak, not in remission and his blood counts have not recovered from his last week of chemo. It seems horrible to say this but we are all grateful for him to be at this point. Because even though it would be wonderful to have Shawn start this process a little stronger, the longer we would have waited for him to recover the more likely the leukemia would return before the transplant again.

I'm doing pretty good, so many people ask me how I'm feeling and it seems silly and I often think, don't you mean Shawn? But I feel great. I have been really blessed to have such and easy pregnancy so far, or at least I don't know what pregnancy is supposed to be like and all the other things in life have made it seem easy. Sometimes I forget that I am even pregnant until I look down and see this huge belly. Emotionally I am like a roller coaster. My day is often based off of how Shawn's day is. If he is having a bad day it seems to drain my spirits and really wear me down. On good days though we just hang out and watch prison break together:) Our families have been awesome to give me breaks every once in a while from the hospital which I'm realizing is much needed.

We have also received some really amazing blessings. One of the seventy received a request from President Monson to come and give us blessings last week. One of our friends wrote a letter to President Monson and he read it and tracked us down to have Elder Baxter give us a blessing. It was such a neat blessing and really reminded us to have faith and hope for the future and not fear. Faith is something I learn more and more about each day. There were many powerful things that were said in the blessing but most of all we just felt so comforted afterwards.

One last thing, this post is becoming very long. I need to update more often. My friend Katie from nursing school gave me this really neat book called "created for greater things". It is a compilation of a bunch of quotes from Elder Holland whom me and Shawn really love! In it I read something I needed to hear. Often times I become jealous of others' trials. I sometimes think "why couldn't that have been my trial" or "that person seems to have no trials".

This is the quote: "On this upward and sometimes hazardous journey, each of us meets our share of daily challenges. If we are not careful, as we peer through the narrow lens of self-interest, we may feel that life is bringing us more than our fair share of trials-that somehow others seem to be getting off more lightly. But the tests of life are tailored for our own best interests, and all will face the burdens best suited to their own mortal experience. In the end we will realize that God is merciful as well as just and that all the rules are fair. We can be reassured that our challenges will be the ones we needed, and conquering them will bring blessings we could have received in no other way." _Elder Holland

This gives me comfort and I do know that this trial is one we were meant for and can get through. We have often compared our trial to others we know or hear of and we are so grateful for our own. As we continue to have Faith, the Lord will continue to give us daily victories and we are so grateful to have Christ and Heavenly Father on our side of the battle!!


Here are some pics over the past few months. Shawn had some dark blue chemo, pretty crazy stuff. He started losing his hair again a few weeks later (the small amount that he had) poor fella slept through his haircut. The concert was awesome, Billy Dean sang I am a child of God with all the little kids! I am now 29 weeks and Lucas is doing great!!