"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."
Encouragement is such an important thing. we receive so much encouragement from the cards and emails we get from all of you. The doctors and nurses here are a big boost. They tell Tammy that she is a remarkable patient (the doctor today said she's soft on the outside, but she's "one tough woman" on the inside).
Tammy also is an encouragement to others. I know some of the nurses and aides come in to her room to get a "boost" of Tammy. She has genuine concern for them, and it shows. She's the perfect medicine for me as well when I'm down, either because she's in the hospital, or I'm falling behind on work projects, or anything else.
We continue to be encouraged by how well Tammy is responding to treatment. When I got to the hospital this morning, I met with the PA who said that Tammy's counts are "jumping up" each day. Her white blood cell count was 0.4 on Monday. Yesterday it was 1.0 and today it's 1.5. Those numbers sound low, and they are (normal is 4.5-11). But considering the number was 0.0 less than a week ago, it's encouraging.
After her transplant three years ago, that number increased by 0.1 each day, if that. She told me today that she can't believe how good she feels. And she continues to look very good.
The critical number for her release from the hospital is her ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count), which needs to be 500. Right now, she's well below that. However, those numbers can go up dramatically. There is a slight possibility she could go home as early as this Friday, though it's more likely that it will be early next week.
When she does go home, it won't be with the same restrictions as when she came home after her transplant. She still has to be very careful to stay away from sick people, and those who have been around other sick people. But she won't need round-the-clock care. We can't wait for her to return home.
This is a very fluid situation. We have been very pleased with the progress, and we believe that a lot of that has to do with the amazing care she's received at KU Med Center. We also believe that a lot of that has to do with the numerous prayers being lifted up on her behalf. Please keep them coming, especially as she prepares to come home.