Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Great news - a match is found!

I received the wonderful news that both my brother Bryan and my son Christian are half matches. They are both 5/10, which is exactly what we needed. They are going to use Bryan as my donor. If there is an adult and a child, legally they have to go with the adult. Telling him was exciting and I am thrilled that he has agreed to do this for me. I think it is also a wonderful story to tell his daughter when she is grown up, what an example he is setting for her. We are set to go for some testing in 2 weeks at Moffitt, and as of right now June 3 is my check in day at Moffitt. I will have 4 or 5 days of high dose chemo, one day of full body radiation, and then a day of rest. The next day will be transplant day. I am thrilled that my family will be there with me, I want to make it a celebration while I am getting the transplant, hopefully this is it and I will never have to fight this battle again. Christian seemed disappointed he was not going to be doing it, but I let him know that I loved him and he was so brave at his young age to even consider doing it for me. Yesterday I came back into the hospital for my consolidation chemo treatment. I am having same drugs as the first time. Once the chemo is complete, I can go home though, I don't have to stay a month, which I am really looking forward to. I will then do blood work, transfusions, etc. as an outpatient. Knowing I will only be here 6 days instead of 35 makes this time seem to much better and easier to handle. I also had a second bone marrow biopsy to make sure that the cancer is truly in remission. I pray that it is. So far the treatment is going well, I have been a bit nauseous, but they are giving me medicines to cover that. The biopsy pinched a nerve in my leg or back, so some pain medicines are helping that. We are still blessed to be receiving so much help from family and friends, thank you just does not seem like enough. We are very lucky. With the fundraiser and the golf tournament, we will have peace of mind about moving to Tampa and all of tre return trips I will have to make in the next year. I did not loose all of my hair after first treatment, lost about half, which is a first for me. Here is a photo of me and Olivia after I cam home. I think with this next one I'm having or definitely with the transplant it will come out, but for now I am enjoying still having it.
I am sharing about this exciting event coming up on Friday, May 29th. Friends of ours put together a golf tournament to raise funds for our family to move to Tampa temporarily for my transplant, cover medical costs, etc. It will be a fun afternoon of golfing, food and friends. Advertising opportunities are available if you or someone you know have a business. Don't miss out on a fun afternoon, register yourself or a team today!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Here we go again...

I know that I always say it, but I can't believe I wait so long in between posts to update my blog. Its been two years, time has truly flown by. I was busy living my life, being a mom and moving more and more away from the cancer. My gvhd was getting under control, I was still on three immuno-suppressive drugs, but things were getting better. In November, I hit the magical 5 year mark, we let down our guard a little. Its always there, once you have cancer, the worry, the stress, every single day, but as time goes by, it lessens, you feel better. In January, I switched doctors for insurance reasons. I thought I would just be going for blood work, I hit 5 years, I was fine. The first day I saw the new oncologist, he greeted me with hello, your blood counts are low and you are neutropenic. Boom, just like that, your heart stops. I went from perfect counts the past few years to neutropenic. I immediately knew what it was, but was hopeful that it was just a medicine I started that was known to lower your counts. After a few weeks and stopping the medication, they were falling further. I contacted Moffitt, and we scheduled a bone marrow biopsy for my February 17th checkup. I woke up on Monday with a sore left thumb, it had a small red dot in the middle. My family and I went to Moffitt on Tuesday, and I had my biopsy and check up. The doctor saw my thumb and said I had shingles again. We came home and I slept for two days straight, I was taking medicine for shingles that made me dizzy and tired. On Thursday evening, I developed a fever. The pimple size blister on my thumb now was covering my entire thumb. We headed to the ER. One look at it there and they knew it wasn't shingles. They tested it and it was MRSA. I was admitted and started on antibotics. My thumb continued to get worse and Monday I had an MRI. They found out that I needed surgery, the tendons in my hand were infected. Long story short, they didn't know how to treat me. The hand surgeon wouldn't treat me due to my counts and the fact I had cancer again. I found out while I was there that my cancer was back. It was the worst feeling finding out what I already knew, and having to tell my family and friends, and my children. On Tuesday, the doctors determined they could no longer help me. They told me to go to Tampa. I knew Tampa couldn't help me, it is a cancer hospital, confirmed with my doctor that I shouldn't go there. Thank goodness for my husband. He had been keeping my old oncologist up to date on what was happening, and he got in touch with him. He told us what hospital to go to, where there was a hand surgeon that he thought could help me. We went right away and waited for 10 hours in the ER to be admitted. After getting in my room, surgeon came in and said she would do surgery, immediately if she could, but she scheduled it for first thing next am. I had no access for iv's, and after many hours of getting ready, new IV's, blood transfusions, I had my surgery. She saved my hand, I was very close to loosing it. Thank goodness for her and Steven, they saved me. Two days after surgery, I was transferred by ambulance to Coral Spring Medical Center. I went back with my old oncologist, and he got me to the new hospital. I went through two more surgeries to gets a line and port placed in my chest. Then I started chemo. Moffitt worked with my doctor to give him the protacall and we started. 6 days of chemo, and then the wait began to see if it worked. On day 18, I had my biopsy. There was no evidence of cancer, the chemo worked. The best news ever! I had to stay in the hospital, my hand was healing and I had to wait for my blood counts to fall and then rise back up. While there, I rested, and had many blood and platelet transfusions. It felt good to be back there, where I was my first time around, many of the same nurses were there, and they remembered me. They took great care of me. Finally, after 5 weeks in the hospital, I got to come home. The first few days were rough, adjusting to being home, off medicines, etc Finally I was able to get it all under control and started feeling better. It's been a week of resting, sleeping and being home with my family. It feels good. So now we wait, I need a second transplant. Moffitt is testing my half brother and my son to see if they are matches. We are waiting opn those results. They want me to have a haplo transplant. I will need consolidation chemo sometime soon also so that I stay healthy and in remission until transplant. I have a lot of research to do, and we are going to look at a hospital a little closer to home too. After 5 weeks away in hospital, I am just happy to be home. It was a rough first 2 days home but now things are good, and I am resting and relaxing, enjoying just being here, in this moment. Cancer is still NOT an option for me, so I will fight this nasty disease with all I have once again.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A long over due update...

Wow, I can not believe I have not written on my blog for three years, and that it had been three years! I was sharing my site today on a support page on Facebook and I came back to my blog. I think that I did not write because after my transplant I just needed so badly to focus on getting healthy, taking care of myself and my family and getting away from cancer. I feel like I have done those things in the last few years. I am doing well for the most part. In August 2012 I was able to go off of my immunosuppressive drugs. It felt great to be free of the restrictions I had for so long. A few weeks later, I developed shingles. It was the worst pain I think I have ever experienced. A month later they were finally under control. Since my transplant I have had a lot of pain, joint pain. It got worse and worse, I went to a rheumatoid doctor and we thought it was arthritis, and several others. I had a lot of symptoms of chronic graft vs host disease. The only solution was to go back on the immunosuppressive drugs. I fought them for a little while to see if it would get better, but it didnt. In January I went for my three year check up at Moffitt and my doctor put me back on the drugs. My liver functions were decreasing, also another form of chronic graft vs host. I felt like it was a huge set back, but have since realizes it is not, it is part of the transplant journey. My doctor described it to me fantastically. I had a transplant to cure cancer, as of right now we have done that. I been in remission for 3 years, 4 months and 11 days- amazing! But as a downside I have a chronic disease that needs treatment. That helped me to see it in a different light. I began the medicine and am feeling some relief but not 100 percent. So for now I am back to the restrictions, which seem easy now since I am used to them, and trying to listen toy body more, and rest. Not an easy thing to do with three active kids. Hopefully one day physically I will not be in pain or so stuff, I see it improving but not as much as I would like. For me, the double umbilical cord transplant has been my miracle, and I am thrilled. Cancer and aml is still a huge part of our lives and my sickness comes up every day, no matter how hard you try to get past it. Our lives changed because if it and it effects many many things. But I am here and I have seen many milestones in my children's lives I might not have. Christian is 11 and started middle school, playing baseball for school and little league teams and growing into a teen way to fast. Sofia will be 9 soon and is in 3 grade. She is playing baseball and loves doing and enjoying gymnastics and dancing. And Olivia, she started kindergarten this year! Wow, she was 8 months old at time of my first diagnosis. She is a ball if energy and loving little girl, she will be 6 in a week and a half! I am lucky to have had all of the support I have, and the best care givers in the world. My story is a work in progress every day, and I have been wanting to update the blog to show how well I am doing, and how my story is turning out. I obviously have left out a lot that has gone in in the past few tears, but I hope to update that soon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

This Saturday is Team Russo's Light The Night Walk 2010

This Saturday, November 6th is the Boca Raton Light The Night Walk. We will be walking with Team Russo once again.

I would like to take a moment to share an exciting opportunity with you! Whether you have followed my blog or are new, you know that I am a two time survivor of AML Leukemia and a bone marrow transplant. I would like to invite everyone to join my team, "Team Russo" as we Light The Night with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society this Saturday, November 6, 2010. This year I am the adult honoree and will be speaking at the event. It is a wonderful way to celebrate my "new birthday" of November 13th- which will be exactly one year since my transplant.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk is a national fundraising campaign to commemorate and celebrate lives touched by cancer. The unique feature of this walk - it is a 2 mile evening walk! All "Champion For Cures" fundraising participants carry an illuminated balloon during the Walk, red for supporters, white for cancer patients and survivors and a gold for teams walking in memory of a loved one. Prior to the walk, everyone is invited to share in food, live entertainment, children's activities and more! This year's Light The Night Walk will take place on Saturday, November 6th at the Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton from 5:00 - 8:00pm. There are two ways in which you can become a part of this magical evening:

Join the "Team Russo" team by becoming a Walker & Fundraiser. If you would like to become a fundraising team member on the team, please visit our Team Page at: and scroll to the "Join Team" section at the bottom of the page. Once you join the Team, you will receive an email from LLS with details on how to login to your personal fundraising website. You may use this site to send out emails to your family and friends, asking them to join the team with you or to make a donation to support your fundraising efforts. You can find useful fundraising tips & information in the "fundraising toolbox" on your website.

There is no registration fee to join Light The Night Walk! LLS does encourage all walkers to become a "Champion For Cures" by fundraising, personally donating or collecting funds to reach the $100 level or higher. As recognition for having $100 or more registered in your personal fundraising account by the Walk, you will receive a commemorative LTN Walk T-Shirt, LTN Illuminated Balloon & Champion For Cures wristband to allow you access to the refreshment area at the Walk. See our ideas on how to raise $100 or more. Please remember, LLS encourages everyone to raise at least $100, however, the more you raise, the more incentives you will earn and the closer you will bring us to a CURE. Visit their website to see a list of fundraising incentives.

Support the "Team Russo" team by making a Donation. If you are unable to attend and participate in the Walk, but would like to make a donation to support the efforts of the team, please visit my website: and click on the "donate now" button to make your donation. All donations are tax-deductible. Every dollar counts, no amount is to small.

The Walks are a means of creating public awareness about blood cancers and their devastating effects on families. Light The Night also raises funds to help support the LLS mission of finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and to improving the quality of life of patients and their families. Please join us as we work toward a CURE! I thank you in advance for your support.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

An over due update

I apologize for not keeping this blog current or updating in a few months. Since we came home life has been trying to get back to normal and I have sort of stepped away from all things "cancer" or "leukemia" related and sadly that has included blogging. I have started a new post so many times but not finished or published them. It seemed overwhelming to write, which was something new for me, as I do love blogging and it brought me a lot of clarity and sanity on this journey.

I am doing well, I am 7 months post transplant and doing better each day. My energy level is higher, I still fatigue quickly but I can tell the difference from a few months ago. I am no where near my pre transplant or chemo self but I am getting there. Overall since we came home I have been healthy with exception of some minor things. I have had to have my ear drained two times, each time I get a cold it sticks around and eventually I could not hear out of my right ear. I visited an ENT and they drained it both times. They hesitate to put in tubes, which is how to keep it open permanently due to risk of infection and I agree, I don't want them unless this persists. I also had a clogged saliva gland recently. I had never hear of such a thing and thought for sure I my ear was filled up again, but I went and it was my saliva gland. It was extremely painful and my face was completely swollen on the right side, but mostly it was painful. It was about a week before it got better and I hope to never experience that again. I am still on a lot of medicines, the doses change depending on my blood levels at my check ups, but this will continue for a long time. Some days go well and others are very hard to get them all down, but I do the best that I can with it.I am not happy about having to take them, but I try to remember they are keeping me healthy and I need to take them.

We found out one drug that I was taking was making me very ill. I could not eat and it got so bad that I was not eating at all, since my transplant in November I have lost 55 lbs, and I was experiencing vomiting, diarrhea and low white blood counts. It got really bad and something had to change as I was not able to eat at all. We stopped the medicine known to cause this and I immediately stopped vomiting and diarrhea. The eating has been a slow process, a month later I am able to eat now, but limited things, but I can eat and am sure to eat three meals a day. For weeks I lived on smoothies from Jamba Juice and Tropical Smoothie, some days this was all I could get down and I would have two. It is a terrible feeling to have all foods taste so bad you don't want to put them in your mouth and cant bring yourself to do it. Now that I am eating, my weight is stable again.

I have been back to Tampa two times for check ups and both times gotten great results. My bone marrow biopsy shows that I am 100% engrafted with my donors cells. Who could ask for any more than that. I return again at end of August for my 9 month check up.

My family is doing well and keeping me very busy. The kids are out of school for the summer now and having a lot of fun. Christian and Sofia attend summer camp and Olivia is home with me. She needed to get potty trained before she could go to camp. I am proud to say she is now trained and doing great. She attends a class at YMCA two days a week and we do small things to keep busy and she seems very happy. I know that she will enjoy going back in Fall to preschool, she does miss her friends. Life after a transplant is not easy. Not just after a transplant, but cancer I guess. Because my energy level is not where it would normally be, I have a hard time keeping up with them. I still need more rest than I normally would and when I reach a level where I have done to much, I am exhausted till I can catch up. I am an inpatient person, and I like to believe I should be myself, but every day I am reminded daily that I have a new normal and I am going to need to be patient with me and let myself heal. Easier said than done for me.

We moved back home in April and are enjoying living in our house again. After working with a mold expert my pediatrician recommended, we had the house retested and it came back mold free. We did have air duct cleanings and some cleaning things done before we came back home. The reason it tested for mold after all the work we had done last summer they think is because there was residuals in the air conditioning vents and it was blowing around. We had it tested two times and it is clean, so we feel confident that we are OK to move back home. In 9 months we moved our things nine times, that is a lot of moving for one family. It is a great feeling to be living back in our home, with our things and know we are not having to move again. We are grateful we were together over this past year, whether it be in a house, apartment, etc. but we all feel much more at peace being back home, there is no place like it, especially when you do not feel well.

I have had so many supporters of our family throughout this journey over the past year and for that I am very grateful. Thank you for your continued support and prayers. I hope to update more often and not neglect this blog like I have. I feel that I am coming around now and am more ready to talk about what I went through and even reach out to others to help them on their journey. This week I met with two oncology nurse students from a local university, they contacted me through Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and they wanted to hear my story, my experience. They told me hearing me talk about it, describing what I been through was so helpful to them, they learned more than 10 patients in a hospital setting could tell them. It felt good to help them and realize how blessed I am to be here after all that I have been through.

If you are local sign up and join us for the Light The Night Walk on November 6th. I am the honored patient for the Boca Raton walk and am hoping to get many walkers there for Team Russo and raise a lot of funds for LLS. There is a link on the right side of the blog to click on for registration. It is a nice family centered night and a great way to help others going through cancer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Home and Light The Night Honoree

Good morning! It's been awhile since I wrote. We got home on the 12th and been trying since then to return to routine, etc. so there is no time for me and the computer it seems. Its a full time job with the kids, and taking care of myself. I am still diabetic from meds and take so many medicines.

We arrived home and things are going well. The kids have gone back to school and are enjoying it, they are also enjoying seeing friends on weekends. Overall they are adjusting well, sleep is much better and comes easier for them now that they are actually tired and in their own rooms. They started Twae Kon Do yesterday, they loved it. It is alot for me to get them there after school, but Steven meets me after work to help out. Right now we are staying at our friends Natalie and Gene's house, we switched houses. I thought it would be weird, but it really is not. Amazing how you can adapt and live anywhere when you need to. A big thank you to them, there is no way to ever repay you, thank you never seems like enough. Love you guys!

I am exhausted, that really is my only complaint. My body is not ready to do all I am asking it seems. Going back to being a full time Mom, how did I ever do it all before I wonder? I know I will get stronger as the days go on, but it is very frustrating to me to be so weak, I am not used to it. I am listening to my body and napping in the day while they are at school, sit down when my heart is racing, etc. They say it takes a year to get back to yourself, wow I hope that year goes by quick. I feel like the school day goes by so fast and before you know it it is time for pickup already.

In other big and interesting news, I was chosen to be the honoree of the Boca Raton Light the Night Walk in October. I am honored beyond words, this will only happen once in my lifetime. I will attend a few meetings, and speak at kickoff meetings in August, then speak for 1-2 minutes at event. I am really nervous about that, I don't do that well, but I figured I conquered cancer twice, I could do it or try. Our Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is awesome here, Sharon who I keep in touch with is always thinking of me, which I appreciate. So if you are local, when sign ups start, join Team Russo and raise funds and walk with us, without those funds and the research, I would not be here today.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 78 ~ Almost Home

It's been awhile since I updated, there just does not seem like time to sit down and write. We are almost set to go home - February 12 is the day and everyone is excited. Since I last wrote I got an infection in my line in my chest, so I was on antibiotics at home to clear it,then this Friday I got a call the line had to come out immediately, so they took it out and gave me a mid line in my arm since I have no veins in my arms to get blood or receive antibiotics. Well it worked for one day and the second day Steven went to give me my medicine and it leaked everywhere, which resulted in an 11 pm - 2 pm trip to the hospital so I could get my meds. Next day I got a temp line in my neck again. I am getting it out the 8th and getting a port under my skin, needless to say I am tired of this. If all goes well I have to get a pulmonary function test, bone marrow biopsy and my port before I go. In the meantime we are now moved into a Moffit owned furnished apartment, we moved Friday and Saturday, our lease was up on the 1st and they had someone else to rent for a year, so we could not stay the extra 12 days. On the plus all our stuff is packed except clothes and some kitchen stuff, so when we are ready to leave we just turn in the keys and leave,everything was included in the rent. Amazing how much stuff we brought and then add Christmas and little things you purchase,

Everyone is ready to get back to Boca. We have solved our living situation although we have to move twice, but we are lucky to have good friends helping us out and we are blessed for both sets of them.

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's been a long time - long update

Wow, its been a long time since I have posted. A combination of alot of things, things at home are busy with the kids and there is no time it seems to get on the computer. Right now my days are spent focusing on taking my pills and resting, homeschooling the kids, going to the clinic for appts, I am down to going Monday for blood and Tuesday to see the doctor only. I am sad to say I have had two set backs that have landed me back in the hospital. Jan 6 I believe and right now I am here. I was just feeling more fatigued than normal and both times after I woke up from a nap I had a fever. Fever means you go to clinic immediately, where they take blood cultures and start iv antibiotics. Well it happened again yesterday morning so I spent last night and I will stay today, if no more fever I can go home tomorrow. They believe I have a urinary tract infection, i have no symptoms though due to the immuno suppressing drugs I take. It is scary not to know something that can make me so sick. My immune system is so weak I am so susceptible to everything and anything. Keeping infection free is a full time job.

Other than the fever and having to be here for antibiotics they are still very pleased with my progress, they say this is normal and I have had minimal complications for a transplant patient. I fight fatigue something terrible, but it is going to take 6 months to a year to feel like myself. I have a lot of work to do to build up my strength again, besides chemo and radiation and transplant zapping it, I am still taking prednisone and that makes you tired and loose strength. I am being weaned slowly so by end of February hopefully I will be done and then the medically induced diabetes will go away too.

We have been told that we can go home on Feb 12, which is day 90. I am getting my hickman catheter out and a port put in soon, and I have some tests to have and a bone marrow biopsy before we can go and those are being scheduled, but we are going to be ready to go on the 12th. Everyone is more than ready, we been here since I think November 3. We are ready to put the kids in school and start back to a daily routine. It is lonely in a town where you don't know anyone, we have done well, but we are done now and ready to get back to friends and family.

The very hardest part is when we go home we can not go home to our house. If you remember we had toxic mold in our home, we spent the summer fixing and re mediating the house. Long story short is that they did not fix the house and all the mold is still there. The help that we have fighting to fix it thinks we have a bigger problem which is why the mold was there in the first place and they think we have a sinkhole under the house or foundation issues, which is what was thought from the beginning. So since we have mold and I have no immune system, I cant even go into the house. It is an impossible situation, we have no idea when we will be able to be there again. It is very sad to me, because after living out all summer and just fixing our house, and now living in Tampa, we are yet again not in our home, and you just want to be home. We been going back and forth on where we were going and today we just figured it out, which is a huge relief. We are staying at one friends Grandma's apt when we get home until beginning of March, when we are going to stay across the street where we stayed all summer at our friends house. We will wait out to see what is wrong with the house and go from there but for now we have somewhere to stay.

That is my long winded update, things sure have not been easy, I know the hardest part of everything is conquered and I am leukemia free, that is all that matters, but we sure did not need house issues on top of it. They say God only gives you what you can handle, I am glad he thinks so highly of our family that we can handle all of these challenges in same time frame.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year ~ Day 49

We rang in the new year quietly at home with playing Wii, Little Pet Shop and making cupcakes. We had snacks and watched some t.v. Olivia was asleep at 7 but somehow knew how to wake up 10 min before the ball dropped for all the fun. They partied hard with hats and blowers and had a good time! It was a fun night with the party animals. Olivia loved screaming HappyNewYear, but did not like the sparkling juice as you can tell from this photo below.

We have a lot to look forward to in 2010, and are ready to enjoy this year to the fullest as a family. I am looking forward to not thinking about being sick or worrying about procedures, etc but knowing it is in the past for the most part and I have 2010 to heal and recover. 2009 was a rough year, but in so many ways fantastic to us also, with all of the love and support we received we won't forget it.
Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas was wonderful, even being away from home in Tampa. We did not bring our Christmas stuff from home, so we got a small fake tree to decorate. The kids were so excited. We got some basic ornaments, then we made paper ornaments, then Grandma made clay ornaments with the kids, and we thought our tree was full. One day a surprise box arrived from Steven's work Campbell Property Management with ornaments from his coworkers, each with a different message, and before we knew it, our tree was full just like at home. It was such a warm gesture and alot of fun to open the different ornaments, now we have them to add to our tree next year with wonderful memories. Thank you to all who sent them and thought of us in such a unique way! We made paper chains and hung lights and stockings and Christian said it was the best Christmas decorations ever! He is right, it was and it is because we did it together.

We did our usual traditions of new Christmas pj's for the kids from Santa on Christmas Eve before bed, this year he was very thoughtful and brought them for all of us too. We had a nice dinner and left out notes and cookies and milk for Santa. Christian left a great note and even a cookie for Santa to take to Mrs. Claus too, everyone always forgets her. He still whole heartily believes in Santa and I love it. Christmas morning we were up bright and early, all Santa's helpers were just asleep and Christian was wide awake. We tossed and turned till 5:45 and then it was on. Of course Santa was extra good to them and they enjoyed all their gifts. We had a nice relaxed day with way to much food and talked to our family on the web cam.
We missed many of our traditions we would have done that I thought were so important to the holiday, like parades, class parties and pageants, visiting the 100 ft tree, breakfast with Santa, Christmas photos and cards and many other things. I realized we don't need those things, we had the best Christmas we could have had, just being together and realizing the miracle that we have been given this year. And next year when I am feeling better and we can do all these things, I want to remember that we don't need any of them to be happy or have a great holiday and I can give myself a break and it will all still be OK. I think this year we discovered the real reason for the season.
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas as well.

Day 44 and Some Photos To Share

Here are some photos from our very first outing when I got out of hospital a few days later to the park.

Sofia took this photo of me up close I was so cold and she caught me off guard with no smile

And this one too, the second one makes me laugh, I am out there all alone sitting on edge of the bench, it it descriptive of my situation right now though, staying away from germs, lots of people, etc.

What I see in these photos are very happy children, and that makes me know that we 100% made the right decision on having them with us in Tampa for this temporary move. It also shows how every day they fuel me and push me on, even when I am feeling to tired.
Today is Day 44 and things are moving along well. I only had clinic visits two days this week, and no new transfusions. My platelets have doubled all on their own and continue to rise. I am off IV magnesium. I am still diabetic, the insulin has become easier to manage and my numbers are in lower range, today was the first time I gave myself the shot instead of Steven. I figured I better learn in case he is out or something. My appetite is not great, but I can eat my meals and always manage to find something that works. My blood pressure still continues to be high so that medicine doubled this week. It is a fine balancing game with all the medicines, each week on Monday they change around, so I expect changes tomorrow again, hopefully with some coming off or amounts down would be a blessing, especially the prednisone. My GvH responded amazing to it, so they have to slowly taper it away, so maybe one more pill down this week. My fatigue is getting better, I am still in no shape to manage more than myself, but I can usually make it throughout the day with one nap and then get a good nights sleep. Daily tasks I feel I have to drag myself to do, but I see it getting better. Children help that along more than you want, they force you to be up and at it. Thank goodness for the endless energy of my Mom and Steven, they are doing it all and I just wonder how and where they get the energy, lol, even though I know I did it to and will once again, right now that is a distant thought. I wish most days I could get a jolt of energy, just feels like I am dragging along. Day by day though, I know I need to be patient. For now, I am beyond pleased with my progress as our the doctors, etc. The fact that I am home and out and about already is amazing to me, like is restricted, but we are still going out, slowly going places at off peak times, we went to the park, the movies, where luckily there was only one other family there, I have been to a store, all the time I wear my gloves and or mask to protect myself, the gloves are greatest though in a store, allows me to touch cart or items and not get my hands dirty, then peel them off once outside and leave germs there. We have become hand washing and sanitizing freaks, we use it before we go in somewhere, in the store, when we get in the car, The Russo's have the cleanest hands around! Hopefully everyone is going to continue to stay healthy.