Author Topic: Medical History  (Read 545 times)

Offline weazletoe

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2429
  • Howland, Ohio
Medical History
« on: July 25, 2021, 12:00:32 AM »
  Anyone who remembers me may recall I'm from Ohio, the Cleveland area. Since the end of March my wife and I have been temporary residents of Augusta GA. Some of you may recall she has a type of blood cancer. (MDS, bone marrow failure) The potential cure is an allogenetic stem cell transplant. However, to do so the patient must receive at least one blood transfusion as the chemo therapy destroys not just the bone marrow but also all blood cells. Reds, whites, and platelets. Of course, with no red cells oxygen cannot be sent to the organs including brain. With no platelets something as simple as a paper cut or nose bleed can be uncontrollable and fatal not to mention any spontaneous bleeding. And of course no white cells means no immune system so the smallest of bug or infection could spiral out of control.
  Because of religious / conscience reasons my wife would not accept a blood transfusion. We searched the entire country looking for a Dr and hospital willing to treat her. We were denied by every major hospital you can name and several you can't.  We finally stumbled on two hemo oncologist at Augusta University that were willing to attempt it. Dr Kota and Dr Jillella. At this point she was only given a couple month's to live. We arrived here the end of March and she began pretreatment including chemotherapy that would destroy her marrow and ultimately, blood cells. They had a plan, that on paper, would keep her alive until the new stem cells began  stimulating her marrow to create new, working blood cells.
 She was as close to death as one could imagine. They walked a very tight rope but with all they knowledge, her blood counts began rising. They rose shockingly fast. Within a little over a week after the transplant on April 6, her blood counts were normal. A bone marrow biopsy was done 100 days after the transplant and she was found to be cancer free!!
 We are still temporarily residing in Augusta for follow up care. Currently, we are in the hospital. She was admitted July 5. She is battling graft vs host disease. Something very common that all stem cell transplant patients suffer from. Hers just happens to be stubborn. It is finally starting to get under control. We will be in her for at least two more weeks and not go back to Ohio until some time in the fall, at which point Cleveland Clinic is going to take over her care working with the Dr's down here.
  It's been a long hard, sad, scary, thrilling ride. We've not seen home, friends, family or even children since we left in March. But my wife and the Dr's did it!! They saved her life. Without them she would have died a couple months ago. This is the first time a bloodless allogentic stem cell transplant has been done in the United States. Only the third in the world and IIRC the fist to survive let alone be cancer free. The poor girl is hairless and weighs under 100# but she is alive and has made medical history!
 As a side note, the brings me one step closer to getting home and finishing my electric brewery. I'm so happy  to have my wife with me and returning to health I just had to share. If any of you are in the Augusta area, I sure would love a visit!
 Raise one tonight my wife and raise a couple to her AMAZING doctors.
A man works hard all week, so he doesn't have to wear pants all weekend.

Offline Megary

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 584
Re: Medical History
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2021, 12:25:45 AM »
That is so awesome!  All the best to your wife, and yourself.  She must be one tough cookie.

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4736
Re: Medical History
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2021, 12:26:29 AM »
That is fantastic news!  I am bursting at the seems in happiness for you. I recall your despairing posts describing her condition and feeling helpless to offer a supportive word. I wish her many, many years of health …and cheers to you for never giving up, never calling it quits!  I know first hand the trials of a caregiver’s life.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
wisdom is proved right by her deeds

Brewed in the Tennessee Valley. Rocket City — Huntsville AL

Offline tommymorris

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 3119
Re: Medical History
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2021, 01:07:31 AM »
Nice! Best wishes to her! I hope you get to share one of your beers with her soon!

Offline fredthecat

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 799
Re: Medical History
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2021, 01:35:59 AM »
Congratulations. There are some wonderful doctors out there.

Offline pete b

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 3876
  • Barre, Ma
Re: Medical History
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2021, 11:36:38 AM »
I was just thinking of you a couple days ago and dreading your next post, assuming the more likely news. This is fantastic. I wish you and your family all happiness and good fortune.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 24444
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Medical History
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2021, 01:56:59 PM »
That's wonderful news, Barry!  Congratulations and super best wishes for continued recovery.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline MDixon

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2198
Re: Medical History
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2021, 02:31:19 PM »
Fantastic!
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline Steve Ruch

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1479
Re: Medical History
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2021, 02:33:21 PM »
Great news!
I love to go swimmin'
with hairy old women

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 10231
  • Milford, MI
Re: Medical History
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2021, 05:15:12 PM »
Great Barry, you and your wife have gone through a lot. This is history being made. Others will benefit.
Jeff Rankert
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline Tummydoc

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Medical History
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2021, 07:15:35 AM »
Congratulations, what a relief. Bloodless stem cell transplantation was first performed in Germany in 2003 in a Jehova Witness patient. It has become much more common than your impression. The University of Pennsylvania's cancer division has a Center for Transfusion Free Medicine. Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles  has reported their experience with 66 bloodless transplants with 90% survival. GVHD is common as you state, but treatable.

Sounds like your wife is getting excellent care.

Offline weazletoe

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2429
  • Howland, Ohio
Re: Medical History
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2021, 12:07:47 PM »
Congratulations, what a relief. Bloodless stem cell transplantation was first performed in Germany in 2003 in a Jehova Witness patient. It has become much more common than your impression. The University of Pennsylvania's cancer division has a Center for Transfusion Free Medicine. Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles  has reported their experience with 66 bloodless transplants with 90% survival. GVHD is common as you state, but treatable.

Sounds like your wife is getting excellent care.

Thanks for the words of encouragement!
 Bloodless stem cells are done without blood. They do autologus quite frequently. I know Dr Ford in Philadelphia does them very successfully. However my wife had an allogeneic done. And you are correct, one was done in Germany on a Jehovah's Witness, as my wife and I, and another was done in Italy. Also on a Jehovah's Witness. From what we have been told, it's not been performed in the US.
A man works hard all week, so he doesn't have to wear pants all weekend.

Offline beersk

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 3672
  • In the night!
Re: Medical History
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2021, 07:27:22 PM »
Holy crap, what a story. Very happy for you both! Thanks for sharing.
Jesse

Offline 69franx

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 3205
  • Bloatarian Brewing League
Re: Medical History
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2021, 09:51:02 PM »
Great news sir!

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk

Frank L.
Fermenting: Nothing (ugh!)
Conditioning: Nothing (UGH!)
In keg: Nothing (Double UGH!)
In the works:  House IPA, Dark Mild, Ballantine Ale clone(still trying to work this one into the schedule)

Offline ttash

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 74
Re: Medical History
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2021, 01:56:00 AM »
In a world with so much bad news, this is truly the good stuff.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Wishing you and your wife continued recovery, and a long happy future.