Well, we got the results from Greg's blood work this evening. He has
Asymptomatic Antibody Mediated Rejection, which means that his body is
producing antibodies against his donor heart. This is a different
type of rejection than the acute rejection he had in December where
white blood cells were attacking his heart as a foreign object. The
good news is that they caught it early enough that his heart hasn't
been damaged at all (his biopsy results were fantastic aside from
this) and it isn't something that is life threatening. But, if it
goes unchecked it can cause coronary artery disease- and that's not
something that we want to deal with.
Greg will be in the hospital for 5 days next week being treated -
they'll use a dialysis-like machine to remove the B-cells and then
they'll administer a B-cell attacking medicine - all of which will
hopefully stop the rejection. After he leaves the hospital from his
first treatment, he'll be going back every 7 days for at least 4 weeks
for additional treatments of the medication. Since this is a medicine
that is used in chemotherapy, he might be feeling pretty bad and stay
overnight during the additional treatments, but he also might react to
it well and be able to go home the same day.
It's a pretty complicated ordeal, but only within the last few years
have they really understood the implications of antibody production in
heart transplant recipients and so we are very blessed that they know
what to do and that they are able to prevent long-term problems from
this type of rejection.
The biggest disappointment is that we've had to cancel taking our
seminary courses for Cru in Florida this summer. We were really
looking forward to it and after months of not getting our hopes up
that we'd really be able to go, were finally getting excited. This is
also impacting the trips we were taking to PA at the end of this month
to see family and our ministry team. We are re-working some plans so
that I can hopefully go for a couple days, though Greg won't be able
to go. Of course this is another big disappointment for both of us.
Right now we're just both feeling extremely disappointed. We'd
appreciate prayers for us as we emotionally process this and try to
rearrange our summer arrangements, and also prayers for Greg as he
begins his treatments. We don't know exactly when he'll be at the
hospital next week yet, but I'll keep you updated on how he's doing
when things get started.
Thank you for your prayers,