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January 11, 2011 - Biopsy results and first bout of illness

Hi everyone,

We got good news on Greg's latest biopsy! He had level 1 rejection which doesn't require any additional treatment and the doctors were able to decrease his prednisone dose again. Thank you for praying for this!

Unfortunately, we've both been feeling pretty crummy and exhausted over the past few days. We think we might've caught some sort of stomach bug (or rather I must've caught it while grocery shopping and passed it to him). We're watching Greg carefully to make sure he doesn't develop a fever and so far so good. On Thursday he has a clinic appointment so they will be able to check him out thoroughly to make sure he doesn't need any treatment. In the meantime we're resting and staying hydrated as best as we can.

Greg will be having a stress test the last week of February, the results of which they'll use to determine if he's ready to begin cardiac rehab. Once he starts he'll have rehab a few times each week for 3 months. The physical therapy he had at home was just to get him to the point where he was able to be safe and independent at home - strengthening his legs so that he could climb stairs and get in and out of chairs on his own. Due to the fact that the nerves still need to grow back from his body to his new heart (which typically begins by 3 months post transplant), the doctors don't want him getting his heart rate elevated from exercise until he learns to work with his new heart in rehab.

In the meantime, the biggest concerns continue to be if he will develop rejection or an infection. The first year, but especially the first three months, is the most dangerous time for rejection. It's awesome that he hasn't had any significant rejection yet, we are praising God for that, but it doesn't necessarily mean he won't have any in the future. Almost every patient develops some rejection - some people have lots and some people only have a small amount. Even if he does have rejection, it's not something to panic about. As long as it is treated promptly (and they do the biopsies to catch it early on) it should not damage the heart.

Would you please pray that our stomach-related symptoms would go away and that we'd have some energy? I (Elise) am trying to incorporate some normalcy into our lives again (For example, I went to the dentist today! It sounds silly but it was a big step towards normal life for me.) but feeling sick makes taking care of Greg more tiring and I don't feel like I have anything left over.

Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement!

Love, Elise

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